The Indiana State Fair Board has changes in store for livestock shows starting with the 2016 state fair. Last month the Indiana State Fair Livestock Committee received approval for the new schedule after considerable stakeholder feedback and time and effort crafting the improvements. Livestock Manager, Emily Griffiths told HAT one change is an ‘all agriculture all the time’ approach in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
“A marked change many will notice to the coliseum lineup of events is actually the absence of any concerts or non-agricultural programming or entertainment,” she explains. “So we’re really excited about having agriculture return to the coliseum, and therefore some changes had to occur to facilitate hosting events in the coliseum and Pop Weaver Youth Pavilion during and prior to our 17-day fair.”
In the last ten years the swine shows have grown larger and larger creating space limitations which will be addressed with a split in the swine schedule.
“Separating the 4-H barrow and gilt shows will help to eliminate some of the overcrowding in the barns, expedite load in and check in times, especially during those hot summer months, and hopefully therefore have a positive impact on creature comfort, but also our exhibitor experience.”
She said a number of factors caused the revamped livestock schedule to be put in place, but it was primarily the stakeholder and exhibitor feedback.
“Both during and after the fair we implemented an exhibitor survey to gather suggestions and recommendations from our exhibitors. And the livestock committee, which is made up of a group of the Indiana State Fair board of directors, used that to draft the recently presented schedule. That was certainly a dedicated and diligent effort on their behalf.”
The Indiana State Fair says other key highlights are:
- Schedule changes are intended to provide more convenient and coordinated arrival and release times for those exhibitors that bring multiple animals to the Indiana State Fair, specifically on market animal weekend, therefore not creating logistical challenges for families.
- A split swine schedule allows for 4-H members to experience expedited unloading, more rapid check-in and a more appropriate space for their livestock and exhibitors themselves.
- By condensing the schedules in several of the species we help to improve fairgoer perception of our livestock exhibits by “filling the barns”.
- Improved the exhibition venue of a number of shows including Horse Pulls, Mule & Donkey, Llama & Alpaca, and Dairy Goats. We have also added the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series qualifying competition to the Indiana Farmers Coliseum schedule.
Ultimately, the revamped schedule will allow for improved operational efficiency but more importantly an enhanced exhibitor and fairgoer experience.
The 2016 Indiana State Fair Livestock schedule is evolving but it does give a quick, high level outline of the activities in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, the Pop Weaver Youth Pavilion and the Cheri Daniels Arena, and event dates.
All department specific rules, events, and competition listings will be available online in February 2016. If you have any questions, please contact the Livestock Manager, Emily Griffiths at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-927-7541.
Source: Indiana State Fair