Big Four Fair Board raising funds for new Dairy Building

FreedomBank presented a $50,000 check to the Big Four Fair Board that will be put toward a new Dairy Building at the Big Four Fairgrounds. The Fair Board is in the process of raising an additional $250,000 that it anticipates it will need for the project. Pictured are, front row (left to right): Mike Kruckenberg (Big Four Fair President), Judy Hyman (Big Four Fair Secretary), Sara Turner White (Big Four Fair/FreedomBank), and Kaylee Fritz (FreedomBank). Back row: John Hyman (Big Four Fair Treasurer), Blake Everman (Big Four Fair Vice President), Vicky Baade (FreedomBank), Sharon Kleve (FreedomBank) and Adam Weigand (FreedomBank). (Nadine Brock/Postville Herald photo)
John Jensen
Mid-America Publishing

For nearly 100 years, dairy animals have found a home in a building on the west side of the Big Four Fairgrounds during the fair. That building has reached the end of its lifespan, needing a new roof, other repairs and expansion as dairy numbers have grown at the Fair.


To meet the needs of the Fair, the Big Four Fair Board has begun raising money for a new Dairy Barn. FreedomBank made the first donation to the project Friday, presenting a $50,000 check to Fair Board President Mike Kruckenberg.


Kruckenberg said dairy numbers at the Fair have grown exponentially in recent years, from a low of around 40 animals to 150 at last year’s fair. He said that if all 190 dairy cows signed up for last year’s Fair had come, some would have had to have been accommodated under tents. 


“The Fair over the last decade has grown in the number of exhibitors,” Kruckenberg said. “This past year we had additional 30 exhibitors who were just beginning their showing legacy. The future of 4-H and FFA participation looks very good.”


“It’s a good problem to have,” he said. “Anything young kids are interested in doing, that’s what we’re in this for.”


The new building will be both longer and taller than the old structure, allowing both additional air circulation and the ability for the Fair Board to offer space to store RVs and boats in the winter.


“We want to build a new building, clear span of 78 feet by 120 feet long,” Kruckenberg said. “The building will not only allow for attractive display of the animals, but provide for off-fair season usage for the fair and the community.”


He said the Fair Board explored renovating and repairing the old building, but felt a new building was a better option due to the Fair’s growth and the ability for a new building to more attractively display exhibits.


The new building would be the first built at the Fairgrounds since the Fair Board built a new exhibit building for hogs, goats and sheep 20 years ago. Kruckenberg said, at the time, they felt the 60-foot by 100-foot building was “way too big.” Yet he said the building has been packed with exhibits the past few years.


Those interested in donating can send checks to 431 Cherry Valley Drive, Postville, IA 52162. For more information, call Kruckenberg at 563-217-0750.


The 2024 Big Four Fair is scheduled for Father’s Day Weekend, June 14, 15 and 16.


The Postville Herald

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