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Gratiot County Community Foundation and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Award Grants

gccf_logomdard_logoGratiot County Community Foundation and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have awarded generous grant funding to Gratiot County Fair for Youth to develop new the new south parking area and to move 24 campsites. Grant funding has helped GCFFY fund installation of new roads and driveways, leveling and planting of the parking area south of the main Armory, establishing twenty-four new campsites, fencing to funnel visitors away from campsites and placing signage to help direct visitors to the new parking areas.  This project has been done because of upgrades by the local Armory that were necessary to keep them within increased national security guidelines.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development awarded GCFFY $20,000 in grant funding from their competitive Fair Capital Improvement matching grant program.  Gratiot County Community Foundation awarded the fair $5,000 which can be used to offset the state’s matching grant requirement.  The completed project is expected to cost GCFFY over $50,000.  Other donations of in-kind services and even from the Beebe Beef 4-H Club will help offset the costs of the improvements.

Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee Awards GCFFY Grant for Soy Based Products

soybean_commission_logoFrom the diesel fuel that powers GCFFY grounds equipment to the soap pumped in the bathrooms GCFFY is utilizing many soy based products thanks to a generous matching grant from the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee.  This grant helps the fair use green, renewable resources. In the three years funding has been awarded the fair has used these biorenewable products in its paint and stain, bio-diesel fuel, hand soap, and even the ink in our commercially printed products. Funding for this grant comes from money soy bean farmers contribute and supports community fairs across the state.


Gratiot County Community Foundations Awards Two GCFFY Memorial Scholarship Recipients    

crumbaugh_courtney 2martinsladeCourtney Crumbaugh from Ithaca and Slade Martin from Elwell were awarded the Gratiot County Fair for Youth Memorial Scholarship from the Gratiot County Community Foundation.  These scholarships will be paid from the community foundation’s endowed GCFFY Memorial Scholarship Fund.  This fund is still growing and awards only the earnings from the fund's balance as scholarships. 

Courtney Crumbaugh graduated from Ithaca High School and is enrolled at Kettering University where she will attend in the fall.  Courtney started exhibiting projects at the fair as a Cloverbud participant and every year added new projects to show.  Over the past two years, Courtney served as the Teen Representative on the fair’s Board of Directors where she actively served and was a familiar face in the fair office during fair week. 

Slade Martin is a 4.0 graduate from Alma High School and a twelve year fair exhibitor.  Slade has shown feeders, chickens, turkeys and projects at the fair.  This fall he will begin studying at Michigan State University as a Spartan.  Slade credits the fair and 4-H for helping to instill in him responsibility and leadership.  He served as the president of the Seville Superstars 4-H Club and a counselor for the Gratiot County 4-H Coldwater Camp.

Lance Fowler and Phil Lombard Join GCFFY’s Team

GCFFY is pleased to welcome Lance Fowler and Phil Lombard aboard our fair’s staff team.  Lance is serving in the position of the Fair Intern where he is already in the office entering data and helping to coordinate events.  Lance is a past GCFFY exhibitor, a CMU student and is completing his tenure as a State Officer of the Michigan FFA.  If you have driven by the fairgrounds lately and have thought wow this place looks great, you can thank Phil.  Phil is our new groundskeeper as well as a former fair dad and current fair grandfather.  GCFFY asks that you give them a warm welcome to the fair.

GCFFY has Moved!!!

alma_msue_office 2Gratiot County Fair for Youth, who's office has been located with MSU Extension since its inception in 1950, has moved along with MSU Extension. MSU Extension and GCFFY now have the following mailing address and are now located at:

    219 N. State St.
    Alma, MI 48801
This is the same building that houses the Alma Secretary of State office which is physically about one mile north of the fairgrounds.  All of phone lines will remain the same.  Stop by and say “hi” if you are in the area. GCFFY is proud to be affiliated with our MSU Extension Partners who help the fair in numerous ways and thanks Gratiot County for their continued support.  

Fairgrounds Usage

On the south side of Alma sits a beautiful facility which might be the perfect location to host your next event.  GCFFY’s fairgrounds is the perfect location for a company retreat or picnic, a peaceful meeting, a family reunion or of course an animal event.  GCFFY has covered picnic areas, an all-weather, technology equipped, conference room, large barns and arenas.  Our online calendar has all of our events listed at www.gcffy.org found by clicking on Upcoming Events tab.  If you would like to see how GCFFY could serve your needs, contact Brian Gardner at the fair office at 989.875.5292 or bgardner@gcffy.org

Any 4-H club or FFA chapter who is looking for a meeting location or a place to hold your next club event is encouraged to consider the fairgrounds.  The cost for 4-H and FFA groups is often waived depending on the scope of the event and the amount of work it will take fair staff to clean-up after the event. 

GCFFY Sets Fair Dates

Along with signing a three-year carnival contract, GCFFY also confirmed our fair dates for the 2015 – 2017 years.  This will help exhibitors and families plan their summer schedules.  The dates will be:

  • July 25 – August 1, 2015
  • July 30 – August 6, 2016
  • July 29 – August 5, 2017

We now know what will be the BEST week of the year!!!

2015 timeline photo


Gratiot County Fair for Youth Campsite Procedures

This time of year, we want to remind all of our exhibitor families and future fair families about our fair campsite procedures.  Campers who camped during our last fair will be offered their sites first.  Letters will go out the end of November for these campers to pay for their sites and sign they understand and agree to our camping rules.  If campers want to move after everyone has responded, we do our best to accommodate requests.  The next step is to review our campsite waiting list.  Currently we have 26 families on this list.  The fair will contact families on this list in the order they were received until all of our empty sites have been filled.  To get on the waiting list or if you have any questions, contact the fair office at 989-875-5292 or bgardner@gcffy.org.  Please provide us your name, address, phone number (including cell phone) and email address.  Families will be added in the order they were received.


Find us on Facebook

facebook_f_logoThe Gratiot County Fair for Youth and the Gratiot County 4-H Programs both have active Facebook accounts.  These accounts are used to provide you with current information about their respective programs.  Everyone wants to be liked so please "like" them and make sure you are receiving current information.

If you have "liked" us on Facebook and we do not show up on your feed, go to our page and like a post or two or make a comment.  Active participation on a page will ensure you are receiving the information we are distributing.

The Gratiot County Fair for Youth's Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/gcffy and the Gratiot County 4-H page is https://www.facebook.com/GratiotCounty4H.