Fair Board considers funding for 4-H Dog Project equipment

SHERIDAN — Over the last year, the Sheridan County Fairgrounds Association has made several efforts to enhance experiences at the fairgrounds for various user groups by repairing and improving facilities and making contributions toward the purchase of new equipment.

On Thursday, Tom Terry, 15, approached the board to ask for support for the Dog Project, a 4-H program that fosters youth development by teaching participants how to train dogs for a variety of dog shows and agility programs.

Terry said the program currently has 27 members who practice dog training every Thursday at the fairgrounds, a number that has doubled in the last year as interest in the program has grown.

Terry said students participate in agility programs at the County Fair each August, but that they would like to start hosting regional dog shows and portable shows at locations around town such as nursing homes and schools.

However, the equipment the program currently has is old, heavy, hard to move and deteriorated to the point it is unsafe for the dogs.

“We need safe and movable equipment,” Terry said.

Priority items include an A-frame, a dog walk and a pause table, County Fair Superintendent for the Dog Project Susie Terry said. More items are needed but some can be made by 4-H participants.

Susie Terry said the total cost for needed equipment is more than $4,000, and it was hoped the fair board could contribute at least half that amount. Susie Terry said Dog Project members will work on fundraising to purchase or build the rest of the needed equipment.

Sheridan County Fair Association President Steve Eliason said the board is at budget for this season but asked Susie Terry to put together a priority list of items with prices for the board to consider as it drafts next year’s budget.

“You have a good proposal, and it’s a worthy cause,” Eliason said.

For more information on the Dog Project or to donate to the program, call the University of Wyoming Extension Office in Sheridan County at 674-2980.

In other business, the board discussed whether it should enact a cancellation policy or charge a deposit for groups that rent fairgrounds facilities. Fairgrounds Director Jamie Ringley said there have been a couple cancellations in the last year, and that as reservations have gotten tighter, cancellations have become more problematic.

The board agreed a cancellation policy was necessary and will work on drafting one to include in rental contracts.

The board also voted to approve the renewal of the fairground’s insurance liability policy.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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