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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • WVU President coming to Fair

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  • COTTAGEVILLE - People in droves, including new West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee, will be flocking to Cottageville next week for the summer’s premier event—the 2014 Jackson County Junior.
    Gee’s visit, part of his current 55-County Tour of West Virginia, is being made specifically because our fair here is arguably the premier county fair in the state and presents a prime time for his visit to Jackson County.
    “The 1.8 million residents of the Mountain State must believe in their hearts and minds that West Virginia University is their University,” Gee stated in announcing his state county tour. “The message I am bringing in each community is that West Virginians are important to the vitality of our institution. And in turn, our institution—a research, land-grant university—is important to the vitality of West Virginians.
    “Therefore, it is incredibly important for us to weave a common gold-and-blue thread from Weirton to Welch and all points between.
    “By connecting with our neighbors in the corner coffee shops, the public schools, the fairs and festivals, and the small-town Chambers of Commerce, we can make the connections between the University and West Virginians a reality.
    “Together we can continue to take West Virginia University—and West Virginia—to even greater heights.”
    The new WVU president’s impending visit has put even more giddyup in already amped up fair preparations, especially for the county extension office staff, according to county agent John David Johnson.
    “The machine that we call the Jackson County Junior Fair is just about ready to roll.  The big details have been taken care of for the most part,” said Johnson. “Now we’re concentrating on the little things, so we won’t be pulling our hair out next week.”
    Last year, area businessmen, politicians and individuals  turned out to make the 2013 Jackson County Junior Fair’s Market Livestock Sale—the 43nd annual sale—one to remember with a record market goat sale ($26,610.95) and a total sale of $391,054.15. The sale total was up $34,060.35 above the 2012 total of $356,993.80 and marked the second straight increase. The 2011 sale totaled 314,050.10 and the 2010 sale totaled $354,023.62.
    Johnson expects some 400 market livestock projects to be part of the 2014 fair with even more animals part of open shows. He expects some 40 replacement heifers, 55 market goats, 25 steers, 10 pens of rabbits, 95 market lambs and some 175 market hogs.
    Johnson said the 2014 fair will be include some 1,000 total FFA and 4-H projects.
    With horse shows, pull track events, ATV drag racing, mud bogging and an jam-packed entertainment lineup, delicious concessions and the state’s premier market livestock sale on Friday, the Jackson County Fairgrounds will be the place to be next week, Monday through Saturday.
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