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The FCS Financial Rural Community and Agriculture Foundation recently granted $10,000 to the Bates County Fair to assist with the construction of a new show barn and sale arena.

The existing swine, sheep and goat barn at the Bates County fairgrounds in Butler, Mo., is over 50 years old. In desperate need of repairs, the facility is not large enough to host all livestock species and does not meet the Americans with Disabilities requirements. The Fair board voted to construct a new multi-purpose building that would include a kitchen, handicap accessible restrooms and house swine entries. The building will serve as the new show and sale arena accommodating the showing and viewing of livestock during fair exhibitions.

“We plan to allow other groups in the community and county to use the building for their activities,” says Brandon Nieder, Bates County Fair Board President. “In addition to various jackpot shows and the Bates County Fair, multiple 4-H and FFA functions such as livestock trainings, livestock judging competitions, 4-H fashion review shows, community Farmer’s Market events and quality assurance trainings will be held in the building.”

The $90,000 project was funded through grants, private donations and fundraising events. Local FFA chapters gained valuable skills as they assisted with the construction of the pens for the building.

The FCS Financial Rural Community and Agriculture Foundation represents the cooperative’s long-term commitment to a thriving and prosperous agricultural industry and our rural communities. The Foundation focuses on targeted, long-term investments.

“Our rural youth work hard throughout the year preparing for their county fairs,” says David Janish, FCS Financial CEO. “Facilities that meet the needs of the county shows is essential to the agricultural education of our young people. The new barn and arena at Bates County fairgrounds is a long-term improvement sure to have a positive impact for the community.”

Additional information and an application are available at Choose “Special Programs” under the “About Us” tab or email

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