Foundation kicks off campaign for new exhibit hall

Farm Forum

HURON – The South Dakota State Fair Foundation kicked off its first capital campaign, “Building a Showcase for 4-H, Youth, and Community,” at the annual 4-H Leaders’ Association Barbecue Sept. 1, at the SD State Fair.

This capital campaign will raise $4 million over the next three years to replace the aging Clover Hall with a more versatile, open-layout exhibit hall. Clover Hall has been utilized since the 1950s for 4-H exhibits and competitions.

The new 46,910 square-foot exhibit hall will feature more than 35,000 square feet of exhibit space, multiple classrooms, a large kitchen for 4-H Special Foods competitions, year-round concessions and a performance stage. Huron will enjoy an additional exhibit hall in the community for events in the off-season, which will also create added revenues for the State Fair.

Jerome Hertel, State Fair manager and executive director of the State Fair Foundation, and Loren Noess, Capital Campaign chair and general manager of Central Electric Cooperative of Mitchell stated total funds raised are $1,183,250.

– more than one-quarter of the goal.

SD Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch commented on the long-standing tradition of the State Fair and its bright future. In addition, three 4-H children discussed the reasons they are looking forward to the new exhibit hall.

The crowd enthusiastically shared in the excitement of the coming of the new building within the next few years.

State Fair attendance has been on the rise since 2006, with nearly 200,000 visitors in 2012, and with that has come increased revenues for the grounds. 4-H is the largest youth development organization in the nation, with 9,000 members within South Dakota. The ever-evolving organization boasted more than 17,700 pre-entered exhibits and 10,500 display exhibits at the 2013 State Fair.

Those interested in supporting the capital campaign are invited to contact the State Fair office at 605-353-7340 or visit