The AgStar Fund for Rural America, which is the corporate giving program for AgStar Financial Services, announced the awarding of $69,000 through its County Fair Facility Upgrade Grant Program. A total of 23 county fairs received up to $3,000 each to improve agricultural buildings on their fairgrounds. The mission of the program is to support rural county fairs in upgrading livestock buildings, 4-H buildings, or livestock judging arenas. Every fair in AgStar's 69-county service area is eligible to apply for the grant if it has not received the grant in the past two years.

County fairs in southeastern Minnesota that received grants include: Rice County to add new gates and bleachers for the pig barn; Wabasha County to update electrical lighting and wire the rabbit building; Goodhue County for new water lines, accessible ramps, ground limestone for barn floors and hand wash stations; Freeborn County to enlarge the door in the judging arena; and Mower County to purchase an awning to cover bleachers by the horse arena. Since the program began in 2001, the AgStar fund had donated more than $6 million to organizations in communities to improve the future of rural America.

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