Beef Expo 2012

It’s another busy week here on the Fairgrounds for the annual Winter Beef Expo. Like most of this winter, we’ve really lucked out with more great weather. All of the cattle, vehicles, livestock trailers and people on the grounds make it feel like Fair time. Though it’s still 6 months away, I can feel the buzz in the air and I’m already getting excited for another Fair!

Hopefully if you were out at the Expo at all, you found the Foundation’s booth in the Cattle Barn foyer. Thanks to our great volunteers, we were able to have a presence at the event and sell our Fair merchandise.

Volunteers Nikki Goodell and Judy Dillenburg speak with a customer at the Blue Ribbon Foundation's booth.

As I’ve mentioned in a past post about the Beef Expo, my family has attended for as long as I can remember. Each year my sister and I would show in Polled Hereford classes and once we graduated high school, Mom and Dad continued to make the trip, but selling cattle instead of exhibiting. The past two years I have helped with the sale, taking them in the arena, but with how crazy it’s been around here lately preparing the new website, among other projects, I  didn’t take the time off. However, I was able to snag a couple of shots in the barn before the sale as I was changing out the volunteers at the booth. Check out how cute our Herefords are 🙂

The two calves we sold today.

My dad getting ready to take the bull into the sale ring.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation booth closes after today, but the Beef Expo goes through Sunday, so if you’re interested, you should stop out to the Fairgrounds and see what it’s all about. On another note, be sure to check out our website tomorrow for the unveiling of our completely revamped website!!


BRF Communications

It has been an exciting couple of days in my communications world! The Foundation is getting ready to launch a new website sometime before March 1 and I received the first build out proof of the new site! So exciting! I can’t wait for it to make its debut- it is going to be great for both the Foundation and our loyal supporters. A nice, clean look, plus easier navigation to find just what you’re looking for. Since I can’t contain myself, I will give you a sneak peek of the new homepage:

In other news, yesterday I received the initial design concepts for the 2012 Corndog Kickoff. I’m not going to spill too much on that yet, but I can tell you one thing…it’s going to be sweet! This year we will be celebrating 16 years…it’s a sweet thing.

Stay tuned for more information on our new website launch, and of course on our favorite Foundation event of the year, the Kickoff!

Happy New Year!

Wow! What a great start to 2012! I never thought I’d be sitting in my office with my screen door open listening to kids play in the Fun Forest in JANUARY!! I even went to lunch without a coat! If this weather is any prediction to what kind of year it is going to be, then I’m ready for a great one!

Well, after another great holiday spent with family and friends we are all back at work, and for me, it seems busier than ever! Everyone assumes that we are slow this time of year, but there are plenty of projects that need work all year round, or those that are getting started in preparation for the Fair. Currently I am working on the “winter” newsletter, conducting intern interviews and gearing up to start planning the Corndog Kickoff. In addition, we are getting ready to launch a new giving program, Our Fair’s Future, improving our online donation process as well as redesigning our website!

I am excited for 2012 and all that it will bring. Keep checking in with us here at the Foundation as we will have a lot of new and exciting things to share in the upcoming year.

Happy Holidays!

2011 christmas ecard large

Happy Holidays from the Blue Ribbon Foundation!

‘Tis the Season

December is here which means Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday madness has come and gone, and it is time to think about Christmas and everything that goes along with it. It seems that Christmas season has entered with a bang, and we kicked off December with a fresh blanket of snow to welcome it in.

Blue Ribbon Foundation Christmas Tree

As I’ve spent the past week decorating around the office and home, there have been a lot of things on my mind involving the holidays. As someone that is recently engaged, one of the biggest things on my mind is incorporating a new family into my holiday routine. That means extra family gatherings to attend, more holiday treats to bake, and most of all, more presents to buy.

I often have a hard time thinking of fun and meaningful gift ideas for the ones that I love. As someone who grew up with a passion for the Iowa State Fair, I always loved collecting items that reminded me of those wonderful 11 days in August. This year, when thinking about gifts for that Fair lover in your life, head over to our online Iowa State Fair merchandise store and give them something that will help them remember their favorite memories of the Fair all year round.

Happy Holidays from all of us at the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation!


Snow on the Fairgrounds!

I’m not a huge fan of winter, but, if it’s going to be cold outside, it might as well snow! I snapped a couple of shots this morning as I came into work…it’s a little different from the scene you’re used to seeing in August!

Also, here’s a quick recap of the end of the Fall since we’ve been out of touch:

  • The annual 5K went great! We had a record number of participants and the weather was beautiful!
  • We had a change in staffing as well. Jenna Reece is our new sponsorship director, taking the place of Emily Saveraid. Jenna will be blogging soon so you will get to know her as well!
  • I attended the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) annual conference in Las Vegas the last week in November. It was a great conference and our Fair Manager and CEO, Gary Slater, will be the chair at next year’s convention, so we will preparing all year to help put on a great event.
  • Blue Ribbon staff has been preparing for our annual holiday party that will take place next week in the Jacobson Center.

December is already flying by and the holidays will come and go before we know it! Be sure to check out the great State Fair merchandise we have for sale in our online store if you still have some shopping to do!

Sign up!

Help make this year’s 5K one for the books and sign up today!  For the 5th anniversary, my goal is to have at least 500 participants…and we need your help to do it! By adding a one mile walk and a kids’ run we hope we can get some more people to join us. It’s a great way to get some exercise, plus see the beautiful Fairgrounds in the off-season. And, for you serious runners, we are going with RFID timing this year – the most modern timing system available!

Besides the good feeling you’ll get from helping out the Fair, participants also receive a long sleeve t-shirt and goodie bag with their registration fee. Sign up soon to get the discounted rate of $20; the price goes up to $25 starting October 22nd. Race day registration is also available for $30.

Check out this year’s shirt:

2011 Fairgrounds 5K Shirt

Oh, and did I forget to mention door prizes and refreshments after the race? There are so many reasons to join us on November 6, so don’t miss out! For all of the details about the event, be sure to visit our website.