Wisconsin to have an alternative livestock show, Iowa preparing it’s state fair backup plan

The Wisconsin youth that planned to exhibit livestock at the Wisconsin State Fair will have another venue this year, and similar plans are being made in case Iowa cancels its State Fair. 

Ben Schmaling grew up in Wisconsin and now raises Berkshire pigs near Prescott, Iowa.  Schmaling tells Brownfield he is glad to serve on a committee organizing the Wisconsin Livestock Expo so the young people won’t miss the experience. “I knew how important it was to have the opportunity to put something together for the kids here in 2020 that may have lost the opportunity to show there at West Allis.”

Schmaling says the committee is working to put together an event that can ease some of the pain of not getting to show at the Coliseum, and it will have similar rules and entry guidelines as the State Fair.  Schmaling says the Wisconsin committee decided against allowing the younger kids, even though several county fairs have canceled. “We’re confident in 2021 and beyond that, the state fair is going to happen and those kids are still going to have those years of eligibility to show at the Wisconsin State Fairs.”

Schmaling says the committee is exploring several possible venues for the Wisconsin Livestock Expo, but a decision has not been made.  He says they are also looking for volunteers through their Facebook page and website that can help put on the expo.

Schmaling is also on a similar committee in Iowa where he is focused on a possible replacement to the Iowa State Fair if it is canceled.  He says that the committee is already making plans for a substitute livestock show for Iowa youth if officials cancel the 2020 State Fair. “We’re confident that that thing is going to happen. It’s going to be safe for everybody to attend, but we’re going to do our best to be prepared just in case.”

He says the Iowa group is still in the early planning stages. “(For) the Iowa State Fair, I’m working on a group with the swine portion of that show. Again, that one is in its infancy, but there are a lot of really good people behind it.”

Schmaling tells Brownfield several supporters are working now so there can be a youth livestock show, with or without an Iowa State Fair. “We’ve got some fundraising set aside already, and we hope we don’t have to use that in the case of the Iowa State Fair knowing how important that event is to the state of Iowa but we’re going to be ready if that announcement is made here in the middle of the month.”

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