Wilson County Fair Blooms at the IAFE Awards

Wilson County Fair Blooms at the IAFE Awards

2018 proved to be an outstanding year for our Wilson County Fair as attendance increased as well as the number of awards received from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE).  1,624 entries were judged by industry professionals. The awards were presented during the annual IAFE Convention held in San Antonio, Texas in November. Winners were selected from the membership of the IAFE which has over 1,800 members from around the globe. Wilson County received a total of 23 awards in four categories, including Agriculture Awards, Competitive Awards, Communications Awards and Sponsorship Awards.

Agriculture Awards –

1st place – Agriculture Exhibitor Events, Awards, Participation Incentives or Retention Program – Hale Moss Scholarship Program

1st place – Technique/procedure/policy developed by Fair Management to correct an issue or challenge related to an agriculture program – Entice Fairgoers to Livestock Campus Focusing on Live Births

2nd place – Agriculture Area Beautification – Sunflower Bed at Fair Entrance

3rd place – Agriculture Communications – Using postcards, website, social media and public announcements to promote Agriculture Programs to Exhibitors

3rd place – Any other agriculture program/exhibit – “Be a Farmer” Activity in The Patch

3rd place – New or Unique Animal Competition (Class or Division) – Tennessee Hereford Association State Show

Competitive Awards

1st place – Use of Theme Throughout Multiple Divisions of Competitive Exhibits – Celebrating “Year of Milk” and mAGic Memories

2nd place – Competitive Exhibits New Display Method and/or Prop – New Best of Show Display Case

2nd place – Participatory Contest – Cow Calling and Mooing Contest in The Patch

2nd place – Special Contest – Flower Power Challenge

2nd place – New Contest to Attract New Competitive Exhibitors – Sampler Quilt Block Competition

2nd place – General Display Photo Series (Non-Animal) – “Be a Farmer Activity” in The Patch

3rd place – New Method to Attract new Competitive Exhibitors – New Website

3rd place – Off Season Non-Animal Contest – Kidz Kamp in Fiddlers Grove Historical Village

3rd place – Singe Photo of a General Display (Non-Animal) – Metal Milk Carton at Fair Entrance

3rd place – New Single Class of Non-Animal Competitive Exhibits – Plate of 3 Jalapeno Peppers

3rd place – New Division of Non-Animal Competitive Exhibits – Fair Gardens

3rd place – Create It On the Spot Contest – Cow Milking Contest in The Patch

 Communication Awards –

3rd place – Commemorative Poster

3rd place – Cow Cling-on Decal

3rd place – Promotional Event – What’s Up Wilco? On Hometown USA stage

3rd place – Mobile App

 Sponsorship Awards

2nd place – Sponsorship Innovation – Partner with Fairlife Milk to celebrate the “Year of Milk”

New Carnival for the 2018 Wilson County Fair!

LEBANON, TENN – We are excited to announce that Reithoffer Shows will be our carnival ride provider this year.  Reithoffer is the oldest traveling carnival company and only five generational family owned and operated show, which has the largest, most modern inventory and unique one of a kind rides in America.  They have been in business since 1896.  This is their first time in TN.  The midway will be larger with an expanded Kiddie Land area and more spectacular rides.  Reithoffer Shows is regarded as one of the top carnivals to have spectacular rides. There will more than 50 rides including two roller coasters and the Euro Slide just arriving from Italy this year, which is a brand-new ride, 65-foot-tall and seven lanes of fun.  It is the largest portable slide in the United States and will only be featured at four fairs in 2018 – Lebanon, TN; Albuquerque, NM; Perry, GA; and Dothan, AL.


Visit the Wilson County Fair website for a list of ALL the rides!



Reithoffer Shows will be bringing 23 Kiddie Rides, 18 Major Rides, and 14 Spectacular Rides with 9 being Super Spectacular Rides.


You can visit the Wilson County Fair website at wilsoncountyfair.net for more information and discounts that will be offered all 9 days of the Fair, August 17-25.


You can also purchase the Mega Ticket for $25 good for admission to the Fair and a ride armband, which will be good any of the 9 days of the Fair.  These tickets are offered for a limited time and will not be available during the Fair.


The Euro Slide is a separate ticketed ride for $5 and can be purchased on the website or during the Fair. This ride is not included with the armband rides.


WCF Honors Dairy Farmers

LEBANON, TENN – The 2018 Wilson County Fair will be honoring our dairy farms and families as we celebrate “Year of Milk” as the agriculture commodity and making more mAGic memories.


Thanks goes out to Daniel Pelletier for creating the metal Milk Carton that is located at The Fairgrounds entrance.

A life of early mornings, long days of hard work and braving the elements day in and day out 365 days a year may not sound appealing to everyone, but for Wilson County’s dairy farmers, this is the lifestyle they have happily chosen.
mAGic Memories are abundant on a dairy farm. Looking out over the farm, raising children and grandchildren to experience morning and afternoon milking, bottle feeding baby calves, harvesting crops, baling hay – the many chores involved with stewardship of the land and cattle bring families closer together.


“Watching three little boys grow up and have the whole farm experience: playing in the creek, showing calves, seeing the natural life and death experience and growing up to be good people” are the mAGic Memories for Roy Major, patriarch of Major Dairy Farm, where he and wife, Diane, raised sons Josh, Seth and Jared. Grandchildren Carter and Addison are now experiencing that same mAGic. Major Dairy Farm was established in 1979.


“It’s a good way of life,” echoes Larry Eastes of Eastes Dairy Farm. “A dairy farm is a good place to raise a family, to get to be with them every day and see them grow.”
Eastes’s farm will reach Century Farm status in 2019 – with 100 years of continuous dairy operation. Established by his grandparents, Ernest and Allie Driver, the farm was then operated by his parents John D. and Ernestine Eastes before Larry took the reins. His son, Kirk, helps daily on the farm, while daughter Lora Eastes Stutts is a 5th grade teacher in Watertown. Both live on the farm with their own families, and Larry’s grandchildren are growing up steeped in farm life just as their parents were.


Brothers Jeffrey, Justin and Jason Turner grew up milking cows, and Jeffrey and Justin decided to open their own dairy on the family farm, milking their first Holsteins on December 9, 2015. Their parents, Tommy and Jackie Turner, got out of the dairy business in the early 2000’s, but Jeffrey has fond memories of going to the barn with his dad to milk, or when he was too small to help, waiting for his dad to come in from milking so the family could sit down together for the evening meal. It’s all about family. And even though Jason isn’t a partner in the new dairy, he helps out too.


Holsteins are the predominant dairy breed in Wilson County, with the Turners having 100% Holsteins; the Eastes family having about 80 percent Holstein plus Jersey and a few Brown Swiss; and Major Dairy Farm having 95 percent registered Holstein, plus a few Brown Swiss, Ayrshire and Jerseys – from acquiring additional breeds for the youngsters to show through 4-H. Eastes milks about 80 a day, the Turners about 100 and the Majors average 200 to 220. That translates to tons of milk in a year: 8 to 8.5 million pounds of milk annually, combined.


While dairy farming is a beloved way of life, it’s one that today is more challenging than ever before. Volatile markets and only one buyer for the area leave these hard working families at the mercy of whatever price they are given. Margins are slim to negative. Giant corporate dairy farms that load out full tankers of milk daily are tough for these family farms to compete against. Prohibitively high land costs make expansion pretty much impossible. But these dairy farmers are accustomed to adversity and do their best to survive and thrive.


Roy Major hopes to see market corrections bring some stability in the future so his farm can continue to provide the dairy farming opportunity for his grandchildren. The Eastes family already has diversified by building up their herd of beef cattle. Larry’s dream is to at least keep operating the dairy through the 100- year anniversary in 2019, but without market changes, they may transition completely to beef. As the youngest dairy farm in Wilson County, the Turner Dairy Farm would like to expand and is exploring options to eliminate the market volatility they face today.


Through it all, they pull together as strong families rooted to the land and cattle they care so deeply for, making more mAGic memories as the days pass by.