Karen’s daughter, Mary, receives a proclamation from Deb Aumic, representing Assemblyman Joe Giglio
By Mary Gardner Ruch
On Tuesday, May 10th, The Allegany County Agricultural Society met for their annual meeting at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Angelica. President, Harry Hurt, of West Almond, led the meeting.
Every year the Fair Board recognizes a dedicated individual who has contributed to the success of the fair. The 2022 Allegany County Fair is dedicated to Karen Tripp who has been a fair volunteer for many years. Karen’s family started showing dairy cattle at the fair and within just a few years, Karen took on a large role in managing dairy at the fair. She served as Dairy Superintendent from 1992 to 2007. Then in 2007, Karen became a Fair Board Director in charge of Dairy. She was Vice President in 2014 and started as President and Fair Manager in 2015. Karen resigned from her position on the Fair Board in April to start a new adventure in Kentucky with her husband, Glenn.
Karen’s daughter, Mary Tripp, was at the meeting to receive the proclamations read and presented by Lee James from Congressman Tom Reed’s office, Jon Eberth from Senator Borrello’s office, and Deb Aumic from Assemblyman Joe Giglio’s office. Lee James stated that it was Tom Reed’s last official day and that Karen was acknowledged in one of the last proclamations by Congressman Reed. She went on to say,” Agriculture is the strength and the backbone of our economy and that the volunteers take on a big role and pull off the fair every year”.
Jon Eberth shared that Senator Borrello’s grandparents were grape farmers. He said, “agriculture brings in $5 billion dollars per year to the NYS economy with milk being #1.
Deb Amuc representing Assemblyman Joe Giglio expressed his congratulations to Karen and honored the fair board and Allegany County Agricultural Society for their longevity, vitality, and continued energy.
Deb Aumic shared the history of the Allegany County Fair. In 1843 the Allegany Agricultural Society was formed and the first fair was held in 1844. In 1862, a cyclone shook Angelica. At the fairgrounds, Mechanic Hall was torn to pieces, another building twisted from its foundation, and part of the fencing was destroyed. The name “Allegany County Fair” was used for the first time in 1894. In 1923 electricity was used for the first time. In 1924, the fair had 2 night carnivals and in 1959 the first dairy princess was crowned.
Much has changed historically since the beginning of the fair. Allegany County Dairy Ambassador, Madison Morehouse, addressed the group stating that in order to be more inclusive boys could now be involved and they are no longer using the term princess. They are called Ambassadors and Representatives. Instead of gowns, the girls wear black pants and a maroon top. The boys wear black pants and a blazer. The look is professional. Madison’s family are dairy farmers. Eloise Lambert, Dairy Representative, and her mother who was a former dairy princess were making and serving “milk punch” at the gathering.
A potluck dinner was served to all who came to the Allegany County Agricultural Society Dinner. After the meal, updates on this year’s fair were announced. The fair will take place July 18th through the 23rd. It was announced that last year’s fair brought in 20,000 people and was the biggest attendance in 20 years. A special thank you was given to the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department for their continued support. Sherriff Rick Whitney grew up in Angelica and he said, “ When I got my report card at the end of the year, we always received free tickets to the fair”.
Philip Stockman, Chairman of the Allegany County Legislators, shared his experience visiting the fair and his grandparent’s farm as a youngster. He mentioned that Legislator, Brook Harris, had been appointed to the Agricultural Committee on a National Level in Washington DC. He also stated that some of the Covid relief money that the County received would support the fair. Legislator Adam Cyr was in attendance along with former Legislators Norm Ungerman and Curt Crandall.
Others in attendance and welcomed was the 4-H Department leader Krista Humbert. Fair Board Directors and Superintendents were acknowledged and they gave a short synopsis of the work that they were involved in.
President of the fair board, Harry Hurt, stressed the need for employees and volunteers to help at the fair. Any young person with working papers or interested adults can inquire about employment or volunteering.
A special thank you went out to the sponsors of the fair. This list included the Allegany County Legislators, Angelica Spring Company, Baldwin Forest Produces, Casella Waste Systems, Crandall Memorials, East Wind Landscape Nursery, Jo-Po Gravel, Otis Eastern Services, Phillips Angelica Forest Products, Ungerman Sand and Gravel, L.C, Whitford Company, all the Friends of the Fair sponsors, and all dedicated volunteers. Paul Hollier closed the meeting with prayer.