The Dutchess County Agricultural Society, Inc.


Our Vision Statement

Our vision is a society actively engaged in the pursuit and promotion of our rural and agricultural heritage, from neighborhood back yards to family farms and commercial enterprises.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to showcase, promote and sustain agriculture through education, display, competition and community involvement. 

Who We Are

  • We are an 80 member nonprofit association
    • 16 directors  who meet monthly
    • 20 committees
    • $10 annual dues
    • Society meets formally 3 times per year
    • Volunteer time requirement of membership
  • We are a private 501c3.
  • The Fairgrounds encompasses 144 +/- acres, straddling the Village and Town of Rhinebeck.
  • 7 full time employees year round
  • 75 seasonal employees full time and part time
  • A 400 Fair employees full time and part time


  • We receive no funding from Dutchess County or other local government
  • In 2011, all agricultural fairs in New York received $6,700 for premiums.
    • The Society gave this plus an additional $1,300 to the Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extension for 4H premiums.
  • Three quarters of our annual income is made at the Fair.
  • Half of the events held at the Fairgrounds are donated grounds and staffing for nonprofit programming or fundraising.


  • The Annual Dutchess County Fair 6 days, Average attendance is 300,000
  • The NYS Sheep & Wool Family Festival – 2 days, Average attendance is 30,000
  • 2 “wheel” shows (Car/motorcycle) 2 days each, Average attendance 5000-12,000
  • 3 Crafts or Antiques shows – 2 days each,  Average attendance 2000-5000


  • 1351 Competitive Exhibitors at the Fair
  • 5563 Competitive Exhibits
  • $85,709 in Open class premiums is awarded. (Does not include 4H premiums.)
  • There are 377 concession spaces.
    • 154 are mid Hudson Valley businesses
  • 5-8 spaces are offered each year to local Nonprofits.

Community Support

  • The Dutchess County Agricultural Society donated $10,000 in 2009 for the purchase of a mobile fire-fighting apparatus for the Rhinebeck Fire Department.
  • The Society donated $100,000 towards the Capital Building fund for the Northern Dutchess Hospital for its previous expansion.
  • The helipad located on the Fairgrounds was installed at the Society’s expense.  Its maintenance is also a Society expense.  In addition to airlifted transports, it has been used for staging for local emergency operations.
  • The Fairgrounds provides the grounds for staging of the American Legion’s Annual Memorial Day Parade.
  • The Society purchased and donated bicycles for the Rhinebeck Village Police.
  • The Rhinebeck Village Police Department was housed in the Hall of Health Building on the Fairgrounds at no charge for 13 years.  When the building had to be rebuilt due to structural issues, the Village did not accept the offer to rebuild the station on the Fairgrounds.
  • The Rhinebeck High School 2011Prom was held in the Fairgrounds’ Horticulture building at no charge.
  • Northern Dutchess Hospital Annual Gala is held at the Fairgrounds free of charge.
  • The Society is collecting non-perishable foods at all events for local food shelters.
  • Hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised at the various non-profit fundraising activities held at the Fairgrounds at no charge.
  • The Fairgrounds has offered its resources, including a 230 kW portable generator and our facility to local municipalities in the event of an emergency.

Other Activities

  • The Dutchess County Agricultural Society pays $8,000 each year for 4 college scholarships.
  • A long range plan for the Society is to relocate local historical buildings to the Fairgrounds to create an “Antique Village,” depicting life in 19th century Hudson Valley.

PO Box 389 Rhinebeck, NY 12572
(845) 876-4000