August 20–25 2024

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August 20–25 2024

Days
Hours
Minutes

Dutchess County Agricultural Society, Inc.

A Tradition of Excellence

The Dutchess County Agricultural Society, Inc. is a non-profit 501c3 corporation. The 80-member society is made up of interested men and women who elect the 16-member Board of Directors. This group oversees all aspects of the operation of the fair and all off-season events. The President/CEO works with and communicates directly with the Board. A permanent staff of ten produces various events and maintains the 147-acre facility throughout the year. The number of paid staff and volunteers during the fair grows to several hundred.

Our Vision & Mission

The Dutchess County Agricultural Society’s vision is a society actively engaged in the pursuit and promotion of our rural and agricultural heritage, from neighborhood backyards to family farms and commercial enterprises.

Our mission is the promotion of agriculture, horticulture, mechanical and domestic arts, fine arts, and allied sciences through education, instruction, display, and competition.

What We Believe

The Dutchess County Fair celebrates all things by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family environment.
  • Agriculture as the foundation of the Fair.
  • Excellence in agriculture as a continuing commitment.
  • Embrace a sense of community and shared culture.
  • Promoting agricultural education to increase growth in the agricultural community and raise awareness among New York’s citizens.
  • Investing in youth and youth-focused agricultural organizations (4-H and FFA) to cultivate future leaders in agriculture.
  • Preserving and building family memories and traditions for future generations.
  • Providing opportunities for commerce, competition, and entertainment.
  • Be a positive role model by acting in a courteous, considerate, and respectful manner as members of the Fair community and expecting the same behavior in all who work, attend and provide entertainment for the Fair.

Who We Are

  • We are an 80-member non-profit association
    • 16 directors who meet monthly
    • 20 committees
    • $10 annual dues
    • The society meets formally 3 times per year
    • Volunteer time is a requirement for membership
  • We are a private 501c3
  • The Fairgrounds encompass 147 acres, straddling the Village and Town of Rhinebeck
  • 10 full-time employees year-round
  • 75 seasonal employees full-time and part-time
  • Approximately 300 Fair employees full-time and part-time

Funding

The Dutchess County Agricultural Society is a non-profit entity and receives no funding from Dutchess County or other local government.  The fairgrounds are entirely self-funded, including salaries, capital improvements, and other costs.  The Agricultural Society owns the property and buildings.  Three quarters of our annual income is made at the Fair.  All profits earned from operations are put back into the facility for improvements of the facilities.

All agricultural fairs in New York State receive premium money through NYS Ag & Markets.  The money received from NYS Ag & Markets plus additional funds donated by the Society is given to the Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extension for 4-H premiums.

Events

The Dutchess County Fairgrounds is a premier destination for Hudson Valley fair and festival-goers. The multitude of activities scheduled at the Fairgrounds is as varied as the weather. National Geographic, Fodor’s, and Time Magazine have recently listed the Hudson Valley and Rhinebeck as “Top Places to Visit” in the world. Join us to experience the “Tradition of Excellence”.

Community Support

  • Many of the events held at the Fairgrounds are donated grounds and staffing for non-profit programming or fundraising.
  • Donated $10,000 in 2009 for the purchase of a mobile fire-fighting apparatus for the Rhinebeck Fire Department.
  • Donated $100,000 towards the Capital Building Fund for the Northern Dutchess Hospital for its previous expansion.
  • Staunch supporters of the local community, Rhinebeck Police Department and Fire Department. The Fairgrounds provides the grounds for the staging of the Memorial Day Parade, soccer field usage, Sinterklaas and parking for various other community events. 
  • The Society purchased and donated bicycles, UTV’s and flat screen TVs for the Rhinebeck Village Police.

Other Activities

  • The Agricultural Society gives out up to $25,000 per year in 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.