Barron "Boots" Hetherington, special advisor to the governor for agriculture, attended the Carbon County Fair to name the Outstanding Fair Ambassador, Alicia Silliman. The presentation was made in the livestock arena preceding the auction of 4-H animals.
In a program that began last year at several of the state's 113 fairs, the recognition will be presented at about 95 percent of the fairs - some choose not to participate. Each fair chooses it own ambassador.
Although there is no monetary award, the citation is a great way to say thank you to volunteers who donate time, said Hetherington.
In his position as fair fund administrator, he said Gov. Tom Corbett has not cut the fair budget. It remains at $911,000 in the budget and is used for premiums and operational expenses for local fairs with a focus on those with youth activities such as Future Farmers of America and 4H.
The larger fairs may not be as agriculturally oriented as a small one such as Carbon County which may benefit more as a percentage of its costs.
Although it was to be a surprise, Hetherington said Silliman would receive the citation which was signed by George Greig, Secretary of Agriculture. She has been treasurer since the fair was founded by the various Lions Clubs of the county and actively promotes the fair.
After receiving the award, Silliman said the fair couldn't happen without all of the people participating.
"We weren't sure everything would be set up, but it was. I wanted to meet 'Boots' for a long time," she said.
He described the presentations - Carbon was his 15th - as a fun thing for him to do. He also noted the presence of Carbon County Commissioners Wayne Nothstein and Charles Getz, and said fairs are a lot more successful when commissioners are involved.