Name:  Elvin Dunn

In Town:  Elvin Dunn, native of Rogersville, Mo., is the latest General Manager of the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. He started on Sept. 22, 2008. The Ozark Empire Fair (Missouri Entertainment and Event Center) has 10 full-time employees and already has 44 events booked on its 2009 calendar. Prior to this position Elvin most recently managed the License Bureau in Republic, Mo. Previous jobs include 26 years as Accounting Manager and Controller for Litton Industries and another 5 years with Dayco.

In the Country:  Elvin runs about 60 head of registered Red Angus on 400 acres in Republic, Mo. He grew up on a dairy farm but after high school a farming-equipment accident sidelined him into college at (then) SMSU where he began his business studies. "Farming is a business, right?" quipped Elvin. But three years later he was back to raising cattle again. Decades of experience paid off in 2004 with the recognition as Grassland Farmer of the Year from the Greene County Soil and Conservation District for his efforts in rotational grazing.

Back in Town: Elvin is busy with budgets and planning for the 2009 Ozark Empire Fair (July 31 – Aug. 9). Fairgoers are going to see a new midway company, Wade Shows of Florida, which will add some water rides and an adult roller coaster. Elvin noted, "We are lowering gate fees to $6 for adults."  He hopes the changes in the midway and some special grandstand entertainment will make the fair exciting and an alternative, local summer vacation this year.

How do you balance work at the Fair and work on the farm?
"I just squeeze it in. I have a Dew-Eze bed and I rolled out some round bales before church yesterday morning." Elvin has his 5th wheel parked at the Fairgrounds but he's not sleeping in it (yet).

Changes At the Fair:  The fair no longer has a full-time Livestock Director but, "We are not getting rid of livestock," Elvin added, "We're just making adjustments on our staff. The Fair has operated in the past with a part-time Livestock Director."

By Vince Crunk


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