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Fair pays tribute to Haren

Galen Haren's family receives a plaque at the Cullom Junior Fair on Friday / CIFN photo.

CULLOM – The late Galen Haren told his daughter he wanted to be remembered for promoting the hog show at the Cullom Junior Fair and that’s exactly what happened Friday morning.

Haren’s family was presented with a plaque remembering Haren, the longtime Cullom resident who exhibited at and later promoted the event. Gene Weber of Fairbury says it takes quite a bit of work to put on a fair and Haren was up for the challenge.

“It took a lot more work than it does now,” Weber admitted. “They had to put up and take down tents, clean, put up electrical and get the hogs sorted out.”

Fair organizers hope to eventually raise enough money to create a plaque which will list the names of the kids who received grand champion barrow, gilt and production each year.

Weber recalls Haren’s perfection when working on outside projects. Haren had one eye, but could maneuver equipment better than any person Weber had seen.

“He should’ve been a mechanic or machine operator.”

Weber considers the Cullom Junior Fair unique since it is free and a community-supported fair. He refers to it as a “great community event.”

Also on Friday, Savannah Ropp of Strawn was preparing to participate in the dairy show. She has been showing with her family at Cullom for several years now and this year, she had eight head of dairy including: Jerseys, Milking Shorthorns and Holsteins.

“I enjoy it a lot. It’s definitely a big family atmosphere. We like coming back every year and seeing everybody,” Ropp said.

Cullom Fair president George Halpin appreciates all of the community support each August.

“Our state funding is down practically to zero so it’s all on donations and so far, we’ve been doing really good,” Halpin explained.

The fair began 70 years ago by some local agriculture teachers who thought the community needed a fair. The idea took off and the rest is history. This year’s Cullom Junior Fair included 140 head of sheep, 50 beef and 35 dairy. Also, domestic arts and flower entries were showcased in the community building.

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