CHAPTER 38. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES, FAIRS, EXTENSION SERVICE
Table of Sections
|38.01||COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES; FORMATION, POWERS.|
|38.011||Repealed, 1955 c 618 s 6|
|38.012||Repealed, 1955 c 618 s 6|
|38.03||LEASE OF COUNTY LANDS.|
|38.04||ANNUAL MEETINGS; REPORTS.|
|38.05||POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN.|
|38.06||Repealed, 1955 c 618 s 6|
|38.07||Repealed, 1955 c 618 s 6|
|38.08||Repealed, 1955 c 618 s 6|
|38.09||Repealed, 1955 c 618 s 6|
|38.10||Repealed, 1955 c 618 s 6|
|38.11||Repealed, 1955 c 618 s 6|
|38.12||APPROPRIATIONS BY MUNICIPALITIES.|
|38.13||Repealed, 2004 c 254 s 49|
|38.14||APPROPRIATIONS FOR COUNTY FAIRS.|
|38.15||SITES AND BUILDINGS.|
|38.16||EXEMPTION FROM ZONING ORDINANCES.|
|38.161||Repealed, 1995 c 207 art 9 s 61|
|38.162||Repealed, 1995 c 207 art 9 s 61|
|38.17||Repealed, 1989 c 277 art 2 s 77|
|38.18||COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS; IMPROVEMENT AIDED.|
|38.19||EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATIONS.|
|38.20||SUPPLEMENTAL TO EXISTING LAWS.|
|38.26||Repealed, 1974 c 435 art 6 s 1|
|38.27||COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES.|
|38.28||Repealed, 1989 c 277 art 2 s 77|
|38.31||Repealed, 1974 c 435 art 6 s 1|
|38.32||Repealed, 1965 c 45 s 73|
|38.33||COORDINATION TO MAINTAIN COUNTY EXTENSION WORK.|
|38.34||COUNTY BOARD MAY PAY FOR EXTENSION WORK.|
|38.35||STATE APPROPRIATIONS; HOW SPENT.|
|38.36||COUNTY EXTENSION COMMITTEE.|
|38.37||COUNTY EXTENSION COMMITTEE; PROGRAM, COUNTY AGENTS.|
|38.38||EXTENSION COMMITTEE; DUTY, OFFICERS, PAY.|
38.01 COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES; FORMATION, POWERS.
(a) An agricultural society or association may be incorporated by citizens of any county, or
two or more counties jointly, but only one agricultural society shall be organized in any county.
An agricultural society may sue and be sued in its corporate name; may adopt bylaws, rules, and
regulations, alter and amend the same; may purchase and hold, lease and control any real or
personal property deemed to promote the objects of the society, and may rent, lease, sell, and
convey the same. Any income from the rental or lease of the property may be used for any or
all of the following purposes: (1) Acquisition of additional real property; (2) Construction of
additional buildings; or (3) Maintenance and care of the society's property. This section shall not
be construed to preclude the continuance of any agricultural society now existing or the granting
of aid to the society.
(b) An agricultural society shall have jurisdiction and control of the grounds upon which its
fairs are held and of the streets and adjacent grounds during the fair, so far as may be necessary
for fair purposes, and are exempt from local zoning ordinances throughout the year as provided
(c) The society may contract with the sheriff, local municipality, or security guard as defined
to provide the society with police service. A person providing police service
pursuant to a contract is not, by reason of the contract, classified as an employee of the agricultural
society for any purpose other than the discharge of powers and duties under the contract.
(d) Any person who shall willfully violate any rule or regulation made by agricultural
societies during the days of a fair shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
The provisions of this section supersede all special laws on the same subject.
History: (7885) RL s 3097; 1909 c 416 s 1; 1911 c 381 s 5; 1921 c 464 s 1; 1923 c 146 s 1;
1923 c 232 s 1; 1937 c 352 s 1; 1955 c 618 s 1; 1963 c 408 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1Sp2005 c 1 art 1 s 67
38.013 TORT LIABILITY.
Subdivision 1. General.
Except as provided in subdivision 2, the provisions of chapter 466,
regarding tort liability, apply to county agricultural societies organized under this chapter.
Subd. 2. Unpaid board members; liability.
A person who serves without compensation as
a member of the board of a county agricultural society created or organized under this chapter
is not civilly liable for an act or omission by that person if the act or omission was in good
faith, was within the scope of the person's responsibilities as a member of the board, and did
not constitute willful or reckless misconduct.
This subdivision does not apply to:
(1) an action or proceeding brought by the attorney general for a breach of a fiduciary duty
by a board member;
(2) a cause of action to the extent it is based on federal law; or
(3) a cause of action based on a board member's express contractual obligation.
This subdivision does not limit the liability of a member of the board for physical injury
to the person of another or for wrongful death that is personally and directly caused by the
For purposes of this subdivision, the term "compensation" means any thing of value received
for services rendered, except:
(1) reimbursement for expenses actually incurred;
(2) a per diem in an amount not to exceed the per diem authorized for state advisory councils
and committees under section
15.059, subdivision 3
(3) payment by the county agricultural society of insurance premiums on behalf of a member
of the board.
History: 1978 c 659 s 1; 1990 c 555 s 5
38.02 AID, DISTRIBUTION.
Subdivision 1. Pro rata distribution; conditions.
(a) Money appropriated to aid county and
district agricultural societies and associations shall be distributed among all county and district
agricultural societies or associations in the state pro rata, upon condition that each of them has
complied with the conditions specified in paragraph (b).
(b) To be eligible to participate in the distribution of aid, each agricultural society or
association shall have:
(1) held an annual fair for each of the three years last past, unless prevented from doing so
because of a calamity or an epidemic declared by the Board of Health as defined in section
145A.02, subdivision 2
, the state commissioner of health, or the Board of Animal Health to exist;
(2) an annual membership of 15 or more;
(3) paid out to exhibitors for premiums awarded at the last fair held a sum not less than the
amount to be received from the state;
(4) published and distributed, or made available on an Internet Web site, not less than three
weeks before the opening day of the fair a premium list, listing all items or articles on which
premiums are offered and the amounts of such premiums and shall have paid premiums pursuant
to the amount shown for each article or item to be exhibited; provided that premiums for school
exhibits may be advertised in the published premium list by reference to a school premium
list prepared and circulated during the preceding school year; and shall have collected all fees
charged for entering an exhibit at the time the entry was made and in accordance with schedule
of entry fees to be charged as published in the premium list;
(5) paid not more than one premium on each article or item exhibited, excluding
championship or sweepstake awards, and excluding the payment of open class premium awards
to 4H Club exhibits which at this same fair had won a first prize award in regular 4H Club
(6) submitted to the commissioner of agriculture on or before the first day of November of
the year in which the fair was held its annual report of premiums paid.
(c) All payments authorized under the provisions of this chapter shall be made only upon
the presentation by the commissioner of agriculture with the commissioner of finance of a
statement of premium allocations. As used herein the term premium shall mean the cash award
paid to an exhibitor for the merit of an exhibit of livestock, livestock products, grains, fruits,
flowers, vegetables, articles of domestic science, handicrafts, hobbies, fine arts, other products
of a creative nature, and articles made by school pupils, or the cash award paid to the merit
winner of events such as 4H Club or Future Farmer contest, youth group contests, school spelling
contests and school current events contests, the award corresponding to the amount offered in
the advertised premium list referred to in schedule 2. Payments of awards for horse races, horse
pulls, tractor pulls, demolition derby, automobile or other racing, jackpot premiums, ball games,
musical contests, talent contests, parades, and for amusement features for which admission is
charged, are specifically excluded from consideration as premiums within the meaning of that
term as used herein. The amount shall be computed as follows: On the first $750 premiums
paid by each society or association at the last fair held, the society or association shall receive
100 percent reimbursement; on the second $750 premiums paid, 80 percent; on the third $750
premiums paid, 60 percent; and on any sum in excess of $2,250, 40 percent. The commissioner
of finance shall make payments not later than July 15 of the year following the calendar year in
which the annual fair was held to those agricultural societies or associations entitled to payments
under the provisions of this chapter.
(d) If the total amount of state aid to which the agricultural societies and associations are
entitled under the provisions of this chapter exceeds the amount of the appropriation, the amounts
to which the societies or associations are entitled shall be prorated so that the total payments by
the state will not exceed the appropriation.
Subd. 1a. Premiums for certain livestock and livestock products.
A livestock and livestock
product exhibit for which a premium may be paid pursuant to subdivision 1, paragraph 3, includes,
but is not limited to, livestock exhibited live on the association or society grounds and the carcass
of the same animal exhibited later at a place of slaughter off the association or society grounds.
Subd. 2.[Repealed, 2004 c 254 s 49
Subd. 3. Entitlement for pro rata distribution.
A county or district agricultural society
which has held its second annual fair is entitled to share pro rata in the distribution. Payments
shall be based on reports submitted by agricultural societies under subdivision 1, paragraph
(b), clause (6).
Subd. 4. Poultry association or society; premiums aid.
A poultry association or society that
receives aid in payment of premiums at exhibitions of poultry shall not receive an amount greater
than the annual premium paid to exhibitors by it and the amount of aid paid shall not in any case
exceed the sum of $150 to any one county. A society or association to be entitled to its distributive
share of aid to poultry associations shall file annually with the commissioner of agriculture by
the first day of April of each year a sworn statement signed by the president or secretary of the
association or society showing the amount of cash premiums paid during the year to exhibitors.
The amount to be distributed to the society or association from the aid appropriation shall be
based and determined upon the amount of cash premiums paid out as hereinbefore provided.
Except as herein provided, where there is more than one association in a county, the amount
allotted to the county, not exceeding $150, shall be distributed to the societies in equal amounts.
History: (7886) RL s 3098; 1911 c 381 s 6; 1913 c 425 s 1; 1915 c 243 s 1; 1919 c 138 s
1; 1921 c 452 s 1; 1923 c 301 s 1; 1925 c 47 s 1; 1929 c 211 s 1; 1937 c 352 s 2; 1947 c 493 s
1; 1949 c 508 s 1; 1951 c 446 s 1-4; 1953 c 69 s 1; 1955 c 618 s 2-4; 1963 c 195 s 1; 1963 c
408 s 2; 1967 c 513 s 1; 1973 c 492 s 14; 1976 c 163 s 4,5; 1976 c 239 s 14; 1977 c 121 s
2-4; 1977 c 305 s 45; 1983 c 300 s 22,23; 1984 c 654 art 3 s 30; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 309 s 24;
2003 c 128 art 3 s 35,36; 2004 c 254 s 6,7
38.03 LEASE OF COUNTY LANDS.
The county board of any county may lease to agricultural societies established and existing
in its county, for such period and on such terms as it shall deem expedient, any lands of the county,
including any portion of lands of the county used as a poor farm, to be used by the society for fair
purposes. The society may construct on the leased land, suitable buildings, race tracks, and other
improvements; provided, that in case of the leasing by the county board of any county of lands
previously set aside as a poor farm, such improvements shall be constructed according to a plan
previously submitted to the county board and approved by it.
History: (7887) RL s 3099; 1915 c 346 s 1; 1955 c 618 s 5
38.04 ANNUAL MEETINGS; REPORTS.
Every county agricultural society shall hold an annual meeting for the election of officers
and the transaction of other business on or before the third Tuesday in November. Service on the
county agricultural society board or as an officer of the board is not a public office. Elected
officials of the state or its political subdivisions may serve on the board or be elected as officers.
At the annual meeting, an officer of the society shall make a report of its proceedings for
the preceding year and a financial statement prepared in accordance with generally accepted
accounting principles. The report must also list the amount paid out for premiums and for other
Reports of the society are public data under chapter 13 and must be made available for
inspection by any person.
History: (7888) RL s 3100; 1911 c 381 s 7; 1919 c 114 s 1; 1947 c 493 s 2; 1973 c 492 s
14; 1976 c 181 s 2; 1977 c 121 s 5; 1983 c 214 s 32; 1984 c 655 art 1 s 6; 1986 c 444; 1989
c 164 s 1; 2004 c 254 s 8; 2004 c 290 s 19
38.05 POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN.
Every county agricultural society may acquire, by power of eminent domain, such private
real property as may be necessary or convenient for the transaction of the public business for
which it was formed.
History: (7888-1) 1921 c 296 s 1; 2006 c 214 s 20
38.12 APPROPRIATIONS BY MUNICIPALITIES.
The council of any city and the board of supervisors of any town having fairs of county
and district agricultural societies or associations, who are members of the Minnesota State
Agricultural Society, held within or in close proximity to their corporate limits, may appropriate
money to the agricultural society or association.
History: (7889) 1913 c 546 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 2004 c 254 s 9
38.15 SITES AND BUILDINGS.
The county board in any county may appropriate money for the purpose of procuring a
suitable site and erecting on it a suitable county building, for the building or repairing of a race
track and for grading and improving the grounds, to be used in connection with a county fair,
but the site and the building and improvements remain the property of the county, and the
appropriation shall be used only for the purpose of acquiring the site and building and grading and
for the necessary care, repair, maintenance, and upkeep thereof.
History: (738) 1913 c 271 s 2; 1917 c 311 s 2; 1957 c 637 s 1; 2004 c 254 s 11
38.16 EXEMPTION FROM ZONING ORDINANCES.
When lands lying within the corporate limits of towns or cities are owned by a county or
agricultural society and used for agricultural fair purposes, the lands and the buildings now or
hereafter erected are exempt from the zoning, building, and other ordinances of the town or city;
provided, that no license or permit need be obtained from, nor fee paid to, the town or city in
connection with the use of the lands. For the purposes of this section, "agricultural fair purposes"
includes the management of property as provided in section
38.01, paragraph (a)
History: (738-1) 1927 c 212; 1931 c 166 s 1; 2004 c 254 s 12; 1Sp2005 c 1 art 1 s 68
38.18 COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS; IMPROVEMENT AIDED.
Any town, statutory city, or school district in this state, now or hereafter having a market
value of all its taxable property, exclusive of money and credits, of more than $105,000,000, and
having a county fair located within its corporate limits, is hereby authorized to aid in defraying
part of the expense of improving any such fairground, by appropriating and paying over to the
treasurer of the county owning the fairground such sum of money, not exceeding $10,000, for
each of the political subdivisions, as the governing body of the town, statutory city, or school
district may, by resolution, determine to be for the best interest of the political subdivision,
the sums so appropriated to be used solely for the purpose of aiding in the improvement of
the fairground in such manner as the county board of the county shall determine to be for the
best interest of the county.
History: (738-3) 1925 c 321 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1988 c 719 art 5 s 84; 1989 c 329 art
13 s 20; 1990 c 480 art 9 s 1
38.19 EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATIONS.
The county board owning any such fairground may expend the funds so appropriated and
paid over by any such town, statutory city, or school district for the use of the county, in the same
manner as the funds of the county set apart for these purposes may be expended; and may, by
resolution, set apart for the use of the town, statutory city, or school district any building, or any
portion of the fairground, that may be constructed or otherwise improved with the funds so
appropriated and paid over to the county by the town, statutory city, or school district, but the
title to the building, or other improvement, shall be and remain the property of the county as part
of the fairground property.
History: (738-4) 1925 c 321 s 2; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7
38.20 SUPPLEMENTAL TO EXISTING LAWS.
shall be supplemental to any existing laws authorizing any town,
statutory city, or school district to appropriate funds to aid in the carrying on of any county fair
located within the limits of the town, statutory city, or school district, and any town, statutory
city, or school district which now has such power shall continue to have such power to make the
appropriations to any such county agricultural society as may be authorized by existing laws.
History: (738-5) 1925 c 321 s 3; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7
38.33 COORDINATION TO MAINTAIN COUNTY EXTENSION WORK.
coordinate the work of the federal, state, and county government and
the Minnesota Extension Service of the University of Minnesota to maintain county extension
History: (6121) 1923 c 423 s 1; 1953 c 202 s 1; 1990 c 376 s 1
Subdivision 1. Application.
, the definitions in this section apply.
Subd. 2. County extension work.
"County extension work" means educational programs
and services provided by extension educators in the areas of agriculture; agricultural finance;
economic development; nutrition; youth leadership development including 4-H programs;
leadership; and environment and natural resources.
Subd. 3. Director of extension.
"Director of extension" means the dean and director of the
Minnesota Extension Service of the University of Minnesota.
History: 1990 c 376 s 2; 2002 c 373 s 23
38.35 STATE APPROPRIATIONS; HOW SPENT.
Money appropriated by the state to maintain and pay expenses of county extension work
must be spent under the direction of the director of extension, who, acting with the county
extension committee, shall carry out sections
History: (6124) 1923 c 423 s 4; 1953 c 202 s 3; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 376 s 4
38.36 COUNTY EXTENSION COMMITTEE.
Subdivision 1. Committee composition.
A county must have an extension committee. The
committee must have nine members. Two members must be county commissioners appointed by
the county board. The county auditor or the auditor's designee must be a member. If the county
has no office of auditor, the county board shall appoint a member from the county administration.
Six members must be appointed at large by the county board as provided in this section. The
county board at its annual meeting shall appoint for a term of three years the number of members
required to fill the memberships on that committee expiring at that time.
Subd. 2. Budget recommendations.
In cooperation with the director of extension, or the
director's designee, the county extension committee, each year, in accordance with county
budgetary deadlines, shall prepare a budget showing the total funds available and needed and
shall recommend to the county board the amount of county funds necessary to maintain, support,
and pay the expenses of county extension work during the following year. A copy of the budget
must be presented to the county board.
Subd. 3. County appropriations, how spent.
The county board shall consider the
recommended county share of money necessary to maintain, support, and pay the expenses of
county extension work during the following year. For these purposes, the county board may
appropriate money annually from its general revenue fund and may include the amount of the
county's share in the annual levy of county taxes or may make a special levy for county extension
purposes or both. The money set aside and appropriated by the county board for these purposes is
the county extension fund. Money from the fund may be paid out by orders of the director of
extension, or the director's designee, to pay a part of the compensation of the agents employed, to
pay directly the compensation of county support employees, and to pay other expenses incident
to county extension work. An order to pay money from the fund must not be issued until the
expenditure has been audited and signed by the county auditor or other appropriate county official.
A balance in the county extension fund at the end of a year must be carried over or reappropriated.
History: (6125) 1923 c 423 s 5; 1947 c 157 s 1; 1951 c 390 s 1; 1951 c 412 s 1; 1953 c 202
s 4; 1957 c 208 s 1; 1963 c 198 s 1; 1969 c 1081 s 1; 1973 c 528 s 1; 1973 c 583 s 5; 1986 c
444; 1990 c 376 s 5
38.37 COUNTY EXTENSION COMMITTEE; PROGRAM, COUNTY AGENTS.
The county extension committee shall, annually, plan a program of county extension work
in cooperation with the Minnesota Extension Service of the University of Minnesota and the
United States Department of Agriculture. To run the program, the county extension committee,
acting with the director of extension, or the director's designee, shall recommend for employment
suitable and qualified persons to be known as extension agents. The extension agents must be
employed according to university personnel procedures and must be university employees. The
extension agents shall provide educational programs and services to enhance the quality and
productivity of county extension work.
History: (6126) 1923 c 423 s 6; 1953 c 202 s 5; 1969 c 1081 s 2; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 376 s 6
38.38 EXTENSION COMMITTEE; DUTY, OFFICERS, PAY.
The county extension committee shall encourage all individuals and organizations to
cooperate to make profitable use of extension activities. It shall elect its own chair and vice-chair,
who shall serve for one year. The county auditor, the auditor's designee, or the appointee from
the county administration is the secretary of the county extension committee. The secretary shall
keep a record of all its proceedings and shall forward copies of all resolutions of the county board
appropriating funds to the director of extension. County commissioners who are members of the
committee may receive a per diem under section
375.055, subdivision 1
, and may be reimbursed
for their necessary expenses, including mileage under section
. Other committee members
may be reimbursed for expenses or may receive a per diem allowance under section
History: (6127) 1923 c 423 s 7; 1953 c 202 s 6; 1957 c 208 s 2; 1969 c 1081 s 3; 1975 c
301 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 376 s 7