Learn About Our Projects

First formed in 2008, the Friends of the Merced County Fair have raised funds to improve various aspects of the Fairgrounds from facilities to support of educational programs. The Friends of the Merced County Fair work closely with Merced County Fair leadership and its Board of Directors to ensure all projects align with the vision and mission of the Merced County Fair, as well as serve the growing needs of the entire community.


The most recent project was the nine-year, $1.2 million fundraising effort to build the Hilmar Cheese Barn, a 33,800 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility. Hundreds of sponsors stepped up to contribute to the construction of the impressive Hilmar Cheese Barn, which is the largest construction project at the Merced Fairgrounds in the last 35 years.    


Built in 2016 and debuting at the 2016 Merced County Fair, the Hilmar Cheese Barn was designed to provide a larger space for the growing number of swine being exhibited with more wash racks, better lighting and ventilation, as well as other modernizations to provide convenience and improve safety for the Merced County Fair exhibitors, as well as the visiting public. It has provided an incredible space to host the annual Jr. Livestock Auction and other big shows during the Fair. The Hilmar Cheese Barn is also utilized year round to host non-fair events, including expanded farm shows, car shows, private events, community events and many other activities.


The Friends of the Merced County Fair proudly announced that the $600,000 loan to construct the barn has been paid off as of January 22, 2018. This now enables the Friends of the Merced County Fair to turn their focus on to the next project.



Sponsor Recognition

We want to proudly acknowledge the generous sponsors who stepped forth to support the Hilmar Cheese Barn and provide a top notch facility for our 4-H, FFA and Independent exhibitors during the Fair and for the entire community to use year round.



  • Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc.



  • American Ag Credit


$50,000 | Beam Sponsors

  • Burroughs Family Farms

  • Central Valley Trucking/Central Valley Concrete

  • Fagundes Dairies | Ralph, Lloyd & Fred

  • Kirby Manufacturing, Inc.

  • Laird Manufacturing

  • Minturn Nut Company

  • R.A. Sano Farms, Inc.

  • Shannon Pump Co.

  • Yosemite Farm Credit


$25,000 | Column Sponsors

  • Bert Crane  Orchards

  • Jim & Carlene Cunningham

  • Duane & Barbara Matheron

  • Les & Liz McCabe

  • Mark & Marsha Seivert


$10,000 | Wash Rack Sponsors

  • Community Foundation Merced County

  • Hilltop Ranch

  • Walt & Sue Koehn

  • Merced County Fair Rodeo

  • Ray & Maria Giampaoli Family

  • Bob & Kim Rogina

  • Vista Livestock

  • Weimer Farms


$5,000 | Panel Sponsors, Gold

  • Foster Farms Poultry

  • Joseph Gallo Farms

  • Roger & Chi Chi Wood

  • Billy Grissom | Fertilizer Spreading, LLC

  • Rabobank

  • California Milk Advisory Board

  • Turlock Livestock Auction

  • Richard & Lesanne Jacobsen


$2,500 | Panel Sponsors, Silver

  • Bob & Jeanne Giampaoli

  • Hilmar Stevinson Ag Boosters

  • Ingraham Trophies

  • Merced River Ag Boosters

  • Merced County Office of Education | S. Gomes


$1,000 | Panel Sponsors, Bronze

  • Grant & Vance Ahlem

  • Arnold Farms

  • Monica Bianchi

  • California Women For Ag, Merced

  • Club Mercedes

  • Kevin & Mindy Hall

  • Merced County Chamber of Commerce

  • Merced/Mariposa Cattlemen’s Association

  • Merced Holstein Club

  • Merced Schools Employees Federal Credit Union

  • Nathan Lewis Family

  • David & Lorraine Passadori

  • John Pedrozo

  • Richard & Joan Regalo

  • Ed & Nancy Silva

  • Scott & Denise Skidmore

  • Brian & Doreen Snyder

  • Sierra Vista Dairy LP

  • Sun West Jersey Dairy

  • Winton, Ireland, Strom & Green

Copyright 2019 Merced County Fair. All rights reserved.
900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Merced, CA 95341

(209) 722-1506