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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


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

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