The Ozark Empire Fairgrounds and Event Center proved small organizations can make a big impact on their community and the world around them. 

The organization earned international recognition and won 27 awards, including 14 first-place honors, at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions conference. The awards achieved reflect OEFEC’s connection to the community, dedication to agriculture, and innovative operations. The IAFE honored OEFEC for projects related to its annual fair, events held away from the fairgrounds, and events other than the fair. 

The OEFEC hosts more than 130 events each year. The not-for-profit organization uses its earnings to fund improvements to the fairgrounds and support youth in agriculture. In addition, the OEFEC collaborates with numerous organizations to host community outreach programs each year. 

The OEFEC also announced another recent award. The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association honored the fairgrounds with a second-place award for the OEFEC’s effort in hosting the Ozark Empire PRCA Pro Rodeo. The honor recognizes organizations for their work in creating a safe environment for rodeo competitors and animals. 

“It is such an honor to work for an organization that allows me to have the amazing staff to be able to provide fun, smiles and enrichment opportunities to people in the Midwest,” Aaron Owen, OEFEC General Manager, shared. “These awards would not be possible without my board of directors, staff, sponsors, contestants, focus group, stock contractor,
announcer, clown, bullfighter, carnival, exhibitors and our great fans. It seems like a dream,” Owen added.

Fairgrounds Staff Showcasing Awards