Arkansas Fair
Managers Association

Letter From 2019 AFMA President

Greetings to all!!!  Praying for this to be a blessed year for all our fairs.  I am looking forward to
serving you as the 2019 AFMA President.  We have a great board and we will work hard to bring
The best results in the best interest of all our fairs, no matter the size of them.  Every person  on
every level is very important.  Without all of you, we could not go forward.  We have to have a
vision of growth for our local, district, and state fairs.

I want to take a moment to thank our 2018 AFMA President, Rob Smith, on the job he has done
and all of the AFMA Board members.  You are a great bunch of people with a heart for the fairs.
I would like to welcome Mike Bradshaw and Jennifer Barrett back and welcome the new board
member,  Steve Weaver.

I know last year was a tough year on many fairs due to weather.  I urge you to contact your
Representatives and your Senators to get us our GIF money back.  I know many fairs need it for
Repairs on their buildings and grounds.  I want to say that I am here for you if you need me for
anything.  My e-mail is and my phone number is 870-919-1622.  
Please feel free to contact me anytime.  May God keep you and bless you.

2019 AFMA President

Don Jones

News from 50/50 Committee

What a great time at the 2019 AFMA Convention!  It is always great seeing our friends from
across the state.  The food, entertainment, trade show, seminars, and of course the banquet
were great!

I want to “Thank” everyone that bought 50/50 tickets.  Congratulations to all the winners; Doty  
Reed (Randolph County), James Tate (Johnson County), and Kevin Harper (Cleveland
County).  We sold $1,255.00 worth of tickets and of that $627.50 went to the General Fund,
Bingo, and the AFMA Scholarship Fund.  Again, thank you.  I hope everyone has a great 2019!!

Georgia Ratliff
50/50 Chairman

News From Jennifer Barrett
AFMA Director

It is such an honor to get to serve you for another five years on the AFMA Board of Directors.  I
want to thank everyone for their vote of confidence.  I truly love working on this board and am
happy to continue helping see the fair industry grow.

I want to thank all of the presenters for the seminars.  I would also like to apologize to the
seminar that had to relocate due to size.  All seminars were well attended.  I hope you learned
something new that you can take back to your fair.  Everyone was so willing to share ideas. I
learned a great deal.  If you have suggestions for a seminar or would be willing to present one,
please let me know.

If you know of entertainers or have suggestions on entertainment, we would love to hear from
you.  This is your organization.  Please be active and tell us what you would like to see done.

Finally, thank you to the Arkansas State Fair Royalty for their assistance during the 2019 AFMA
Convention.  We greatly appreciate their willingness to always be on hand and help in any way.

Jennifer Barrett
Third Vice-President
AFMA Board of Directors


New AFMA Director

I am Steve Weaver from the Arkansas/Oklahoma State Fair.  I will be fulfilling the four year term
which was vacated prior to the 2019 AFMA Convention.  I appreciate the opportunity to serve on
the AFMA Board of Directors.  

Steve Weaver
AFMA Board of Directors

News From Mike Bradshaw
AFMA Director

“Thank you” for the opportunity to serve another five year term on the AFMA Board of
Directors.  The last five years have been a great learning experience working with fairs across
the state of Arkansas.  I appreciate your vote of trust.

It is my goal that we all work together to improve the local, district and state fairs.  We need to
educate our youth as the future leaders of the fair industry. We need to remember that having
goals changes us, working toward them develops us, reaching them establishes us.

“Thanks” to those of you who participated in our cowboy capers, the Roaring Twenties Parade
and dance contest.  What a way to start off a convention.  Fun!! Fun!! Fun!!

Our AFMA Scholarship program is a success because of YOU!!  Your continued support,
bringing items to auction off, your participation in the silent and live auctions.  Your giving so
freely to “ fund” the scholarships given to the youth in our fair industry.  I’m proud to be a part of
this organization.

Mike Bradshaw
First Vice-President
AFMA Board of Directors

AFMA Convention Overview

We had a wonderful 2019 AFMA Convention!!!!
The convention committees are to be commended for a job well done. We had 845 registered
delegates.  It takes everyone working together, to have a successful convention, which we did.

Our Decorating Committee always sets the mood for our conference. The decorations were
beautiful throughout the convention area as well as at  the Annual Banquet  The decoration
committee appreciates those who assisted with the setting up of the decorations.

The Early Bird Reception was attended by approximately 250 delegates.  The BBQ meal, the
Roaring Twenties Parade, Cowboy Capers, the dance contest, were enjoyed by all attending.
It certainly started the convention activities off with a “BANG”.

We had over 100 registered first timers.  The First Timers Committee provided packets for each
delegate attending the First Timers meeting.  They were entertained with music, as well as  
donuts, fruit, coffee and juice which was provided by the Tri-County Fair.

We want to express our sincere “thanks” to the Associates for Carnival Night and Midway Buffet.  
The games, food, prizes are provided by the Associates.  The money raised, which was
$1012, is to provide Associate scholarships.  They will be giving two AFMA Associate
Scholarships for $500 this year. If you are an associate, with a graduating senior or a family
member in a school of higher learning, please ask for an application to apply for their scholarship.

Seminars were offered to the delegates on Friday and Saturday mornings.  They were very
educational, providing beneficial information for the Arkansas fairs represented.  If you are
interested in providing a seminar or have a topic you wish would be discussed, now is the time
to contact someone on the AMFA Board.  We will begin preparing for the 2020 AFMA Convention
at our March board meeting.

The tradeshow area was beautiful with the twenty-two decorated tables.   Your participation was
appreciated.  We know it was not easy to bring the extra “stuff” needed to decorate a table.
The Associates had 19 booths.  We appreciate their support.  Where would our fairs be without

The Hospitality Committee made sure the delegates were provided plenty to eat and drink.  
We always appreciate the volunteers who take the time to work in the hospitality area.  It is not
an easy job making sure over 800 delegates are served in a short span of time.  The taco bar
once again a big success as well as the hot breakfasts that were served.  Thanks to all the
counties for what you brought to serve in the hospitality room.  

There were seventeen counties to participate in the Display of Fairs.  What a great way to share
ideas.  A photo is worth a thousand words.  Start now preparing a display for next year.  It should
be very interesting with our 2020 theme being The Greatest Showman.

We had several fun activities.  The Murder Mystery Game had delegates looking for clues  which
were given out during the seminars.  Eight counties actually solved the mystery.  Friday
afternoon was set aside for Bingo.  The Crystal Ballroom was full of participants and prizes.

The Entertainment Committee provided us with a wide variety of entertainment.  Cordova
Creative, a ventriloquist with his puppet friends;  Erin Enderlin, Arkansas Country Music
Association’s songwriter of the yea;, New Wind Revival, Southern/Country Gospel; and JR
Rogers with a Johnny Rivers Tribute.  Others that performed were Gracie Spray, Jennifer Barrett,
and Don Jones.

The AFMA Scholarship program has grown because of your support.  We are now able to
provide eight (8) AFMA Scholarships and two (2) AFMA Associate Scholarships.

     Steve Skelton Endowed Scholarship     $1,200
     Lloyd Dunaway Endowed Scholarship $1,000
     2 AFMA Endowed Scholarships each   $1,000
     1 AFMA Scholarship                             $1,000
     3 AFMA Scholarships each                    $  800
     2 AFMA Associate Scholarships each   $   500

The Scholarship Committee cannot stress how appreciative they are for your support of the
Silent and Live Auctions.  Our goal is to promote our youth, helping to further their education.
They are the future leaders of our fair industry.  Please encourage the seniors associated with
your fair to apply for a scholarship.   Each county received two applications in their convention
packet.  The application is also on our website of  They can type it on
line, print it out and give it to their individual fair manager.  Each county will be responsible for
narrowing down to one entry per county.  The deadline is March 15, 2019.

The delegates always look forward to buying a chance on the 50/50, which Georgia and James
Ratliff do a good job with.  This year the delegates also had an opportunity to buy chances on a
Browning A Bolt III Hunter 7MM-08 Walnut with a Nikon 4-12x Scope which was
donated by Muggs and Shirley Broomfield and Beason’s Farms.  A big thank you goes to all of
these folks.  

We had three positions filled for our AFMA Board of Directors.  Jennifer Barrett and Mike
Bradshaw have fulfilled their first five year term and were re-elected for another five year term.
Steve Weaver of Arkansas/Oklahoma Fair was elected to fulfill a four year term.  We welcome
each to our AFMA Board of Directors.  

The following will be our officers for the 2019 term:

  Don Jones                       2019 AFMA President
     Mike Bradshaw               1st Vice-President
      Barbie Washburn            2nd Vice-President
      Jennifer Barrett               3rd Vice-President
      Rob Smith                       Past President
      James Johnson                Director
      Georgia Ratliff                Director
      Phyllis Young                  Director
      Lacie Beason                    Director
      Steve Weaver                    Director
      Debbie Wells                    Associate Director
      Kim Maple                       Associate Director
     Steve Jernigan, Muggs Broomfield, Wendell Phillips and Weldon Wynn are our Director

Do not hesitate to call anyone on the AFMA Board.  They are willing to assist you or your fair
in any way possible.
Our Annual Banquet was the highlight of the convention.  The purpose of the Annual Banquet is
to recognize those who have made a difference in the fair industry.  The following received

          Hall of Fame                        Truman Exum, Greene County

          Hall of Fame (Associates)     Sue Miller with Miller Spectacular Shows, Inc.

          Charles Smith Memorial      Mollie Wright, Saline County

          Work Horse Award              Kathy Gossett, Montgomery County

          Visitation Award                  Steve Jernigan, Poinsett County

          Travel Award                   White County

          Mary Louise Fiser Family Award      Doty and Jennifer Reed, Randolph County

           Lloyd Dunaway Award     Carolyn Wynn, Lincoln County

All fairs have that special person who goes beyond the call of duty.  Why not recognize them next
year.  Submit your recommendation NOW.  

Once again, thank you to everyone who made our convention a success.  The AFMA Board, our
Delegates, the Associates, the Arlington Hotel.  Please remember the AFMA Board is here to
be of service to all of the Arkansas Fairs.  We look forward to seeing each of you next year.

Our theme next year will be The Greatest Showman.    Convention dates January 9-11, 2020.