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Awards - Fair Person Of The Year

Jason Lawrence
Chenango County Fair


Jason Lawrence has been involved in agricultural fairs - at the local, district and state level - for nearly 20 years. Most recently, Jason served two terms as the NYSAAF President. Upon becoming President, he faced challenges from the start, including the adjusted schedule of the NY State Fair, which created a statewide impact. Jason facilitated the necessary collaboration between NYSAAF and NYSSA and working together became more important than ever. 

Navigating COVID-19 created a variety of new challenges for all of us. The future was uncertain and unstable. Jason continued his role as President, leading through uncharted territory. Zoom meetings became the norm and the virtual county fair was created as a way to keep the excitement and energy of agricultural fairs alive - a bright spot for many. A team of dedicated fair and showpeople put together a variety of activities showcased on Facebook, culminating with an outstanding fireworks display, creating a sense of community and a bit of normalcy.

The reopening of “traditional” fairs created a whole new set of challenges for everyone – handsanitizer, wash stations, masks, changing requirements by the department of health - many unknowns to consider. Jason provided updates and led conversations to address the myriad of scenarios that fair and show people were facing to be back “in person.” Thankfully, most fairs were able to open and were met with much excitement from the community.

If you get a chance to spend some time with Jason, the excitement and love for fairs is evident. He will undoubtedly share a story that includes great food that from a certain vendor, games that he played with the kids, musicians and talent that is unmatched, and he will always work in a Joie Chitwood story or two!

Creating a strong bond with the NYSSA was and continues to be important for him. Together, we are stronger.

Past Fair Person Of The Year:
1983- Henry Leeworthy.. Chautauqua County
1984- Alex Duffy..... Jefferson County
1985- Paul Laing..... Erie County
1986- Peter Sinclair..... Livingston County
1987- Phil Caird..... Rensselaer County
1988- Dr. Garth A. Murray..... Stueben County
1989- Gordon Wright..... Washington County
1990- Gladys Blatchley..... Thompkin County
1991- Matt Matteo..... Monroe County
1992 Chuck Franklin..... Broome County
1993- George A. Payne..... Ontario County
1994- Jerry D. Thomas..... Oswego County
1995- Wayne H. Gallagher..... NY State Fair
1996- M.L. (Bud) Johnson ..Herkimer County
1997- Newell F. Wagoner..... Oneida County
1998- Larry Zeliff..... Allegany County
1999- John Anderson..... Yates County
2000- John Hamilton..... Rensselaer County
2001- Jacob Sammons...Montgomery County
2002- George Hoffmier..... Tioga County
2003- Peter Cappuccilli..... NY State Fair
2004- Gary Tweedie..... Delaware County
2005- Marilyn Trainor..... Oneida County
2006- Michael J. Sommers..... NY State Fair
2007- Norma Hamilton..... Rensselaer County
2008- Dick Elthorp..... Herkimer County
2009- Bob Grems ...... Dutchess County
2010- Denny Lang...... Erie County Fair
2011- John Burr.......Lewis County Fair
2012- Gerry Elthorp......Herkimer County Fair
2013- Frank Griffin......Saratoga County Fair
2014-Mark St Jacques.....Washington County Fair
2015- Robert Simpson.....Jefferson County Fair
2016- Jeff Mayne....Madison County Fair
2017 - Jim Folts.... Yates County Fair
2018 - R.Harry Booth.... Washington County Fair
2019 - Russell Marquart... Erie County Fair
2021 - Jessica Underberg... Erie County Fair