Lancaster County
Agricultural Society

What is a County Agricultural Society?

Created by the County Agricultural Society Act, the Lancaster County Agricultural Society is a nonprofit dedicated to “the improvement of agriculture, industry, homes, and communities of the state.” Ag Societies have been serving the state of Nebraska since the first years of statehood over 150 years ago by building and maintaining county fairgrounds and running annual county fairs for their youth and communities.

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Lancaster County Ag Society FAQs

What is the history of the Lancaster County Agricultural Society?

The Sandhills Global Event Center Fairgrounds is a nonprofit organization created under Nebraska law, as each county has done since the earliest days of the state.  The Lancaster County Agricultural Society has been continuously active since 1870 and today manages the country fairgrounds, now known as the Sandhills Global Event Center. The grounds are open year-round, hosting 300 events with as many as 600,000 visitor days per year, including regional/national/international shows that bring up to $70 million in incremental out-of-county/state visitor spending to our county. The Sandhills Global Event Center Fairgrounds and the Lancaster County Super Fair are managed for the citizens of Lancaster County by the publicly elected Lancaster County Ag Society Board.

How the Ag Society Board Works

The nine board members are publicly elected volunteers who come from Lancaster County with a passion for the Ag Society’s mission to further the understanding and engagement of the community with the agricultural and natural roots of Lancaster County with a special focus on supporting youth in the 4-H and FFA programs. The annual election for the Ag Society Board members (with three-year terms there are three board members up for election each year) is held each December before the Annual Meeting—see December agenda for details or call the Sandhills Global Event Center office at 402.441.6545.

Lancaster County Super Fair Impact

When the Ag Society had the vision to build the Lancaster Event Center which opened on February 1, 2001, it had become clear that the Lancaster County fair had outgrown the Nebraska State Fairgrounds (now UNL Innovation Campus) even before it decided to move to Grand Island. Over 750 Lancaster County 4-H and FFA youth participate in year-round competitions and meetings at the Sandhills Global Event Center Fairgrounds which culminate in over 5,000 entries in the annual Lancaster County Super Fair competitions as well as another 5,000 Open Class entries from community members of all ages. The Super Fair provides a great learning opportunity as well as the chance to earn a berth to compete in the Nebraska State Fair.

Funding Support of the Fair & Fairgrounds

The Lancaster County Super Fair is organized entirely by the Lancaster County Ag Society with support from their Sandhills Global Event Center full-time staff and funded by an operating budget of approximately $350K provided from a property tax levy as is done in every county since the inception of the State of Nebraska. The Lancaster County Super Fair is the largest & longest county fair in the state of Nebraska with the lowest per-county citizen funding support by far ($3 per Lancaster County resident where most counties support their fair & fairgrounds with $10-30 per citizen) due to the growth in Lancaster County over the years while the funding is capped under a Nebraska state lid law. The Lancaster County Super Fair celebrated its 150th year in 2020.

Nonprofit Fairgrounds with 22-year service & growth track record

The Lancaster County Ag Society opened your Sandhills Global Event Center Fairgrounds in 2001 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization to be the home of the Lancaster County Fair as its needs outgrew borrowed buildings on the former State Fairgrounds.

The Lancaster County Ag Society benchmarked 20 national fairgrounds to guide the original 3-phase master plan and gets compliments on the functionality of the design to this day from visitors around the country.

Current Ag Society Board

Ag Society

Kendra Ronnau

Board President

Ag Society

Ron Dowding

Vice President

Ag Society

John Cooper


Ag Society

Karen Rutt


Ag Society

Jennifer Cusick-Rawlinson

Ag Society

Lynn Hagan

Ag Society

Laura Hardesty

Ag Society

Ron Suing

Ag Society

Mitch Sump