Fort Bend County Fair Association  | FAIR TIMES NEWSLETTER  |  November 2016

Rosenberg, Texas

Fort Bend County Fair Association
Rosenberg, Texas

2017 Presidency Begins
Lawson Leads Association

A well-known face to the Fair family, exhibitors, and parents, Ernest Lawson, has been elected as the 2017 Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo President.  The man with the iconic gazing look in the livestock arena is known for his constant presence at all the Fair events, his passion for our show kids, and his dedication to serving the Fort Bend County Fair. He and his wife Lisa are loyal advocates at our Fair, and both have spent countless hours of volunteering on various committees and have been known to enjoy a good two-step on the dance floor. Ernest and Lisa make their home in Needville and have fun with their children: Michael, Macy, Jacob, and Grace.

Ernest will be leading the fair through the 81st annual year of the Fort Bend County Fair. Lawson sat down with us and gave us an inside look at who he is and what we can expect for 2017!

Q. How many years have you been involved with the Fort Bend County Fair?

A. I started as Chairman of the Parking Lot in 2009.  Neil O. Yelderman and Rusty Gibson were my Directors in charge.  I remained in charge of the parking lot until I was elected to the Board in 2011.   My first assignment as a Director was over the Parking Lot and what is currently known as asset management and distribution.  In 2013, President Brad Bowman appointed me as Co-Director with Calvin Zwahr over the Livestock Committee.  I have remained heavily involved with the Livestock Committee ever since.  I have also been Director in charge of the Parade, Jr. Livestock Auction, and Grand Entry.

Q. Can you share one of your best memories of your time at the Fort Bend County Fair?

A.    Best Memory – The year we changed the exhibitor dress code to enter the show ring was a proud memory that stands out.  It makes me proud when the Exhibitors take pride and look presentable.

Q. Growing up, what involvement did you have in showing animals, rodeo or western lifestyle?

A.  While growing up, I was heavily involved in FFA, both leadership, and showing of animals.  I have raised and shown swine, rabbits, and steers at all levels.  On the leadership side, I was elected Greenhand President my Freshman year and Chapter President for the following three years.  I held the office of President of the Southeast Ricebelt District and Area 9 Vice President.  As part of the Texas Young Farmers Association, I was elected to the office of Chapter President and the State of Texas Spokesman for Agriculture.  I have also received my Lone Star Farmer Degree, that’s the highest level of membership offered from the State FFA. I was also heavily involved in Rodeo as well.

Q. Over the years you have spent countless hours in the show arena, what motivates your commitment to the Fair?

A. When I see those exhibitors, the future of Fort Bend County, working so hard and placing everything they have into that moment, it motivates me beyond belief.  Fair projects teach our youth responsibility, work ethics, priorities, and discipline.  Show kids are not out causing problems, breaking the law or harming others.  They don’t have time for that.  Instead, they are being driven to become responsible young adults that have and understand commitments. 

Q. As President, what should we expect to see during your year?

A. I intend to accomplish a lot during my Presidency.  However, it will come with the voluntary cooperation of our great volunteer base.  We can expect to see:  A new George Barn built, a fully staffed office including a Fair manager, a new Queens contest, increased amounts on the Scholarships and the addition of an Auction Buyers committee.

Q. What's your favorite Fair food?

A. Not a fair question!  I typically can be seen consuming a lot of tamales as a quick grab for a meal during the Fair.  However, Lisa and I cannot let a fair pass without enjoying a Turkey leg and a funnel cake together!  Due to a demanding schedule, it’s usually the last Sunday of the fair.

Q. Is there an event at the Fair that has a special meaning for you?

A.  Any event that involves the youth will always get my attention.  Any livestock showing events - including Bucket Calf Show, Mutton Bustin or the Calf Scramble.  Just knowing those kids are being raised with the right morals means a lot.  Of course, as far as the Rodeo events, I enjoy watching the Steer Wrestling or “Steer Dogging” as we used to call it.

It may be months away but be sure to save the dates for the 2017 Fort Bend County Fair: September 29 – October 8, 2017.  All the best to President Lawson and the board!

Year of Yelderman
A Final Word...

The final gate has closed on the 2016 Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo. The 2016 Fair President Neil O. Yelderman handed over the reins to Ernest Lawson at a recent board meeting. What remains steadfast is Neil’s commitment to the Fair and his dedication to serving. While the dust has settled and plans are already in the works for 2017, this cowboy has no intention of riding off into the sunset.  “As President, I would like to thank everyone for making the experience a memorable one. The Fair is and has always been a big part of my life. I have been an attendee, participant, committeemen, board member and now I can say, President. I will continue to be a supporter of the Fort Bend County Fair, and I am honored to be part of a team of people who volunteer to make this happen year after year. Thank you Fort Bend County Fair Association, I have been humbled to serve you all,” said Yelderman. 

We congratulate Neil on a grand year. Thank you for your service!

2017 Officers Elected
Road to the Fair...

As business for the 2016 Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo wraps up, plans for the 2016 Fair are already moving forward. This month, board members voted on the Executive Board positions. Here is a look at the elected members who will serve for the 81st Annual Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo.

Save the Date
Go Tejano Dance Announced

The date is set! Join the fun and the tradition of the Fort Bend County Fair’s Go Tejano Committee Valentine's Day Dance on February 11, 2017.  The entertainment line-up is still being made final. Stay connected, as more details will soon be released!

On Board!
New Directors Elected

New faces with familiar names will be serving on the Fort Bend County Fair Association’s Board. Erin Gorka, Roy Mercer, and Tim Jakubik will be taking their place on the board of directors after an extensive selection process. Each member had to be nominated, submit three letters of recommendations from current board members, and had to provide a personal resume of their Fair involvement.

Erin Gorka brings 35 years of substantial participation in the Fair’s happenings with her to the board. As a volunteer, she helped serve as one of 6 members of the first-ever sponsorship committees. She has been involved in the rodeo, livestock and bbq aspects of the Fair. Since 1981, Gorka has worn many hats, to say the least; she has been a show mom, a sponsor, a rodeo sweetheart, and recently volunteered with the office assistance committee and with the Exceptional Rodeo. Erin is married to David Gorka and looks forward to providing opportunities for our youth.

Erin Gorka

Roy Mercer has been a constant with the Fair since 1988. His attention to detail has made him a viable asset to many committees. From pulling livestock urine samples to measuring liquor, Roy has done it all!  He served as the chairman of the Children’s Tractor pull since it’s inception and has written policy and procedure for several committees including for the Fair Club. Recently Roy has headed the Emergency Management Committee.  He is proud to be able to say he has been volunteering for most of his life and believes in giving back to the kids. He and his wife Wanda are enjoying 40 years of marriage.

Roy Mercer

Tim Jakubik has shown Commercial Heifers and Swine at the Fort Bend County Fair as an FFA student at B.F. Terry High School. These days he has traded in his show stick for a Microphone stand. The new board member can be spotted at the Brazos stage, in the announcer stand, or just about anywhere that there is a microphone as part of the Entertainment Committee. Making sure the speakers are working correctly, the microphones have been tested and all the sound equipment is set is part of what Tim has done for the past 4-years. Tim also provides sound and music for the Lawn Mower races. He and his longtime girlfriend Sharlene are looking forward to the 2017 Fair.

Tim Jakubik

Scholarship Deadline Set
Values Increased

Tis’ the season to give! The Fort Bend County Fair is giving back through their scholarship program and bigger than ever. The opportunity to earn a Fair scholarship is open to a wide range of students and this year the amount of each scholarship has increased.  The Fair will provide $4,000 scholarships to 42 Fort Bend County qualifying students. That is an increase in $1,000 per scholarship from last year. Also, four Fort Bend County Fair Queen Scholarships will be awarded. Since 1979, the Fort Bend County Fair has given 781 scholarships to our county’s youth. The deadline to submit a scholarship application is January 27, 2017.

2016 Scholarship Recipients

The proceeds from the 2016 Fort Bend County Fair and the Fort Bend County Fair Life Membership Fund provide the necessary monies to allocate the scholarships. The scholarships are divided into different divisions depending on the applicants’ Fair involvement and their field of study.

Eligible candidates have until January 27 to submit their completed scholarship application. Applicants, parents, and school counselors are urged to review the guidelines and rules carefully. Students wanting to apply for a Fair scholarship must meet certain requirements: They must be a U.S. Citizen and a resident of Fort Bend County or zoned to a school in Fort Bend County; be a high school senior and graduate by the spring semester of 2017.  “We encourage all qualifying students to apply. It is an excellent opportunity that our Fair proudly offers year after year. This year, with the increased value - the scholarship really will make a financial impact,” said Cindy Schmidt, Fort Bend County Interim Fair Manager.

Selection of the recipient will be based on several qualifications including but not all: scholastic standing, leadership, citizenship, need, and Fair participation in 4-H and/or FFA or FCCLA, except for the Open and Vocational scholarships, which do not require participation in 4-H, FFA or FCCLA.  During the application process, candidates will declare what type of scholarship that they will be applying.  Restrictive, Non-Restrictive, Open, Vocational, or Art Scholarships are some of the classifications options that candidates will have to choose.

For more information on the 2017 scholarship rules and application, contact us by...

Good-Bye George
George Building Demolished

So many memories...the demolition of the George Barn has begun. As we posted these pictures on social media many of you responded. For the most part…we all agree it was a bittersweet moment!  Last November more than 26,000 voters turned out to help all four county bonds pass overwhelmingly that included to replace the A.P. George Livestock Building. A new building is slated to debut at the 2017 Fair.

Save the Date...

• Go Tejano Committee Valentine's Dance – February 11, 2017

• Crawfish Boil - April 7, 2017

Fort Bend County Fair 2017
September 29 - October 8

Go to for more info!

Livestock Corner

  • Livestock Committee Meeting: December 5, 2016 - 7:00 PM
    At the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds - Building D

For More Info:

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Be a 2017


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Fort Bend County Fair



Contact Us...

Fort Bend County Fair Association

P.O. Box 428
4310 Hwy. 36 South
Rosenberg, TX  77471

Phone: 281-342-6171  .  Fax: 281-342-0808


Fort Bend County Fair Association |  281-342-6171  |