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'Discover the DEX' Fundraiser for State Fair Livestock Complex
South Dakota Ag Connection - 01/08/2021

The South Dakota State Fair Foundation Thursday announced the 'Discover the DEX' fundraising campaign to help fund the DEX: Dakota Events CompleX. The DEX is the new multipurpose livestock and equestrian facility at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds in Huron.

"In South Dakota, we see challenges as an opportunity to grow, to build for the future," said Governor Kristi Noem. "The new DEX will be a state-of-the-art facility which will attract regional and national events to Huron.

The estimated cost of the DEX is $19 million. To pay for the project, Gov. Noem is asking the legislature for $12 million in one-time funds. The one-time funds, plus insurance payments from the fire leaves $4 million to be raised by the State Fair Foundation.

"It is a big ask," said Jim White, fundraising committee chair. "But we have the opportunity to build a facility that will impact the fair for generations. It is time for us to rally together and 'Discover the DEX!"

The 'Discover the DEX' campaign includes several donor opportunities for all donation levels including naming rights, donor wall sponsorships, and a brand and name recognition display. For more information on how to donate visit:

The 200,000 square-foot DEX will have two, full-sized equestrian arenas and seat up to 7,000 fans, making it a one-of-a-kind venue for hosting local, regional, and national events. The footprint covers the area abandoned by the 96,000 square-foot Beef Complex and the 37,000 square-foot Sheep Barn, that has long outlived its useful life.

During the State Fair, the DEX will house the open class beef and open class 4-H beef exhibitors, while the open class sheep and goat exhibitors will be moved to the existing 4-H Livestock Complex. This allows for species specific barns across the fairgrounds, a trend favored by exhibitors, and addresses livestock transportation issues on the fairgrounds. Project planners are working diligently with the sheep and goat exhibitors to improve the existing 4-H Livestock Complex to ensure their new home exceeds their expectations.

Demolition of the Open Class Beef Complex began in December, with project design efforts following in Spring 2021. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held during the 2021 fair and the DEX will be up and running in time for the 2022 State Fair.

For additional information about the project or questions about the 'Discover the DEX' campaign please contact Jim White, Huron, chair, at 605-350-5127 or Peggy Besch, Huron, state fairgrounds manager, 605-353-7340.

The fundraising committee is made up of members from across the state:

Scott Cordts -- Huron

Loren Noess -- Sioux Falls

Preston Steele -- Huron

Terry Schiltz -- Huron

Dick Werner -- Herreid

David McGirr - Huron

Brad McGirr -- Huron

Steve Masat -- Redfield

Dean & Judy Stevens -- Huron

Kristi Effling - Highmore

Janet Heine -- Fordyce, Neb.

Jeff Lakner - Wessington

Craig Schaunamann - Aberdeen

Brett Blasius -- Wall

Barry Mack - Huron

Associate Members:

Hunter Roberts -- Pierre

Sherman Gose -- Huron

Gary Cammack -- Union Center

Dusty Anderson -- Yankton

Larry Gabriel -- Phillip

Laurie Shelton -- Huron

Larry Tiedeman - Brookings

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