(By authority conferred on the director of the department of agriculture by section 20 of  
1995 PA 279, MCL 431.320)  
R 285.811.1 Definitions.  
Rule 1. (1) As used in these rules:  
(a) "Act" means 1995 PA 279, MCL 431.320.  
(b) "American judging system" means a method of judging where all entries are placed  
in a rank order according to quality, for example, first, second, third.  
(c) "Animal" means mollusks, crustaceans, and vertebrates.  
(d) "Association" means an agricultural or a fair association which is organized  
under, or which is in compliance with, the laws of this state.  
(e) "Categories" means 1 of the following:  
(i) "Agricultural product or commodity" means any product derived from or grown as  
an agricultural product provided that the product is judged on the quality of the product.  
(ii) "Antique" means any item at least 50 years old.  
(iii) "Artwork" means any 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional original fine artwork or  
folk artwork or crafts, which is judged on the creative or presentation quality of the  
piece, or both.  
(iv) "Companion animal" means any animal that is raised or maintained for a pet or  
breeding provided the exhibitor is judged on the quality of the animal or obedience  
performance, or both.  
(v)"Culinary art" means any food product or beverage in which the end product is  
"homemade" that is judged on the quality, presentation, and/or taste.  
(vi) "Demonstration" means any project with defined learning objectives that reflect  
the community interests or agriculture, or both. The demonstration shall be judged  
on the achievement of the objective and the quality of the presentation.  
(vii) "Educational project" means any project with defined learning objects that  
reflects the community's interests or agricultural heritage, or both. The project shall be  
judged on the achievement of the objectives and the quality of the presentation.  
(viii) "Equine" means any animal in the equine family that is raised or maintained for  
breeding, pleasure, use, or show provided that the animal is judged on the quality of the  
breed or show performance.  
(ix) "Floricultural or horticulture" means any product or display of plant stock, flowers,  
or foliage which is judged on the quality of the stock and the artistic quality of the  
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(x) "Production livestock" means any animal that is raised for the purposes of  
breeding, food or market byproducts such as wool, milk, eggs, and fiber may be eligible  
for premiums if the exhibit is judged on quality of the livestock, breed, or the byproducts.  
(xi) "Tractor" means any farm stock or antique tractor which is judged for the quality of  
display or pulling competition. Farm stock or antique tractors shall be of standard  
make and not materially altered over factory specifications. Tractors shall not operate  
more than 15% over factory rated RPM and horsepower shall not exceed 5 miles per  
(f) "Class" means a group of entries which compete against each other or a set of  
standards and fall under a defined category.  
(g) "Danish judging system" means a method of judging in which all entries are judged  
against an established set of standards. All of the entries meeting the standards may  
receive the same award.  
(h) "Department" means the Michigan department of agriculture.  
(i) "Director" means the director of the department or his or her designee.  
(j) "Entertainment event" means any event where a special admission is charged or  
an admission is charged in addition to the general gate admission to attend the event.  
(k) "Exhibit" means an article, item, animal, demonstration, or educational  
project which is entered for public display at a fair or exposition.  
(l) "Exhibit project areas" means a subset of a category which includes a set of classes.  
(m) "Exhibitor" means an individual or group who participates in a showing or an  
(n) "Exposition" means a public exhibition or show of artistic or industrial  
(o) "Fair" means a regional or state event, usually held annually, consisting of  
displays of farm and home products and various competitions and entertainment.  
(p) "Owner" means the individual who owns an exhibit.  
(q) "Premium" means a cash prize awarded for exhibits or to exhibitors.  
(r) "Premium book or list" means a published list of all of the following:  
(i) Exhibit project areas numbered as prescribed by the department.  
(ii) Classes identified and numbered.  
(iii) Placing offered for each class.  
(iv)Premium offered for each placing.  
(s) "Supplement" to the premium book or list" means a listing of corrections and  
updates on classes that do not appear in the original premium book or list.  
(t) "Youth class" means a class open to exhibitors 21 years of age or younger as of  
January 1 of the fair/exposition year unless otherwise stated in these regulations.  
(2) Terms defined in the act have the same meanings when used in these rules.  
History: 1979 AC; 1980 AACS; 1985 AACS; 2004 AACS; 2008 AACS.  
R 285.811.1a Judging.  
Rule 1a. (1) Judging shall occur during or not more than 3 days before the opening  
day of the fair or exposition, unless otherwise approved by the director or his or her  
(2) Carcass exhibits may be judged and displayed at a different location.  
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(3) All exhibits shall be judged by using the American or Danish system for judging  
in competition; however, if there is only 1 entry in a class, then the exhibits shall be  
judged against standards accepted by the association.  
(4) Judges shall not have a management or supervisory role at the fair or exposition.  
There shall not be an ongoing and direct relationship between the judge and any  
employee or exhibitor within class or classes being judged.  
History: 1980 AACS; 1985 AACS; 2004 AACS; 2008 AACS.  
R 285.811.2 Qualifications for allotments.  
Rule 2. (1) An association receiving an allotment shall not limit the entries of the  
entire fair or exposition to members of an association or organization.  
(2) A fair or exposition shall be conducted for a period of not less than 3 years before  
consideration for financial assistance except as provided for in R 285.811.2(3).  
(3) If an existing fair or exposition is determined to have mismanaged state funds or  
suspends or ceases operations and another entity servicing the same geographic area  
elects to incorporate as an agricultural society, then that entity may apply for state  
funding during the first year of operation.The first payment shall be made after the  
completion of the first year's fair or exposition.  
History: 1979 AC; 1985 AACS; 2004 AACS; 2008 AACS.  
R 285.811.3 Exhibit premiums eligible for state allocations.  
Rule 3. (1) State allocation for premium reimbursement shall be limited under the  
following conditions:  
(a) The state allocation shall not exceed $250.00 per placing.  
(b) Not more than 10 placings per class in an open class for eligible exhibits. Youth  
classes are not limited on the number of placings.  
(c) State-funded premiums shall not be awarded in an animal class where an exhibitor  
is under 6 years of age by January 1 of the fair/exposition year, and who participates as  
an individual.  
(d) For classes under the educational projects or demonstration projects categories,  
participants are limited to youth who are 19 years of age by January 1 of the  
fair/exposition year or younger. Participants 26 years of age by January 1 of the  
fair/exposition year or younger, who have been determined to be eligible for special  
education services by the local school district, may participate in classes under the  
educational projects and demonstration projects.  
(e) Ownership is not required for an exhibitor to show in any animal classes other  
than market classes.  
(f) In all categories other than animal, antique, or tractor, the exhibitor shall be the  
creator of the article, item, or project.  
(g) State-funded premiums shall not be paid to a class in an antique category that  
contains an item that has been entered for competition in the previous 3 years.  
(2) Premiums are eligible for individual or group exhibits in any of the following  
defined categories that are published in the premium book or list:  
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(a) Agricultural products.  
(b) Antique.  
(c) Artwork.  
(d) Companion animal.  
(e) Culinary Arts.  
(f) Demonstration.  
(g) Educational project.  
(h) Equine.  
(i) Floriculture or horticulture.  
(j) Production livestock.  
(k) Tractor.  
History: 1979 AC; 1985 AACS; 2004 AACS; 2008 AACS.  
R 285.811.4 Application and approval of allotments.  
Rule 4. (1) The president and secretary of an association that requests state allotments  
for the payment of premiums shall submit to the department a properly completed  
application by the date specified by the department on the application. The department  
shall give written notice if the application is denied.  
(2) Any change to the original application shall be submitted in writing to the  
History: 1979 AC; 1980 AACS; 1985 AACS; 2004 AACS; 2008 AACS.  
R 285.811.5 Allotment and use of funds.  
Rule 5. (1) The director or designee may advance funds to an association  
making proper application under R 285.811.4 in an amount determined by the  
prior year's total payment of eligible premiums and available funds as appropriated  
by the legislature. After an audit, any overpayment to an association for premiums  
shall be remitted to the  
department on its request. The department shall make a preliminary audit of the prior  
years' payments before any authorization of funds.  
(2) Funds allotted shall be for the payment of 75% or less of an eligible cash  
premium not to exceed the department-approved allotment based on the appropriation  
for premiums. Premiums for eligible exhibits shall be paid by check within the  
association's fiscal year directly to each exhibitor before submission of the final  
reports provided for in R 285.811.6.  
(3) The department may approve funds for payment of premiums for commodity  
expositions sanctioned by a statewide agriculture association and held in conjunction  
with a fair or exposition  
(4) State-funded premiums shall not be paid for an entertainment event except for  
equine pulling and farm stock/antique tractor pulling events where these contests are held  
separate from any other entertainment event.  
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(5) To receive an allotment for livestock or equine classes, the fair or exposition  
shall have a policy and procedure for drug testing of  
animals on file with the  
History: 1979 AC; 1980 AACS; 1985 AACS; 2004 AACS.  
R 285.811.5a Premium book or list.  
Rule 5a. (1) The fair or exposition shall annually publish a premium book or list.  
(2) The premium book or list shall include all of the following:  
(a) A list of all exhibit project areas, classes, and placings offered for each exhibit. The  
book or list shall state if a Danish system will be used in judging and/or if the class is  
open or youth participation only.  
(b) Statement of any restriction to a class shall be in compliance with R 285.811.3.  
(c) If classes are included from the demonstration or educational project categories,  
then the book shall include the learning objectives for each class in the category.  
(d) The amount of the cash award for each placing.  
(e) Notice that livestock exhibitors must be in compliance with animal health  
regulations as defined by the department and a reference must be provided on where  
the exhibitor can access them.  
(f) The procedures to file a complaint or protest and the procedure to make an appeal  
to the state.  
(g) The policy and procedure used for drug testing of livestock and equine.  
(3) Two copies of the premium book or list shall be submitted to the department not  
less than 15 days before the opening of the event.  
History: 1979 AC; 1980 AACS; 2004 AACS; 2008 AACS.  
R 285.811.6 Final reports.  
Rule 6. (1) Within 120 days after the close of a fair or exposition, an association shall  
submit to the department, unless notified otherwise, all of the following properly  
completed documents:  
(a) A report of premiums paid by exhibit project areas and classes.  
(b) The association's cash receipts and disbursement statement that covers a fiscal year  
for which state allotments were requested.  
(c) Premium book supplements.  
(d) A report on all tractor pulling events and certification that all farm stock tractors  
were inspected and meet the defined requirements.  
(e) A statement from the livestock superintendent or fair personnel who is responsible  
for the livestock and equine departments that livestock and equine drug testing was  
administered according to the fair policy.  
(f) A report that identifies all events during the fair that were determined to be an  
entertainment event.  
(2) The items prescribed in subdivisions (a) and (b) of subrule (1) of this rule shall be  
submitted electronically or on forms provided by the department and/or approved by  
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the director. The association shall supply the department with any additional information  
required in auditing of the report.  
(3) The association shall keep all records pertaining to payment of premiums and  
make them available for inspection by state auditors for not less than 4 years.  
History: 1979 AC; 1980 AACS; 1985 AACS; 2004 AACS; 2008 AACS.  
R 285.811.7 Rescinded.  
History: 1979 AC; 1985 AACS; 1997 AACS.  
R 285.811.8 Noncompliance.  
Rule 8. The department may deny state funds to any fair or exposition found to be in  
noncompliance with these rules.  
History: 1979 AC; 1985 AACS.  
R 285.811.9 Rescinded.  
History: 1979 AC; 2004 AACS.  
R 285.811.10 Complaints and appeal.  
(1) Any exhibitor may file a complaint regarding any of the following:  
(a) Conflict of interest of the judge.  
(b) Disqualification of an exhibit or exhibitor.  
(c) Exhibitor, group leader, or superintendent behavior.  
(d) Eligibility of the exhibit.  
(2) The association board, except as provided in Regulation 851, Michigan State Fair  
and Regulation 852, Upper Peninsula State Fair, shall adopt and maintain a compliant  
and appeals procedure which shall include all of the following:  
(a) In accordance to the annual appropriation act, exhibitors are allowed to file a written  
complaint within 10 days after the end of the fair or exposition.  
(b) Provide steps for the board to review, investigate, and issue a notice of findings and  
recommended actions.  
(c) Notify the exhibitor filing the complaint that he or she may make an appeal to the  
department within 45 days of filing the initial complaint if the exhibitor is not satisfied  
with the association's action.  
(3) The department shall have 60 days after receipt of any appropriately filed appeal to  
investigate the complaint, and shall issue a finding of fact and notice of department  
action and any recommended actions for the association.  
History: 2004 AACS.  
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