(1) After allocation to fair categories, fairs commissioners evaluate agricultural fairs to help determine the distribution of reimbursement according to the merit rating.
(2) Fairs commissioners evaluating agricultural fairs have discretion in award of merit points.
(3) In determining the merit of agricultural fairs, the fairs commissioners use standards based on the following criteria:
(a) Aims and purposes: Evidence of successful achievement of the fair or show's stated aims and purposes. Fairs and shows should have a written statement prominently displayed to the public that describes the reason or purposes for which the fair or show is held.
(b) Organization and management: The extent to which the organization, its officers and management, and the physical facilities and financial resources are geared to accomplish the objectives stated in the written statement of aims and purposes.
(c) General attractiveness: The agricultural, educational, commercial and recreational features that help make the fair attractive to the fairgoing public.
(d) Exhibits: The number, quality and diversity of exhibits and their general rating judged by recognized standards of excellence, as well as their neatness and orderliness in all departments, in open and junior classes.
(i) To qualify for the maximum number of animal exhibit merit points, fairs should have three or more large animal categories, such as beef, sheep, swine, horses, dairy, goats, and llamas; and three or more small animal categories, such as dogs, cats, poultry, rabbits, cavies, and pocket pets.
(ii) To qualify for the maximum number of still life exhibit merit points, fairs should have three or more still life categories, such as baked goods, food preservation, clothing and sewn items, decorative arts, fine arts, photography, horticulture, crops, floriculture, crafts and hobbies, ag mechanics, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) exhibits.
(iii) Animal-only fairs and shows are exempt from the still life requirement.
(e) Community, county or area interest: The participation and support from the area served as indicated by attendance, both paid and total; and by active support from service clubs, farm organizations and other groups.
(f) Success of the fair: How successful the fair appears, measured by its accomplishment in relation to resources available.
(4) In the case of youth fairs and shows, fair commissioners also consider to the extent to which the show or fair supplements youth programs; provides opportunities for showing results of supervised training in these programs; and provides special activities for youth development, such as judging contests, educational demonstrations, banquets, barbecues, programs, or other supervised recreation.