By Jen Bakken
ROCKFORD TOWNSHIP For 60-plus years, Dennis Beise has been part of the Wright County Fair as an exhibitor in 4-H, FFA, and presently open class.
With his 4-H involvement and all around love of the fair, Beise has been on the Wright County Fair Board for 37 years.
While serving as vice president and as secretary for the past 13 years, he has had a hand in many improvements to the fair and fairgrounds.
Due in part to his determination and hard work was the building of a new bathroom complete with showers, a new dairy barn and show arena, a new sheep barn, a new fair office building which includes a first aid area and bathrooms, along with the removal of the race track to enable more room for parking.
Each year, Beise handles the renting of the booth spaces to vendors and concessionaires. He is always trying to find something new and different for the fair to make it the best it can be.
“I’ve always loved 4-H and fairs,” said Dennis Beise. “It’s a good way for people to come and see agriculture.”
This year’s Wright County Fair will be August 12-16, which is a bit later than previous years because of an exciting addition.
“We will have a bigger and better carnival,” he said. “We are using Gold Star Entertainment the same group the Delano Fourth of July uses. They are like the Cadillac of the bunch and they were available at this time.”
His list of volunteerism doesn’t end with 4-H or even the Wright County Fair. Beise is a charter member of the Wright County Pork Producers and has been on the Rockford Township Board for 26 years.
“Guess I’m kind of a people person,” he said. “And, I keep pretty busy.”
Beise and his wife of 50 years, Janet, raised five sons Steve, John, Mike, Grant, and Matthew on the family farm, and they are proud of their six grandchildren.
Though he may claim to be retired, Janet will quickly correct him, “Oh he’s not retired, he still farms,” she said. “And he’s too busy to be retired.”
With a small herd of cattle on his farm, and helping his nearby brother raise hogs, along with crops Beise is definitely still farming.
Another activity that keeps this couple and their son Michael busy each summer is owning and operating a pork chop stand. They can be found at the Wright County Fair and many other fairs throughout the state.
“We had the pork chop trailer custom made,” Janet said. “July through August is pretty full for us, but it keeps us going and meeting new people.”
Beise was a little surprised when he was named Minnesota Fair Person of the Year, but his family knew about the honor ahead of time and admit it was difficult to keep a secret from him.
Clearly Beise is not ready to slow down any time soon, and he enjoys being busy. Though he is humble, he is proud the history with his involvements and his family.
“And,” Janet smiled, “there’s still some history to be made.”