In the community

Wood ready for new role as Malheur County Fairgrounds manager

ONTARIO – Amy Wood has a simple philosophy.

“You follow through with what you start and you stand behind it,” said Wood.

Now Wood is poised to stand and deliver as the new manager of the Malheur County Fairgrounds.

The Nyssa resident was selected by the Malheur County Fair Board last month.

Her first day of work is April 1.

Wood and her husband own a small ranch near Nyssa where they raise cattle and bison. She was a member of the Nyssa Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Board of Directors The Woods also own Owyhee Metal Works and Cattle Drive Coffee in Nyssa.

For Wood the decision to apply for fair was easy.

“I’ve had kids in the fair and we are agriculturists and have been part of the community. I had a couple of people say I would be good at it,” said Wood.

The new job will put Wood, 45, into a high-profile post.

 “It is probably more of a public role than I realized. I’ve always been a behind-the-scenes worker bee,” said Wood.

Wood will step into the position 11 months after former fair manager Dawnita Haueter was fired.

Wood, who will be paid $42,000 a year, said she wants to move forward.

Wood said people should know the community is important to her.

“I think it is important you have a good relationship with everyone that you can possibly have. I think that will be a key element,” said Wood.

Wood will take the helm of the fairgrounds at a time when the facility is in the midst of change.

A federal grant will help a project to rebuild Building I at the fairgrounds. The building is near the south entrance to the fairgrounds and it is used to house dairy cattle and as an overflow for sheep and goats.

Meanwhile, $2 million allocated by the Legislature will be used to upgrade the electrical system.

Another state grant will fund a remodel of the kitchen in the commercial building, though that won’t be scheduled until after the 2024 fair.

Another big change, said Wood, is this year entry to the fair will be free.

“I think it will be a benefit for vendors. The more people that can come in, the more they can catch more business,” said Wood.

Wood said one of her major goals for the future will be to make the fairgrounds “a more comfortable space for events in general.”

She also said she wants to make the fairgrounds a “more community-friendly” place.

She said she understand her decisions may not always make everyone happy.

“Recognizing how to have good relationships with people and having good communication is important,” said Wood.

Wood said the fairgrounds has a lot of potential.

She said she believes she can make a difference “mostly because I am a busy go-getter. I don’t want to sit at a desk. I want to be out meeting people,” said Wood.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

Previous coverage:

New manager selected for Malheur County Fairgrounds

Fair board inches forward on effort to find new manager

Malheur County Fairgrounds manager is fired

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