South Dakota State Fair Foundation

Mission of the South Dakota State Fair Foundation

The mission of the South Dakota State Fair Foundation is to raise funds for the enhancement, preservation, and renovation of the South Dakota State Fairgrounds.


The SHED

Since the late 1950s, the Open Class Sheep Barn had held many memories and has been an important part of the culture of the South Dakota State Fairgrounds. The ‘RAISE The SHED’ campaign is a collective effort by the community to build a new sheep and multi-purpose facility for the next generation of fairgoers to enjoy! To make sure the camaraderie, world class shows, and celebrations carry on for generations to come, a task force of sheep industry and fair representatives has been meeting to formulate a plan for what type of facility will be needed to showcase the fair’s world class sheep exhibitors, their breeds, and to accommodate other events.

The planned multi-use facility will foster further development and growth of our state’s future leaders in the agriculture industry. The facility, covered by an acre of rooftop, will include a show arena, 400 pens, an educational center, bleachers, concrete flooring, and restrooms. The indoor educational center will provide an indoor place for interactive learning, information on the sheep industry, opportunities in agriculture, and our state’s rich agricultural history.

We all need to work together to ‘RAISE The SHED’, so we are excited to kick off the fundraising effort to build a new sheep and multi-purpose facility at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds. To build a facility that we can be proud of and will last for generations to come, we need to raise $3 million.

The SHED will be the new home for Open Class Sheep during the annual State Fair and will serve as a multi-use facility for other livestock and equine events during non-fair time.

The SHED will feature:

  • 40,000 square foot sheep and multi-purpose facility
  • 1,320 square foot education center
  • 792 square foot mezzanine
  • Able to accommodate 1,000 head of sheep
  • 30 bay wash rack
  • 2,300 square foot show ring
  • Restrooms

Estimated Cost
$8 million with a fundraising goal of $3 million.

Vision Timeline
Design – Spring 2023
Groundbreaking – 2023 South Dakota State Fair

We look forward to working with you to build The SHED!

The SHED booklet | The SHED pledge form| Donate Online

Pledge forms and donations can be mailed to: South Dakota State Fair Foundation, Attn: The SHED,1060 3rd St., Huron, SD

Checks can be made out to the South Dakota State Fair Foundation.

For additional information about the project or questions about “Raise The SHED” campaign please contact:
Peggy Besch
South Dakota State Fairgrounds Manager
605.353.7340
Email Peggy

Larry Tidemann – Brookings
‘Raise The SHED’ Fundraising Committee Chair
605.690.8353
Email Larry

The fundraising committee is made up of members from across the state:
Jo Beal
605.728.6715
Email Jo

Rufus DeZeeuw
605.690.8629
Email Rufus

Patty DeZeeuw
605.690.5639
Email Patty

Fred Derouchey
605.530.6488
Email Fred

Jon Beastrom
605.280.8120
Email Jon

Dusty Anderson
605.661.8710
Email Dusty

Doug Bruckner
605.216.7287
Email Doug

Denny Everson
605.661.9466
Email Denny

Jeff Held
605.690.7033
Email Jeff

Mary Held
605.690.7032
Email Mary

Tammy Basel
605.515.0267 or 605.985.5205
Email Tammy


Through Fire, A Vision was Born
Discover the DEX: Dakota Events CompleX

Watch the 'Discover the DEX' video!

'Discover the DEX' Construction Web Cam

'Discover the DEX' Overview

Pledge Form Donate Online Now
Pledge forms can be mailed to: South Dakota State Fair Foundation, Attn: DEX, 1060 3rd St. SW, Huron, SD 57350.

For 135 years, the South Dakota State Fair has been a place to celebrate youth and agriculture. Since the late 1970s, the Open Class Beef Complex has been a part of that celebration. It’s held many memories and has been an important part of the culture of the South Dakota State Fairgrounds.

On October 31, 2020, early Halloween morning, that all changed with a fire that destroyed the 96,000 square foot building.

Out of adversity comes opportunity. It is our generation’s time to bring this vision to life. Discover the DEX. Help us build the DEX: Dakota Events CompleX - the new multipurpose livestock and equestrian complex at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds.

Design the DEX
The DEX will feature:
•Approximately 150,000 square feet, one-of-a-kind, livestock and equestrian facility that will set a new standard for hosting local and national events.
•5,000 seats for spectators
•The capacity to host two full size equestrian arenas, larger livestock shows, concerts, auto thrill shows, and events throughout the year make this complex unmatched.
•House two, full-sized equestrian arenas, or 1,700 plus cattle stalls 
•Heated for year-round usage and include a ventilation system to ensure proper air movement.
•To create a positive experience for livestock shows and equestrian events, adequate electrical drops and a variety of access points for water, including water drops throughout the building, will be available.
•The DEX will have a pre-function and concession area with restrooms.
•The plans also include an enclosable, heated wash rack connected to the DEX.

The footprint will encompass the area abandoned by the Beef Complex, that is scheduled to be demolished by February of 2021, and replace the 37,000 square foot Sheep Barn, that has long outlived its useful life.

DEX Update 2.17.22

For the annual South Dakota State Fair, the capacity is expected to be 1,700 head of show cattle. Open class and 4-H beef will call this new livestock facility home. 

*Pictures are renderings and subject to change.

Vision Timeline
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 for the 2023 SD State Fair.


Donate to the DEX
Support the ‘Discover the DEX’ Capital Campaign.

The ‘Discover the DEX’ campaign includes several donor opportunities for all donation levels including donor wall recognition and a livestock brand and name recognition display.  

'Discover the DEX' Overview

Donations may include gifts of:


  • Cash
  • Grain (contact your local elevator)
  • Livestock (contact the State Fair Foundation)
  • Tribute or memorial gifts
  • Retirement fund assets
  • Charitable trusts
  • Real estate
  • Matching gifts
  • Gifts in-kind (subject to approval by the South Dakota State Fair Foundation according to its gift acceptance policy)


To make a pledge:
Pledge Form Donate Online Now
 
Pledge forms and donations can be mailed to:
South Dakota State Fair Foundation, Attn: DEX, 1060 3rd St., Huron, SD 

Checks can be made out to the South Dakota State Fair Foundation. 

For additional information about the project or questions about the ‘Discover the DEX’ campaign please contact:
Peggy Besch
South Dakota State Fairgrounds Manager
605.353.7340
Email Peggy

Jim White – Huron
‘Discover the DEX’ Fundraising Committee Chair
605.350.5127

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, NE
  • 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


Support the South Dakota State Fair Foundation

Commemorate a special person, treasured occasion, or your overwhelming love for the fair with a personalized bench or planter! Contact the State Fair office at (605) 353-7340 or via email today for more information.


Contact the Foundation

Phone: 605.353.7340
Address: 1060 3rd St. SW, Huron, SD 57350