Matagorda County has always had a large population of cattle. Cow calf operations date back before the immigration of Austin’s original 300. After the Civil War the New Republic of Texas drew another wave of immigrants. Upon arrival the new Texans found large quantities of native cattle doing well in the humidity and insect infested region.
Matagorda County is located on the fertile coastal plains of the Gulf of Mexico. Located about 80 miles south/southwest of Houston with Bay City serving as the county seat. This region’s economy has always been based on agriculture.
John E. Hutchison, a Vocational Agriculture Teacher, founded the First Bay City FFA Livestock Show to provide an opportunity for his FFA students and parents to learn more about livestock management and production. In 1944, The Matagorda County Fair was organized as an outgrowth of his efforts.
In 1946, the show was expanded to include all 4-H and FFA students from Matagorda County. That year Swine and Capons were added to the Junior Livestock Project Show.
In 1952, five futuristic individuals, T.J. Poole Jr., L.M. (Keeter) Slone, Roland Rugeley, E.L. McDonald, and F.G. Cobb organized and developed The Matagorda County Fair Association and signed the original Texas Charter.
Today the Fair Association continues to offer educational programs and projects for the youth to participate in and learn from. Our goal today, as it was in 1944, is to reach as many of our young people as possible and offer them the opportunity to participate in the Fair Activities that will build character, teamwork skills and leadership qualities needed to ensure a successful future. We strive to bring out the very best in every child through our guidance and