Merced County Times Newspaper
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Stornetta named Livestock Superintendent at County Fair

Livestock entries will open soon for the 2022 Merced County Fair

The Merced County Fair is excited to announce Dawn Stornetta as the new Livestock Superintendent for the Merced County Fair.
The Merced County Fair is excited to announce Dawn Stornetta as the new Livestock Superintendent for the Merced County Fair.

The Merced County Fair is excited to announce Dawn Stornetta as the new Livestock Superintendent for the Merced County Fair.

Stornetta has a longstanding history in agriculture growing up on a 5th generation farm in Sebastopol, where her family raised sheep and cattle, she showed 4-H and FFA, went on to compete nationally on a livestock judging team, began as a high school ag teacher and now manages livestock shows throughout the Western United States.

“We are so excited to welcome Dawn Stornetta to our Merced County Fair Livestock team,” said Teresa Burrola, CEO of the Merced County Fair. “Her passion for agriculture is evident in every aspect of her life, and we know she will bring that passion, coupled with her experience to our fair, making our show and sales run even smoother, and helping our livestock kids succeed.”

Growing up in Sebastopol on her family’s farm agriculture was always at the center of her life. She grew up showing sheep and cattle in 4-H and FFA at the Sonoma County Fair, then went on to join the Santa Rosa Jr. College livestock judging team who competed nationally under the direction of Mr. Jim Porter, then later transferred to California State University, Fresno where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Education and continued with her livestock judging under Mr. John Cordeiro. It was at Fresno State that Stornetta began to get involved in management of livestock shows and she has continued ever since; even as she taught at El Molino High School, Chowchilla High School and Santa Rosa High School.

Stornetta will always call California home, but in 2017 the devastating California wildfires destroyed her property in Santa Rosa and her family made the decision to relocate to Leitchfield, Kentucky. That’s when she retired from teaching and began to focus one hundred percent of her time on managing livestock shows. Some of the shows she currently oversees are Kern County Fair, Napa Valley Expo, Pacific Coast Livestock Shows, Holiday Classic Livestock Show and now, the Merced County Fair.

“I am thrilled to be working with the Merced County Fair and I am eager to work with all the wonderful exhibitors, leaders and advisors in the area,” Stornetta said. “While at Fresno State, I completed my student teaching at LeGrand High School and was able to see first hand the incredible agriculture programs in the area and I can’t wait to work with each of them once again. Showing livestock truly teaches these kids lifelong skills that will mold them forever – and I am honored to be a small part of this experience, making the livestock show and sales run as smoothly as possible, creating a great experience for all.”

When Stornetta is not on the road traveling for work, she is at home in Kentucky attending shows and raising sheep with her daughter. Her daughter earned Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb at the 2020 Kentucky State Fair her first year showing. Her love for agriculture not only spills into work but into time spent with family.

Dairy Replacement Heifer Program and Independent Exhibitor Applications are now available. Additional applications for the 2022 Merced County Fair livestock show and sales will be available soon. Details can be found online at

This year marks the 130th year of operation for the Merced County Fair, which returns to an in-person event after two years of modified operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Merced County Fair annually welcomes more than 70,000 people from throughout Merced County and beyond to attend the five-day fair each June. Members of the Board of Directors include: President, Kim Rogina; First Vice President, Vicky Banaga; Second Vice President, Luis Lara; Mark Erreca; Lori Rossi Gallo; Emily Haden; Mark N. Pazin; and Carol Sartoni-Silva. Teresa Burrola heads up the daily operations in her role as CEO.

The 2022 Merced County Fair will return to kick off the summer, June 8 – 12. For more information about the Merced County Fair, please visit online at:

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