Heath Agricultural Society
Heath Agricultural Society

Annual Meeting

Results of Elections Held, November 15

Prisident, Jessica Van Steensburg

Vice President, Justin Lively

Secretary, Kate Peppard

Treasurer, Tom Lively

At Large:

Conrad Halburg

Jan Carr

Bob Bourke

 From the President:

On November 15, 2017, the HAS held its annual meeting and the membership cast their vote for a new slate of officers. I was among those chosen to lead the HAS and the Heath Fair into its future. Justin Lively will serve as Vice President, Tom Lively as Treasurer, Kate Peppard as Secretary, Conrad Halberg, Bob Bourke, and Jan Carr will each serve as members at large. Our deepest gratitude is extended to Shirley Tombs who served as Vice President for countless years and to Sue Draxler who served as Secretary.


The Heath Fair has a long history: one that continues to capture the hearts of young and old alike. True to our agricultural roots, we stick, and this among so many other qualities, brings people back up the hill, year after year, in the middle of August. I don’t intend to change that, in fact, I endeavor to honor it. As president I will listen and I will do, I will respond to member and community needs, and I will work hard to build an organization that fosters volunteerism. Volunteers are the foundation of the Heath Agricultural Society. We must foster a culture of inclusivity and appreciation for the volunteers that make the work of the HAS possible.


I had the pleasure of sitting next to Bob Viarengo before the annual meeting began. He asked me a simple question, “Why did I choose to run for president?" Believe me, I had considered why and in fact I had been considering “why” for going on a year, but I had made my decision. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” For me it was that simple. Becoming a member of HAS gave me a sense of community, built tradition and created lasting friendships. It matters to me that the Heath Fair has a future. It was time to give back.


At the recent convention of the Massachusetts Agricultural Fair Association (MAFA), I had many firsts. I joined long-time HAS members Conrad Halberg (former President of HAS), Kathy Halberg, and Bradley Tombs for a day rich with networking and learning. We were there to discover how we could we make the Heath Fair even better. The four of us attended workshops and enjoyed each other's company. We also took home a lot of awards at the end of the evening: third place in advertising specialties, second place in website, and first place in radio advertising, newspaper advertising, brochure, and poster categories. Heath also took home the Judges Choice award (the only one in the state) for its poster. Special thanks to Larry Sampson, Heath resident and HAS member who designed the poster.


In addition to winning awards, we listened to speakers share knowledge and perspective. Christopher Grant, a featured speaker offered a message that has stuck with me and one I will carry into my presidency. The youngest member of his agricultural society at age 27, he asked us the same question Bob asked me: “Why do you do what you do?” When it comes to volunteerism, there comes a time when we all have to answer this question. What drives us to show up? So now I ask you the readers, why do you do what you do? I encourage us all to contemplate that question and to discover why we volunteer, why we lead, why we get involved? Towards the end of his talk, Christopher encouraged us to define “our little part of our little fair”. I invite you to join the Heath Agricultural Society, to volunteer with us and define your little part of your little fair. Share your passion and bring a friend.


If you are interested in joining or learning more about HAS, plan on attending our January meeting (1/10/2017) in the Heath Community Hall. We are a fun and dedicated group. We begin at 6:30 pm. and meetings are open to the public.  I hope to see you soon. Eat well and be well.


Jessica Van Steensburg, President of the Heath Agricultural Society


The Heath Agricultural Society is a nonprofit organization that endeavors to encourage, preserve, promote, and celebrate the practical, historical, and cultural aspects of agriculture in Heath and Franklin County through educational opportunities, charitable opportunties, and clebratory events.




Keepsake Print

Fair Photos

Ticket Information

Fair Schedule


Heath Agricultural Society

9 Hosmer Road
Heath, MA 01346