A familiar face is returning to Kentucky Venues in a new role. Jeff Zinner was recently announced as the new Partnerships Manager at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Jeff’s first experience at the Kentucky Exposition Center dates back to childhood, when he began showing lambs at the Kentucky State Fair. He fell in love with agriculture through his involvement with 4-H, graduating from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in Agribusiness and Livestock Management.
His passion for agriculture led him to his first role with Kentucky Venues as the Branch Manager for the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE). In that position he helped plan, organize, budget and execute one of the most prestigious livestock shows in the country. From there, he went on to work as a loan officer at the Central Kentucky Agricultural Credit Association.
His new role in the partnerships department melds his experience planning agriculture-based events with his private sector business knowledge, allowing him to help build a bridge between the agriculture and business communities.
How will your background in agriculture help you in your new role?
My time exhibiting livestock, farming, working with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and my ten year stint as the NAILE Assistant Manager have allowed me to experience agriculture and education at its finest. In Kentucky, we are extremely fortunate to have three prominent agricultural events – Kentucky State Fair, North American International Livestock Exposition and the National Farm Machinery Show. My experience working with Kentucky Venues in the past has inspired me to return to be a part of the team.
Did you grow up showing livestock?
I became involved with 4-H at a young age and began exhibiting sheep. It was through exhibiting livestock that my love for agriculture and agriculture education began. I have shown and/or raised livestock for over 30 years now.
What’s your first Kentucky State Fair memory?
My first State Fair memory dates back to the early 1980s, exhibiting my Novice Market Lamb to a third place showing. I had very little idea of what I was doing in my first year, but I quickly figured out that the State Fair was an incredible place that would provide me extraordinary opportunities. For me, the State Fair became an annual vacation destination and an attraction that I considered better than Disney World.
What direction do you see the partnerships department taking?
We look forward to partnering with the great sponsors that have a strong history with the in house shows and expect to expand our presence within the agriculture community, as well as the local community, to continue building on this success. We look forward to improving the experience of our patrons and partners.