Moss died in April at age 68.
Members of the Tennessee State Fair Association board of directors approved the motion to name the award in honor of Moss at its May meeting, citing his many contributions to the State Fair, agriculture and his leadership role in reviving the Wilson County Fair into becoming one of the South’s best county fairs.
John Rose, TSFA board chairman, said the board’s decision to name the distinguished service award after Moss was “appropriate and fitting because of Hale’s lifelong commitment to agriculture in Tennessee, his volunteer work with the State Fair as well as his tireless efforts in leading the development of his home county fair [the Wilson County Fair] into arguably one of the nation’s best county fairs.”
Moss, who served as president of the Wilson County Fair for every year since 1979 except one, was instrumental in seeing the fair’s quality and achievements recognized locally and on a national stage and led the fair to astonishing attendance records that in recent years have soared above the 500,000 mark, attracting visitors from multiple states all of Tennessee’s 95 counties.
Moss, who was inducted into the Wilson County Agricultural Hall of Fame in April, taught agriculture at Lebanon High School for four years, and then in 1973 entered the family’s business in Mt. Juliet, which primarily sold feed, fertilizer and other agricultural products. He and family members, including his wife, Brenda, later transitioned the business into Moss’ Florist and Garden Center.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and an active leader in 4-H and FFA, Moss served as beef cattle superintendent of the Tennessee State Fair Advisory Board from 1977 to 2005.
The State Fair Distinguished Service Award is presented each year during the fair to the person or people who make significant contributions to help develop and maintain the traditions of the Tennessee State Fair.
The Tennessee State Fair is a 10-day annual event held on the state fairgrounds in Nashville. For more than 150 years, the State Fair has showcased the accomplishments of the citizens of Tennessee and brought family friendly entertainment for all to enjoy. This year’s theme is “Tennessee Proud.”
The fair will open Sept. 8, run for 10 days, and close Sept. 17. For more information about the Tennessee State Fair, including how to become a sponsor, visit tnstatefair.org.