The 2nd annual CFSA Risk-Pool Member Meeting is Tuesday, November 5

CFSA’s 2nd annual Risk-Pool Member Meeting is  scheduled for Tuesday, November 5,  from 10:30 a.m. to Noon, in the upstairs conference room (Rm. 200) of the Fair Services Building.  The meeting kicks off the first day of the CFA Fall Managers’  Conference,  which runs Tuesday – Thursday, November 5 – 7 at the Courtyard by Marriott (located next door to the Fair Services Building).

This annual meeting is a great opportunity to meet CFSA’s board of directors and staff, as well as to hear CFSA’s 2018 annual report, along with reports from our Risk Management, Risk Control and Finance Services departments. We also encourage you to share any ideas you may have about how we can collectively improve the risk-sharing pool programs, and to ask any questions you may have about  CFSA’s programs and services, or services you would like to have CFSA offer. Speak up!

A box lunch, compliments of CFSA, will be provided after the meeting. You are welcome to stay and eat, or to take your lunch to go.

Please RSVP to Melissa Thurber at CFSA, or 916/263-6163.



CDFA Teams with Department of Public Health to Encourage Safe Practices Around Animals During Fair Season

Written by CDFA’s Office of Public Relations. Published in CDFA’s Planting Seeds Blog, July 24, 2019

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) are urging visitors attending fairs to practice good hygiene when visiting farm animal exhibits. Direct and indirect contact with the animals could put individuals at risk of developing Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli O157 (STEC O157) and other infections.

“Visiting animals can be one of the highlights of the fair,” said Dr. Charity Dean, CDPH Acting State Public Health Officer. “It is important to remember to practice good hygiene when working with or visiting animals.”

Every year, infections and illnesses in children and adults after exposure to animals at county fairs, petting zoos, and farms have been reported to public health. These have included bacterial infections such as STEC O157 and Salmonella, viruses such as swine influenza virus, and parasites such as Cryptosporidium.

There are steps you can take to protect you and your family at the fair, petting zoo, or other settings where farm animals are present:

*         Wash your hands with soap and running water after touching animals or being in areas where animals are housed or exhibited, even if you did not touch the animal.

·         Do not eat, drink, or put anything in your mouth while in an area where animals are housed or exhibited.

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth until you have exited the animal area and washed your hands with soap and running water.

·         Do not take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, strollers, or similar items into animal areas.

·         Always supervise children around animals and supervise handwashing for young children.

·         Don’t let children sit or play on the ground in animal areas.

·         Avoid contact with animals that look or act ill.

People in high-risk groups should take extra care around animals. These include senior citizens, children under five, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system or chronic health conditions.

“We want all California families to enjoy their local community fair, but it is important for them to know good common sense precautions and be sure to wash their hands after contact with animals,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.

If you develop any illness after visiting animal exhibits, including fever, vomiting/diarrhea, or flu-like symptoms, see your health care provider and inform them of your animal contacts.

For more information on how to stay healthy at animal exhibits, visit this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web page.

Additional information about STEC infections may be found on the CDPH and CDC websites.

Office of Public Affairs | July 24, 2019 at 11:27 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

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CFSA Staff Member and Contract Review Service win an Award for Innovation

Join CFSA in Congratulating Lianne Lewellen, Recognized with a CSAC EIA Eagle Award for CFSA’s Innovative Contract Review Service

August 16, 2019 

Now a vital part of CFSA’s successful general liability risk transfer program, the Contract Review Service was developed and managed by Lianne Lewellen for more than 20 years before she retired earlier this year and passed the service’s reins on to Mario Castagnola. Currently back with CFSA a few days a week to work on special projects, Lianne was surprised to learn that not only had she been nominated by CFSA for an EAGLE Award, but that she had won the award for her expert work with the review service. CSAC EIA – California State Association of Counties Excess Insurance Authority – is CFSA’s excess insurance provider.

Created as a value-added benefit for fairs participating in the General Liability pool program, the Contract Review Service enables CFSA to serve as a second set of eyes on certain contracts and certificates of insurance submitted to fairgrounds by promoters and vendors using fairgrounds facilities. By approving the renter’s documents, CFSA is able to provide fairs with the assurance that they are sufficiently protected in the event of an accident or incident involving the renter.

Fairs now submit more than 3,000 contracts and certificates of insurance a year to CFSA for review and approval. Should an error or omission be discovered, CFSA works on the fair’s behalf to correct the issue at no extra cost to the fair.

The CSAC EIA EAGLE (Exemplary Achievement in Government Leadership and Enrichment) Awards Program recognizes an EIA member or its affiliated agency “for the development, management, and/or the implementation of an innovative idea, approach or program that enhances the goals and purposes of risk management within the public sector.” Information about the review service will be shared with other CSAC EIA members, giving Lianne and CFSA recognition for innovative thinking and program performance!

When notified of the award, Lianne said, “I’m truly humbled by this award – it’s been a team effort and with CFSA’s help and support we were able to grow the review service into the innovative and effective program it is today.”

CSAC EIA will present Lianne with her award during its October board meeting in Fish Camp, California. CFSA will be sure to share any photos taken during the awards ceremony!


E. coli and Preventative Protocols

July 2, 2019

Hand-washing sign

Protecting the health and safety of the fair-going public as well as that of your animal exhibitors and fair staff is a commitment and a responsibility CFSA takes seriously. The recent outbreak underscores the importance of establishing and enforcing precautions and safety protocols that can help prevent the spread of E. coli and other infectious diseases.

Get a tune-up of your fair’s hand-washing program: As a pool program participant, you’re encouraged to tap the knowledge of your fair’s CFSA Risk Control specialist to evaluate your fair’s written Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP) for up-to-date health and safety protocols and actions. Your specialist can also help with the placement of hand-washing signs, staff and pre-fair animal exhibitor meetings, and more.

Hand-washing signs in English and Spanish provided by CDFA’s Fairs & Expositions (F&E) Branch are available from Melissa Thurber at or you can print out your own signs from the F&E website:

In addition, we encourage you to explore these resources:

From the Centers for Disease Control:
E. coli Questions and Answers –

Health and safety themed videos for livestock exhibitors:
Play it Safe, Livestock Germ Safari and Handwashing:

Bio-Security in 4-H for Visitors:

You can also access the Bio-Security video from the CDFA website:  

If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Desmond, 916/263-6161,; Tom Amberson, 916/263-6180,; or Becky Bailey-Findley at 916/263-6160,


June is National Safety Month: Lift Smart

It’s probably no surprise that you can injure your back lifting light objects just as easily as you can lifting heavier ones. Avoiding injury comes down to using safe lifting techniques:

Proper lifting technique


  1. Before you lift something, make sure you can handle it safely. Ask someone to help you if necessary, or break the large load down into more easily manageable small loads. Use a hand truck or dolly. And make sure the pathway to wherever you are taking the item(s) is clear of tripping hazards or obstacles.
  2. Use proper body mechanics when lifting. Stand close to the object, with your feet about shoulder width apart. Squat down, bending at the hips and knees; keep your back straight. As you grip the load, arch your lower back by pulling your shoulders back, sticking your chest out, and tucking in your chin. Keep the load close to your body.
  3. When setting the load down in its new location, squat down, bending at the hips and knees and keep your lower back arched in. Deposit the load close to your body.
  4. Turn, don’t twist your body. To turn, initiate the turn with your lower body; your upper body will follow.
  5. Push, don’t pull. When using a hand truck or dolly, push it, don’t pull it. Pushing puts less strain on your back.
  6. Store heavy boxes and objects lower than your waist. This way you’ll never have to lift them higher than your waist as this puts a lot of undue stress on your back. In fact, it’s one of the surest ways to injure your back!



Save the Date: New Fair CEO Orientation

Wednesday & Thursday,  April 10 & 11 in Sacramento

Woman holding a date book.Hosted by California Fair Services Authority (CFSA), Western Fairs Association (WFA) and CDFA’s Fairs & Expositions (F&E) Branch, the orientation kicks off with a day at the Fair Services Building, home to CFSA and WFA. You’ll meet agency staff and get an overview of each agency’s responsibilities. You’ll also learn about the resources available to you from CFSA and WFA, and how CFSA, WFA and F&E work together on conferences, conventions, training opportunities, and more.

You’ll spend Thursday downtown at the CDFA offices, meeting with staff from F&E. You’ll enjoy a continental breakfast followed by sessions on everything from California State Rules to Financial Reporting and Board Meetings 101.

As we get closer to the orientation’s dates, you’ll receive a full agenda along with a short registration form, hotel suggestions and directions to the Fair Services Building and to CDFA’s headquarters.

If you are a new or new-ish fair CEO who has been on the job for a few weeks, a few months or even a year or two, this orientation is designed for you! If you want to make sure you are on the New Fair CEO Orientation mailing list and would like to attend the orientation, please contact Melissa Thurber at CFSA. You can reach her at (916) 263-6163 or 


Maintenance Mania 2019 is Just Weeks Away! Register Today!

Maintenance Mania 2019:  Tuesday-Thursday, February 26-28, Alameda County Fairgrounds.

New this year:  Motivational Keynote Speaker Elizabeth McCormick, former U.S. Army Black Hawk pilot. Her topic:  You. In the Pilot’s Seat.

A much decorated pilot, McCormick was awarded the Army Commendation Medal (twice), the Army Achievement Medal (twice), the National Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the coveted Army Aviator Badge. Her presentation will focus on propelling individuals forward as leaders in their workplace and in their personal lives. Attendees will also receive an autographed copy of her book, The Pilot Method.

Register online at: You’ll also find daily schedules, session topics  and discounted hotel room information on the website. Remember – Attendance is free!

Tuesday, February 26, is the optional equipment operator certification day. Space is limited – register early; first come, first served.

Maintenance Mania is a long-time educational industry event designed especially for fair staff members responsible for the maintenance and operations of their fairgrounds. During the three-day event, participants can get certified on fork lift and scissor lift operation, as well as learn new skills, workplace safety procedures, and tips and techniques from industry experts who understand first-hand the challenges maintenance crews face daily. Thanks to the generosity of 2019’s event sponsors, attendance is free. Western Fairs Association service members are also invited to attend at no charge.

All CFSA Pool Program Member Fairs are Invited to CFSA’s First-Ever Member Meeting, November 6, 2018, Fair Services Building

California Fair Services Authority (CFSA), created more than 30 years ago, is a member-driven organization that shares in the covering of potential risks and in the costs of claims for pool member California fairs.

Risk pooling means that the fairs that participate in CFSA’s Workers’ Compensation and General Liability pool programs, pool their money collectively to pay for claims filed against their fairs. As a participating member fair, you have a voice and a responsibility to learn and to do all you can to keep the risk-pooling function and the funds CFSA manages safe and available to cover the claims we know about, as well as those that will come in the future.

Join CFSA’s board of directors and staff at our first-ever member meeting, Tuesday, November 6, 2018, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Fair Services Building, 1776 Tribute Road, Conference Room 200, in Sacramento.

Learn about the current financial position of CFSA, about trends in risk and claims, and about the steps you can take to help reduce risk to the pools and at your fair. In addition, we welcome your feedback on how we can improve our risk-pooling and risk-sharing programs.

This is your opportunity to ask questions, to learn more about risk pooling and risk sharing, and to fully understand your key role in both! Join us for lunch and lively conversation.

Lunch is provided.
Please RSVP to Melissa Thurber, at: or 916/263-6163.



CFSA’s Board of Directors and Revenue Protection Program Committee Elections are Next Month


This year, CFSA’s fall election has drawn one of the largest pools of highly-qualified candidates in CFSA’s election history. Ballots to fill seats on both the CFSA board of directors and on the Revenue Protection Program Committee will be emailed to pool- and program-member fairs by Monday, October 8; due back to CFSA by Monday, October 22.

Up for election are two seats on CFSA’s board of directors – one representing fair classes I and II, and one representing fair classes III – VII. Participants in the Revenue Protection Program will also be voting to elect a fair representative and two alternates for the Revenue Protection Program’s Claims Committee. This committee meets as needed throughout the year to review submitted claims in accordance with claims adjustment procedures as specified by the program’s memorandum of coverage.

Election results will be announced the week of October 22. New board and committee members will take office on January 1, 2019.