Board Holds December Meeting

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Wednesday, December 5, 2018, for their December board meeting.  Seventeen directors were present and ten guests were present.

Corey Ledley, President, called the meeting to order.

Doug Crawford, from the Hardin County Horse Shoe Pitchers, voiced his concern over the $150 monthly rental charge his group needs to pay to pitch horseshoes at the fairgrounds now.

Chris Rogers, from Shane’s Shirts, expressed his interest in making items for the fair.

Mark Light, OSU Extension Agent, thanked the board for their levee support and letters about the steer weigh in have been mailed.

Thank you’s were read under correspondence.

The executive committee meeting minutes from November 13th were approved.  The board decided on Wednesday, Dec. 26th as the Holiday Dinner/January Meeting date.  The dinner will be at 6pm at the Plaza Rest. Reservations need to be to Judi Cronley by Friday, December 14th.  The 2019 proposed budget was approved.  The 2019 code of conduct was distributed and signed by all board members and employees.  The board voted on 3 new members to the executive committee, replacing those going off of the committee.  Rob Wilson, Craig Stump and Dale Cockerell were selected as the 3 members, with Rob and Craig on for 2 years and Dale on for one year.  The board moved to keep the rental rates for 2019 the same as 2018.

Corey Ledley called the meeting into executive session at 7:40pm to discuss the 3 Goshen Twp. individuals seeking to be nominated to the board for one year.

Jack McBride and Mark Garmon called the regular board meeting back into session at 7:45pm.

The board chose Nancy Rickenbacher to be nominated as the Goshen Twp. Director for one year.  Judi Cronley, notarizer, swore Nancy in as director for one year.

Kelly Buchenroth, chairperson of the ground’s committee, stated there are 26 campers and 12 cars being stored for the winter.  Other grounds projects were discussed.

An offer to use the arts/crafts building and grounds to the Good Sam’s group for a staff meeting from April 15-17th was approved.

An update was given on the insurance claim for the canceled concert.  The money was not received in time, to fall in the correct fiscal year, but the money was approved by the insurance company and should arrive by a check in the next 7 days.

Judi Cronley stated that there are still 35 JR fair livestock exhibitors, 23 families, which need to cash their premium checks from the 2018 Hardin County Fair.  Those need to be cashed by the middle of January. Dale Cockerell noted the steer weigh-in is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 29th from 8am-10am.  Don Spar stated the Jr Fair Livestock Sale Committee and Livestock Committee Meetings will be Wednesday, January 16th – starting at 6:30pm.

It was noted an advertising/sponsorship committee meeting needs to be scheduled to discuss the sponsorship packet and get it distributed.  Technology is also being added to the advertising /sponsorship committee.

Nancy Rickenbacher, Jr. Fair Board Director, stated the 2019 Jr. Fair board members are being selected.

November Meeting Held

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Wednesday, November 7, 2018, for their November board meeting.  Nineteen directors were present and seven guests were present.

Corey Ledley, President, called the meeting to order.

Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension Agent, asked if the board would be interested in finding a place to hang the Ag. Hall of Fame pictures – there are currently around 50 and that number grows by around 4 each year.

A thank you was read under correspondence.  

An Executive Committee Meeting date was set for November 13th at 6:30 pm to discuss the 2019 budget, bonuses, and contracts.  It was noted a new executive committee will be selected at the December board meeting.  Someone for Howard Lyle’s remaining 1 year and Kelly Buchenroth’s 2-year position will be filled.  Paul Ralston was selected as the board’s delegate for the OFMA annual meeting during the OFMA convention in January.  Don Spar was nominated as the alternate delegate.

Kelly Buchenroth, chairperson of the ground’s committee, stated there is only winter storage available for one big camper, etc. and several small spots under 10’ tall.  The contract for the Mid Ohio Classic Scooter Club was discussed. They will be renting the fairgrounds from May 15-18th, 2019.  The board moved to offer the horseshoe pitching group a price of $150 a month to pitch through the summer months.  The office and arts/crafts building are going to be rekeyed. Dale Cockerell is looking into a project in the beef barn for the memorial money from Tom Kritzler.  The EMT’s are going to be offered a site on the fairgrounds to build their building on. The Ag. Society has never paid for an organization’s building to be built.

An update was given on the insurance claim for the canceled concert.  Rob Wilson stated he is looking into having KOI drag racing for Wednesday night of the fair next year.

Judi Cronley stated that all livestock exhibitor checks have been mailed.  

Janie Seiler, chairperson of the rides/concession’s dept., stated Oakridge Realty still has their building at the fairgrounds and will be sending them an invoice for rent.  They have been called several times to remove it, with no action taken.

The Junior Fair Affidavit report needed by the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture was approved.  It stated there was over $7,000 in premium money paid to Jr. Fair exhibitors.

It was noted there is a need to have an admission/gates committee meeting to discuss options for gate workers during the fair.  There were 2 groups during the week that didn’t really work out well and new help needs to be researched.

Under old business:

The board was reminded about the district meeting at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds, scheduled for November 8th.  

Under new business:

The board moved to request the 2019 Hardin County Fair be Tuesday, Sept. 3rd through Sunday, Sept. 8th.  A quote from Signs Ohio for a digital sign at the front of the fairgrounds was discussed.  It was noted other quotes need to be obtained. The next regular board meeting will be Wednesday, December 5th at 7:00 pm in the Fair Office.

Applicants Sought for Vacant Director Position

The Hardin County Fair Board has a director position for Goshen Township available for an appointed 1-year term.  Anyone who is a member of the society can apply for the position. The fair board will try their best to appoint someone from Goshen Township, but all applicants will be accepted.  All letters of intent need to be submitted by Friday, November 30th, 2018, 4:00 pm.  

Letters should be addressed to:

Hardin County Ag. Society

P.O. Box 317

Kenton, Ohio 43326.

Reorganizational Meeting Held, Directors Sworn In

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met on Saturday, November 3rd with Craig Stump, Acting President, presiding.  

Craig Stump reported the election results:  

  • Buck Township:  Jason Fulton
  • Dudley Township:  Brad Murphy
  • Lynn Township:  Paul Ralston
  • Pleasant Township:  Christa Rarey
  • Roundhead Township:  Steve Harpster
  • Washington Township:  Craig Stump
  • Director at Large for one year:  Dale Cockerell
  • Top 2 At-Large Director winners:  Justin Beale and Andrew Scharf

All directors present were sworn into office by Judi Cronley, notarizer.

With 40 members paid for 2019, the election of officers was held.  Dale Cockerell moved to nominate Corey Ledley for President and Andrew Scharf seconded the motion.  Charlie McCullough moved to close the nominations, with Jack McBride seconding that motion. Motion passed.  Rob Wilson moved to nominate Brad Murphy for Vice President and Charlie McCullough seconded the motion. Rob Wilson moved to close the nominations with Mark Garmon seconding that motion.  Motion passed. Therefore Corey Ledley is the Board’s President and Brad Murphy is the Vice President.

Paul Ralston and Jason Fulton moved to keep the regular board meeting date and time the first Wednesday night of each month at 7pm.  Motion passed.

Mark Garmon moved to adjourn the meeting and Charlie McCullough seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Directors for the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year:

  1. Kelly Buchenroth – Taylor Creek
  2. Carlie McCullough – Director-at-Large
  3. Craig Decker – Marion
  4. Dale Cockerell – Director-at-Large
  5. Jason Fulton – Buck
  6. Mark Garmon – Jackson
  7. Paul Ralston – Lynn
  8. Justin Beale – Director-at-Large
  9. Corey Ledley – Director-at-Large
  10. Steve Harpster – Roundhead
  11. Jack McBride – Cessna
  12. Christa Rarey – Pleasant
  13. Jeff Morris – Director-at-Large
  14. Andrew Scharf – Director-at-Large
  15. Vacant – Goshen
  16. Janie Seiler – Hale
  17. Don Spar – Liberty
  18. Craig Stump – Washington
  19. Rob Wilson – Blanchard
  20. Brad Murphy – Dudley
  21. Dan Beale – McDonald

Annual Meeting Held

The Hardin County Agricultural society met with President, Craig Stump presiding.  18 directors along with 13 Hardin County Agricultural Society members present.

The minutes of last year’s annual meeting were read.  Paul Ralston moved they be approved as read. Charlie McCullough seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Dale Cockerell moved the price of a membership and season ticket be set at $20.00, the same as last year.  Jack McBride seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Paul Ralston and Justin Beale moved to have the Director’s pay set at an annual price of $2.00.  Jack McBride and Jason Fulton amended the motion to be $1 for the Director’s Pay. Motion passed.

The annual conflict of interest document for 2018/19 was given to every director and signed by all directors in attendance.  

Brad Murphy, representing the executive committee, proposed some constitution changes.  Paul Ralston and Jason Fulton moved to change the constitution to state “when a Township has less than 20 Society members, at which time the minimum number of signatures required for that township would be 50% of the total number of Society members who are residents of the township they would represent if elected”.  Motion passed. Paul Ralston and Andrew Scharf moved to add “Candidates filing a petition for the position of director must attend one Board meeting, and accumulate a total of eight volunteer work hours toward the Board, prior to the election and in the same calendar year as the election, before being placed on the official ballot.”  This motion failed by one vote. Paul Ralston and Mark Garmon moved to add “A vacancy filled by the board may include a member from a township where there are already three active directors, provided Section 9 of Article V cannot be met.” Motion passed.

Judi Cronley will file an updated copy of the constitution with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.  

Next year’s annual meeting, with the annual election to be held on the same day from 3-7pm, will be on Nov. 2nd, 2019.  

Dale Cockerell moved to adjourn and Dan Beale seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Vice President Ledley Invites Members to Vote, Meeting

Dear Member,

November is nearly upon us and that means it’s election season across Ohio. This also means that it is time for the annual meeting of the Hardin County Agricultural Society and subsequent election of directors.

Hardin County residents that are good standing members of the Hardin County Agricultural Society are invited to vote in the election that will be held on Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the fair office on the fairgrounds. To introduce the candidates running, we have prepared a “Meet the Candidates” piece for our members on our website.

At 7:30 pm, the Hardin County Agricultural Society will hold their annual meeting in the Arts & Crafts Building. Like all other meetings of the board of directors, the meeting is open to the public. This meeting will include the opportunity for all members of the society to vote on items of business. Business on the agenda for the annual meeting includes:

  • Director pay
  • Membership & Season ticket prices
  • Other business

Immediately after that, the board’s reorganizational meeting will be held. I look forward to seeing our members turn out to vote on November 3rd.


Corey Ledley
Vice President
Hardin County Agricultural Society

Meet The Candidates

There are ten candidates running to be on the Hardin County Agricultural Society board of directors, commonly referred to as the Hardin County Fair Board. To better serve our members, we asked each of the candidates a series of questions, and have their motivations for running here for you.

Buck Township

Jason Fulton | Incumbent

Jason Fulton is seeking re-election after completing his freshman year on the board. Jason was involved in 4-H for eight years showing horses at the Hardin County Fair. When reaching high school, Jason became active in showing swine projects through the Kenton FFA Chapter.

Jason said his first year was both exciting and educational while he “got his feet wet” learning what the fair board does and the behind-the-scenes workings of the fair. He was involved in the Dairy Beef Feeder committee, pedal tractor pull committee, and the appreciation committee. Jason said:

I was amazed to see what it really takes to put on a fair and I was very impressed with the level of commitment that I witnessed from the other directors and the staff, not only during the fair, but throughout the entire year.

Fulton would like to continue to learn more about the board, serve on different committees to gain a better understanding of the board and how it works. He would like to work on the release procedures to make the system more user-friendly for exhibitors and their families. in a closing thought, Jason had this to say:

I truly believe that we have one of the nicest fairs in the state of Ohio and I want to help that tradition continue in any way that I can.

Director-at-Large (3-year term)

Director-at-Large (1-year term)

Dale Cockerell | Incumbent

Dale Cockerell exhibited both beef cattle and swine projects for 9 years in 4-H. He was first elected to the board in 2004. Dale said his time on the board has shown him there is much more to the fair than what might meet the public’s eye. Dale said this of being involved.

It’s not just going to meetings and riding around on gators the week of the fair. It takes a whole year to prepare and organize for what all needs to happen for one week.

Dale has a continuing mission of improving and progressing the fair year after year and feels that all should share that philosophy. He said:

There are a lot of things our fair does well. Probably the one that hits me the hardest is how we can work together and get work done to make the fair run as smooth as possible.

In terms of large-scale projects, Dale would like to work to set guidelines to encourage people to run for the board that will support our exhibitors, guests, and other board members versus a personal issue, or seeking free access to meal tickets, camping, and golf cart transportation.

Dudley Township

Brad Murphy | Incumbent

Brad Murphy describes himself as the “odd duck” when it comes to his youth involvement in the fair. He grew up in rural Gallia County, where the fair was a great source of pride for the community. Brad is married to Amanda (Black) Murphy, who grew up in Hardin County, has “indoctrinated” him into the fair pride and culture. Since the met in 1998, Murphy has only missed a single fair, even while living in Charlotte, NC until 2002.

Murphy has served on the board’s Executive, Entertainment, Gates, Sponsorship, Horse, Arts & Crafts, and Rides & Concessions committees in his time on the board. Brad says:

I’ve learned a lot, but there’s so much more to learn to ensure that we’re providing the best possible experience for the community and our exhibitors.

Brad has two sons that have shown beef and poultry projects and will continue to be active in exhibiting both livestock and non-livestock projects.

Murphy’s goals for the board include developing a long-term strategic plan for facility and grounds upgrades. Brad is sure to note that:

We’ve made some positive strides with care and maintence on some buildings, and we’re working on infrastructure improvements to make the visitor experience better.

Brad would like to implement this plan with input from the community and continue to uphold the highest levels of transparency in an effort for all community members to understand how the board is utilizing their contributions.

He believes in a few simple objectives for our fair.

  1. Improving Junior Fair exhibitor experience to foster an environment to continue to learn, grow, and develop.
  2. Improving guest and exhibitor experience, making the Hardin County Fair a “can’t miss” event that the community is proud of.
  3. Involving the community to instill a sense of ownership and pride in the fair.
  4. Operating the fair in a fiscally responsible manner.

In a closing thought Brad said:

It’s a long process that will take a lot of dedication and hard work from all of us. I hope to continue contributing to the Hardin County Fair as an elected director, Representing Dudley Township.


Lynn Township

Paul Ralston | Incumbent

Paul Ralston has been on the board for six years and exhibited beef, lamb, and several non-livestock projects in his junior fair days. He has been involved with gates, rides and concessions, executive, grain/vegetables/crops poultry, beef, grandstand/entertainment, grounds, pedal tractor pull and rabbit committees.

Paul’s goals for the board involve financial conservancy and continuing to explore new ways to cooperate with the community and continue to attract new fair guests.

In terms of agenda items, Ralston would like to construct a strategic plan for the board and the grounds for maintenance, but also working with emergency & disaster planning and how those events would impact the fair.

Pleasant Township

Christa Rarey | Candidate

While not involved in 4-H herself as a youth, Christa Rarey’s three sons have been involved in the program since the age of 9, and have exhibited various projects at the Hardin County Fair.

If elected, this will be Christa’s first year on the board. She said she has considered running before.

This year the opportunity came up to fill a spot that became available in my township. I decided to run for that opening to fill in for the year to finish the 3 year term of the previous member.

Rarey says she doesn’t have any issues to address, or agenda to fulfill with her time on the board:

I just want to help the other board members in continuing to make our fair one of the best in the state. I love our fair and I do believe it is a great fair because of the support from our fair board members and community.


Roundhead Township

Steve Harpster | Candidate

Steve Harpster, like many, was involved in 4-H at the earliest age. He exhibited swine projects at the fair. His siblings and children, like him, were involved in the program for the nine years that were allowed. He hasn’t ever served on the board before.

Harpster said that the fair serves as an opportunity for youth to develop skills. He notes the wide range of opportunity exhibitors have at the species level (i.e. royalty) and at the fair level (i.e. Junior Fair Board)

Steve’s goals for himself on the board are just simply to get to know the rest of the board and get acclimated as to how the board works. He feels that the fair should be reflective of the county – both agriculture and industry, and feels that the animal agriculture component of the fair is vital to its success.

Washington Township

Craig Stump | Incumbent

Craig Stump got his start at the Hardin County Fair exhibiting projects through his high school Agriculture Education program & FFA Chapter.

He has served on the board for the past six years, serving two terms as Vice-President and a single term as President. Stump has been involved in the racehorse, camping, dairy beef, grounds, entertainment and executive committees among many others.

Craig has a simple goal for his service to the board:

I think our fair offers a great variety of ways for kids and their families to get involved. My goal is to continue to find ways that all generations can take part in the fair.

More information on the election can be found here.

The election is slated for November 3rd from 3:00 pm to 7:00 in the fair office. The annual meeting of the society will be held at 7:30 and the reorganizational meeting will be immediately following, both in the Arts & Crafts Building.