Board holds July meeting

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Wednesday, July 1, 2020, for their July board meeting.  Sixteen directors were present (Andrew Scharf, Dan Beale, Justin Beale, Kelly Buchenroth, Craig Decker, Austin Eibling, Craig Stump, Steve Harpster, Corey Ledley, Jack McBride, Brad Murphy, Paul Ralston, Christa Rarey, Jason Fulton, and Rob Wilson.) Ten guests were present (Pete Fout, Mark Badertscher, Roger Crowe, Kolt Buchenroth, Tim Thomas, JR Woods, Denise Woods, Todd Bidlack, Aaron Thompson, Sherri Beale, Nancy Rickenbacher, Mark Light, Marissa Osborne, Catharine Osborne, Kenny Kearns, Preston Brien, Doris Ralston.)

Corey Ledley, Board President, called the meeting to order.

Kenny Kearns asked if the board will allow a draft horse show.

Mark Light, Associate Professor, 4-H Youth Development – Ohio State Extension Hardin County told the board that Extension staff will be conducing non-livestock project judging which will save the board $600 in judges. The judging will be spread over six days. Light also shared that 4-H Clubs can meet in person now and requested that clubs be allowed to meet outdoors on the fairgrounds. It was noted that horse workouts could begin again while following 4-H’s guidelines.

Jami Dellifield, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator – Ohio State Extension Hardin County presented questions and options regarding dish days and other presentations during the fair. She presented ideas for how these events could be held with regards to coronavirus. More planning will be conducted regarding this topic.

Lori Wilson had questions about how the fair is operating this year. More planning will be conducted regarding this topic.

Paul Ralston moved to accept the minutes of the last meeting. Dan Beale seconded the motion. Motion Passed

In correspondence, a letter from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Director of Agriculture Dorothy Pelenda was shared.

Brad Murphy, Vice President and Chairperson of the Executive Committee, read the minutes from the meeting on June 17th. Craig Stump moved to accept the minutes; Steve Harpster seconded. Motion passed. Brad Murphy continued by presenting the minutes of the July 1st Meeting. Extensive discussion followed regarding the capacity in which to hold the 2020 fair. It was recommended by the Executive Committee to have a full fair. Kelly Buchenroth moved to accept the recommendation. Craig Stump seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Paul Ralston moved to apply for the grant money from the State of Ohio in the amount of $50,000.

Brad Murphy gave the floor to JR Woods of Durant Amusements who explained why they will not be operating this year. Durant is offering to subcontract with Jessop Amusements. Charlie McCullough moved to allow Durant Amusements to subcontract with Jessop Amusements to provide rides for the 2020 fair. Craig Stump seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Kelly Buchenroth, chairperson of the Building & Grounds Committee noted that JB Tubular is working on the railing for the Community Building accessibility entrance. The last day to store vehicles in the Merchant’s building is July 31st. Hand Sanitizers and signage needs hung around the grounds.

It was noted at the meeting that Livestock judges are needed for Wednesday’s beef show, sheep, and dairy shows. Horse shot records must be turned into the secretary’s office by August 1st. Rabbit tattooing is scheduled for Saturday, August 8th from 9-11am.

Sherri Beale, Junior Fair Board Advisor, noted that the Junior Fair Board has been meeting virtually, and held their first in-person meeting on Monday, June 29th. They have elected officers and Preston Brien was introduced as the president. Brad Murphy made the request that all Junior Fair Board members be heavily encouraged to attend the work sessions.

It was noted that the fair book is ready and will be made available online soon. It was also noted that all fair communications need to be directed through Kolt Buchenroth, Marketing & Communication Director.

Kolt Buchenroth gave an update regarding upgrades in the fair technology system.

Paul Ralston, Chairperson of the gates committee noted that Wednesday is available for any non-profit group that would be interested in working the gates. This is a fundraiser for non-profit groups in the community.

Under old business:

It was noted that The ODA grant was awarded for $50,000 for capital improvement. The first request for this money was sent for $38,801.82 for new sound equipment. Other funds will be used for the digital sign. Dylan Shepherd has done his part of the landscaping at the Community Building. The Paycheck Protection Program was extended and the $13,000 was given to the society will all be used.

Under new business:

The board was reminded of the open class and junior fair entry dates. Junior Fair entries can be made until July 31st. Open Class entries can be made between August 1st and August 21st. The fair office will be opened on August 10th Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm. Work sessions for fair directors and committee members will be held next week. The schedule was emailed to board members. All members are expected to attend. The next special board meeting is Wednesday, July 15th at 7pm.

State Representative Jon Cross voiced his support of the board for deciding to have a full fair. He reminded the board about the $50,000 coming from the legislature and clarified that there are no stipulations on how that money will be spent.

County Commissioner Roger Crowe noted that the commissioners are supportive and thankful that the board is moving forward with a full fair.

Charlie McCullough moved to adjourn.  Seconded by Justin Beale. Motion passed.

2020 Hardin County Fair To Take Place as Scheduled September 8-13th

Visitors and Participants Will Notice Modifications to Protect Public Health

The Hardin County Fair is on schedule for September 8th-13th, 2020. The health and safety of the community is and always will be the highest priority in producing the annual fair. In the interest of public health, the fair is working to implement a series of modifications to make the fair safer for all involved. Those modifications will be announced as soon as they are finalized.

“We listened to our community stakeholders through our survey,” said Corey Ledley, Hardin County Fair Board President. “The results were overwhelming. We are thankful that our fair has such strong support from the community and that the current state restrictions were relaxed enough for us to hold a fair.”

Fair organizers are cautiously optimistic and will continue to watch for any new developments around COVID-19 that would impact the fair operation, and make modifications accordingly.

“The Hardin County Fair exists to strengthen Hardin County and bring people together,” said Ledley. “We are dedicated to being part of our collective well-being and look forward to our annual event treasured by so many in our community.”

July Meeting Agenda Set

  1. Call to Order
  2. Guests (3-5 minute speaking time allotted)
  3. Correspondence  
  4. Minutes of last meeting
  5. Financial Reports
  6. Bills to Approve
  7. Committee Reports:
    • Executive Committee
    • Strategic Planning
    • Grounds Committee
    • Camping Committee
    • Entertainment Committee
      • Grandstand entertainment
    • Livestock Committees
    • Rides and Concessions
    • Junior Fair Board Report
    • Advertising/Sponsorship Committee
    • Tech. Committee
    • Other Committees
      • Fair Book
  8. Old Business
  9. New Business

Fairgrounds rentals reinstated

The Hardin County Fair Board has voted to reinstate fairgrounds rentals effective Thursday, June 4th 2020. All renters will have to follow all guidelines released by the state. Renters will have to submit a plan of how they will be following the guidelines to the Secretary’s Office and will have to abide by the coronavirus capacity policy. Additionally, renters will be required to sign an affidavit certifying that they will follow all guidelines.

Fair Decision Date Set

The Hardin County Fair is still on schedule for September 8th – 13th. While we are all facing many uncertainties, our team is optimistic and continuing to prepare and plan. The safety and well-being of our guests, exhibits, exhibitors, partners, and community comes first, so we are closely following the directives of local and national health agencies.

We will make an informed decision about whether or not to hold the fair as scheduled, based on what’s in the best interest of public health, on or before August 5th, 2020. 

“The Hardin County Fair is our community’s premier event each year,” said Corey Ledley, Hardin County Fair Board President. “We are committed to making an informed decision that is the best-case scenario for our community.”

We are grateful for the community’s patience and support as we move through these unprecedented times together.

Fair Board seeks community input with survey

The Hardin County Fair Board is seeking the input of exhibitors, buyers, potential guests, campers, and community members. The survey is designed to gauge stakeholders’ opinions on holding a modified fair in varying degrees.

“The fair is for the youth and for the community,” said Corey Ledley, Hardin County Fair Board President. “We are using this survey to get an accurate read on what the community is feeling.”

While the decision to hold or not hold a fair will not be made solely on this data, it will play a role. All members of the Hardin County community and anyone who engages in the Hardin County fair is encouraged to take the survey.

The survey can be accessed at

Fair Board Meeting Held In Person

The June meeting of the Hardin County Fair Board will be held in person on June 3rd, 2020 at 7 p.m in the Arts & Crafts Building. All guidelines pertaining to general office environments will be in effect. As mandated by the Kenton-Hardin Health Department, the meeting will be limited to ten guests in-person. Due to this restriction, guests are asked to register ahead of time by calling 419-675-2396. After the ten-guest limit is reached, additional guests must join via video conference.

Swine Registration Open

Swine registration for the 2020 Hardin County Fair is now open. In addition to the animal photos that are required, exhibitors will be required to submit an affidavit from the breeder via online form certifying that the animals have never been fed Ractopamine during the entirety of its life. Another affidavit signature will be required from the exhibitor upon weigh in on Monday, September 7th.

Questions may be directed to Swine Superintendent Charlie McCullough at 419-674-6759 for more information regarding this decision. 

Exhibitor Resources

Ractopamine-Free Hardin County Fair

Swine Registration