Hardin County Fair Swine Show goes Ractopamine-Free

The Hardin County Fair Swine Committee has unanimously made the decision to prohibit the use of Ractopamine (commonly known by trade names Paylean® and Optaflexx®) in Market Hogs being shown at the 2020 Hardin County Fair.  

After multiple options were considered, the best option for our youth exhibitors was to ban the use entirely. This decision was based on recommendations made by the Ohio State Fair, Ohio State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey, Ohio State University Extension Swine Specialist Dr. Steve Moeller, and potential market outlets.

An affidavit will be required from the breeder and turned in upon registration and a second affidavit signature will be required from the exhibitor upon weigh in on Monday, September 7th. Both forms must be submitted in order to remain on the grounds and show in either the Market or Born and Raised shows. These documents will state that the animal has never been fed Ractopamine during the entirety of its life.   

Any and all hogs are subject to testing at any time during the Hardin County Fair. Grand and Reserve Champion animals will be tested as testing permits. Any violators will be subject to forfeiture of premiums, trophies, fair ban for individuals or families and/or financial restitution.

If for any reason a packer is unable to be contracted, exhibitors will be responsible to take their market animal home for harvest or breeding purposes. Grand and Reserve Champions will remain terminal per state mandate. 

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

Exhibitor Resources

Hardin County Fair Considers Banning Ractopamine

Dr. Tony M. Forshey, DVM, Chief of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health and state veterinarian is calling on county fairs to voluntarily control the use of Ractopamine in hogs. In response to that, the Hardin County Fair Swine Committee is considering banning the substance. The issue stems from foreign trade with China, which has banned the product.

“We are weighing all of the options,” said Charlie McCullough, chairman of the fair’s swine committee. “We want to make sure we provide the best opportunities for our youth. That includes ensuring youth have a place to market their product at the conclusion of the fair.”

Ractopamine is the active ingredient in commercial feed products such as Paylean and Optaflexx. Ractopamine is permitted for use in the US according to the Food and Drug Administration, and is safe for human consumption.

A final decision on the use of Ractopamine products will be made well in advance of the June 1 livestock ownership deadline. The decision will be announced on hardincountyfair.org, Hardin County Fair social media outlets, and local news media. Fair exhibitors will also be notified by their 4-H and FFA Advisors.

Poultry Show Split

The Hardin County Fair’s Poultry committee has chosen to break up the all-day poultry event for the 2020 Hardin County Fair. The poultry show will be split into two days. On Tuesday, September 8th, starting at 8am will be the Junior Fair Market Poultry Show. On Thursday, September 10th, starting at 9am will be the Junior Fair Poultry Showmanship and Breed Show. Peewee Poultry Showmanship will also be held Thursday.  

Also noted at the committee meeting, the show will feature a pen of two market ducks. More information will be communicated from the committee at the poultry banquet, the poultry clinic on June 20th, and in future documents.

New Weight Limit for Dairy Beef Feeder Weigh In

The Hardin County Fair Dairy Beef committee has introduced a new rule for dairy beef feeder exhibitors. According to the committee, to prevent having a maximum weight limit at the fair, a 350-pound weight limit will be enforced at the weigh in on Saturday, May 25th from 8:00 am to 10:30 am.

Fair veterinarians from Diamond M Veterinary Clinic will be at the weigh-in to administer the mandatory vaccines. They will also be providing castration and dehorning services.

Maximum Sheep Weight Change Reverted

There is a lot of confusion about the maximum weight of market lambs at our June 8, 2019, weigh in.  The information on the flyer that was handed out and posted in the sheep barn, as well as reiterated at the banquets did not make the fair book this year. The fair book is the official rules of our fair and cannot be altered after printing, therefore we will be following the rules as stated in the fair book.  The difference in wording was completely overlooked at the time of editing. I understand that this affects a lot of projects and I, as the chairman, take responsibility for this. It is not the intention of the sheep department committee nor my own to create problems but to try and create a “market project” and be fair to all.

This along with rules set in the past will be addressed. 

Please DO NOT call the fair office or the extension office to voice your opinions, this matter does not pertain to them and they CAN NOT answer any questions.

This is a sheep department issue and it will be resolved.

My apologies from myself ,the committee and the board.


Mark Garmon

Beef Feeder Tags, Shots Required by June 1st

Edited to reflect updated information regarding the tagging process.

Official Hardin County Fair ear tags for Junior Fair Beef Feeder projects are now available for pickup. Exhibitors can either transport their animal to the Diamond M Veterinary Clinic during normal office hours (Weekdays 8:00 am – 6:30 pm, Saturday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm) or schedule a farm call. These tags, along with the first dose of vaccinations that must also be given by Diamond M staff, must be administered by the fair-wide June 1st livestock ownership deadline.