Sheep Exhibitor Registration

In order to maintain a uniform standard among the livestock species, the Hardin County Fair Sheep Department will be requiring registration before weigh-in and tagging of all market lambs exhibited at the Hardin County Fair. There will be a limit of four lambs registered per exhibitor and one family tag however; there will still be the limit of two per exhibitor for fair exhibition. 

Lamb weigh-in/tagging is being held at the Hardin County Fairgrounds on the second Saturday of June, June 8, 2019, from 8-10am. Participation in this weigh-in/tagging is required for exhibition at the Hardin County Fair. 
The June 1 ownership deadline is still required, while the deadline for registration will be the first Monday in June, June 3, 2019. Registration information will be sent via e-mail no later than April 19 and will be available on the OSU Extension website

Any questions or concerns are to be directed to the Hardin County Fairboard Sheep Committee at 419-679-6049.

CORRECTION: Beef Weigh In Times

The Hardin County Fair Beef Department is issuing a correction to the Hardin County Fair Premium Book.

According to beef department superintendent Dale Cockerell, The market beef weigh-in will be on Monday, September 3rd from 4:00pm to 5:00pm – beginning with beef feeders.

Page 25 of the fair book incorrectly states that beef feeders will be weighed from 6:30-7:30, and steers will weigh from 7:00-8:00. Again, those time are INCORRECT.

The beef department would also like to remind exhibitors that all beef projects must be in-place by 3:30 on Monday, September 3rd.

You can find scale times, contest rules, and more resources on our Junior Fair Exhibitor Information Page.

#ShowboxSaturday | Beef | Kody Buchenroth

For our next installment of #ShowboxSaturday, we visit the beef projects, and Kody Buchenroth, who is on the beef committee of the Hardin County Junior Fair Board. Kody is a member of the Boots & Buckles 4-H Club and the Kenton-OHP FFA Chapter. He has been involved in the fair for the past eight years exhibiting Dairy Beef Feeders.

Kody said that extra essentials are important to have in the show box.

“Some helpful items to have in your show box would be an extra halter, neck rope, feed pan and water bucket,” said Buchenroth.

Buchenroth also advised having additional items on hand for show day.

“Keep an extra scotch comb, show stick and paper towels or a rag. A spare change of show close won’t hurt either because you never know what may happen in the barn,” said Kody.

Kody said he would tell beginning members that all of their hard work will pay off.

“Keep your eyes on the judge and your smile ear to ear because next thing you know it will be your last year,” he said.

#ShowboxSaturday | Goats | Meredith Bischoff

We visit newly relocated Goat Department for this edition of #Showbox Saturday. And our Junior Fair Expert is Meredith Bischoff.

Meredith is the Vice President of the Kenton-OHP FFA chapter and is a member of the Jumbo Junior Farmers 4-H Club. She has been showing at the Hardin County Fair for the past nine years.

She suggests keeping a spray bottle and brush handy in the show box. To avoid the risk fo illness, Meredith suggests spraying dirt spots on the animal and brushing them out, versus bathing them completely.

In addition to that, Meredith recommends having more than one show collar in the event one would break, or two animals are entered in the same class.

As far as advice goes for young exhibitors, Meredith said “I would encourage first year show men to watch the senior showmen class. It can really help you understand what to do.”

She also recommends asking questions to more seasoned showmen for clarification.

#ShowboxSaturday | Dairy | Laney Harpel

Laney Harpel takes instruction for 2018 Fair Honoree Jim Bidwell while showing her dairy heifer in 2015.


In this edition of #ShowboxSaturday, we go straight to the professionals. We met Dairy Princess Laney Harpel. She is a member of the Kenton-OHP FFA Chapter. Laney has been exhibiting dairy projects at the Hardin County Fair since the age of nine.

When it comes to the all-important show box, Harpel just recommends the basics:

  • Halters
  • Brushes
  • Bathing Supplies

Harpel also recommends a number holder, versus pinning an exhibitor number directly to a show shirt. She also said scissors will come in handy.

Harpel recommends studying up on the dairy industry and project information to answer any possible questions!

#ShowboxSaturday | Poultry | Chase Fleece

When it comes to the most exhibited project on the fairgrounds, it is also one of the easiest to exhibit.

In this edition of #ShowboxSaturday, we sit down with former poultry king, Chase Fleece. Fleece is a member of the Buckeye Shooters 4-H club, and a member of the Kenton-OHP FFA Chapter. He has been showing poultry projects at the Hardin County Fair for seven years.

Fleece said that first year showmen should trust in their ability to present their animal during a show. Chase also said that he encourages all members to participate in the showmanship contest to learn and experience more. Fleece said embracing that opportunity will lead future exhibitors to become a master of their craft.

Chase said that beyond the basics, a simple bottle of hand sanitizer is recommended. Fleece said that hygiene is important when it comes to being at the fair and handling livestock. He said keeping a disinfectant in your show box will help cut down on the risk of becoming sick.

In addition to his poultry production project, Chase has an Agricultural Communication SAE where he covers agriculture news and events for WKTN Radio. Fleece is also active in public service and athletics.

#ShowboxSaturday | Rabbits | Cami Lowery

Cami Lowery is the President of the Country Timers 4-H Club and a member of the Ridgemont FFA chapter. She has been involved in the Hardin County fair for 8 years and has shown, poultry, pygmy goats, horses, beef cows, dairy cows, and rabbits.

Lowery has always shown rabbits, and they have always been her favorite project. In addition to showing at the Hardin County Fair, she has shown at the State and National Levels where she has won showmanship.

Aside from the necessities of feed and water, Cami encourages showmen to bring water from home that the animals are used to. Lowery said that sometimes the city water that the fair uses can make the animals go off water, or make them sick. Lowery also brings grass hay for her rabbits.

Lowery also recommends bringing grooming supplies for the animals:

Rabbit Toenail Clippers
Show Sheen

For warmer temperatures (which can be expected following the Labor Day holiday) Lowery will place frozen water bottles in her animal’s cages to keep them cool.

Lowery recommends that all first-year showmen read and review the rabbit 4-H Guide Book that members should have received when they started their project. She said “It has an abundant amount of knowledge for beginners.”

Lowery said that utilizing veteran showmen is the best way to learn the trade.

“Observe older showman and if you have questions, feel free to ask them or the royalty.” Lowery said. “The main thing I try to convince kids of is to refrain from holding their rabbits, especially when it’s hot.”

Lowery said that rabbits can become overheadted very easily and can become agitated. She recommends leaving the animal in the cage as long as possible, or if an exhibitor wants to bring the animal to the arena, place them in a carrier with some water. Leaving the animal alone will make it much happier when it’s being shown.

The most important lesson of all, however, Lowery says is to have fun, and learn from your mistakes to make you better for the future.

#ShowboxSaturday | Swine | Garrett Thomas

Welcome to the first article in our “Show box Saturday” series. This series is designed to provide tips and tricks for incoming showman, young and old alike. We sat down with some seasoned showmen and junior fair board members to learn everything there is to learn about their respective species. 

We begin with Garrett Thomas who is an eight-year swine showman, a Hardin County Junior Fair Board member, and is the president of the Kenton-OHP FFA Chapter. Garrett says that the Hardin County Fair is one “like no other.”

Thomas said one of the keys to success is to “Just relax, have fun, and smile.”

“The first year is seeing what showing is like and meeting new friends…Trophies and ribbons will come with time and hard work!” said Thomas.

Thomas, spends the majority of his time in the swine barn, but notes the connection of all livestock barns is to credit for forming those friendships.

When it comes to handy things to have ready in the show box, Garrett has a few helpful tips.

“A spray bottle to keep your pig clean in the pen without having to take them out to wash everyday. Also, safety pins to pin your number on your show shirt.” said Thomas.

“The last thing that is always helpful is a small pocket brush and rag for the show arena, should you need to wipe something off your pig.” he said.

In addition to his swine operation, he has a Grain Entrepreneurship Supervised Agricultural Experience where he rents land to grow corn, soybeans, and wheat crops. He also serves on the Junior Fair Board’s Swine Committee.

Junior Fair Expectations for Livestock Sale

Understand the sale

Exhibitors: Please understand that even though you are walking your animal through the sale ring and “bids” are taken, this sale is not a livestock auction in the true meaning of the words. Very few bidders actually buy the animal (take the meat). In the ring, bidders are actually saying “this is the amount that we are contributing to this child for the great work they have done with their project”.  Animals are sold to the livestock dealers (packers); they are the actual “buyers”.

Remember that any premium you receive, above the market value of that animal, is a gift from the sale bidders to you as an exhibitor.   

Pre-sale Information

Exhibitors are encouraged to invite potential bidders to the sale, but not to directly ask them to bid on your project. These invitations should be sent 2-3 weeks prior to the fair. Invitations can be in the form of a letter, card, or phone call. Include the following information:

  • Information about you, your parents, your club or chapter, and your project
  • Ask them to “support the sale” (not buy your animal)
  • Date, time, and location of the sale (September 8th, 8am)
  • Photo of you with your animal(s)
  • Proper spelling & grammar are important.  Make sure all words are spelled correctly and hand written notes are easy to read.  

Only contact potential bidders whom you have a personal connection with, such as:

  • Feed store/other business your family patronizes
  • Family members/friends of the family
  • Buyers who have purchased your animal in the past (be sure to thank them again in your invitation)

During the Fair

Exhibitors that have sold animals at the previous fair are expected have some type of display/poster/banner thanking last year’s bidders. This thank you doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy – just a sincere sign of appreciation. Bidders often walk through the barns and appreciate seeing their names recognized.    

Pro-Tip: Animals should be presented to the best of the exhibitors ability, donors walking through the barns appreciate the work that you do in keeping your animals, pens and aisles clean. Be sure to give a little extra attention to your area on sale days.    

Sale Day


Youth and family members should NOT be in the show arena during the sale unless they are in the ring selling or thanking a bidder AFTER their animal has been sold.  The only people who should be in the show arena are those bidding on animals.

Multiple bidder sheets are to be used at the sale by sale donors ONLY, they are not to be in the possession of members or parents. These sheets were designed to help bidders come together and organize their donations for a single child. They are not to be used by families to collect bids.

Take time to find bidders(s) and express appreciation after the animal is sold.  Exhibitors are encouraged to shake their buyers’ hand and tell them “thank you” directly, as well as reminded to thank back bidders, who drove up the price of your animal.  The sale will still be going on during this time. Exhibitors should be mindful to show respect to the bidder’s time, as they may still be bidding on other animals.    

Bidders have expressed discomfort and frustration about being approached by families to bid or add on bids at the sale. Several bidders have expressed that they do not intend to return to the fair sale because of the “greed” and “lack of appreciation” they feel is being exhibited by some families. Again, any premium you receive, above the market value of that animal, is a gift from the sale donors to you as an exhibitor. No one is under any obligation to bid or give you more.

Post Sale

Exhibitors are expected write thank you cards to your sale bidders and those who provided add-on bids. Thank you notes should be sent within a week from fair move out day. Thank you cards should include:

  • Express appreciation for their support in buying your animal
  • Something you learned or a skill you gained from the project
  • Your name and club
  • Photo of you from fair if possible

Pro-Tip: Deliver thank you notes in person.  Dress nicely when you deliver thank you notes, and be sure to express your appreciation verbally as well. Exhibitors may also consider buying an ad in the local newspaper thanking your buyers after the fair.

Click to download the letter to exhibitors from the Hardin County OSU Extension Office.

2018 Junior Fair Board

Row 1: Amanda Murphy, Sherri Beale, McKenzie Long, Emma Miller, Rylie Bame, Mekenzie Jolliff, Mackenzie Rader, Cami Lowery, Megan Miller, Gabby Weaver, Olivia Whiting, Meredith Bischoff, Balie Clark, Keyana Miller, Paul Rickenbacher

Row 2: Seth McElree, Seth Davis, Rebecca Bash, Madisen Jolliff, Larrah Lones, Hayden Robinson, Chase Fleece, David Heilman, Evan Lyle, Zachery Madden, Kelley Wright, Adri Wright, Emma Jameson, Mark Light, Nancy Rickenbacher

Row 3: Miguel Jordan, Noah Garmon, Brice Ferguson, Holden Purdy, Austin Amburgy, Kylie Turner, Haley Hunt, Jessica Breidenbach, Madelyn Sanders, Lexie Oates, Jacob Butterfield, Morgan Pauley, Brock Davis

Row 4: Drew Hoppe, Kody Buchenroth, Nathan Mattison