April Board Meeting Postponed

The Hardin County Agricultural Society Board of Directors is postponing their April board meeting out of an abundance of caution for all board members, staff, guests, and to comply with local, state, and federal orders and recommendations. The meeting will be rescheduled at a later date.

Fair office closed to walk-in traffic

Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our team, and in an effort to comply with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s order, The Hardin County Fair office is closed to all walk-in and face-to-face traffic. The fair office team will continue to work remotely, and will be available by email or by phone during normal off-season business hours.

Meet the 2019 fair honorees: Gary and Patti Casteel

Gary and Patti Casteel

The Hardin County Agricultural Society would like to honor Gary & Patti Casteel for their many years of service to the Hardin County Fair. In the early 1970’s Gary worked after hours from his day time job at United Rural Electric with setting poles and re-wiring jobs at the Fairgrounds. Gary started helping out with electrical work in May of 2007. Some of the major projects he assisted with were changing all of the outdoor lighting over to LED lighting and upgrading all of the electrical wiring in the merchant’s building. Patti has been mowing the fairgrounds and helping take care of the flowers on the grounds for many years.

Gary was a member of the Dunkirk Fire Department for 40 years and was their fire chief for 15 of those years. He worked for United Rural Electric (now Mid-Ohio Energy) for 34 years. Patti worked at Hardin Memorial Hospital as a surgery technician for 15 years and also drove a van for the Senior Citizen’s Center. In November of 2003 Gary and Patti sold their home in Dunkirk and in May of 2004 they started traveling full time in their R.V. They have visited every state in the United States, except Hawaii over the years. They say they have the best of both worlds by spending summers at the fairgrounds and winters in Apache Junction Arizona.

Gary and Patti have 5 children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.

Grandstand receives a new coat of paint

An employee of Tooman Roofing and Painting rolls a fresh coat of paint onto the north side of the grandstand.

In order to maintain and preserve the iconic Hardin County Fair grandstand, the Hardin County Fair Board is investing $51,000 in painting the grandstand structure. Each side of the block walls, as well as the roof of the grandstand, will all receive a fresh coat of paint. The iconic letters that read “Hardin County” will be hand painted back on following the completion of the project.

We want to be sure that the grandstand is here and looking it’s best for generations to come. It is an icon recognized around the state, and we are committed to preserving it.

Corey Ledley, Hardin County Fair President

The work is being completed with funds from the Hardin County Agricultural Society’s capital improvement fund in collaboration with funds from the Hardin County Commissioners. The project is being done by Tooman Roofing and Painting of Leipsic Ohio.

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

Fair Prep: Buildings Painted, Fan Installed

The Hardin County Fair board is excitedly preparing for the 2018 Hardin County Fair. Earlier this week, some members of the board installed a new ventilation fan in the Horse & Pony barn.

New exhaust fan installed in the Junior Fair Horse & Pony barn.

Keep Hardin County Beautiful kindly donated a new coat of paint for the Machinery, Fine Arts, and Junior Fair buildings. The board would like to extend their thanks to Keep Hardin County Beautiful.

Another ongoing project on the fairgrounds is pavement resealing. The project was funded by the Hardin County Commissioners. 

Lastly, The Junior Fair Board advisors are hard at work preparing awards for the fair’s shows, contests, and events.

10-year-old Jace Murphy stands holding a first and second place ribbon.

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

Commissioners Assist in Asphalt Resurfacing

At April’s Monthly Board Meeting, Hardin County Commissioner Roger Crowe addressed the Hardin County Fair Board in response to a request to have the County Engineer’s office reseal the county road spaces on the fairgrounds. Crowe made mention that while the engineer’s office was willing to reseal the county roads on the grounds, the office would need further compensation for the parking spaces on the grounds.

Crowe made note that the math equated to a 65/35 split. Commissioner Crowe then told the board that the Commissioners were prepared to cover the remaining balance that would be left to the fair board, which was approximately $8,471.

Kelly “Buck” Buchenroth, chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee expressed the thanks of the board.

We are all very thankful for the help and support from the Commissioners. They are a great asset in keeping the grounds maintained, and mamking it one of the nicest fairgrounds around the area.

Commissioner Crowe commented on behalf of the commissioners:

The Hardin County Commissioners have agreed to cover the cost to treat [the] additional areas.  The total contribution by the Commissioners will be approximately $8,471.  In addition to the road project and as has been done in years past, the County has made a $10,000 contribution to the Agricultural Society.  This contribution has been placed in a capital improvement fund for future use.

Fair Board Celebrates Christmas, Meets for January

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Thursday, December 21, 2017, at the Plaza Inn in Mt. Victory for their January board meeting and Holiday Dinner.  Nighteen directors were present  and 30 guests were present.

Craig Stump, President, called the meeting to order.

Judi Cronley, Notary for the Hardin County Ag. Society, swore in Dale Cockerell, newly appointed Director at Large.

Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension Agent, stated all steers need to be registered by Wednesday, Dec. 27th and then be weighed at the fairgrounds on Saturday, Dec. 30th between the hours of 10am-12 noon.  

Roger Crowe, Hardin County Commissioner, stated his thankfulness to the board and since attending the board meetings this past year– has discovered how much work the directors put into the fairgrounds all year long.

Luke Underwood, Deputy County Engineer, thanked the board for inviting him to the dinner and stated how appreciative he is of the directors and also made the directors aware of a drainage project that will affect the fairgrounds.

Craig Stump then honored the newly past directors – Kerry James for 14 years on the board, Jim Bidwell for 33 years on the board and Ray Davis for 39 years on the Board.  Not present was Jeff Madison, who served 11 years on the board.  

Corey Ledley, Vice President and Chair of the Executive Committee discussed the Fair Committee Assignments for the 2018 Fair.  Judi Cronley discussed the 2017 Annual Report, which then was approved.  It was noted the loan to Quest Federal Credit Union has been paid off and employees have received their bonus checks.  A list of the meeting dates for 2018 were also announced.  

Kelly Buchenroth, chairman of the Grounds Committee, stated they will be meeting after the OFMA convention in January.  

Craig Stump, chairman of the Camping Committee, discussed the meeting that was held with Rick Bard of the Cushman’s Group.  The board accepted the committee’s recommendations for charging the group.  This proposal will be given to the group and they will let the board know in January of their decision.  Craig also discussed a conversation he had with Sue Bailey, representing the Top 20, in regards to using either the Arts/Crafts Building or Community Building for a weekly practice for a couple of hours, for the next 3 months.  The board accepted a recommendation on payment.  

Rob Wilson, representing the entertainment committee, stated they are still in talks about Saturday night’s entertainment and he will be researching possibilities for Wednesday night’s entertainment at the OFMA Convention.  

Don Spar, chairperson of the Livestock Committee, stated there will be a Jr. Fair Livestock Sale Committee Meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 17th at 7pm in the fair office, followed by the Livestock Committees meeting after that meeting.  

Sherri Beale stated the Jr. Fair board members have been set for 2018 and hopes some of them will be able to attend the OFMA convention in January.  

There was no Old Business to discuss.

Under new business:

  • Fair board Directors were paid their annual salary of $1.00
  • It was noted the 4th quarter newsletter has been emailed and there are hard copies available in the office.
  • The Consignment Sale is set for Saturday, March 10th at 9am and rates will remain the same as last year.
  • The Community Building will be used for a week in January by the Police and Sheriff Depts. for a training.
  • The next regular board meeting will be Saturday, February 3rd at 7:30pm in the Fair Office.  This will be the board’s last regular meeting on a Saturday.


Board of Directors Meet in December

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Saturday, December 2, 2017, at the Hardin County Fairgrounds for their monthly board meeting.  Eighteen directors were present and 13 guests were present.

Craig Stump, President, called the meeting to order.

Rick Bard, representing the Mid Ohio Cushman’s Club, requested to have a meeting to discuss the idea of having their annual scooter show at the Hardin County Fairgrounds.  The organization is looking into having a new site for May of 2019.  A meeting was set for Wednesday, Dec. 6th at 1pm to discuss this idea further.  

Nancy Rickenbacher, representing the Jr. Fair Board, stated they are currently looking for new Jr. Fair Board members, with hopes of some of them attending the annual OFMA convention in January.  


A thank you was read from Kim Butcher, Central Ohio Tractor Pullers.

Corey Ledley, Vice President and Chair of the Executive Committee discussed the executive committee meeting minutes.  The board moved to pay off the loan the board has with Quest Federal Credit Union.  The Annual Holiday Dinner at the Plaza Inn Rest., will be on Thursday, Dec. 21st at 6pm.  The board moved to start having a cleaning fee of $200 for use of the chair covers in the community building.  There is currently no charge for using the chair covers and no cleaning fee.  The board also moved to change the linear footage charge for boats, trailers, rv’s etc. from $7.00 to $10.00 – which will go into effect next season.  Meal ticket prices were agreed to change during the 2018 fair to $12 max on the adult meal ticket and increase the Jr. Meal ticket to $6.  Monthly board meetings are being changed to the first Wednesday of each month at 7pm, to start on March 7th, 2018.  The board moved to change the office hourly staff rate and increase the Sec./Treasurer salary.  Employee contracts were updated for 2018.  The 2018 budget was approved.  Jason Fulton was nominated for the Buck Twp. Director for one year.  Current directors then voted by paper for the Director at Large Vacancy for one year.  Those interested in the position were:  Jeff Haudenschield, Justin Dick, Eric Haudenschield, Earnie Davis and Dale Cockerell.  After voting was done, the top vote getter was Dale Cockerell.  The 2018 code of conduct was then signed by all board members.  Judi Cronley then swore in directors Jeff Morris and Jason Fulton.  Two new members for the executive committee were voted on by paper vote with Howard Lyle and Paul Ralston winning those votes.  They will join committee members:  Craig Stump, President, Corey Ledley, Vice President, Kelly Buchenroth, and Brad Murphy.  

Kelly Buchenroth, chairman of the Grounds Committee, stated they are working on prices for trading in the mower.  Judi Cronley stated winter storage is full except for small items and vehicles that can still be stored.  

Rob Wilson, representing the entertainment committee, discussed the entertainer survey that was done through Facebook.  Dylan Scott, with an opener, won by a 77% margin over Michael Ray.  There were 456 people who voted.  The board moved to offer Dylan Scott more money to try and secure him as our entertainer if needed.  Rob discussed the KOI drag racing idea for Wednesday night of the fair and needs ideas for the Hour of Inspiration.  Brad Murphy then discussed other free entertainment for the week of the fair.  The board moved to have Bear Hollow Wood Carvers and a glass blower for the week.    

Judi Cronley announced there are still 16 families that need to cash their Jr. Fair Livestock exhibitor checks.  Don Spar stated he will address this issue.  It was noted internet options for fairground use and especially for the Jr. Fair Livestock Sale are being researched.  Don Spar announced the Jr. Fair Livestock Sale Committee will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 17th at 7pm with the Livestock Committees meeting after this meeting.  

Under old business:  

Judi Cronley discussed those wanting to attend the annual OFMA convention in January.  

Under new business:

It was announced Ray Davis will be inducted into the Ohio Fair Managers Associations Hall of Fame on Sunday, Jan. 7th, 2018.  Other inductees from Hardin County have been Giles Koehler in 1997 and Dave Howard in 2007.  The Board will receive one communication award during the Ohio Dept. of Ag. Breakfast, also on Sunday, Jan. 7th.  The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, December 21st at 6:00pm at the Plaza Inn Rest, in Mt. Victory for a dinner and meeting.  The board will be honoring 4 past directors for their long time service to the board.