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.

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.

Consignment Sale Cancelled Amid Coronavirus Concerns

In response to the order signed by Ohio Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine prohibiting large gatherings, the Hardin County Agricultural Society has been forced to cancel the consignment sale scheduled for Saturday, March 14th.

The Hardin County Agricultural Society has been in contact with and consulting state government, local emergency management and public health officials in making this decision.

Individuals who have consigned items must pick their items up no later than Sunday, March 15th. Volunteers will be available to assist in loading until 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday March 13th from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 14th from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Additional information on the virus and preventative measures are available at coronavirus.ohio.gov

March Meeting Held

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Wednesday, March 4, 2020, for their March board meeting.  Twenty directors were present and fifteen guests were present.

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

Doug and Kileen Payne’s family were present at the meeting to donate a wheelbarrow and 4 shop brooms to the swine barn.  Fred Rush, Candidate running for Hardin County Commissioner, was present.  Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources, encouraged everyone to attend the many livestock banquets that are being held this month.  Roger Crowe, Hardin County Commissioner, expressed his thanks to the fair board and stated the commissioners are available for the board.

Under correspondence a thank you from Pastor Anita Van Buskirk, from the Bread of Life Food Pantry, was read – thanking the board for their donation of whole hog pork and sausage.

Brad Murphy, Vice President and Chairperson of the Executive Committee, stated the Executive Committee will meet this month to go over the strategic plan and then bring recommendations back to the board next month.  Brad requested the strategic plan be emailed to all directors for them to review before the executive committee meets.

Craig Stump, chairman of the camping committee, stated there are 14 fair camping sites that will be available for this year’s fair.  No money was received by 4 of those campers, so their campsites were given to one of the 50 on the waiting list.  Waiting list campers will be called soon to fill those spots.

Rob Wilson, chairperson of the entertainment committee, stated he is currently working on getting a speaker and the music lined up for the Hour of Inspiration.  Contracts were received today for the Hardin County Tractor Pull and Central Ohio Tractor Pull for Friday night of the fair. 

The board moved to accept the swine committee’s recommendation for the 2020 Hardin County Fair Swine Show to be ractopamine-free.  An affidavit will be required from the breeder and a second affidavit will be required from the exhibitor upon weigh in on Monday, Sept. 7th.  More information regarding this can be found on the fair’s website at hardincountyfair.org/ractopamine.  The board also agreed to ban the use of ractopamine on the entire grounds during the week of the fair.

Brad Murphy, chairperson of the concession dept., stated concession and vendor contracts will be mailed on March 20th.

Amanda Murphy, Jr. Fair Board Advisor, stated they will be having a speaker at their next meeting on Monday, March 23rd at 8pm.  The speaker will be the 2017 NY FFA President.  She also stated the members are currently signing up for committees. 

Brad Murphy discussed with the board the meeting held with the Kenton Times about the Fair Book.  Jake McFadden, advertising/Sponsorship Committee Chairperson, stated follow up calls were made to some sponsors who hadn’t responded by the March 1st deadline.

Jake McFadden, also discussed the upgrades needed for the fair’s laptops.  He also stated he’s working on getting a radio rental contract for the 2020 fair.

It was noted the fair book is going through an edit right now and will be sent back to chair people for final revisions soon.  Paul Ralston gave the 2019 Fair Foundation Report.  As of 12/31/2019, there is a balance of $114,779.85 with interest (18.68%) earned in 2019 being $17,585.92.  Total deposits for 2019 was $9,755.

Under old business:

The Fairground Annual Consignment Sale is scheduled for Saturday, March 14th, starting at 9am.  Items to be consigned need to be dropped off on either Wednesday, March 11th, Thursday, March 12th or Friday, March 13th from 9am-5pm.  Final request for anyone interested in attending the District 1 & 2 Spring Meeting was received.

Under new business: Judges for the Fair – in all areas – need to be submitted by the next board meeting – April 1st.  Boats, trailers, and campers that are currently being stored for the winter, will be ready for pickup Saturday, April 11th.  Reminder letters will be sent this month.  The board agreed to pay the deposit to Classic Trophy and Engraving.  The board moved to also have 2 display cases built.  The next board meeting will be Wednesday, April 1st at 7:00pm in the Fair Office.

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

Board holds February meeting

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Wednesday, February 5, 2020, for their February board meeting.  Eighteen directors were present and fifteen guests were.

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

Candidates running for two of the County Commissioner seats were present to speak to the board.  Those candidates were Bob Carder, Fred Rush, Russ Blue and Alan Long.

Mark Light, Hardin County OSU Extension Agent, talked about a new Hardin County 4-H app they are designing. 

Mark Badertscher, Hardin County OSU Extension Agent, spoke about having Ractopamine-Free Swine Projects.

Amanda Murphy, Jr. Fair board Advisor, requested the King & Queen Contest be changed from 7pm to 6:30pm.  The board agreed to accept this change.

Nancy Rickenbacher, Jr. Fair board Advisor, stated there are still opportunities for people to be a sponsor for trophy’s, stall signs, ribbons, etc.  If anyone is interested in being a sponsor they should call the OSU/Hardin County Extension Office at 419-674-2297 and ask for Carol Wagner.

Kenny Kearns asked the board if they were still interested in having a draft horse show during the fair.  The board said yes.

Under correspondence an anonymous letter was received and read by Corey Ledley.  The board agreed that the question being raised, is being handled correctly with the fair board. 

Brad Murphy stated there are still 5 directors that needed to sign their conflict of interest statements.  Those were then all received.  The Fair Board agreed to keep box seat prices at $500 and the daily gate admission price to $8.00.  The board moved to change the open class entry price to $1.00 from $.50.  The board voted on a list of nominees for the 2020 fair honoree.  Janie and Dick Seiler were then nominated by the board for this honor. 

Brad stated that the strategic plan will be reviewed at the next board meeting.

Kelly Buchenroth discussed the Ground’s meeting minutes from January 22nd.  The furnace in the shop and beef restroom had to be replaced this past month.  The Fair Board Lawn mower will be traded in for a mower from Ritchey Auto Sales.  New tables need to be purchased for the Community Building and items from the fairgrounds to be sold at the consignment sale were discussed. The Ground’s Committee Minutes were accepted.  The board moved to apply for a Hardin County Community Foundation Grant for beautification to the Community Building.    

Craig Stump, chairman of the camping committee, stated camping rent has been coming in with around 90 fair campers still needing to pay.  The deadline to pay for your fair camping spot is Friday, Feb. 14th.  Emails were sent on January 8th about the camping rents being due on Feb. 14th.  One follow-up call will be given to those not paid by Feb. 14th.

The list of grandstand prices for the week of the fair were discussed with a rodeo on Saturday having 7 events, beginning at 6pm with prices at $5.00 for general admission and $10.00 for pit passes.  The board accepted all of the rates for the grandstand events.  Other free entertainment during the week of the fair was noted as COSI on Saturday, Columbus Zoo on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Bear Hollow Wood Carver on Thursday – Saturday, and a petting zoo all week with pig races.  A magician is also being discussed that would roam the fairgrounds throughout the week. 

Jack McBride discussed a new ODA rule for sheep and goats this year.  That rule states that sheep and goats moving in slaughter channels must have an owner/shipper statement with a group/lot identification.  The trucker will need to have this statement.  There will be no Pullorum testing for poultry this year and the swine committee is working on what to do about having a Paylean-Free Swine exhibit.  There will be more information in the near future on the Paylean subject for the 2020 Hardin County Fair.  Dale Cockerell stated there were 37 beef steers and 27 dairy steers tagged on December 28th.

Brad Murphy stated ride prices will remain the same as last year with the Fair using Durant Amusements as their ride company.

A list of Jr. Fair Board kids was distributed, with their first meeting being Monday, February 24th.

Kolt Buchenroth went over the new Sponsorship packet that was sent to the public this past week.  Minutes from the Advertising/Sponsorship Committee was discussed.  A meeting is scheduled with the Kenton Times for Monday, Feb. 10th

Kolt also discussed the minutes from the tech. committee.  It was noted a recording box will be on hand for meetings that it may necessary to use.  MARCS radios will not be used for this year’s fair and other radio rentals will be researched. 

Under old business:

The Fairground Annual Consignment Sale is scheduled for Saturday, March 14th, starting at 9am.  The consignment sale committee is having a conference call with a new program that will be used for the sale.  There will be 3 rings used for the sale this year. 

Under new business:

The District 1 & 2 Spring Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 28th at the Wood County Fair Grounds in Bowling Green – starting at 10am.  It was noted the 4th of July account has been closed and is now in the hands of the Kenton Little League.  Fair whole hog sausage/pork was donated to the organization Bread of Life, ran by the Kenton Full Gospel Church.  The next board meeting will be Wednesday, March 4th at 7:00pm in the Fair Office.

Camping Fee Deadline Nearing

Time is running out for those not yet paid for reserved camping spaces at the 2020 Hardin County Fair. Camping fees of $190 are due to the Hardin County Fair by Friday February 14th, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Payments can be dropped off at the fairgrounds during normal business hours Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. After hours, there is a drop box located adjacent to the Secretary’s Office door.

Those with questions can contact the Hardin County Fair Secretary’s Office by calling (419) 675-2396 or emailing [email protected]

February Meeting Agenda

  • Call to Order
  • Guests
  • Correspondence  
  • Minutes of last meeting
  • Financial Reports
    • Bills to Approve
  • Committee Reports:
    • Executive Committee
      • Nominate a Fair Honoree(s)
    • Strategic Planning
    • Grounds Committee
    • Entertainment Committee
    • Livestock Committees
    • Rides and Concessions
    • Junior Fair Board Report
    • Advertising/Sponsorship Committee
    • Tech. Committee
    • Other Committees
  • Old Business
  • New Business

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.