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Ag Society holds October board meeting

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Wednesday, October 4, 2023, for their October monthly board meeting.  Sixteen directors and ten guests were present.

Brad Murphy, Board President, called the meeting to order.

Mark Badertscher from OSU Extension gave a Carcass Show report.  It was held Sept. 18th at Jenkin’s Meats.  Results showed the reserve champion carcasses came out ahead of the champion carcasses with all shown animals, except for the barrow. Mark handed out information about the Hardin County Ag Hall of Fame.  Applications for nominating someone to the Ag Hall of Fame are due by Oct. 16th with the award presentation on the 1st Tuesday in December.  Applications should be turned in to the Extension Office.  Joe Sherman spoke about running for County Commissioner.  Jalene Duffman and Janice Rall spoke about wanting to still pass out their awards in the show rings, that they sponsor.  Brad Murphy, board president, stated this will be discussed with the directors and he will get back with Jalene on the outcome.  Brad noted this issue needs to be the same across the board for all JR Fair shows.

Correspondence was read from Mila Strain, Nancy Musselman, Thaiyer Nelson and Cain Sullivan.

Judi Cronley, Board Secretary/Treasurer discussed the 2023 Fair Report Finances.  The outcome for the fair, was that the fair’s income came out ahead of expenses.  Judi noted there is still some income and bills that still need to be paid that she hasn’t received, but the fair will still show a profitable fair.

A ground committee update was given by Randy Clark, ground’s caretaker.  Winter Storage began Oct. 1st and runs through the 2nd Saturday in April.  Rates are the same as last year, vehicles are $30 per month, boats, trailers, campers, etc. are $15 per linear foot.  Also discussed was the need for 1 or 2 refrigerator/freezers needed in the Community Building.  There is currently no working freezer in that building.  Directors agreed to purchase 2 refrigerator/freezers from Menards. 

Charlie McCullough, camping co-chairman, discussed possibly raising the rate for fair campers.  He stated a contract for the Good Sam has been drafted and he will follow up with Judi on that.

The fair show report was discussed.  All grandstand shows made money, except for the Micro Wrestler show and the rodeo.  Attendance was also down for the rodeo.  A different event to replace the rodeo was discussed for next year’s fair.  The demo derby continues to be the fair’s biggest income and biggest attendance with over 2,000 spectators. Attendance for the wrestling show brought in about 300 more spectators than the KOI drag racing the year before.  The Royalty/Band Show was very close to last year’s attendance and did slightly better in terms of income.  The truck/tractor pull’s attendance was down a little from last year’s attendance, but still was a money maker.  The cheerleading event made money but was lower in attendance – compared to last year.

Charlie McCullough discussed how he thought the Carcass Show has run its course. Discussion was held about the educational value of the show, but the motion still passed unanimously to stop having the show.  Jack McBride, Livestock Sale Chairman discussed the livestock sale.  The sale was close to the $500,000 mark, with ½ being in live sales and ½ being in add On’s.  There is a need for more help to assist with the sale, due to the higher volume of add On’s.  Charlie discussed moving the swine showmanship show back to Tuesday of the fair, to be held with the regular swine show.  There is a lower number of swine being shown now and he believes the 2 shows could all be done again in 1 day.  Judi noted livestock sale checks can be picked up on Saturday, Oct. 28th from 9-12, Saturday, Nov. 4th from 3-6pm or Wednesday and Friday’s starting Nov. 1st until Friday, Nov. 17th from 9-4pm.  All checks need to be cashed by Nov. 30th, 2023.

Brad Murphy, concession’s/vendor chairman, stated Four Season’s Catering is closing their business.  They supply the fair with piping and drapery in the Community Building.  The fair has been given the option to buy the drapery and piping for $2,000 and still use their folks to set it up and tear down.  Directors agreed to purchase the items. 

Sherri Beale, JR Fair Board Advisor, stated the “Stock the Trailer” campaign did very well.  The trailer had 6,140lbs of nonperishable food donated during the fair and the food was distributed to 6 different locations in the county. 

It was noted that income from sponsorships for the 2023 fair was a huge success this year.

Kolt Buchenroth proposed a plan to install fiber cable for the fairgrounds.  There would be a one-time cost for hardware and then the monthly cost for internet and phone system would be cut in ½.  Directors agreed to go ahead with the project. 

Under old business:

It was noted that the Division of Wildlife CWD kiosk and inspection station is now set up at the Main gate of the fairgrounds.  $2 Membership tickets can still be purchased with a season pass until Friday, Oct. 13th at 4pm. If you want to vote for a director, you need to have a membership ticket. JR Fair and Open Class premium money can still be picked up on Wednesday and Friday’s 9-4pm until Friday, November 17th.  Petitions for the November Fair Board Director Election are due by Friday, October 27th at 4pm.  Up for election this year are 2 directors at large positions, Blanchard, Taylor Creek, Cessna, Marion, and McDonald Townships for 3-year terms.  Buck and Jackson Twp. for a 2-year term.  And Lynn Twp. for a 1-year term.  Anyone wanting to run for one of those director positions needs to come to the secretary’s office to pick up a petition by Friday, Oct. 13th at 4pm, then the petition needs to be returned to the Secretary’s office by Friday, Oct. 27th at 4pm.  Just a reminder, if you are interested in running for a position, you need to come to the Nov. Board Meeting to state your intentions for running.

Under new Business:

Judi discussed an open class statistics sheet from the fair.  It was noted that the number of total open class entries was up from last year’s fair.  Jake McFadden discussed attendance for the 2023 fair.  Overall attendance for the week was down compared to last year.  Tuesday’s attendance (which is also Veteran’s Day) was only down 500 compared to last year, with Friday being the next best day (which is also Senior Citizen’s Day) down around 600 compared to last year, The best day for attendance (not comparing to last year) was Saturday. Directors agreed to submit the fair date request and Fair’s Fund Money request papers to the Ohio Dept. of Ag.    Two Outstanding Fair Supporters were selected to be honored at the Ohio Fair Manager’s Convention in January.  Craig Decker and Jack McBride nominated Don Spar and Meghan Yoakum and Jack McBride nominated Rob Wilson.  Motion passed unanimously for both.  The Annual Fair Board Director Election is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4th from 3-7pm in the Fair Board Office.  Steve Harpster, Meghan Yoakum, Brad Murphy, Austin Eibling and Nathan Weaver were selected to be Judges and Clerks for the Election.  The Annual membership meeting and reorganizational meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4th at 7:30pm in the Community Building.  Kolt Buchenroth and Jake McFadden discussed a fair survey that is going out on social median.  Everyone is encouraged to fill out the survey to help the directors plan for the 2024 fair.  Building inventory sheets were passed out.  The next Fair Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 1st at 7pm in the Community Building.