Fair Board holds January meeting

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Wednesday, January 10th, 2024, for their January monthly board meeting.  Fifteen directors and ten guests were present.

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

Doug Chivington, an ultra-cyclist and nonprofit volunteer, presented a plaque to the fair board stating the records he broke on May 16th, 2022 while riding his bike at the fairgrounds.  He requested to use the fairgrounds again in June of this year for a 24-hour, 300 mi. race.  The event would also be a Veteran fundraiser for the Ohio Warriors Sled Hockey Team.  A representative from a glass blowing group, requested to rent the fairgrounds next year for an event.  Aidra Preston, a JR Fair board member, spoke about the JR Fair board members who attended the 2024 OFMA Convention and their goals for the upcoming year.  She also thanked the directors for letting them eat dinner with the group.

Correspondence was read from Julie Crowe – Hardin County Players, Angels for the Elderly, Chloe Roberts, and Roger & Julie Crowe.  Directors agreed to let the Hardin County Players use the platforms from the Community Bldg. for their performance in February – at no charge. 

Judi Cronley, Notarizer, swore in Justin Beale, Grant Mizek and Kirk Cameron to the board as directors.

The Executive Committee minutes from November 28th and January 10th were approved.  Fair committees have been updated and will be updated on the fair’s website.  Rob Wilson and Charlie McCullough moved to nominate Roger Crowe, as the 2024 Hardin County Fair Honoree.  Jack McBride and Charlie McCullough moved to close the nominations.  Motion passed unanimously.

The current Ag. Society strategic plan was given to all directors to review, with a meeting to discuss updates to the plan to occur soon. 

The Development Committee will be meeting with Golden Giant again this week and hopes to have a rough layout of the plan, for people to see at the Reverse Raffle. 

Rob Wilson, Ground’s Chairman, spoke about the restroom upgrades for the Beef and Arts/Crafts restrooms.  A decision has been made for directors to replace the toilets themselves to save on costs.  Half the supplies will be purchased now, to start the upgrades in March.  21 toilets and flush valves will be replaced.  Along with the toilets will be new sinks and counters for the restrooms. The women’s side of the beef restroom will also be painted. The total cost for this project should be around $6,000.  Directors agreed to purchase 10 toilets and flush valves right now for $2,000.  Directors agreed to trade and/or purchase a new 72” deck mower from Pro Equipment at a cost of $8900. The Ag. Society’s current mower will try to be sold at the Consignment Sale, if not sold, it will be traded in. 

Ohio Good Sam and the Cushman Club have both returned their contracts for 2024.  2024 Fair Camping letters have been sent by email and a few by mail.  Payments are due by Friday, February 16th.  Camping on the fairgrounds during the solar eclipse weekend was discussed. Jack McBride and Charlie McCullough moved to have camping available at $25 a night and money will be received upfront.  Campers will be given the opportunity to back out up to 14 days before the event and receive a full refund.  Vendors will be allowed to come with a $100 electric deposit due now and then they will pay $100 a day to be a vendor.  That payment will be made on each day they are at the fairgrounds.  Vendors will also be given the opportunity to back out with a full refund up to 14 days of the event.  Motion passed unanimously.

Rob Wilson, Entertainment Chairman, stated Harness Racing will be offered two nights during the fair on Wednesday and Thursday nights.  Brad Murphy stated the pony ride company will be bringing a small petting zoo.  There will be laser tag field and a roaming red solo cup man.  2024 contracts have also been signed with the Magic of Farming Show, Magic Man TJ Hill, Derbydog demo derby and the Saturday night entertainer. 

It was noted a fair veterinarian contract is being written up.  Amanda Raines, Hardin County OSU Extension, stated there is going to be a livestock online hub with all information needed for showing JR Fair livestock at the fair.  It will be ready by the end of February.  It was noted that Crooks and Sons Excavating has still not paid their Sale invoice from the fair and C & Y Painting has still not paid some of their add on’s.  Directors asked Brad Murphy to contact Mark Schwemer about using his services to try and collect the money. The Sale Committee has had no luck with phone calls, emails and mailing letters to these businesses to collect their payments. 

Brad Murphy, Rides/Concession’s Chairman, stated outside vendors will be paying for their fair services in a bundle format.  It was also noted that all day ride wristband tickets will be $17 this year. 

Sherri Beale, JR Fair Board Director, stated JR Fair Board meetings will be the last Sunday of each month from 6-8pm in the Community Bldg.  Their first meeting will be February 25th.

Kolt Buchenroth spoke about using a new company for online concession/vendor applications and sponsorship applications.  Directors agreed to go with the company called Eventemy for $120 a month.  Hometown Ticketing has agreed to change their fee for buying tickets through them to $1 for cash transactions.  This is a change from $3 to $1. 

Rob Wilson gave an update on the Fair’s Reverse Raffle.  It is now just a month away!  Tickets are all sold.  Directors have been asked to come at 5pm to eat before the event starts at 6pm.  There are over 70 businesses who have agreed to make donations towards the event in some way.

Kolt Buchenroth spoke about the cost for making the fair premium books.  Last year there were 500 copies made in full color for $3,398.  If the directors want the same number of books printed, the same as last year, the cost will be $4,600 this year.  If the JR Fair sections are just online only, Open Class is just printed in book format, and just 400 books printed – the price would be $1,860.  Directors agreed to go with the second option.  It was noted there will be copies of sections for each JR Fair species available in the Fair Office and the full book with all sections will be available online. 

Under old business:

Judi noted Fair Book Section edits are due by the end of the month.

Under new Business:

Judi gave the director’s information on possible judges for the 2024 fair.  It was noted that the Annual Consignment Sale is scheduled for Saturday, March 9th at 9am, items to be consigned can be dropped off on Wednesday, March 6th from 4-6:30pm, Thursday, March 7th from 8am-6:30pm or Friday, March 8th from 8am-6:30pm.  The next Fair Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 7th at 7pm in the Community Building.

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