See Rodney Atkins perform live at the 2024 Hardin County Fair! Get Tickets

Fair holds May board meeting

The Hardin County Agricultural Society met Wednesday, May 1 2024, for their May monthly board meeting. Twelve directors and ten guests were present.

Jake McFadden, Board Vice President, called the meeting to order.

Jake introduced the guests. Jina & Owen Kearns from the County Timers 4-H Club expressed their interest in organizing a fun 4-H Rabbit show at the Fairgrounds for JR Fair Exhibitors. They would like to invite surrounding counties. The date they have chosen is Sunday, June 23rd from noon – 6pm. Charlie McCullough and Christa Rarey moved to allow the County Timers 4-H Club to hold their event at the fairgrounds. Motion passed unanimously. Aidra Preston and Ben Burkheimer, JR Fair Board members, gave a proposal to hold a new show during the Hardin County Fair. It will be called an “Inclusive Show” that the JR. Fair Board and the Hardin County Department of Developmental Disabilities will work together to give community members with physical, mental, and social disabilities the opportunity for a fair experience. For the first year, this show would be small, with 8-10 participants. Participants will get the full show experience: preparing animals, showing for a judge, awards, and premiums. They would like to hold the show on Sunday of the fair, at 1pm in the small animal show arena. Charlie McCullough and Tyler Overly moved to allow this event to occur. Motion passed unanimously.

A thank you note was read from a Michigan family that came for the solar eclipse – they had a A TOTALITY awe-inspiring experience! An acceptance letter was read from the Hardin County Veterans’ Service Commission to use the shelter house on Tuesday of the fair. A letter from PEP about modifications to their coverage was reviewed.

Sherri Beale, JR Fair Board Advisor, noted there will not be a May Meeting for the members.

Randy Clark, Ground’s Caretaker, stated the sewer line at this house has now been fixed. There was a leak fixed in the family restroom on the midway. Rob Wilson, Ground’s Chairman, stated they have been doing shop improvements. The Beef and Arts/Crafts Restrooms have new toilets and new sinks/countertops in the Beef Restroom have been installed. Toilets in the Community Building will be replaced next. The new sound project was added to the Development Grant.

Judi Cronley stated there were 12 vacant fair camping spots for this year’s fair and they have all been spoken for. Payments have started to come in for them. The Cushman Club will start arriving on Sunday, May 12th, with their actual event starting on Wednesday, May 15th. There were 34 reserved camping spots for the Solar Eclipse. 12 of those were just paid parking posts. There were 10 no shows. Camping income was close to $1,000. Judi then gave more of a report on the Solar Eclipse weekend. Invenergy donated $10,000 for the event, so with expenses of around $5000, the Ag. Society came out ahead by $5000.

It was noted that last week the Fair Board announced that Rodney Atkins will be the Saturday night entertainment, with Bucky Covington as his opener. Online ticket sales have started and there are 2 options: Grandstand seating for $25 and track seating/standing for $35. Ticket sales have been going very well. Rob Wilson, Entertainment Chairman, stated he has started looking for a speaker for the Fair’s Hour of Inspiration. Judi has sent the high school band contracts.

Jack McBride stated he and Brad Murphy met with Dr. Kearns about a Veterinarian Contract. There are a few changes that need to be made to the contract before it is signed. It was noted the Dairy Beef Feeder weigh in is Saturday, May 18th from 8-10:30am. The Sheep Weigh in is scheduled for Saturday, June 8th from 8-9:30am and the Goat Weigh in is scheduled for Saturday, June 8th from 10-11am. Judi noted judges are needed for Dairy, Dairy Beef, Beef and dogs. Amanda Raines, OSU Extension, stated the OSU Extension Office will again be coordinating a broiler chick purchase for 4-H and FFA members carrying the Broiler/Market Chicken Project. Chicks need to be ordered through the extension office by May 23rd.

Jake McFadden noted vendor/concession applications are now available online for indoor and outdoor spaces.

Jake McFadden, Advertising/Sponsorship Chairman, stated the sponsorship campaign continues and award Sponsorship money is now being collected. He stated the majority of vendors in the Merchant’s building will be moved to the JR Fair Building and the Merchant’s building will now be called the Youth & Ag. Center. FFA, High School Art, Shop/Crop, Photography and High School Consumer Sciences will be moved from their old building to the Youth & Ag. Center.

It was noted past due invoices for awards/ribbon sponsorships will be sent soon.

Under old business:

The 2024 fair book was approved as written with 500 copies being printed for open class and 40 full versions printed for directors, etc. The 2024 full version Fair Book is now available on the fair’s website at under the fair tab. Everyone is encouraged to look at the version online, instead of receiving hard copies. Printing hard copies of the fair book is very costly and going to the online version is the best way to receive the information you need. The fair office does have JR Fair Sections copied for those who can’t read the online version. Directors accepted the Consignment Sale Committee’s recommendations for changes to next year’s consignment sale. Small items being put in the Sale was the main issue for the changes. The maximum “Buyback” commission is going from $50 to $100 per item. Commission rates are being changed to $0 to $50 = 50%, $50.01 to $199.99 = 25%, $200 to $599.99 = 10% and over $600 = 6%. No checks will be issued for less than $50, (which was $10). There will be a consignor’s fee of $5 per item, to be collected upfront. And items will only be consigned on Thursday and Friday before sale day, no longer on Wednesday. Judi noted she still needs everyone’s judges for the fair – all, except for flowers.

Under new Business:

Directors added a new section to rental rates for non-profit Hardin County groups using the grounds. They will pay $137 for electricity, only use restrooms that are open and manage their own trash. There will also be a $150 refundable deposit. Judi gave an update on rentals for May and June.

The next monthly fair board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 5th at 7pm in the Community Bldg.