COLUMBUS — Jackson Center native Johnny Regula was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame in Columbus on Thursday, Aug. 2, during the 43rd annual Hall of Fame ceremony at the Ohio Expo Center.
Regula, who currently resides in Ostrander, in Delaware County, was a member of the Progressive Livestock 4-H club in Jackson Center for 10 years as a child. He said his interest in auctioneering began during this time and grew as he did.
“I just really liked the sounds,” Regula said. “As I got older, I became more intrigued, so I pursued it.”
In 1977, Regula started his own business, Johnny Regula Actioneer, after attending the Superior School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Illinois, and spending one year as an apprentice.
Regula has been the auctioneer for the Shelby County Fair Livestock Sale for over four decades, he said. During these years, he also worked as auctioneer for numerous fairs throughout the state, and said he has no plans to quit.
“I’ve sold at 50 of the 88 counties in Ohio throughout my 42 years,” Regula said. “I’m just going to keep going. It’s too much fun.”
Regula was nominated for induction into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame by former Ohio Pork Council Executive Vice President Dick Isler. He and Isler became friends after meeting and working together within the industry over 40 years ago.
“I was floored,” Regula said of his reaction to being nominated. “It’s been such a humbling experience.”
“The award is great,” he continued, “but that’s not why I do what I do. This is about the kids.”
Regula said he was pleasantly surprised by the number of family and friends who attended the Hall of Fame ceremony on Thursday to support him.
“It was a great day,” he said. “I was nominated along with five other people who’ve dedicated a lot of their lives to the Ohio State Fair, and that’s what makes it great.”
Established in 1976, the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward making the Ohio State Fair one of America’s premier expositions.
Regula has been an essential component of the Ohio State Fair cattle, sheep and swine barns for 31 years. Since 1992, Regula has served as an auctioneer for the Sale of Champions and has sold the champion lamb and barrow sales every year.
His first official act for the Ohio State Fair was with the Producer Livestock Association where he coordinated the pig races in 1979. Regula has also worked in the beef cattle barn in various roles including stalling and working in the ring for judging.
Regula is a past president of Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, and of Buckeye Barrow Boosters, past treasurer of the Ohio Swine Youth Committee and has received the Ohio Pork Council Service Award.
“Johnny has been very involved with our great State Fair in many ways and is very deserving of this honor,” said Virgil
Strickler, the Ohio State Fair General Manager.
Well-known Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame inductees include former-governors James Rhodes, George Voinovich and Frank Lausche; former Speaker of the House Vern Riffe; Bob Evans Farms founder Bob Evans and Former Wendy’s President R. David Thomas.
For more information, call 1-888-OHO-EXPO or 1-614-644-FAIR, or visit ohiostatefair.com.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.