SIDNEY – Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart and Chief Deputy Jim Frye commended Junior Fair Board members for their leadership and encouraged them to continue being leaders during Wednesday’s Fair Board meeting.
By taking on leadership roles now, Frye said, the Junior Fair Board members are well positioned to become leaders in their communities in the future.
“That leadership will go beyond what you’re doing now because you’re involved,” he said. “It’s now in your blood whether it’s the Junior Fair, whether it’s the Senior Fair Board later on in life or maybe you go out into the community and serve.”
Lenhart acknowledged that some of the teens might want to explore opportunities in bigger cities after they graduate from high school, but he encouraged them to return home.
“You have great opportunities in Shelby County,” the sheriff said. “And I know some of you when you graduate from high school will say, ‘Man, I got to get out of here. I’ve got to go to the big city. I’ve got to go wherever.’ That’s OK. I want you to go to college, go to trade school, but I want you to come back here. We want the brains and talent you folks have to be the leaders of tomorrow on the Senior Fair Board, the ones who run for office, the ones who run a business, the ones that run these farms.”
Lenhart told the Junior Fair Board members Shelby County is a fantastic place to live because of the area’s strong work ethic and family connections.
“There’s no place better to find a job,” he said. “There’s no place better to raise your children. There’s no better schools in this nation.
“We have work ethic that other communities dream of having. We don’t quit when we’re tired. We don’t quit when it’s raining a little bit. We quit when the job is done.”
Frye said his mentors – his parents, grandparents and Lenhart – helped make him the person he is today and drove his success. He told the Junior Fair Board members they should appreciate the mentors in their lives.
“Everyone of you are here because of your parents for the guidance or maybe the little push to get involved in the Junior Fair to show livestock,” Frye said. “Always remember as parents, you may not like what a parent tells you to do, but they have your best interest in their hearts and they will always have your backs.
“One of these days you’re going to be parents yourselves, and we need your generation to step up and guide your children, the next generation, in the right direction just like your parents did and guided you.”
Having grown up on a farm and still farming today, Lenhart said, he knows what a big deal the Shelby County Fair is to farmers in the community. This has been a tough year for the Fair and community in general, he said, but with hard work the Fair still can be a success.
“It’s a difficult year with the virus, the economy and all those kinds of things,” Lenhart said. “We will get over this. We’ll be successful. You guys dig in and do what you’re supposed to do, and we’ll be fine.”
Also during the meeting, Senior Fair Board members finalized schedules for people working at the gates for entrance to the Fairgrounds. Senior Fair Board members will work the gates until 10 p.m. daily during the Fair, after which time the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will man the gates.
Fair Board member Bill Clark reported the Sidney Fire Department will provide EMS services during the harness races on July 29.
The livestock scales will be certified July 21. Dan Geise and his family installed a new scale at the Fairgrounds.
The 2020 Shelby County Fair will be limited to Junior Fair events and harness racing this year. Only Junior Fair exhibitors and a limited number of guests will be admitted to the Fair, which will be held July 26 through July 30. There will be no general admission.
A schedule and additional information is available at https://bit.ly/2OtHnUX.
Reach the writer at [email protected] or 937-538-4824.