Shelby County Fair is just around the corner


SIDNEY — The days are getting shorter before the start of the 2015 Shelby County Fair.

Members of the Shelby County Agricultural Society (fair board) met Wednesday night and discussed the upcoming fair, which will be held July 26-Aug. 1.

The society learned the Lochard building is done and ready for the fair. At this point, a total of $46,300 has been received from Shelby County Fair sponsors. Last year, the society received $48,000 from sponsors. The sponsorship money is used for fair events such as the tractor pull, free tent entertainment, stage entertainment and Junior Fair ribbons and rosettes.

A tree was lost Monday during the storm. It was located next to where the free entertainment tent is set up during the fair.

The society decided to hold morning meetings each day during the fair to talk about how the previous day was and what’s upcoming that day. The meetings will be held at 8 a.m. Any members who are available at that time should attend the meeting.

Laura Norris, Shelby County Extension director & extension educator, 4-H youth development, updated the society about the ban on poultry at all the county fairs.

Each 4-H member, she said, will create a poster for their project, which must include a picture of the exhibitor and their chicken, duck, etc. The judges will still come to the fair and judge each entry.

“We had some phone calls from people who had canceled their chick order,” said Norris. “There were other people who donated their chicks to the ones who needed them.”

Showmanship, she said, will held and participants will use a stuffed chicken for the judging.

A pound of chicken will be sold at the Junior Fair Sale and shares will be $50 each.

Norris said during the second conference call with the state concerning the poultry ban, the Ohio Department of Agriculture asked if anyone from Shelby County was on the call. When Norris and society Secretary Jerry Schaffner answered yes, they were questioned about how the county was handling the ban because decisions had already been made and the information was published in the Sidney Daily News.

The ban, they said, could continue next year and if that happens, there won’t be any poultry projects available for 4-H members to select at the beginning of the year. Since the ban was implemented so late this year, alternatives had to be created so the exhibitors could complete their projects.

The society also discussed the feeder calves which are shown at the fair. Because of the poultry ban, if a exhibitor has a “live” animal at the fair, that animal must be sold during the Junior Fair sale. If poultry is their only exhibit, then they will receive a share from the pound of chicken sale.

Members said the feeder calves are usually taken home and are part of a two-year project with the exhibitor’s club. If they are required to sell the calf, that will cut down on the number of entries in the 2016 fair for those projects.

After a short discussion, the society decided that feeder calves would be an exception to the rule requiring exhibitors to sell a live animal if they also show poultry. If the exhibitor shows feeder calves and poultry, they don’t have to sell the feeder calf. On the other hand, if the exhibitor shows hogs and chickens, then the hog must be sold at the auction.

Schaffner told the members he had posters for the gospel shows that need to be taken to the area churches.

He also reported that the society received money from the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association from Video Lottery Tournaments held at the casinos in Ohio. The Shelby County VLT purse allocation was $43,200, which will be used during the eight stake races during the 2015 Shelby County Fair. They also received $1,000 to increase the non-stakes races’ purses during the fair. The society also received $10,000 by the OHHA, which must be used for overnight purses, track maintenance, barn maintenance, racing officials or other expenses.

The total amount received through the program was $54,200, which each of the 65 fairs in Ohio received if they have horse racing durin the fair. There are 29 fairs in the state which do not have horse racing and they received $2,000 each, which can be used for general operating expenses of the fair.

Shaffner said the total allocation received this year was doubled from last year.

Barb Heilers reported there are still a few openings in the Babyland exhibit.

The society also learned the Shelby County Applefest board donated 150 metal-folding chairs and stage to the society.

The society approved the treasurer’s report, which included $18,869 income for the previous month, $20,424 in bills for a balance of $27,598.97. Bills in the amount of $8.508 for the month of June so far received approval to be paid.