Swine barn donor wants donation back


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — At its regular meeting on June 7, the Darke County Agricultural Society’s Board of Directors heard a plea to have money donated for the construction of a new swine barn returned.

Reagan Brewer, a junior at Tri-Village High School and member of the Kountry Kids 4-H Club, asked for the $1,600 she donated to be returned because of the board’s inaction in building a new swine barn. Brewer explained when she won Grand Champion Market Hog in 2019, she pledged half of the money she earned from the sale. She made good on the pledge at the December meeting in 2019 when she presented the check.

Brewer stated, “Since that time, much has happened, and the fair board has made a choice to go in a different direction with funds pledged during that campaign. I don’t fully understand all the decisions that were made, but I do understand I gave money for a specific purpose and that is no longer the plan to spend the money I gave for the new swine barn.

Brewer said she is planning to attend college and pursue a career in teaching history and the money would be helpful.

“I’m asking the board to take a vote on refunding my donation of $1,600 that was pledged for a new swine barn since this is no longer than planned use for the funds,” she concluded.

Vice President Jim Zumbrink ran the meeting for President Greg Pearson who was absent. Zumbrink said they wanted their attorney present for this type of question, but he was unable to attend the meeting.

Brian Rismiller, director, said, “I remember when she brought that in. She’s got a very valid point. I know that we are having a meeting in two weeks if you want to have the attorney here to discuss some of that.”

Marla Werner, treasurer, suggested they consult the attorney for the legalities of returning money that was a donation. “I’m not saying I object, but I really think we need to consult legal counsel on how we do that.”

Rismiller thanked Brewer for coming and the way she presented herself. Zumbrink echoed Rismiller’s comment.

Rismiller made a motion for the issue to appear on the agenda for the June 21 meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.

Tim Reck, with the Harness Horsemen Association, presented a check for $2,500 for the purpose of fixing stalls in the horse barns. The board had previously approved replacing broken boards and installing mats on the walls in the barns where repairs were needed. The Association agreed to partner with the fair board in order to get all of the stalls fixed. Because of the cost, the board and the Association agreed to complete the project over several years. Reck said the funds would continue to be given as long as the fair board continues the project.

Dr. Preston Deeter, DVM, the fair veterinarian, warned junior fair participants showing goats at the 2023 fair they must have a scrapie tag in order to get off the trailer. “We are requiring all goats to have scrapie tags in the goat barn. That’s one thing the ODA (Ohio Department of Agriculture) complained about last year,” he said. Deeter said he went with some of the goat committee members and they were at the goat barn for two hours and only tagged 14 goats. “There’s a lot of goats that don’t have scrapie tags and they are not going to get off the trailer unless they have a scrapie tags in their ears or have a tattoo in the ears and have the registration papers that matches that tattoo,” he said. “If you know people that are showing goats, make sure they know that.”

Dr. Deeter also said Coggins papers for out-of-state horses was a problem last year. Coggins papers are needed for anyone brining in a horse from outside of Ohio. They will not be allowed to participate in any shows without them. Deeter is not responsible for determining if race horses have Coggins papers. There is a different veterinarian that is supposed to check those papers.

He also said pullorum testing is required for chickens older than 90 days.

The Darke County Junior Fair Board announced they are moving forward with the Hearts of Darke Livestock Show at the fair. The show will pair a junior fair participant with a person with a disability. The mentor and mentee will have the opportunity to show either a sheep, goat or rabbit. All mentees will receive an award. The show will be held Monday, Aug. 21, 3 p.m.

Jayden Hicks presented the board with several flats of flowers from the Greenville FFA greenhouse that can be used throughout the grounds. Some of the flowers will be placed at the Junior Fair Building. Hicks also got approval to hold a design contest for a mural on the Junior Fair Building. He will work with Werner to come up with details on the contest and they will work with a local sign company to get a cost on the mural. The board also agreed to purchase paint and the junior fair board will find volunteers to paint the Junior Fair Building.

The board agreed to a contract with Laura Ahrens to continue as the fair manager/secretary.

The next regular meeting of the Darke County Agricultural Society’s board of directors will be June 21, 7:30 p.m., Secretary’s Office, Darke County Fairgrounds.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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