By Ryan Berry
GREENVILLE — The Darke County Agricultural Society announced the format for the upcoming election. There are six board seats that are up for election. Because of the resignation of four board members this past year, two seats will be for a two-year term. The remaining four seats will be for a three-year term. All of the seats of board members who were appointed will be up for election.
Candidates wishing to run for the board will need to declare whether they are running for the two-year or three-year term. The two highest vote getters for the two-year term will earn seats on the board. The four highest vote getters for the three-year term will earn a seat on the board.
The board also clarified its rule that a candidate must attend two published meetings to be eligible to run for a seat. The previous rule did not stipulate when attendance was required. At its special meeting on Wednesday, July 19, the board voted to require the two-meeting minimum must be fulfilled during the current fiscal year of the election. The Agricultural Society’s fiscal year begins in December. A candidate must attend two meetings between December and August prior to picking up a petition to be eligible to run for a seat.
As stated in the Darke County Fair Book, candidates must get petitions from the Secretary and have 10 holders of membership tickets of the society. The petitions must be turned in to the office manager/secretary by 9 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17. The filing fee is $10 per candidate. This year’s election will be held on Thursday, Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., during the Darke County Fair.
Tim Reck, president of the Darke County Harness Horse Racing Association, addressed the board and shared they have received six sponsorships for the harness racing barns and they are pursuing several more interested parties. The sponsorships currently include American Legion Post #140 and Gower & Sons Painting who have committed to a $500 a year sponsorship over the next five years and Jim Buchy, Wieland Jewelers and Sharp’s Tavern who have committed to $250 a year sponsorship over the next five years.
Reck is hoping to leverage the sponsorship money against a grant offered by the Ohio Harness Horse Racing Association. Reck asked the board to work with Tim Harless to apply for the grant. He believes the grant would help complete repairs on the stalls in some of the barns much faster.
The board agreed earlier this year to purchase new wood, metal brackets and rubber mats for the stalls. They have received the wood and metal and are waiting on the mats to arrive to begin work on several stalls. It is unknown when the work will be completed.
Agricultural Society Vice President Jim Zumbrink addressed the harness horsemen who rent stalls from the fair board during the meeting. He said their contract states they must be given a 90-day notice if the society is going to raise rates. He said he was giving them 120 days notice, although he didn’t say how much the rent was going to be raised.
Director Jason Manning discussed an issue with the swine department relating to whether or not a junior fair swine show participant is able to switch out a hog due to health issues and when that can be done. Other species, such as goats and sheep, have a deadline of Aug. 1 to announce they are switching animals that have already been tagged. The only reason for allowing the switch is for the health of the animal or if the animal dies. The swine department has had until the Wednesday prior to the start of the fair to make the switch and allowed for the weight of the animal to be included as a health reason.
Director Marla Werner contacted the fair’s veterinarian, Dr. Preston Deeter, who advised that he likes the Aug. 1 deadline, but he “also understood that if you tagged four pigs, four sheep and then if something happened and a vet said you can’t bring it – with a vet check and a letter that you could swap it if you have another tag (tagged animal). That’s his recommendation since it’s not written.”
This issue was sent to the Junior Fair Board who will need to have an emergency meeting in the next few days in order to decide the issue prior to the Aug. 1 deadline. The senior fair board expressed their desire to have some consistency across the species.
To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].