Fair board discusses horse barns


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — Tim Reck, president of the Darke County Horsemen Association (DCHA), is hoping the money they’ve raised through sponsorships of the barns, along with the commitment the DCHA and Darke County Agricultural Society has made, along with a grant the Ag Society will apply for from the Ohio Harness Horsemen Association will help repair the stalls in the barns sooner than expected. If they get the grant, they could raise over $40,000 for the repairs and have them completed before the fair in 2024.

At the fair board meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 2, Reck told directors his group has raised $22,500 through sponsorships of the barns. At previous meetings, Reck discussed the need to repair over 40 stalls. Once the stalls are repaired, Reck believes the fairgrounds will be able to rent those stalls.

Reck’s hope is to install mats on the walls, new lumber and hardware in all of the stalls to better protect the barns. Sponsors that have signed up to sponsor the barns include American Legion Post 140, Wayne Builders and Dudley Lipps on Barn 1, Gower and Sons Painting on Barn 2, Jim Buchy, Sharp’s Tavern, Barbara Fletcher and Dick Brown, Wieland Jewelers, and Weyrick’s Peat Moss on Barn 3, Chris Gilbert and the Darke County Harness Horsemen on Barn 6 and The J&M Ranch on the Blacksmith Shop.

Reck also addressed an issue at the junior fair horse barns regarding a manure pit. The board agreed there was an issue with having only one manure pit that was not on a concrete slab. Director Marla Werner moved to install a new manure pit, add a concrete slab to the current manure pit and install a pit for sawdust. The expected cost is approximately $7,500. The board unanimously approved the motion. The pits will not be built until after this year’s fair, but gave a deadline to have them done before winter.

Betsy Petitjean, junior fair coordinator, Jayden Hicks, junior fair president, and Katelynne Michael, junior fair secretary, gave the junior fair report. The group discussed progress on junior fair member fair pass progress, trophies, Hearts of Darke and Stock the Trailer. Petitjean said they have several trophies that do not have sponsors. If anyone is interested in sponsoring a trophy they should contact her. Hicks said they were able to get a cargo trailer donated from Frenchtown Fullenkamp Trailers that will be sitting outside the Youth Building. The Darke County Farm Bureau has offered to share its space with the trailer. They will be trying to fill the trailer with donated canned goods that will be given to a food bank. This is a competition with other communities and the winning community will receive $5,000. A second trailer from another business may also be donated and placed near the South Show Arena. Hicks asked the board to promote the event and ask anyone who comes to the fair on Thursday, Aug. 24 during the Free Til Three time frame to bring in two cans of non-perishable food.

Werner announced this year’s fair will have an adult changing table available. Werner is hoping this will make the fair enjoyable for more people. The table will be located in the former Red Cross building where Spirit Medical Transport now occupies. According to Werner, Spirit is willing to share the space. Not only will it house the adult changing table, but it will also serve as a cooling room. The Darke County Developmental Disabilities board has agreed to provide the table. Signage will be in place to make the room visible to those who need the service.

The next meeting of the Darke County Agricultural Society’s board of directors is set for Wednesday, Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m., Secretary’s Office, Darke County Fairgrounds.

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

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