GREENVILLE — Candidate for State Representative (84th District) Aaron Heilers introduced himself to members of the Darke County Agricultural Society at Wednesday’s meeting. Heilers, who sits on Shelby County’s fair board, said his fair experience would make him an ideal candidate, and asked board members and those in the audience not to forget about him between now and May.
“I think it’s important we have somebody in Congress with a strong agricultural background,” Heilers said.
Junior Fair member Faith Wilker said that she, fair manager Brian Rismiller, and board member Thomas Shaw were continuing to work on developing a smartphone app for the 2018 fair.
“There are several fairs around us that already have apps,” Rismiller said. “Including maps and the ability to buy tickets online.” Rismiller said the group’s plan was to pursue price quotes from three different app designers and present them at next month’s meeting.
Triple Treat Amusements representative Russell Clements, along with parents (and company owners) Jay and Vicki, appeared to assure board members that their company is committed to pursuing a contract to provide rides for the fair, and offered to donate $5,000 to the board’s marketing budget for the 2018 fair as further incentive.
“We’ve been made aware that you folks have a different vision for the fair going forward,” Clements said. “Our goal is to build a decades-long partnership with the Darke County Fair.”
Clements went on to say that the company had already secured 29 rides, including the Gravitron, the Scrambler, and a kids’ hot air balloon ride, and that they plan to purchase new rides each year, based in part on the fair board’s recommendations. The Gravitron, in particular, was a popular choice, with several Darke County residents expressing their desire to see the ride return to the fair on The Daily Advocate’s Facebook page last month.
“We’ve had hours of meetings just looking over different proposals,” Brian Rismiller said later in the evening. Rismiller said they had narrowed the choice down to three companies, and passed out ballots to the board members containing the details of the three proposals. Board member Doug Martin made a motion to accept the third option listed, which passed unanimously. The name of the company chosen was not yet revealed, pending contract negotiations.
“Once we get a signed contract back, we’ll let the paper and everybody know who we’ve decided to go with,” board member Dean Neff said.
Finally, the board debated several rule changes suggested by the Junior Fair Board. In particular, the Junior Fair goat department requested to have two representatives in their showman of showmen competition, one for dairy goats and one for boers, based on the rationale that, like market vs. dairy cattle, the showmanship styles for these two varieties are so different that it is difficult to find judges who can fairly judge both. The motion passed seven to four. The board also passed a resolution requiring junior fair exhibitors in all departments to pass a skillathon in order to sell their animals.
“I think skillathon is very important, and I’d like to see every department have a project in place,” board member Jerry Marker said. “But they’re not doing it, and the kids aren’t learning.”
The motion passed unanimously.
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