Wow – what an adventurous and emotional fair this year’s fair was. From the excitement of moving animals in Thursday and Friday to moving many animals out on Saturday, starting to bring some back on Sunday, and having our swine housed and shown in Richland County to finally ending the week with a transformative and incredibly generous gift from Fair Board member Ron Grosjean – this year’s fair will be one we will be talking about for many years to come. We are so grateful for the support of our neighbors like the Ashland and Richland County Fair Boards, the Richland County 4-H Swine Committee and others from across the state that provided help this year.
There are so many people to thank for so many things they do that go into making our Wayne County Fair such a great fair. I am sure this article will not begin to come anywhere close to thanking everyone that helps make the fair so wonderful, but at least from my perspective as the Wayne County 4-H Extension Educator and Jr. Fair Superintendent, here are a few of the many key people that deserve special recognition and appreciation.
Thank you to our 4-H and FFA youth and their parents – they have many choices for how and where to spend their time, yet year after year more than 1,500 of our Wayne County youth dedicate countless hours to 4-H and FFA. In fact I continue to be in awe of the more than 100 4-H and FFA youth that show up on the Tuesday night after the Wayne County Fair is over to take pride in their fairgrounds by helping to clean out barns, pick up trash and litter around the grounds, help move benches, and so much more.
Next let me say thank you to our 4-H and FFA advisors and volunteers. There are more than 400 adults across our county who help our youth grow into competent, capable and contributing citizens. They serve as project advisors, organizational club leaders, chaperones, skillathon facilitators, and in many other roles. More than 100 of these volunteers also serve on our countywide 4-H / FFA Action Committees that work to plan and conduct the clinics, project judging events, and livestock shows during the summer and at the Fair in September.
We also could not have the great fair that we do without the hard work and dedication of our Senior Fair Board, Fair Manager Matt Martin, Fair Staff, and our Jr. Fair Secretary Marcia Brueck. Dave and Sharon Emler, Cheryl Gordon, Bonnie Kreuger, Stephen Heppe, and Nicole Swavel, Michael Goard, Sarah Boreman, Jordan Boreman, Lisa Parker, and Suzanne Ferencak also put in many long hours to help ensure our Junior Fair shows and livestock sales ran smoothly throughout the fair. I also want to thank the many individuals, businesses, and organizations that sponsor trophies, awards, and other aspects of the fair. We also couldn’t do it without the auctioneers, ring-men, clerks, Extension staff, and volunteers that help staff the Jr. Fair Livestock Sale. Your support is so greatly appreciated.