As officials with the Scioto County Fair reflect on the 2016 fair, focus has begun to switch to the 2017 fair and what improvements can be made to the grounds over the next year.
One of the improvements officials are hoping to achieve is the construction of a new poultry barn.
Initial estimates have the construction of a new 120 feet by 50 feet poultry barn with a 60 foot show arena at $150,000.
Rob Seaman, Chairman of the Scioto County Fair Board said they were able to receive a grant for building improvements or grounds updates.
He said the fair board started to really look at the needs of the grounds and decided the poultry barn needed to be replaced.
The grant received by the fair board was a matching grant and Scioto County Commissioners Doug Coleman, Mike Crabtree and Bryan Davis were able to find the money to provide for the match.
“They (commissioners) are very supportive what we’re doing here,” Seaman said.
Jo Williams with The Ohio State University Extension Office of Scioto County agreed with Seaman saying the poultry barn needs to be replaced.
“That barn is in bad shape,” Williams said. “It’s really hot in that barn, there’s not air circulation and so it’s rough on the animals and the kids.”
In June of 2015, Ohio Department of Agriculture enacted a bird exhibition ban for all county fairs and festivals, over fears of avian flu, the ban was lifted in December of 2015.
Williams said with the ban lifted several more kids were able to show poultry animals.
“It was nice having animals in that barn again, with the rabbits,” Williams said.
She said the worries from the previous year with poultry was not at this years fair.
Williams agreed with Seaman and said a new poultry barn would be a welcomed addition to the grounds and the local 4-H program.
At each fair there are auctions held at the end of the week, in which kids place their market animals up for sale.
Williams said for the last couple of years some of the kids have donated a portion of that their animal sells for, towards the construction of a new poultry barn.
She said with the addition of poultry back onto the fairgrounds the auctions brought in higher proceeds.
Between the two auctions there was $328,000 raised, which is up $26,610 from the year before.
“That’s significant (auction totals). The year before (2015) we did not have poultry and this year there were 25 additional animals that sold (with the addition of poultry). The poultry went for a collective $11,750, that means we still had about $15,000 more. It was a good year for the kids,” Williams said. “We’re thankful we have supportive community members.”
When asked what the increase could be attributed to, Williams said strong community support.
Seaman said preparations for the 2017 Scioto County Fair are underway and he’s excited about the plans thus far.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneAllenPDT on Twitter