Nine honored for dedication to fairs

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COLUMBUS – Nine county fair leaders were recognized recently at the 82nd annual Ohio Fair Managers Association convention at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Former Ohio Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey presented each with a plaque honoring his or her work.
Howard Stahl was recognized for his outstanding support to the Wayne County Fair.
Stahl served on the Wayne County Fair Board for 29 years, including the offices of president and vice president.
He designed several new buildings for the fair, including the entertainment pavilion that was used at the 2005-06 fairs.
Stahl served as the Ohio Fair Managers Association District 5 director for the past six years.
Jay Huddle was recognized for his work over the years on numerous projects to improve and maintain the Henry County Fairgrounds.
Besides replacing the roof of many of the fair’s buildings, he also worked to have a local historic train depot moved to permanently reside at the fairgrounds.
Huddle formerly served on the Henry County Fair board, holding the positions of president, vice president, historian, and director over draft horses and harness racing.
Kenneth Knoop has been involved with the Shelby County Fair since he was first an exhibitor in 1931. He served as a member of the Shelby County Fair board for 33 years.
He has also been recognized by the junior fair dairy exhibitors for his dedication to their Gallon of Milk Sales and inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame.
Recently, Knoop was instrumental in working with county commissioners to secure a land purchase that will be used to construct a new fairgrounds.
Stella Hagemeyer served the Warren County Fair as racing secretary for 40 years.
She has also volunteered as 4-H adviser and was active with the senior fair board during her husband’s 40 years on the board.
Gerald “Guy” McCorkle formerly worked as county road superintendent under the Ross County engineer, in which he supervised all projects at the fairgrounds.
McCorkle has served as a fair board member for the past six years. He donated much of his time to upgrading the electricity in the camping area and helped negotiate the purchase of more than 50 acres to allow the fair to expand in the future.
Richard Keller has been involved with the Fairfield County Fair for over 60 years, beginning as an exhibitor up to his current role as a director of the Fairfield Agricultural Society.
He has been instrumental in the promotion of the dairy products sale at the junior fair auction and he and his wife initiated a redesign of the Food for the Home Department, including this year’s addition of two cook-offs.
Marlene Williams began her support of the Morgan County Fair during her grandfather’s 37 years as secretary, an office she has now served in for the past 27 years.
She has also served her community as a 4-H adviser and Farm Bureau member.
Carl Birney serves as director and concessions manager for the Guernsey County Agricultural Society. As concession manager, Birney has increased revenue from $18,000 to the present level of $53,000.
He was instrumental in beginning an open feeder calf class at the fair that now is one of the largest in the state.
Birney is also active with the junior fair, serving as chairman of the junior market beef committee and junior beef breeding committee for several years.
Richard Parker served as fair board director in Lake County for 37 years, making him the second-longest serving, active Lake County board member.
He is best known for his leadership as chairman of the grounds committee, a position he served in for over 25 years. During this time, he accomplished a number of major capital improvements to the fairgrounds, most recently including the planning of a new senior fair board business office.
As owner of Parker Brothers Excavating, Parker has also donated labor, equipment, and materials in excess of $1 million to the execution of fair board projects.

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