COLUMBUS — The State Controlling Board has approved a $4.7 million plan to support Ohio’s county and independent fairs who have faced uncertainty due to COVID-19.
Last week, state leaders announced the plan, which is designed to help county fairs open this year and support youth involved in junior fair activities such as 4-H and Future Farmers of America.
“I’ve been a strong supporter of our fairs here in Southeast Ohio,” said State Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) in a news release. “This is a good plan that will help our local fairs and celebrate the hard work of area youngsters.”
“County fairs provide a great opportunity for Ohio families to celebrate the hard work and success of those who make up our state’s incredible agriculture and natural resources industries,” said Hoagland, who chairs the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “I am pleased these funds were approved this week and I am grateful for (Senate) President Obhof’s commitment to help our local fairs open this summer!”
While others around the region have cancelled or modified their fairs, the Meigs County Agricultural Society is planning to proceed with the 2020 Meigs County Fair as planned, releasing a statement earlier this month regarding the fair.
“Due to Covid19 there is still a large uncertainty about the 2020 Meigs County Fair, the Meigs County Agriculture Society has decided to proceed with a full fair as normal. Things may look different but we are currently working on the details and will release more information as it becomes available,” read a statement from the fair board posted to the fair Facebook page.
To allow fairs to operate in a safe manner consistent with good health practices, each fair that conducts a junior fair this year will receive $50,000, while those that do not will receive $15,000 that can be used towards next year’s fair.
Local fair boards who had already announced cancellations in 2020 can apply for a new date with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, if they would like to go forward this year. At least one county fair has already reversed its prior cancellation and is going forward with this year’s fair under the new and more flexible guidelines.
More information on safety guidelines for Ohio’s fairs can be found here, https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/County-Fairs.pdf. For a list of all Ohio county and independent fairs, visit www.ohiofairs.org.
State Representative Jay Edwards is serving his second term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 94th District, which includes Athens, Meigs, Washington, and Vinton Counties.
Senator Hoagland represents the 30th District in the Ohio Senate, which encompasses Belmont, Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson, Meigs, Monroe, Noble and Washington counties as well as portions of Athens and Vinton counties.
A portion of the information provided by the offices of State Rep. Jay Edwards and State Senator Frank Hoagland. The Daily Sentinel managing editor Sarah Hawley contributed to this report.
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