REGION — Van Wert and Putnam County Fairgrounds recently received grant funding for improvements.
AgCredit awarded $84,000 in grants to Rural Agricultural Organizations.
Van Wert County Junior Fair Board received $10,000 to convert an existing structure at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds into an indoor livestock show arena.
Putnam County Ohio Swine Improvement Committee received $15,000 to improve the livestock barns and show arena at the Putnam County Fairgrounds.
AgCredit, one of northern Ohio’s largest lenders for farmers, rural homeowners and agribusiness announced the 2019 recipients of its Mission Fund.
Now in its second year, the grant program was created to support AgCredit’s commitment to investing in the future of agriculture and positively impacting the quality of life in rural Ohio.
Ryan Mohr, Van Wert Junior Fair coordinator, said he learned about the funding in August.
“Renovations to the new arena will entail a new door to be built to allow easier access for our hogs to enter and some electric work that will help with being able to have TV monitors in the arena for shows and sale day,” Mohr said. The plan is to start work in spring and have it ready for the 2020 fair.
“The current structure we have used to be the old horse barn and with money given to us from Farm Focus and many numerous other donations last year we were able to transition that barn to a new show arena that is indoors,” Mohr said.
The rest of the money will be used on technology.
“The money will be used towards getting new tablets and laptops,” according to Mohr.
“We as in Van Wert County Junior Fair board are very blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to receive this money. It will be used in a way that will better help our fair not only during fair time but for the whole year and years to come,” Mohr said.
Dan Kleman, Putnam County Swine Improvement Committee president, said the swine building was dilapidated.
The pig barn’s roof will be replaced and some pens in the south swine barn have been replaced.
“We are looking to put concrete pathways from the barns to the show arena to accommodate those who have wheelchairs and strollers and those who have livestock,” Kleman said.
Mark Hoorman, Swine Committee co-treasurer, said funds received will be used to make a more positive experience for fairground goers and exhibitors.
“We started a project where we replaced the pens in the barn a year ago. The funds will be used to improve drainage around the pig barns and eventually pour concrete between the barns leading up to the show arena,” Hoorman said. The area currently becomes saturated when it rains.
The funds also will be used to improve ventilation in the swine barn by installing a new exhaust fan.
The Putnam County committee will hold a fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1 p.. Feb. 23 to help with fairground improvements. The fundraiser will be at Brooky’s parking lot in Glandorf and will feature a pork chop dinner, roll and butter. Tickets are $9 and can purchased by calling Dan Kleman at 419-235-3096.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.