Two Fulton County residents were honored by the Ohio Fair Managers Association (OFMA) during the organization's 87th annual convention in Columbus.
Carl Buehrer of Delta was inducted into the OFMA’s Hall of Fame for his contributions to the fair industry, and Jeanne Johnson of Fayette was named Outstanding Fair Supporter of the Year in District 1 by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).
Carl Buehrer was elected to the Fulton County Fair Board in 1972. A year later, he was elected Fair Board president, a position he has held ever since.
While many fairs have struggled to survive, annual attendance at the Fulton County Fair has grown from 100,000 to more than 250,000 and the number of exhibitors and vendors has increased exponentially under Buehrer’s common sense leadership. The Fairgrounds itself has expanded from 48 to nearly 200 acres, and is today regarded as one of the best-maintained and beautiful fair sites in Ohio.
Buehrer has also served as OFMA District 1 Director for six years, and is a member of the Fulton County Fair Foundation. He was inducted into the Fulton County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1994, has been awarded Honorary America FFA and Honorary State FFA Degrees, and is active in a variety of community organizations.
Jeanne Johnson was one of just nine people in Ohio to be named Outstanding Fair Supporter by the ODA this year. She was honored for her work as Fulton County Fair Board secretary, a position she held from late 1992 until she retired after the 2011 Fair.
When Johnson started the job, Fair records were still kept manually. Within nine months, she had “computerized” the entire Fair record-keeping, beginning an ongoing process of modernization that has enabled the Fair to efficiently manage the ever-increasing demand for record-keeping that has accompanied its tremendous growth.
During her service as Fair Board secretary, Johnson saw open class entries grow from 6,600 to over 8,000 per year, and there was a dramatic increase in Fair Week camping as well as off-season rentals over the past 20 years. Demands for other forms of record-keeping by the government and insurers have grown, too.
Representatives from Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair attended the OFMA convention, held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.