Blog: Matt Reese

Fair season is almost here

Next month, summer will finally arrive along with the Ohio agricultural fair season. With the 2015 crop of Ohio fairs, there will of course be new chances for hard work to pay off, the talents of Ohio’s youth will be showcased and show ring dreams will come true.

This year’s fair season gets an earlier start than in recent years. The season kicks off June 8 with the Paulding County Fair, followed by the Putnam County Fair and the Pickaway County Fair starting on June 22. The fair season concludes this year with the Loudonville Independent Fair in Ashland County starting Oct. 6 and the Fairfield County Fair starting Oct. 11.

Throughout the fair season, Dale Minyo and Ohio Ag Net will be on the road again this summer visiting fairs around the state. Stop by and say “Hello” and check in on the markets and happenings in Ohio agriculture.

Most of the OCJ/Ohio Ag Net staff will be at many events during the Ohio State Fair held from July 29 to Aug. 9. This year’s event will feature some important venue changes due to a couple of important construction projects taking place on the Ohio Exposition Center grounds.

“The Agricultural Complex — the Quarter Horse Building — is really coming together. It is over by McDonald’s by the Buckeye Building on the east side of the grounds. It will have just over 1,000 stalls

The 2014 Farm and Fair Photo Contest winner was Nancy Keiser from Arcanum who submitted a photo of her granddaughter Katie with Moe the horse. For her winning entry, Keiser received a pass for free admission to all 2015 Ohio fairs courtesy of the Ohio Fair Managers Association.

The 2014 Farm and Fair Photo Contest winner was Nancy Keiser from Arcanum who submitted a photo of her granddaughter Katie with Moe the horse. For her winning entry, Keiser received a pass for free admission to all 2015 Ohio fairs courtesy of the Ohio Fair Managers Association.

put in it. It will be done before Quarter Horse Congress and maybe even sooner. It will be for Quarter Horse Congress, other non-fair activities and maybe we’ll look at it for fair events down the road, but I doubt it,” said Virgil Strickler, Ohio Expo Center general manager. “We’re also taking down the DiSalle building and the old railroad building that had the crafters in it. Everything will be down by fair time and they will be starting to put up the 100,000-square-foot multipurpose building and that will not be done until July of 2016. For the fair this year, we will not have the DiSalle Building to work with, but we have moved everything from the DiSalle to the Rhodes Center. The Ohio Ag Hall of Fame and the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame banquets will be moved from the Rhodes Center and held in the Celeste Center this year on Aug. 7. The Ohio Ag Hall of Fame Banquet will be for breakfast and Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame will be for lunch and then there will be a concert there that evening.”

This change of venues will be important to note for those going to recognize this year’s Ohio Ag Hall of Fame inductees featured on page 5. In future Ohio State Fairs, the new multipurpose building being constructed will house the banquets and other activities.

“The new multipurpose building will be called Cardinal Hall,” Strickler said. “It will house the Agricultural Hall of Fame that will be moved from the Rhodes Center. It will also have two 100-person meeting rooms in it with second floor mezzanine areas. We’ll have banquets, some crafts, and some innovative displays in maybe a third of that building to attract new events.”

Whether at the Ohio State Fair or one of the many fantastic Ohio county and independent fairs in 2015, we want to again provide you with the opportunity to highlight your favorite exhibitors, animals and events throughout the season. Be sure to keep your cameras handy this summer for our online 2015 Farm and Fair Photo Contest.

This year’s contest is not limited to county fair photos, however. Feel free to enter your favorite Ohio agricultural-related photos of any kind in this contest. A winner will be chosen via online voting based on the total number of votes. The winner will receive a pass for free admission to any Ohio county fair and the Ohio State Fair in 2016. The fair pass is compliments of the Ohio Fair Managers Association. The contest ends Oct. 30, 2015.

To enter, visit and click on “2015 Farm and Fair Photo Contest” that is on the right side of the screen. Then you will need to provide your name, e-mail, phone number and a title for your photo. Select “browse” to upload your photo. (Note the max file size is 2 mb. It will not upload if it is larger than that). Then add the caption. If you are entering via Instagram, use #fairphoto15.

You will receive an e-mail confirmation within at least 48 hours of submitting your photo to let you know your photo has been received and is up for online voting. Each photo has to be manually approved by our staff so photos entered during non-working hours, holidays and weekends may take longer to be approved and become “live” on our site.

Once your photo is posted on this page, be sure to share this page with your Facebook friends and on Instagram so they can vote for your photo.

Photos can only be entered by the photographer. Photos entered in the contest become property of Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net for our future use. Each contestant may enter up to 10 photos. Voters may vote once a day for each entry. The winner will receive a fair pass in June of 2016. We have the right to deny entry to any photo that doesn’t abide by the rules of this contest or that we feel is inappropriate for our audience.

The contest is a great way to share your favorite fair memories with others and get a chance to experience more fair fun in 2016 with a season’s worth of free admission around the state. We are looking forward to another fun filled year and another crop of fantastic fair photos to enjoy.

Have a great 2015 fair season!



Print Friendly
RSS Feed

Author: Matt Reese

I grew up on a small farm in northwest Ohio and spent most of my youth writing, doodling, taking pictures, reading and exploring the surrounding farmland. With a family full of teachers, I also grew up around a culture supportive of education. I was active in athletics in high school before graduating from Ohio State University where I studied agricultural communications. This led to my career in agricultural journalism.

I continue to work on the family Christmas tree farm in Hancock County. I married my wonderful wife, Kristin, in 2002. We live on a small farm in Fairfield County with sheep, rabbits and chickens. We have a daughter Campbell Miriam who was born in the fall of 2007 and a son Parker Matthew born in August of 2009. We are active in our local church and with numerous other organizations. I help with the agricultural program at Ohio Christian University in Circleville as well.

I have worked for Ohio’s Country Journal since 1999. I also write a column for numerous newspapers around Ohio, Fresh Country Air and do freelance writing and photography work. I have written and self-published six books to date. To find my books, visit and search for “Matt Reese.”

Leave a Reply