The Buckeye Cowboy — Kirby Hidy

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

If you have ever been around the Farm Science Review, The Ohio State Fair, The Sale of Champions, The Agriculture Hall of Fame Breakfast, Pork Congress, Power Show or a number of other events around Ohio and saw a salty-haired, mustached man sporting a cowboy hat and a smile, I can almost guarantee  that you met Kirby Hidy.

We lost our great friend and co-worker over the weekend and for a man who brought so much life to every conversation he had, it is hard to believe that he is gone. Kirby was in and around Ohio agriculture for decades. He worked at The Ohio Department of Agriculture, The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, WRFD Radio, with me years ago at The ABN, and over the last five years after he and I began working here at The Ohio Ag Net.

2186b87Kirby was the most simple, yet complex man I have come to know. He didn’t need much. His family and a group of friends he considered family would do.

The complexities came from what molded him over time.

He was an Ohio boy, who found his love for the cowboy way during the years he lived in Texas. His passions were diverse. He loved horses, The Dallas Mavericks, The Texas Longhorns, wood working, jazz music, disc golf and above all, telling a good story. Some stories he told almost sounded made up from out of the blue. But if you knew Kirby, you knew they were true…with some ad libbed details to add a little color to the picture. What noble cowboy can’t tell a good story?

For Kirby, life was all about the people he spent it with. The conversation would most always turn to his wife and three kids and he would beam when he talked about them. He had a way of making every meeting at our conference room table interesting. His wit was so fast sometimes he couldn’t take the toothpick out of his mouth quick enough to get his quip in and make us all laugh out loud.

Kirby1He had a group of friends that he had known for years, some since college, that he would play poker with every month. I can tell you for a fact that it was never about how many chips he was up or down — he was always winning by just being a part of that camaraderie.

That is how everyone that came across Kirby Hidy at one time or another should feel. For having met him, we all hit the jackpot. People were the highlight of his life and he most certainly accentuated all of ours.

Peace, Love, Dove, Compadre. We will miss you.

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  1. I met Mr. Hidy during my sophomore or junior year of high school, when he was judging a state public speaking contest for FFA. Though I didn’t win the contest he pulled me aside afterward and said he’d be watching out for me to do great things.

    We met by chance at a few other events, and I had the opportunity to catch up with him for a few minutes at the Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions last year. I’m glad I did, because he seemed proud of me and the progress I made. I’m glad that my last memory of Mr. Hidy – or Kirby, as he always told me to call him – is doing what he did best and telling me he’d continue to keep an eye out for me because I had a bright future. I sure do, Kirby.

  2. I am in total shock! Kirby was my friend!
    Kirby and I have been hooked at the hip for 5 decades. It started when he was at WRFD radio right up to last week. We probably have seen or visited on the phone or internet every week. When he and Kim was married, I was there. When he moved to a new position, I was there. When he moved to Texas, was maybe the happiest time of his life. When he told me he was coming back, I helped secure him a job. He picked up like he never left! He always kept pushing me to be better, in my profession and as a person. As I did him. He was one of the first to contact me when I got the Sale Of Champions and told me to be myself and make it even better! Every time I got in the block for the SOC the last person I saw was Kirby, and he always gave me that Kirby wink and grin, and would say ” sell the hell out of em”!
    I will miss you my friend!
    God’s speed
    Johnny Regula

  3. Kirby great guy saw him almost every week at Tim Hortons was very dedicated gentleman can’t believe he is gone. He told me 5/17 2015 he was getting pacemaker don’t know what happened still can’t believe class mate and graduate of 1970 is gone. sure will miss asking about radio stuff etc.may God Bless you ……

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