The Ohio State Fair kicks off Wednesday and continues through August 5th. It is known as one of the best state fairs in the country and offers fun for the entire family.
The Ohio State Fair also boasts some of the best livestock shows in the country including dairy, beef, swine, poultry, equine, and sheep.
Dave Runyan (pictured) of Bellefontaine is the Head Swine Director at the Ohio State Fair. He and his wife Jane live in rural Logan County on a small hog farm. Runyan has been the swine director for 16 years and says he started working in the state fair swine barn when he was a junior in high school.
Listen to Dave Runyan talk about the Ohio State Fair.
Runyan oversees the operations of the swine barn at the state fair and works for the success of pork exhibitors and producers across Ohio during the days of competition. He is in charge of working with show judges and focuses on premiums for exhibitors. A large part of his job he says is dealing with the different youth organizations and recognizing young people for their hard work with their animals.
One of the organizations helping the Jr. Fair exhibitors is the Ohio Youth Swine Committee. The committee works to increase premiums to exhibitors at the state level and makes competitions more worthwhile. The organization will contribute anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 to the Jr. Fair shows.
The state fair swine shows start off with the purebred breeding livestock. The small breeds, which are followed by the large breeds, compete early at the fair. Finishing off the state fair are the market shows. Runyan expects almost all numbers to be up from previous years and anticipates about 1,200 to 1,300 pigs in the barn at one time during the market shows.
He says even with so many exhibitors, the barn keeps a positive and competitive atmosphere.
Runyan invites everyone to come and enjoy the Ohio State Fair.
For more information on the fair, go to www.ohiostatefair.com.