In the spring of 1958, Paul Cunningham, then the county agriculture agent and Bob Irvin, newly hired assistant for Paul, met with a group of 4-H and FFA parents and advisors to discuss the selling of Junior Fair steers at the Delaware County Fair that year. It was held in the Willis High School Vo-Ag Room. Mr. Cunningham said that if such a sale was to happen, it would have to have an adult committee in charge. Several people were willing to serve, and Russell Tone, a member of the Delaware County Fair Board, was chosen as chairman, a position he served in until his death.

Sixty years later, a group of volunteers representing all the species and products sold at the sales, representatives from both senior and junior fair boards, and members representing the buyers, the clerks, and the hospitality committee, meet regularly at the OSU Extension Office to assure that this 60-year old tradition continues. From just the steers being sold, the sale now includes market goats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, dairy products and baked goods on Tuesday evening, and pigs and lambs on Wednesday evening.

The Delaware County Junior Fair Sale Committee invites the community to be a part of this year’s sales and celebrate the 60th anniversary. By bidding and buying at the sales, one is helping to support the positive activities of the youth of Delaware County. By having projects that are sold at the sales, youth learn time management, responsibility, and how to provide a quality food product for consumers. Participation in the sales also supports Delaware County’s agricultural economy, both present and future. As a buyer at the sale, one generates exposure for a business or organization through the display of the logo during the sale, signage in the barns during the fair, and in the thank you ad.

People interested in becoming a buyer should either email [email protected] or call 740-833-2034 to request a bidders’ packet.

If you feel you don’t have the financial resources to purchase an item or can’t attend the sales, consider joining the Delaware County Junior Fair Buyers Club. It is a pool of dollars from individuals, organizations, and businesses that believe in the importance of the sales. An application is available at, the OSU Extension Office or the Senior Fair Board office.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary, the Delaware County Junior Fair Sale Committee is looking for pictures, articles about the sales, and narratives from over the years to be shared. Pictures, newspaper articles, and remembrances can be emailed to [email protected].

Submitted story

Submitted by the Delaware County Junior Fair Sale Committee.