By Megan Alley
Clermont County Fair officials and local leaders gathered inside the new Holman Livestock Complex at the Clermont County Fairgrounds on July 25 to celebrate the official opening of the new barn.
Dan Hodges, Clermont County Agricultural Society Board of Directors president, severed as emcee for the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“There were a lot of tears, there was some applause, and there are several of you who said ‘We’ll believe it when we see it,’” Hodges said to the crowd. “Well, believe it folks, because you’re now in the new Holman Livestock Complex.”
He added, “This wasn’t a dream for many of us, it was a vision; a vision that started many years ago with a thought that was started to raise money to build a barn.”
Construction on the project began in late 2016, with the removal of all the existing barns, maintenance shop and show arena in the south west corner of the property.
Old pens were sold, and whatever could be salvaged was set aside.
Shortly after demolition ended, constriction of the new metal facility began.
The barn boosts a 21,000 square foot show arena and enclosed pens for hog, sheep and goats.
“This has been a long journey for several men, and their families; a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this barn,” Hodges said. “I can tell you it has turned out perfect.”
The entire project was estimated to cost about $400,000 and was funded in part by the Friends of the Fair, who raise monies by selling pork tenderloin sandwiches at the fair as well as hosting quarter auctions.
The group also received several major corporate donations to put toward the project.
Additional funds were raised from the spring concerts, which included acts such as The Dan Varner Band, that have been held at the fairgrounds for the past several years.