When Kolt Buchenroth was in the sixth grade, Hardin County Extension Educator Mark Light approached him about taking photos of the fair to be posted on Facebook.
Buchenroth agreed and set out on a path of volunteerism for the fair that led to him becoming the fair’s director of communications and marketing.
Much of the technology guests see at the fair is connected to Buchenroth, who often teams up with fair board member Corey Ledley. He began working on the computer system in the show arena at about the age of 10 and has helped update it annually. It was Buchenroth who was the obvious choice to control the messages on the electronic board in the show arena which was donated to the fair board by Buchenroth’s 4-H club in memory of the club’s advisor, Tom Sprang, five years ago.
Each year it seemed the young volunteer devoted more and more time to promoting the fair and improving the way visitors enjoyed programs. After Ledley designed and constructed the TV display in the show arena, Buchenroth worked on having pictures from the fair flash across the screens. He established a photo corps of five local photographers to contribute to the display.
he met with the fair board at the end of each day of the fair in their planning sessions, often not leaving the grounds until 2 a.m. and then returning at 7 a.m. the next day to face it all again.
Buchenroth brings the fair the general public through social media with connects on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Las year Buchenroth spent most days at the fair as he was starting his first year at the Ohio State University. He returns this fall as a sophomore.
When the fair board offered the Kenton graduate a position as communications director, he agreed to do it as a volunteer, but the board insisted Buchenroth not do the job for free and hired him. he is the first person to hold the position.
Learning the marketing part of the position was something new to Buhernoth, he said, but he is getting to know what the responsibilities are. he has marketed the Dylan Scott concert and other events scheduled for this year’s fair and was one of the leading proponents of creating a logo for the fair.
“We needed something so when people saw it, they automatically think of the Hardin County Fair,” he said.
Working with Wes Goldsmith at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, the logo is being used to some extent this year, but will be more prominent after this year’s fair is over, said Buchenroth.
“We are really happy with it. Wes did a great job,” said Buchenroth.
His involvement in the county fair has been paid off in other ways besides the new job, said Buchenroth. He competed last spring at the FFA National Convention and came home with the national title in the Proficiency in Agriculture Communications division of the gathering.
But Buchenroth personal perosnal accomplishments are not what keeps him motiviated to be involved with the fair.
“Everything I do is exhibit-based,” he said. “Our fair is great and our exhibits are great, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the kids.”
Buchenroth plans to have a career in agricultural communications. But wherever his career takes him, he hopes to continue to be a part of the Hardin County Fair.
“I love it. I’ve been coming to the fair as long as I can remember. I’d love to stay here and help out as long as they will have me,” he said.
This story was originally printed in the 2018 Hardin County Fair Preview, a publication of the Kenton Times. It was written by Times Staff Writer Dan Robinson.