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The Hardin County’s fair board showcased its new trophy early Tuesday at a ceremony in which Agriculture Commissioner James Comer delivered another prize.
Based on a grant application, Comer presented a check for $100,000 for infrastructure improvements to the Hardin County Community Fair. The money will be earmarked for an open-air pavilion to replace a building lost to an April 2011 tornado.
The state Department of Agriculture annually distributes $500,000 to worthy projects. This grant and a similar $100,000 check given to the Nelson County Fair are the largest ever, Comer said.
“I look forward to coming to the Hardin County Fair this year and see how the money was invested,” said Comer, who praised the dedication of fair organizers and the quality of their grant application.
The fair is July 8-13 at the fairgrounds on U.S. 31W south of Elizabethtown.
During the presentation, Comer was surrounded by fair board members and several local elected officials in a ceremony early Tuesday in the fiscal court chambers on the top floor of the Hardin County Courthouse. The board displayed its trophy for being named Most Progressive Fair, which was presented earlier this month.
Comer’s stop in Elizabethtown also was part of a 36-county tour designed to remind the public about special state agriculture license plates. Motorists purchasing those plates also are encouraged to make an optional $10 donation, which is divided between 4-H, FFA and the Kentucky Proud program which promotes state-grown products.
A portion designated for youth development programs are returned to chapters in the county where the donation originates, Comer stressed.
County Clerk Kenny Tabb and his staff were praised for their assistance. Comer said 43 percent of the ag plates sold in Hardin County included donations, which was among the state’s highest yields.
In his second year as ag commissioner, the Republican from Tompkinsville said he hopes to increase voluntary giving. He said his administration provided a transparent accounting of the program and its distributions were down to the penny.
Comer said he hopes that accounting provides an assurance that donor’s wishes will be fulfilled.
“We’re going to do what we say we’re doing,” he said.
Ben Sheroan can be reached at (270) 505-1764 or firstname.lastname@example.org.