Adults in fair drama urged to put kids first, egos second

Clark County Fair Manager John Morrison said Dec. 29 no decision has been made on whether 4-H horse kids will boycott the 2011 fair. One veteran of the fair, however, has weighed in.

Jack Giesy, the veterinarian for whom the horse arena is named, has written two letters to Pat BoyEs, the state director for 4-H youth development who threatened the boycott after Morrison said he would not accept the 4-H choice for horse superintendent.

Morrison doesn’t have that authority, BoyEs said.

In a Dec. 20 letter to BoyEs, Doc Jack expressed his shock over the drama.

“This whole situation appears to me to be an adult disagreement so why are the 4-H youth being held hostage?” Giesy wrote. “I realize that 4-H is more than the Clark County Fair (CCF), but for most youth the Fair is the culmination of a year’s work.”

Morrison, who runs the No. 1 fair in the state – which, as he told county commissioners, locks down state financing for next year – said he doesn’t want a boycott.

In any event, the horse stables will be filled. Morrison said other horse groups have said they would take the kids’ spots.

In a Dec. 23 letter to BoyEs, Giesy suggested having the controversial superintendent step down for 2011. Then the question of whether the fair manager can kick out a volunteer can be settled “in the calm of time,” he wrote.

“If you and the other adults involved in a leadership role in the 4-H Youth Development Program are really truly interested in what’s best for the youth, and I believe you all are, let’s put our egos aside, and let’s do whatever it takes to solve this problem without impacting the youth,” Giesy wrote.

Giesy said he did not receive a response from BoyEs.

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