Chapter 901-5 County and Independent Agricultural Societies
As used in regulations 901-5-01 to 901-5-16 of the department of agriculture pertaining to county and independent agricultural societies, unless the context otherwise requires:
(A) "Agricultural society" or "society" means a county agricultural society or an independent agricultural society which is organized and is operating under the laws of the state of Ohio;
(B) "District" means the area supporting an independent agricultural society as set forth in the constitution of the society.
Rescinded eff 2-19-08
(A) Each society shall:
(1) Issue each membership certificate in the name of the individual who paid the required annual membership fee;
(2) Permit only those persons who paid the required annual membership fee and whose signatures appear upon their membership certificates to:
(a) Vote at the annual election of directors of the society;
(b) Hold any office of the society.
(3) Issue no membership certificate to any entity other than a natural person.
(B) Membership certificates issued by each agricultural society shall bear:
(1) Dates (day and year) the membership begins and terminates;
(2) The name of the society; and
(3) A space for the signature of the purchaser of said membership.
(A) Each candidate for the office of director of a society shall declare his candidacy by filing with the secretary of the society, a petition signed by ten or more members of the agricultural society, at least seven days before the annual election of directors is held. The petition submitted shall state the specific board position for which the candidate is seeking to be elected. Any member who fails to file a petition that includes the specific board position is ineligible for election as a director.
(B) The secretary of each society shall:
(1) Announce the filing requirements for the office of director and information as to how these may be fulfilled:
(a) Conspicuously in the annual premium list; and
(b) In at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county or district concerned, no earlier than six weeks and no later than two weeks before the annual election of directors;
(2) Furnish blank petitions to any member of the society who requests such petitions at any reasonable time;
(3) Maintain and post a current list of the membership of the society in a public place; or make a current list available for inspection, at any reasonable time, upon request of any resident of the county or district concerned;
(4) Determine the adequacy, including a determination that at least ten signatories are members of the society, of the nominating petition filed by a candidate before ordering the name of said candidate printed on the ballots for the election.
(A) Each society shall:
(1) Annually, not later than the fifteenth day of November, elect - as near as mathematically possible - one-third of its directors, to a three year term not to expire later than the thirtieth day of November.
(B) Any society may:
(1) Specify in its constitution the number of consecutive terms any person may serve as a member of the board of directors.
(2) Provide in the constitution or by-laws for honorary directors with no voting power.
(C) The president of each society shall appoint three judges and two clerks who are members of the society, but not candidates for election, to conduct the election of directors of the society and to declare the results thereof. Candidates may witness the count either personally or by proxy.
(D) Each society shall:
(1) Keep polls open not less than four hours between six a.m. and nine p.m. on the day of the elections; and
(2) State the times polls open and close in each notice of the election which is published or mailed in compliance with section 1711.07 of the Revised Code.
(E) The secretary of each society shall supply the membership roll of the society to the judges of elections.
(F) Judges of society elections shall:
(1) Verify the right of each member to vote before they issue ballots.
(2) Permit no member of a society to vote by proxy or by absentee ballot.
(G) The clerks of society elections shall:
(1) Register the name of each person who votes and tally the count on poll books and tally sheets supplied by the department of agriculture.
(2) Place one copy of said poll book and tally sheet on file with the secretary of the society; and
(3) Mail one copy to the department within ten days after said election.
(H) A majority of the board of directors or any group of twenty-five citizens of legal voting age in a county or district may petition the department of agriculture to supervise the annual election of directors of the society in said county or district.
Each group shall:
(1) State the reasons for such request in their petition.
(2) Include the address of each person who signed the petition; and
(3) File their petition with the director of agriculture at least fourteen days before the election.
(I) Upon receipt of a petition, or upon receipt of other information which indicates that such action may be desirable, the director may:
(1) Make such investigation as he deems necessary and proper; and
(2) Assign one or more representatives of the department to supervise the election of a society.
(J) In case any election results in a tie vote the election shall be resolved as follows:
(1) In the case of a tie vote on a referendum for a constitutional amendment, provision, by-law or other issue, the amendment, provision or by-law shall be deemed defeated.
(2) In the case of a tie vote in an election for a director, the winner shall be determined by a flip of a coin.
(A) On or about the thirtieth day of November following its annual election of directors, each societies' board of directors shall hold a reorganization meeting at which the oath of office shall be administered to all newly elected directors and the officers of the society shall be elected.
(B) Each society shall secure a notary public, judge, or mayor to administer the following oath (or affirmation) of office and to induct newly elected directors into office:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Ohio, laws of Ohio and regulations of the department of agriculture of Ohio pertaining to agricultural societies, and to the best of my ability perform the duties of the director of the _____________ Agricultural Society, so help me God."
(C) If any member of a board of directors of a society misses three consecutive regular meetings, the board may:
(1) Declare the position of such an absentee vacant;
(2) Name a successor to said absentee to serve until the next annual election of director, at which time a director shall be elected to serve the unexpired term of said absentee.
(A) Each agricultural society shall include in the report to the director of agriculture required by section 901.06 of the Revised Code, on forms provided by the director, and following accounting rules entitled "Financial Reporting and Accounting; County Agricultural Societies and Independent Agricultural Societies" promulgated by the auditor of state pursuant to section 117.20 of the Revised Code and adopted by the director of agriculture:
(1) A summary of the receipts and expenditures of the society during the period covered by the report;
(2) A newspaper clipping, properly certified under oath, of the published abstract of its accounts required by section 1711.05 of the Revised Code;
(3) A report of exhibits, premiums paid, and other expenses of the junior fair division;
(4) A report of the horse racing program, if any, at the fair;
(5) A report of the colt stake races, if any, at the fair;
(6) A voided membership ticket for the year of the report;
(7) A voided season ticket for the fair if the society uses such tickets.
(B) Each agricultural society shall submit a copy of the annual premium list for the fair held by the society during the period covered by the report required by section 901.06 of the Revised Code, with or prior to submission of the report.
(C) A majority of the board of directors of each agricultural society shall approve, and the secretary or secretary-treasurer of each agricultural society shall sign and swear to the accuracy of the report of their society, before it is submitted to the director.
(D) Each agricultural society shall make its books, accounts, reports, etc., available for inspection by the director or any authorized representative of the director.
(E) If the director determines that an agricultural society has violated any law or rule administered by the department, he may refuse to issue a certificate to the board of county commissioners or the county auditor, or an order to the auditor of state, authorizing the payment of county or state funds to the agricultural society.
(1) If the director finds that he should withhold his certificate or order for county or state funds, he may, prior to a hearing conducted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, order that the violating agricultural society rectify its violation in a manner and time specified in the order. If the society rectifies its violation to the satisfaction of the director within the time set, the director may then issue a certificate or order for the payment of county or state funds.
(2) If the director believes he should refuse to issue his certificate or order for one or more years, he shall hold a hearing for such agricultural society in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. His letter notifying the agricultural society of such a hearing shall state in which year(s) the violation(s) occurred and for which or how many years refusal to issue is contemplated.
(3) Following a hearing conducted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code the director may:
(a) Order the agricultural society to rectify its violation in a manner and time specified in the order. If the society rectifies its violation to the satisfaction of the director, the director may then issue a certificate or order for the payment of county or state funds;
(b) Refuse to issue certificates or orders for payment of county or state funds for as many years as he deems appropriate. He shall specify in his order the year(s) for which he will refuse to issue such certificates or orders. If more than one year is specified, the director may at any time modify his order so that it does not include later years.
(F) Any citizen may file a sworn complaint with the director concerning any agricultural society which operates in the county or district in which he resides. Such complaint shall state:
(1) Facts which constitute a violation on the part of the agricultural society of a law or rule administered by the department;
(2) The law or rule which the society allegedly violated.
(G) If the director receives a citizen's complaint, and if it appears to be well-founded, he may conduct an investigation to establish the validity of the complaint. The director may hold an informal hearing, and specify the rules under which each such informal hearing is conducted, to allow the complainant to present evidence that the violation he alleges did occur.
(A) No society may amend the constitution or by-laws of the society unless a majority of the membership which votes at the annual election of the board of directors or at the annual meeting of the membership of the society, whichever is specified in the constitution of the society, approves the proposed amendment.
(B) Amendments to the constitution or by-laws may be proposed by:
(1) A majority of the board of directors at a scheduled meeting voting in favor of placing an amendment on the ballot, or;
(2) A petition filed with the secretary of the society at least fourteen days prior to the annual election of the board of directors or to the annual meeting of the membership of the society, whichever is specified in the constitution of the society. Any such petition shall:
(a) Set forth the proposed amendment; and
(b) Bear the signatures and addresses of not less than twenty-five members of the society.
(C) The directors of a society shall:
(1) Submit any properly proposed amendment to the membership of the society:
(a) At either the annual election or the annual meeting of the membership of the society, whichever is specified in the constitution of the society;
(b) In such a manner that the members may vote on each amendment separately;
(2) Publish notice of each such amendment and instructions on how to obtain a copy of the proposed amendment in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county or district concerned, not less than three and not more than ten days before the election or annual meeting at which it will be voted upon.
(D) Each society shall file with the department of agriculture a copy of its constitution, and by-laws. Said copy shall be certified to be true and correct by the president and secretary of the society.
(E) Each society shall file a certified copy of each change in its constitution and by-laws with the department within sixty days following the date on which the amendment is effective.
(A) If the constitution of the society permits such payments, any society may pay each director of the society, other than an ex-officio director, an amount not exceeding thirty dollars plus reimbursement on a per mile basis from the director's residence to the meeting place of the board of directors and return for attending up to twelve meetings of said board, each calendar year. The reimbursement per mile shall not exceed the amount received by Ohio department of agriculture employees while driving their own vehicles on official business.
(B) The board of directors of a society may pay the actual expenses of any director, and any duly authorized representative of the board, who attends the annual state convention of agricultural societies, the annual meeting required by section 901.06 of the Revised Code, and any other event which is designated by the board, if the board:
(1) Determines that attendance by the director or authorized representative at the meeting or other event is directly beneficial to the society; and
(2) Records such determination and authority for such payment in the minutes of any regular or special meeting of the board.
(C) Any agricultural society may:
(1) During the week of its fair, purchase meals for directors and officers of the society, and for other individuals designated by the board of directors at a regular meeting of the board;
(2) Compensate such directors, and officers, for meals purchased by the directors and officers.
(D) The treasurer, secretary, and fair manager may be members of the board of directors of a society. The board of directors may compensate such board members for their services, in addition to the compensation permitted by paragraphs (A), (B) and (C) of this rule, if the society's constitution permits such compensation.
(E) No society shall employ and compensate any member of the board of directors, other than the treasurer, secretary, or fair manager, of the society for services other than those specified in paragraphs (A), (B) and (C) of this rule, unless:
(1) The constitution of the society provides for such employment and compensation;
(2) The minutes of a regular or special meeting of the board of directors record authorization for such employment.
(F) No society shall pay any funds or deliver any property of the society to, or for the individual benefit of, any member of the board of directors, or any other person as a share, gift, or dividend. The terms "share," "gift," and "dividend" as used in this rule do not mean awards which are advertised in the annual premium list of a fair held by a society.
Each society is required to send an authorized representative to the annual meeting with the director required by section 901.06 of the Revised Code, to receive official recognition for the society.
(A) Each society shall submit to the director of agriculture, on or before the last day of November of each year, a request for approval of the dates on which the society desires to hold its next annual fair. The director shall base his approval or disapproval of each such request upon:
(1) Records of dates on which the society has held previous annual fairs;
(2) Competition with any fair in any adjoining county for exhibitors or patrons which might arise because of changes from such dates of previous fairs;
(3) Any other pertinent information which is supplied by societies or is otherwise available to the director.
(B) Fair dates considered for approval under paragraph (A) of this rule shall be the opening date of either scheduled activities or the operation of midway, whichever occurs first, to the closing date of either scheduled activities or operation of the midway, whichever occurs last.
(C) No preview dates shall be approved by the director.
(A) Each society shall:
(1) Have at their annual fair, and at any other livestock exhibition which is sponsored by or is under the control of the society, an official veterinarian who has been approved by the director of agriculture for such service;
(2) Submit to the director for his consideration, the name and address of the veterinarian whom the society proposes to appoint, not less than twenty days before the opening of the fair;
(3) Certify the appointment of an approved veterinarian to the director not less than ten days before the opening day of the fair;
(4) Through the official veterinarian enforce the laws of Ohio and the regulations of the department of agriculture which pertain to livestock exhibited at county and independent fairs.
(B) Each official veterinarian shall:
(1) Enforce the laws of Ohio and the regulations of the department according to the recommendations of the division of animal industry of the department;
(2) Inspect the livestock, and any required health certificates for evidence of any contagious or infectious disease;
(3) Carry out any recommendation of the division of animal health to protect the health of the livestock exhibited at the fair;
(4) Report to the division of animal health any refusal or failure on the part of any exhibitor or of the society to observe or comply with any law or regulation governing the movement or exhibition of livestock;
(5) At the close of the fair, make any official report required by the department.
(A) No person shall use society funds, facilities, or employees:
(1) To promote the candidacy of any member who seeks election or re-election to the board of directors of the society; or
(2) To influence the votes of members upon any amendment to the constitution or by-laws of a society which is submitted as provided in rule 901-5-08 of the Administrative Code.
(B) No person employed by a society shall engage in any of the activities specified in this rule.
(A) "Junior fair premiums" as used in the forms for the annual reports of agricultural societies means:
(1) Money paid by a society as awards to individual members or groups of members, of junior organizations for which the society provides awards in its annual premium list;
(2) Money expended by a society for ribbons, banners, medals, achievement pins, trophies, or merchandise awarded to such members;
(3) Money expended by a society for trips awarded to junior organization members, or to leaders of such junior organizations.
(B) To qualify for receipt of any subsidy provided by the General Assembly of Ohio for junior fair premiums a society shall:
(1) Have awarded premiums as defined in division (A) of this regulation;
(2) Prior to December 1 of the year in which such fair was held:
(a) Submit to the director of agriculture a statement of the classes for which premiums were awarded to members of junior organizations, the amount of premiums actually paid in each class, and the amounts paid for other expenses made necessary by junior organization activities sponsored by the society.
(b) Certify to the director the total amount paid by the society for premiums for members of junior organizations.