Rhonda Williams named 2024 Darke County Fair Supporter of the Year

Rhonda Williams named 2024 Darke County Fair Supporter of the Year

GREENVILLE – The Great Darke County Fair has often named one outstanding individual who has supported the youth and fair. A ‘Parade Marshall’ has been named each year before the start of the fair since 1987. 

This year however, the Darke County Agricultural Society has decided to move forward with no parade because of conflict with the concert. Due to no parade, the Directors came up with a way to continue recognizing those individuals who always strive to give back to the community and the fair. 

This year, Rhonda Williams will be named ‘2024 Darke County Fair Supporter of the Year’. 

Williams was the previous 4-H Youth Development Educator for Darke County. She is a graduate from Ansonia High School. She attended Ohio State University and received her Bachelor’s in 1981 for Home Economics. 

After graduating, she traveled throughout the United States with her husband Pat’s job. She later returned to Darke County in 1988, where they have lived ever since. Williams shared that she has two daughters who are both married: Meagan and Scott, who have two boys and live in Beavercreek, Ohio, and Nicole and Ben, who have a daughter and live in Versailles, Ohio. 

Williams came to OSU Extension in 1995 as a Program Assistant for 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences. In 1988, the Educator position became available, and Williams applied and officially became the educator after being hired in May that year. She continued in that position until May 2023, when she left to pursue a new career as a 4-H Editorial Specialist. 

“When I first started out, I was doing Jr. Fair along with being the 4-H Educator from 1988-2008,” said Williams. “During that time, I worked with the Jr. Fair Board. I helped coordinate fair activities, the King and Queen Pageant, skillathons, and all of those other behind-the-scenes activities.” 

She shared how she recently came back to help in 2022 as interim coordinator in which she was happy to do. She helped during that time, due to wanting to keep everything going for the youth, which has been a large goal of hers. She expressed that she stayed in that position until they found a replacement but she continues to help out to this day with any questions that may come her way. 

“I will always help any way that I can,” said Williams. 

Williams currently works for OSU Extension Publishing where she is a 4-H Editorial Specialist. She has the opportunity to edit and help write 4-H projects books and learning materials. She shared that she also did similar work while in the Educator position.

“I authored several project books during that time,” said Williams. “It was a passion I had, so when this position became open our Director of Publication reached out to me and encouraged me to apply. It’s been a refresh for me and the Darke County 4-H Program.” 

Directors made a unanimous decision earlier this year at their Monthly Meeting to nominate Williams and delivered the news to her that evening. 

“I was very surprised, I’m very honored to be the recipient,” said Williams. “I like to think that I’ve had a positive impact on the fair and the youth over the years. It’s nice being recognized for the time and the hours that I put into the program.” 

Williams shared that her goal was to always make the fair the very best place it could be for the youth. She expressed gratitude towards the Senior Fair Board and their similar goals, which was to always support the youth of the Jr. Fair. 

Williams will be officially honored on the first day of the fair, August 17th, 2024 at the Opening Ceremony and Breakfast. 

“Just the recognition is an honor. Being recognized for all those years that I did help with the program,” expressed Williams. 

Board Director, Marla Werner expressed her excitement in recognizing Williams. She also shared that it is a very well-deserved honor and she’s looking forward to fair so Williams can officially be recognized. 

“We’re excited to have Rhonda Williams as our Darke County Fair Supporter of the Year,” exclaimed Wener. We changed things up due to not having a parade since we usually have a parade marshall. However, we still wanted to recognize that person who we feel like has the fair’s best interest.” 

Werner continued that with Williams moving on from her role as Darke County 4-H Educator, they wanted to be able to recognize her for everything she has done and all of the hours that she has put in continuously over the past several years for the youth of Darke County and Jr. Fair. 

“We’re excited to have her as our very first Darke County Supporter of the Year,” concluded Werner. 

Those who would like to be in attendance for Williams recognition are invited to join the Darke County Agricultural Society the 3rd Friday of August at 8 a.m. at the Gazebo for the Opening Ceremony.