LIMA — Troy Elwer has been a part of the Allen County Fair since he was 3 years old and participated in Pee Wee Showmanship with his hogs. He continued with Delphos Livestock 4-H Club and then FFA, finishing his showing career as a youth in 2018.

On May 2, the 22-year-old Ohio State graduate stepped into the position of Allen County Fair Promotions and Operations Manager.

“The fair has been a foundational part of my life and molded me into the person I am today and that was one of the driving forces as to why I applied for this job,” Elwer said.

The new position is Elwer’s dream job.

“The passion I have is not only for the agricultural industry but for this fairground specifically,” the son of Chrissy and Scott Elwer said. “I know what it did for me in my youth and I want to continue the mission of this fair, which is educating the youth and allowing them to exhibit their projects they work on so hard. I’m ready to give back and help the fairgrounds grow and expand.”

Elwer hit the ground running with the 2022 fair just three months away. His duties include managing what goes on in the office as well as the other employees on the grounds. He also negotiates, creates and carries out contracts with events, sponsors and vendors and is now focusing on marketing agreements for sponsors for free entertainment at the fair as well as sponsors of the day, pole sponsors and event sponsors.

“I’m also responsible for maintaining the relationships we have and seeking out new opportunities to bring in new sponsors or events to the fairgrounds,” Elwer added.

Elwer is working closely with Marketing Director Roseann Scott to develop new strategies to market the Chris Young and Breland concert and increase ticket sales and bring more attendees to the fair.

Another of his concerns is finalizing vendors and others who want to be at the fair and find a good balance between food vendors, etc. Upkeep of the fairgrounds is also important.

“I’m a very hands-on type of person and won’t be just sitting behind a desk. I’ll be helping the maintenance crews with landscaping and other beautification projects on the fairgrounds in the next few weeks,” Elwer said. “There’s really no dead time, there’s always something to be done but right now we are really busy with fair preparations.”

While the fair is the main focus, the rest of the year needs to be successful as well to support it.

“There are still opportunities for new events to come here,” Elwer said. “It’s going to be my job to find them.”

When fair time comes, Elwer knows he’s not going to get much sleep but he’s confident catching meals won’t be a problem.

“I have always loved fair food and I’m going to be spending a lot of time on the grounds during fair so I’ll have ample time to sample all the fair food,” Elwer said.