RUSH COUNTY — Lynn Kuhn of Manilla recently was elected to the Indiana State Fair Board.
He has been involved with and attended fairs his entire life.
“I’ve been on the Rush County Fair Board for over 30 years. I’ve also been involved with the Indiana Association of Fairs,” Kuhn said. “These positions have allowed me to gain ideas about what does and doesn’t work at fairs.”
Kuhn said that his love for fairs stems from how he was brought up as a child. His mother and father enjoyed taking him to fairs across Indiana.
His father, Neal, also served on the Indiana State Fair Board in the past. During the county fair, Kuhn serves as a ring steward at the sheep barn.
Kuhn will be a director on the Indiana State Fair Board, but the department he will preside over will be determined at a board meeting later this month. He is currently the director of District 4, which serves more than 19 counties for the Indiana Association of Fairs and Festivals.
“The State Fair is meant to promote agriculture in the state,” Kuhn said. “A lot of times the fair commission and staff don’t look to support agriculture as much. I want to make sure it is always a focus, whether it’s livestock agriculture or learning events that showcase what agriculture is all about.”
Kuhn said he was overwhelmed with the positive response he received about his running for a board position prior to and after being elected. He campaigned at county fairs across the state in an effort to get his name and ideas into the public eye.
Kuhn visited the majority of the board’s 21 voting delegates at their homes and spoke with them about his vision for the Indiana State Fair. He said that delegates seemed to agree with most of what he has in mind.
Kuhn had to receive 51 percent of the delegates’ votes to be elected. He received 14 out of 21 possible votes. Marna Hollingsworth of Hamilton County received three votes and Tom Crosby of Shelby County received four votes.
Cheri Daniels, wife of former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, was also running for the position, but didn’t attend the election meeting.
Kuhn and his wife of 32 years both graduated from Ball State University. The couple has two daughters who both teach agriculture within the state.
His family raises 40 head of purebred Southdown ewes. The Kuhn family regularly exhibits animals at the Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana State Fairs.
“It’s something our family has always enjoyed and we know a lot of people in the industry,” Kuhn said.
Kuhn believes that agriculture is at the heart of Indiana’s industry and that it plays a critical role on the world stage.
“I think agriculture is the largest industry in the state. We have to support it, because everyone’s life revolves around it,” Kuhn said. “We have to be conscious that there are people in agriculture working for us every day. People need to be educated that conventional agriculture is sustaining many people around the world.”