July 25, 2016

Mostly cloudy

With Medina County Fair over, now comes the big cleanup

MEDINA — Workers at the Medina County Fairgrounds on Monday and Tuesday know their manure from mustard.

About 20 volunteers, paid staff or fair officials helped clear nearly 100 tons of manure from pigs, sheep, horses and cattle from barns to get the fairgrounds back up to par after last week’s fair. Much of the manure was mixed with straw and sawdust shavings that added to the overall weight.

Heavy equipment operator and Medina County Fair Board member Jim Martin dumps a load of manure, straw and sawdust into a large pile Tuesday morning at the county fairgrounds. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE GRAZIER)

“This is our time to relax and giggle a little bit about the fair,” said Conrad Haneberg, vice president of the county fair board. “The cleanup isn’t for everybody. … The flies are nasty.”

The Medina County Fair ran July 30 through Sunday.

It’s a two-day job to empty and clean six barns at the fairgrounds that housed pigs, draft horses, sheep and dairy cows, Haneberg said.

“It’s a necessary evil,” he said. “Kind of like the last straw.”

Haneberg said that in addition to clearing out manure, the barns were swept out and stripped of stall fencing.

Landscaping company Smith Brothers Inc. of Medina is taking this year’s manure and will turn it into compost and fertilizer, Haneberg said.

4-H students clean up after their animals, but staff at the fairgrounds is responsible for all open-class barn cleaning, Haneberg said.

Most of the trash at the fairgrounds will be picked up by inmates from the Medina County Jail.

Rookie fairgrounds crew member Jason Plummer, 18, of Medina, said the odor from the dairy cow barn was tough to take.

“The smell in there was one of the worst things I’ve experienced,” Plummer said.

He added that the shoveling itself was “pretty good” work.

Contact Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.