Goshen News, Goshen, IN

September 12, 2013

Yoder named president at annual fair banquet


— GOSHEN — Tim Yoder is going to be on the list after all.

The list identifies the people who’ve served as president of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. Yoder never expected to see his name in their company. Then Robert Abel of the fair’s nominating committee called, and said the group wanted him to consider leading the fair.

“I was shocked,” Yoder said Wednesday. “I’m in awe they called, honored they called.”

Later that day, the gavel of leadership officially passed to Yoder during the fair board’s annual banquet, which took place at the Spohn Ballroom in downtown Goshen. The fair has a new president every year, the position filled from the ranks of board members. Yoder is taking over for outgoing 2013 fair president Tim Graber.

Yoder was born and raised in Wakarusa, moved to Goshen and now resides in Elkhart. He was in 4-H five or six years, participating in Saddle Club and doing gardening and model-building projects. He’s been on the fair board for nine years, working in food concessions.

At the banquet, Yoder unveiled his logo for the 2014 festival: “All In 4-H Fun”. He told the board his family worked on the logo and considered all the things they wanted represented in it — those included church, family, school, 4-H and community.

Initially, the result wasn’t the best-looking logo, though Yoder’s daughter Katie offered, “We’ll, we got it all in.” A simplified theme was on its way.

Yoder also recalled his former track coach using the “all in” phrase to inspire the team. And prior to the banquet, he recounted his late father using the term, too.

Looking ahead, Yoder indicated there should be a focus on moving people and vehicles, in-and-out-of and on the fairgrounds. He thinks building a new restroom facility should be considered. Yoder also feels continued planning for the 250 acres fair officials acquired in 2011 is important.

The incoming president was also mindful of the “4-H” in the fair’s name.

“Our 4-H numbers are growing, so we want to always make sure we’re paying attention to the 4-H programs,” he said.

Outgoing president Graber praised the fair board members Wednesday night. He also challenged them.

“Think big for the future of this fair,” Graber said. “The face of this fair I promise you will change tremendously in the next five years.”

The 2014 fair is set for July 18 to 26.