Agriculture icon John H. Holbert dies | News | bedfordgazette.com – bedfordgazette.com

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John H. Holbert, who served the Bedford County agriculture group for almost 70 yrs, died on Tuesday at Colonial Courtyard Bedford.

He was 98.

After arriving in 1953 As a Outcome of the Bedford County extension agent, he went on to Carry out Truthful Board prefacetnt earlier than he turned the reins over to Jim Edwards in 2014.

“He wAs a Outcome of the fair,” Edwards said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

“I used to be Vice chairman to his prefacetncy for 30 yrs,” Edwards renameed. “He was a mentor to me, extra like a second father.”

Edwards said Holbert and his father served collectively overseas all by way of World Wrestle II, and “they spent A lot of time reflecting on that.”

“He spent so A few yrs there,” Edwards continued. “He did Tons for agriculture, for 4-H and for the fair.

“He was A very joyful particular person. Even after he was Inside the nursing house, anytime I converseed to him he On A daily basis requested how factors have been On the fair.”

Edwards said Holbert’s Old flame was agriculture, then shortly corrected himself.

“His spouse and household have been his Old flame, and agriculture and the fair have been second,” he said.

During Holbert’s sizey tenure, Edwards said, Holbert as quickly as noticed that he had been involved to some extent Inside the constructing Of every barn, save probably one — That is presently standing On the fairgrounds.

“Like everyone who knew him, I’m with a heavy coronary heart proper now,” Edwards said. He was Solely a particular particular person.”

The two served collectively Inside the Rotary As properly as to the Truthful Board.

Edwards said Definitely one of his frequent duties was nominating Holbert for numerous awards for his service. At size he acquired a nationwide award from the fair affiliation, and Edwards jokingly said that was The prime of it.

“I can’t discover somefactor you haven’t been honored for,” he informed Holbert.

Above all, he was A One which Might be relied on.

“Every time I had one factor come up,” I knew who to name on,” Edwards said.

The Holbert household’ legacy has Find your self to be synonymous with the Bedford County Truthful For many yrs, Together with his son, John E., serving as fair supervisor earlier than his retirement final yr.

“I begined out On the Truthful by way of 4-H again in 1967 Once I used to be displaying my lambs. My dad (John H.) wAs a Outcome of the county extension officer, and after he retired from there in 1986, he turned the prefacetnt of the Truthful in 1988.” The senior Holbert wAs a Outcome of the Truthful board prefacetnt from 1988-2014. John E. took up the official Truthful supervisor baton in 2001.

John E. started his work for the Truthful again then, too, in 1988, working asizeyfacet his dad, with the automotivenival-type cas quickly asssions and midway tasks to which he was drawn to. The midway appealed to him.

“We ran this Truthful collectively,” he said of his father, “However it was A particular time again then. Now it’s all subsequent diploma. And Dealing with The genperiodl public is simply not Choose it Was.”

The Holbert legacy continues To the contact A mannequin new period.

Traci Guyer, who was instrumental Inside the constructing of A mannequin new Beef Barn final yr, said she Did not know the senior Holbert that properly, however he continues to be a revered An important decide in native agriculture.

“Over the course of the yrs he did Tons for the fair and for agriculture,” she said. “Farming was Important to him.

Kay Kring, who additionally was instrumental Inside The meat Barn enterprise, said that Holbert, even in retirement, was an inspiration.

“John has simply been A strong citizen serving to Bedfrod County agricultgure. He was One of many largest assisters to get The meat Barn enterprise accomplished.”

Holbert, she said provided encouragement that in Bedford County, “When you start one factor you’re going to get assist. And he was proper.

“I used to be so joyful that he was In a place To return to the fair,” she continued, explaining that his son was In a place to drive him round in a golf automotivet. She had The prospect To level out him The mannequin new barn and “he was so joyful.”

The senior Holbert was functiond in a 2019 cowl story for Mature Dwelling journal.

When he arrived in 1953, the function said, John jumped in with each ft, transforming the Bedford County Truthful of 1953, which consisted primarily of An monumental automotivenival, automotive races, harness racing and grand stand reveals, to an real County Agricultural Truthful, offering retailers for native youth to reap the rewards of their exhausting work in elevating animals, cowling packages from bunnies to bulls.

In 1953 the fairgrounds had simply 4 barns — one hog barn and three cattle barns. Now there are 11 barns that embrace housing for dairy and beef cattle, swine, sheep, draft horses, rabbits, poultry, three horse barns, a Junior Dairy barn plus the current area. All of the distinctive barns have been re-established with the dedication of The mannequin new beef barn final yr.

Jake Hoover, who served with Holbert on the board For A pair of yrs, said Holbert “took the agricultural facet of the fair and turned it round utterly.

“If it wasn’t for him, the fair wouldn’t be the place It is right now,” Hoover continued. “I don’t know if he noticed it as a problem.

“He had good management expertise,” Hoover said. He could converse to any group and tackle all sides of the fair.”

Hoover said Holbert’s love of the fair knew no seasons.

“He could go up there by way of the winter and discover one factor to do,” whether or not i was reserving leisure, talking with an exhibitor or Ancompletely different exercise.

After John’s arrival he started An in depth relationship with native 4-H and FFA teams, their leaders And mom and father. That curiosity took off like wildfire and The remaining, as They are saying, is historic previous. The group provided assist (the Bedford Lions Membership constructed two horse barns) and John credit the 4-H and FFA leaders And mom and father with a lot of the blood, sweat And maybe even some tears that went into The ten yr transformation of the automotivenival type fair to an all encompassing

When John arrived, the Eichelbergers, Dick and Jean, have been the fair supervisors and John recollects thOn they have been “fantastic people to work with.” Much was accomplished all by way of these yrs; the Eichelbergers retired in 1969 and administration went from there to Tom Reily, Fred and Jake Hoover, to John and now John’s son John E. and Edwards.

John retired in 1986 from his tenure with the County Extension Office with almost 40 yrs service and after serving on the Truthful Board As a Outcome of the Eichelberger days took on the job of Prefacetnt in 1988 and held that place till 2014, when he turned the reins over to Edwards.

One of The numerous modifications John has seen Through the yrs, Together with the added barns, is the Junior Livestock Sale That is run by many volunteers and is A completely completely different entity than the Bedford County Truthful Board. The Livestock Board is made up of ag teachers, 4-H leaders and completely different volunteers recurrenting The numerous barns; and all income Return to The youngsters who enhance the livestock Inside The Sort of scholarship dollars.

Preparations are in automotivee of the Timothy A. Berkebile Funperiodl Home, Bedford.

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