Columbus, OH — The Ohio Fair Managers Association is proud to induct Mel Hagemeyer for his support to Ohio Fairs, and their community, into the Ohio Fairs Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
The Hagemeyer family has contributed to the Fair community in Warren County for more than 60 years. Mel Hagemeyer has been on the Warren County Agricultural Society Board since 2002, when his father, Maynard, retired from the Fair Board after 42 years of service.
Mel worked at the Lebanon Raceway for 45 years, serving as program director, mutual clerk, paddock judge, director of operations, and since 1992, general manager.
“This became a way of life,” he said. “It was a 24 hours a day, seven days a week job.”
Lou Carlo, mutuel manager at Lebanon Raceway called Hagemeyer “the greatest” and said without his tireless work the track would have closed years ago.
He took over the fair racing program following Keith Nixon, Corwin Nixon’s son, and served as the harness racing superintendent for 12 years and owns several broodmares. Mel has also been the Open Class Superintendent of Antique Tractors, Competitive Arts, Baked Goods, and Horticulture.
For the last five years, Hagemeyer was one of the driving forces behind getting video terminals legalized at Ohio’s horse tracks. He said the electronic slot machines at the tracks will provide the revenue that will save the horse racing industry in the state. He said Lebanon had lost 10 percent of its revenue for the last several years and the track would have “gone under” in the next couple of years without the video terminals. The slots are “a big shot in the arm,” he said.
When Mel was in 4-H, he was on the Junior Fair Board. He was also a “hog man.” Back in the good ole’ days, he said that he would park in a pickup truck with a cover next to the brick maintenance building for a week during the fair.
Mel is a member of the Optimist, Shrine, Masonic Lodge, and Scottish Rites Lodge. He will receive his 50-year pin next year for the Masonic Lodge. He is a past president and current member of the Ohio Valley Standardbred Association, the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association, and the United States Trotting Association. Mel is also a past director for Harness Tracks of America.
Mel is actively involved in the multi-generational operation of Hagemeyer Farms in Clarksville, Ohio.
Mel has been married to Pam for 34 years. They have four children: Scott, Tiffany, Steven and Cheryl. They have five grandchildren.
We are so grateful to Mel for his years of commitment to the people of Warren County, to the harness racing industry and to the Warren County Fair.
The Ohio Fair Managers Association is proud to induct Mel Hagemeyer for his support to Ohio Fairs, and their community, into the Ohio Fairs Hall of Fame Class of 2019.