02/28/12 — Longtime fair manager says he will retire

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Longtime fair manager says he will retire

By Steve Herring
Published in News on February 28, 2012 1:46 PM

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News-Argus file photo

Fair manager Milton Ingram shows off some of the awards won by the fair this year. He announced he will retire this fall.

Milton Ingram, who is celebrating his 28th year as manager of the award-winning Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair, has announced he will retire at the end of this year's fair.

Eddie Pitzer, secretary-treasurer of the Wayne County Livestock Development Association, which sponsors the fair, will serve as assistant manager this year and will become manager once Ingram retires.

Ingram made his announcement during his fair manager's report at the association's 64th annual meeting Monday night at the Wayne Center.

"Due to age, I will be 70 in mid-March of 2013, some health problems a couple of years ago, although I think I am better now, I plan to retire after the 2012 fair," he said.

Ingram, who joined the association in 1970 and became fair manager in 1985, told association officials in November 2010 of his plans. A search committee was formed and this past November recommended that Pitzer, who has been secretary-treasurer since 1990, become fair manager.

Ingram spent just a few minutes of his presentation talking about his retirement and instead devoted most of his report to the fair's continued growth and success.

During his tenure, the fair has consistently been ranked among the best in the state. The 2011 fair had an attendance of more than 102,000 people and won the Image, Youth and Agricultural awards given annually at the N.C. Fair Convention.

The fair has won the Image Award 14 times, more than another fair in the state. It has won the Youth Award 22 times, twice as many times as any other fair, and the Agriculture Award 11 times.

It has won the Got to be Agriculture Award seven times over the award's nine-year span.

"Hopefully, the 2012 fair will be bigger and better than ever before," he said. "With your continued support, interest and dedicated help, I feel that the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair will continue to grow and get better."

Curtis Shivar, association president, commended Ingram for his vision for an award-winning fair.

"We wish him happiness and good health in retirement and thank him for his dedication to the association," Shivar said.

Pitzer, after serving as assistant manager this year, will become manager on Jan. 1, 2013, he said.

"This transition will allow the association to continue to operate in an orderly manner and achieve its goals and objectives," Shivar said. "The new manager has his own vision for a fair as well as other association activities, and we will continue to see excellence at the fair."

During his report Ingram joked that while Raleigh might have the RBC Center that the fairgrounds will soon have the RPC Center-- rabbits, poultry and critters -- as named by Shivar.

He was referring to a new exhibit building being constructed that will replace an older structure.

Perhaps one of the most popular additions at the fairgrounds has been the paving, Ingram said. It has reduced dust and resolved issues with rain and mud.

Also, the county's annual Relay for Life will use the paved track this year and another, though yet unannounced, organization wants to use the fairgrounds as well.

"During my 28 years as manager, I have really been fortunate to work with many dedicated and good people," Ingram said. "I feel very blessed to have had an opportunity to watch the fair grow and get better every year. I hope to stay involved with the fair in some role in the future."