Following 21 years of service, Jefferson Township resident Phil Grover has retired as director of the Ohio State Fair Boer Goat Department.
Phil and his wife, Mary Grover, were recognized by the Boer goat department at the conclusion of the 2023 Ohio State Fair.
Phil Grover started showing at the Ohio State Fair in 1950 with his Tamworth Hogs. He saved his money from his winnings to go to college at Ohio State University where he earned his degree in agriculture education. He was assigned to work at the Oho State Fair in the Junior Swine Show in 1956.
In 1958, he married Mary Highfield and they developed the Maple Grove Farm Tamworth Hogs and continued to show at the Ohio State Fair. In 1965, he was asked to join Ralph Grimshaw as the Sheep Show Assistant to be the announcer for the sheep show. Then in 1976, Phil became the Swine Superintendent for 21 years. In 2002, he became the Boer Goat Director for the next 21 years — a total of 74 years being involved at the Ohio State Fair.
In those 74 years, the family became very involved at the Ohio State Fair. Their daughter, Cindi, started her 4-H projects in 1968 with a flock of Dorset Sheep and was very successful showing them at the Ohio State Fair and won several Champion and Reserve Champions. In 1978, she was selected as the Ohio State Fair Lamb and Wool Queen. She used her winnings, and the sale of sheep, to help put herself through college in music education. In 1976, she joined her dad and mother, who was the assistant to Phil in the Swine Office. She became the announcer of all the swine shows. She has a small group of Boer Doe that she started in 2022.
Cindi’s son, Philip, has shown Tamworth Swine, Dorset Sheep, and Boer Goats at the Ohio State Fair for 30 years. He has become one of the elite Boer Goat judges in the United States. He has judged the ABGA National on three different occasions. His twin daughters showed at the Ohio State Fair for the first time in 2022 and won the Jr champion % Boer Goat Awards.
Daughter, Mary, has shown Dorset and Boer Goats at the Ohio State Fair for 10 years and her daughters, Lilly and Eve, have helped grandpa in the show ring. Philip and Mary placed first in the Sheep Skillathon at the OSF. Son, Chas, started in 4-H and FFA and has shown for many years at the Ohio State Fair in the Boer Goat Show. He won the Outstanding Meat Exhibitor Award. Chas now has his own flock of goats. He is involved with a lot of fitting and grooming clinics all over the United States for 4-H and FFA kids. Expect to see Chas’s 18-month-old son, Rowan, in the show ring this year with his dad.
Daughter, Cathy, became involved with the Tamworth Hogs and Dorset Sheep in 1979 at the Ohio State Fair. She saved her money to go to college and earn a Ph.D. in health education. In 1988, she was selected as the Ohio State Fair Queen. She also helped in the Swine Show recording show results and has continued to help with the Boer Goat Shows. She is employed by the Pickerington School District as a member of the administrative team. Her family at Red Oak Farm raises Boer Goats that their son, Dylan, shows at the Ohio State Fair. Dylan was very successful at the 2022 Ohio State Fair in winning the Outstanding Breeder Award.
Daughter, Carole, also became involved at the Ohio State Fair with her Tamworth Hogs, Dorset Sheep & Boer Goats. Carole won the 1990 Ohio State Fair Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Junior Fair Barrow Carcass Contest. She saved her money and went to college and received her Juris Doctor of Law. She was also selected as the 1992 Ohio State Fair Lamb and Wool Queen. She has continued to work as an assistant in the Boer Goat Department and her family has developed the White Oak Farm Boer Goats. Her two children, Tori and Drew, have been showing at the Ohio State Fair for over 12 years and Drew was very successful at the 2023 National Boer Goat Show.
It has surely become a four-generation Ohio State Fair involvement.
Grover was the Fayette County Extension Agent from 1955-1972 and retired from the Ohio State University in 1987. He and his wife reside on Parrott Station Road in Jefferson Township.