The 53rd annual Farm Science Review, sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, is in the history books but not after welcoming 116,784 visitors during the course of the three-day event and showcasing the latest in agricultural innovations. (Please take note of the total number of visitors — you’ll be tested on that later.)
During the event, Gary Jackson and often Alan Davis, and sometimes our videographers Glen Miller and Isaac Sell, travel via our mobile studio (golf cart) to various booths and displays of mostly sponsors and potential sponsors to the TV show, (shameless plug) “In Ohio Country Today.” We cover a lot, but we cannot cover it all.
This year it seemed like day 1 was way off attendance wise, likely due to ideal harvest conditions across Ohio, and that allowed us easy travels around the grounds from location to location.
The most fun was at the House That Soy Built. The Ohio Soybean Council represents one of the most active, most aggressive commodities. While there we interviewed John Motter, a farmer from the Jenera area who grows High Oleic soybean varieties. These soybeans offer a better, healthy oil for the consumer. John has spent about 15 years developing that trait in the bean and getting it approved. This High Oleic soybean replaces other eatable oils and is an alternative to high trans-fat content. Just one of several great stories that benefit farmers and consumers.
Farm Science Review offers us all kinds of stories like that. It is known as Ohio’s premier agricultural event and typically draws farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada annually. Participants are able to peruse 4,000 product lines from roughly 620 commercial exhibitors and engage in educational workshops, presentations and demonstrations delivered by experts from in their respective fields.
Although the show’s overall attendance was down from last year’s total, which was due (I believe) to ideal harvest conditions across Ohio, it was still deemed a success in the eyes of show organizers.
Daily attendance totals: Tuesday saw 38,220 visitors down by almost 10,000; Wednesday had the most for the week with 54,404; and finally Thursday with the smallest crowd at 24,160. But all of the organizers and almost every vendor we spoke with was pleased with the overall numbers (insert total attendance here for those who can add or remember it from the first paragraph).
I personally love the event. It is a great time to recharge with our sponsors and businesses that support the show — and you the viewer. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is and how truly grateful I feel to speak with viewers from across Ohio. Our viewers are engaged in the program because I think they want to know more about Ohio agriculture — whether they grew up on the farm and moved away, still on the farm looking for news and information, or simply identify with farming families and agribusiness through their job.
For my tag-team partners Gary Jackson and Alan Davis, and all of our videographers and coordinators that help produce the program every week, we thank you for allowing us to bring you stories for the last ten years about the biggest and best industry in Ohio — agriculture!
Here’s seeing you at the next review and sometime soon in Ohio Country!
The writer is the owner of Wilson 1 Communications. He is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years and the co-host and producer of “In Ohio Country Today,” a nationally recognized television show, and offers radio commentary and ag reports including locally for 92.1, the Frog WFGF Lima.