LONDON, Ohio -- When times are good in agriculture, everyone enjoys a good farm show, and organizers of Ohio State University's Farm Science Review are hoping that the overall positive vibe of the industry will carry over to this year's event.
"It's just amazing where agriculture is today. We are at levels with crop prices we've never seen before, yet just operating under these circumstances can be potentially overwhelming. Unfortunately, we are also operating under a cost structure that we have never seen either," said FSR manager Chuck Gamble. "We hope what is being offered at Farm Science Review this year from a research, education and exhibitor standpoint will help farmers effectively deal with those challenges they are facing."
"New Days, New Discoveries" is the theme of this year's event, being held Sept. 16-18 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. Farm Science Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. It attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada, who come for three days to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and learn the latest in agricultural research, conservation, family and nutrition, and gardening and landscape.
Farm Science Review is still a few months away, yet exhibitor space at the show is nearly sold out.
"The general sense we get from ag exhibitors is that there is a positive atmosphere in the industry and they are really wanting to capitalize on that," said Gamble. "How positive is that to educate the public that their food production industry and the markets are in an upswing."
From agricultural exhibitors to non-traditional businesses making an appearance, some for the first time, there is something for everyone at this year's Farm Science Review.
"If a farmer wants to market soybeans to a Japanese company, all he needs to do is come to Farm Science Review. If a farmer is looking to sell his grain, all he needs to do is come to Farm Science Review. Grain companies are specifically coming to the show to have that face-to-face contact with the farmer," said Gamble. "We are seeing more e-commerce technology as opposed to the traditional methods of doing business, and if a farmer wants to learn more about unique hands-on building designs, the companies that can educate him about that construction will be here. These are just a few of the things that a visitor can expect to see at Farm Science Review."
In addition to the exhibitors, Ohio State University will have a presence at the show through education, outreach, research and academic exhibits, demonstrations and programs. Visitors to Farm Science Review can learn more about agricultural issues, health and nutrition, gardening, insects and diseases, turfgrass management, economics, safety, energy, and niche farming and marketing.
The following is just a sample of what visitors can look forward to at this year's show:
• Purdue University will once again be a part of Farm Science Review. With agriculture similar to both states, combining expertise, demonstrations and exhibits from both universities is an invaluable asset to FSR visitors, says FSR assistant manager Matt Sullivan.
• OSU Extension horticulturists are bringing back the Millin', Chillin', and Grillin' event at Utzinger Garden. Pick the brains of garden experts, chat with media personalities or sample foods from cooking demonstrations.
• With agricultural costs rising and grain prices soaring, managing the farm can be tricky. Enterprise budgets, land rents and custom rates will be part of a farm management program being offered in the Firebaugh Building, located on Friday Avenue. Exhibits on confined animal feeding operations and OSU Extension's new livestock ventilation trailer will also be displayed in the Firebaugh Building.
• From ethanol to wind power to hydrogen fuel cells, interest in bioenergy continues to grow. Look for a wide variety of bioenergy topics from both Ohio State and Purdue universities during the event. The exhibits will be housed in the Energy Education tent at Alumni Park.
• Have a field crop disease or odd-looking insect you can't identify? Bring a sample to FSR and have the experts at the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic analyze it. The clinic is Ohio State University's innovative facility for the diagnosis and identification of plant disease, insect, and plant-health problems.
• Field crop demonstrations will have a new look. They will offer more educational opportunities, but will not include morning corn harvest, allowing attendees more time to visit the central exhibit area.
Farm Science Review will also continue with its sprayer demonstrations at the chemical load rinse pad and turfgrass research plots. Visitors can also choose from a plethora of agriculture programs at the Center for Small Farms, economic sessions during Question the Authorities, natural resource programs at the Gwynne Conservation area, and family and consumer sciences information in the McCormick Building.
For more information on Farm Science Review and to learn about more topics as they develop, log on to http://fsr.osu.edu. Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or participating agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept 16-17 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 18.