As the Farm Science Review celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, the state’s premier agricultural education and industry event will both highlight its own history and keep its focus on educating for the future.
“While many attending Farm Science Review this year will not remember farming as it was 60 years ago, we hope this is a year to reflect on how much the industry has advanced,” says Nick Zachrich, FSR manager, noting that this year’s review will include examples of farm equipment from the 1960s alongside cutting-edge equipment to highlight advances in technology that have shaped the industry.
Ohio’s electric cooperatives have had a presence at the review for nearly its entire 60-year run. For years, the co-ops erected a giant tent on the grounds and set up educational displays to showcase the latest advances in energy efficiency, safety, and renewables as well as how electricity brings convenience to the modern world. The cooking demonstrations that are so popular, in fact, were first devised as a way to teach farm families about microwave ovens when that technology was cutting-edge (this year’s demonstration, by food-blogger Jennifer Osterholdt, will include electric air fryers, slow-cookers, and Instant Pot pressure cookers).
Ohio electric cooperative members can enter to win a $100 bill credit by completing the entry form on the inside back cover of their September issue of Ohio Cooperative Living and bringing it to the OEC building at Farm Science Review.
Eventually, the electric cooperative tent got so popular that the co-ops decided to pool their money and erect a permanent structure on the grounds in 2008.
“Being a part of the Farm Science Review lets us fulfill several important parts of our cooperative mission,” says Ted Reithman, marketing and energy use specialist at Pioneer Electric Cooperative in Piqua. “It’s right there in our principles that we value education and we have concern for our community. Being part of this event gives us the opportunity to engage with so many of our members and helps us live those principles.”
The OEC building will feature some new attractions as well as some popular standbys — along with the cooking demo, attendees can pick up giveaways such as rain gauges and yardsticks, pin their home location on a giant map, get energy-saving tips, and, of course, eat free popcorn.
Farm Science Review attracts upward of 140,000 visitors annually from all over the United States and Canada to the Molly Caren Agricultural Center. The review includes a 100-acre exhibit area with 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors. FSR also dedicates over 600 acres of land for field demonstrations, tillage, nutrient and lime applications, and drainage installations.
Hours for Farm Science Review are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20–21 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22. Tickets are $10 online, at county offices of OSU Extension, and at participating agribusinesses and $15 at the gate. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free.