McPeek’s Mighty Maze is part of the annual fall festival at the Colonial Campground in Coshocton. Here, Lane, Rowdi and Sylvie Mullett reach the exit of the maze (photo by Marissa Mullett — @keenecreekfarmandmakery on Instagram).

Corn mazes

As viewed from above, some corn mazes are complicated labyrinths of intricate, themed designs. Whether they’re looking for a challenge or just an autumn atmosphere, enthusiasts of all ages are attracted to corn mazes. 

McPeek’s Mighty Maze and Fall Festival 

Located at the Coshocton KOA Holiday in Coshocton, the Mighty Maze is a part of the fall festival held by Ryan and Camille McPeek. Employee Amy Hamilton says they plant the corn like normal, and the maze is cut with a tractor and a GPS device.

Do mazers ever get lost?

“Some do need help,” she says, noting that guides are always available. Before closing each evening, employees sweep through the maze, looking for stragglers.

“We leave no man behind,” Hamilton jokes.

The Ohio Department of Transportation uses drones to inspect bridges and highway systems (photo by Bruce Hull/courtesy of Ohio UAS Center).

Eyes in the sky

At the beginning of the 20th century, two brothers from Ohio launched a revolution in air technology at Huffman Prairie, a cow pasture located just outside of Dayton.

The Ohio Department of Transportation uses drones from the UAS Center to help with a variety of projects. In 2021, the center’s drone flight team logged over 2,200 flights for ODOT, including bridge inspections, construction assessments, facility inspections, mapping, and traffic and roadway monitoring. 

Pileated Woodpecker

Attracting ‘Big Bird’

The largest woodpecker in North America lives in the Buckeye State, and for years I tried unsuccessfully to lure one to my home birdfeeders — and, ultimately, within camera range.

As the photos with this story attest, I eventually achieved my goal of attracting and photographing pileated woodpeckers up close. But I have to give credit where it’s due — I had a little help.  

Kane Lewis and Rachel Jarman

Staying in the game

Nineteen-year-old Kane Lewis’ life changed instantly on Nov. 16, 2019. While he was on a hunting trip, he had a seizure that caused him to fall from his tree stand — breaking his back and leaving him paralyzed. 

Working with state agencies, AgrAbility helped Lewis get a lift to put him on farm machinery, an Action Trackchair that will go over any terrain, and an automatic barn door opener. 

“AgrAbility has given me so much more freedom than I could have expected,” Lewis says. “I didn’t [have to] slow down.”

Just a month and a week after his accident, Lewis was back in college, where his classmates raised $13,000 to buy him an electric wheelchair to get around campus easily. By spring, he was back planting corn and soybeans.

Apple products

Co-op Spotlight: Firelands Electric Cooperative

Firelands Electric Cooperative serves over 9,100 homes and businesses on more than 900 miles of power lines in rural areas of Ashland, Huron, Lorain, and Richland counties.

History behind the co-op name

In 1792, the Connecticut legislature set aside 500,000 acres in northern Ohio for Connecticut residents whose homes were burned by British forces during the Revolutionary War. Known as the Fire Lands, or Sufferers’ Lands, the tract was located at the western end of the Connecticut Western Reserve in what is now the state of Ohio. The land was intended as financial restitution for residents of the Connecticut towns of Danbury, Fairfield, Greenwich, Groton, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, and Ridgefield.

Tree Braun

Woods woman: E. Lucy Braun

I have a recurring daydream where I try to imagine what it must have been like to see the Ohio country hundreds of years ago, long before European settlement. We know that half a dozen major Indian tribes lived on the land — it would have been interesting to visit their villages and learn their way of life.

LMRE Growers

Co-op Spotlight: Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative

Just to the west of Cleveland and a little south of Lake Erie, Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative (LMRE) serves more than 16,700 consumer-members on 1,541 miles of electrical line across five counties. Hometown pride is a defining characteristic of the people in the area, who believe in bettering the community and looking out for one another. LMRE prioritizes providing opportunities for their youth.

The 2019 class of Cooperative Leadership Edge was honored at a graduation ceremony on December 19.

Thirty-two graduate from Cooperative Leadership Edge

Thirty-two employees of Ohio electric cooperatives and generation facilities graduated from the Cooperative Leadership Edge program on December 17.

Cooperative Leadership Edge is a comprehensive training program for current managers who are seeking to develop the necessary skills to effectively lead people at all levels of an organization.

Students must complete four core courses, two elective courses, attend an OEC conference, and complete a capstone project. They also receive one-on-one leadership coaching, and DISC and EQi assessments.

2019 graduates include:

A sculptor working on their butter sculpture.

Moo-ving experience: Ohio State Fair's Butter Sculptures

The five sculptors know how important their role is. Within their capable hands is a tradition that some will experience for the first time this year and others perhaps the fiftieth time — one that thousands of people look forward to every year.

“The butter sculpture display is one of the most loved traditions of the Ohio State Fair,” says Jenny Hubble, senior vice president of communications for the American Dairy Association Mideast, which represents dairy farmers in Ohio and West Virginia. “Ohio’s dairy farmers are proud to support it.”