Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Farm Science Review

Today is the opening day of the 50th annual Farm Science Review near London, Ohio. That show was always my fall favorite and my outdoor teaching assignment for 16 years at Blanchester and 8 years at Clermont Northeastern. The other 7 years inbetween, I had to actually work as an extension agent and it wasn't nearly as much fun!

The last 10 years have been more enjoyable but 3 of those years I worked at the Little Miami Watershed booth at the Gwynne Conservation Center. The 3 years I was in college I helped plant the crops for the review and helped out in the animal science, agronomy and agricultural engineering displays. It's been a great education.

The evolution of outdoor farm shows really starts with the county fair in the United States. This is where farm families got together to share their results for the year and what they learned on their farm. That was a big part of my growing up, too.

In 1953, Prairie Farmer Magazine put on the first outdoor farm show that I know of. The purpose was to demonstrate the rapid change in farm equipment in the early 50's. This was in response to the movement from small, general farms to the grain and livestock farm specialization we know today.

By the grace of God, no one ever got hurt on my field trips but we had some close calls. The first year in 1971, one of my new student's dad drove us up and he commented he wasn't sure that bus would get us there and back. It didn't.

The engine blew near the Pickaway County line on I-71 and there I sat with a busload os students deep off the side of the road waiting for another bus. They never sent me in weak bus again and I often got new ones.

I would always assign a major research project for each student in each class and those who stayed home to play sports got to finish without the benefit of the field trip. I got a lot of compliments for keeping my students busy but I really wanted them to think and learn at this great opportunity!

Now our oldest son does the same thing like so many do. The FFA is in action at the review and as a side note, thanks to all those great companies who support the National FFA, they were just named as the top ten places for students to achieve college scholarships!

I hope to see some of my friends at Farm Science Review but there is so much to do there! Since its inception, the review sees a lot more equipment for no-till, gypsum, lime and cover crops. There is a new seed company I intend to look up, Spectrum Seed Company out of Indiana.

See you at the Review!


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