Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Farm Science Review 1968

I got my first glimpse of the Ohio State Farm Science Review in 1968.  I was a freshman at the university in the University College.  That means I didn't know what to study.  I didn't claim a major until 1970.

I don't remember much about it.  I had a busy class load and a job.  I always had a job for a source of income while in college.  We were "poor white farm folk" as one of my friends always said but I don't think we understood how rich we were to get the opportunities we had.

Roy M. Kottman, a former dean of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (known as the College of Agriculture at the time) is credited for launching Farm Science Review. At the time, the college was looking for a replacement to "Farm and Home Week," a 46-year-old program that came to its end in 1959. In 1961, Kottman was approached by M.R. Maxon, regional branch sales manager for International Harvester Corporation. Maxon wanted to know if Ohio State was interested in sponsoring a farm machinery show that would include field demonstrations and educational displays.

Meetings between Kottman and Maxon soon involved Ray Mattson of the Columbus Tractor Club, Thomas Wonderling of OSU Extension, and Robert P. Worral from the College of Agriculture. In March 1962, the group finalized a "Memorandum of Agreement" among the Ohio Expositions Commission, the Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (known as the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station at that time). Later that year, Ohio State President Novice G. Fawcett signed the memorandum. Kottman signed for the College of Agriculture and Rowland Bishop signed for the Ohio Expositions Commission. Farm Science Review was officially born.
The first show was held in 1963 at the Ohio State University Don Scott Airport in northwest Columbus, Ohio.  That was a pretty good hike to a farm kid from Sardinia with a busy schedule. 

Over 18,000 visitors paid 50 cents a ticket to view 116 commercial exhibits and be the first to witness no-till corn demonstrations. For the next decade, visitors were treated to such programs as research on 20-inch (510 mm) and 30-inch (760 mm) corn rows, the introduction of big farm equipment, solid-row soybean planting, conservation exhibits, fertilizer application by airplane, and research to fight corn blight.
At least I had some contact with the Ag College that eventually helped me to decide to major in Agricultural Education after all of my other college requirements were satisfied by the next year in 1969.
I took my first class of agricultural students to the same site in 1971 and that alone is a pretty wild story.  Blanchester schools sent us on a old bus that didn't make it to the review.  Mr. Shilts, our driver said this bus is junk and we won't make it.  We didn't.  I had 60 students sitting unsafely along Interstate 71 near the US 62 Grove City exit until the school sent us a better bus to pick us up and tow the old blown up bus back to Blanchester.
I know the young students learned a lot that day but their barely older ag teacher learned a whole lot more.  That day started a many decade interest and connection to the Ohio State Farm Science Review.
I hope you who are going have a much less stressful trip to the Review this week.
Ed Winkle


1 comment:

  1. Only by the grace of God was I able to teach and safely haul students all over the US for those 24 years!

    Thank you, Lord!

    Ed Winkle