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Ohio State Fair breaks boundaries with pig showOhio State Fair breaks boundaries with pig show

Ohio Bits: FFA members shine at agriscience fair; Cultivating a Cure raises funds for cancer research.

September 13, 2023

4 Min Read
Emma Wheeler, Myka Colman and Kaylee Dingey in a show ring with pigs
BREAKING BOUNDARIES: Emma Wheeler (mentor), Myka Coleman (exhibitor) and Kaylee Dingey (mentor) are seen at the 2023 Breaking Boundaries Pig Show. Photo courtesy of OSF

Making its debut at the 2023 Ohio State Fair, the Breaking Boundaries Pig Show featured participants between 9 and 22 years old with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Along with the assistance of 25 youth mentors from the Ohio Pork Council’s OH-PIGS program, the participants experienced their first “center-ring” opportunity to care for and show pigs in front of a state fair audience complete with judges.

“We know the real-world life lessons that are gained in the show ring for so many youths around Ohio and the nation, and we wanted to create that type of opportunity for this special group of young people, too,” says Kelly Morgan, OH-PIGS manager, and Ohio State Fair assistant swine superintendent. “While the experience may have only been for one evening at the state fair, we hope that for the young people and their families, this inaugural show created a lifelong memory that creates good emotions.”

Thanks to the collaboration by OH-PIGS’ families, each participant was furnished with their own show pig and paired with a mentor to help guide them in their experience.

“We hope that we’re starting something that will be an annual event at the Ohio State Fair,” says Cheryl Day, executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council. “It’s just another way that we can demonstrate how our state’s pig farmers and show pig families continue to give back to not only their own communities, but the whole state.”

FFA members shine at National FFA Agriscience Fair

More than 20 agricultural teachers and college professors from throughout the U.S. recently met virtually to determine what FFA members and teams will compete for top honors in the 2023 National FFA Agriscience Fair.

Kate Welsheimer, Terra Choi, Josie Henry, Brylie Jackson and Jeffrey Moore of the Global Impact FFA chapter in Springfield, Ohio, have all been nationally recognized for their FFA Agriscience Fair achievements.

Jackson and Moore received a bronze medal in the categories of food science and plant systems, respectively. Welsheimer, Choi and Henry were named national finalists this year in the categories of power systems for Choi and Welsheimer in divisions 1 and 5, respectively, and Henry in the area of environmental sciences, division 1 of the competition.

The National FFA Agriscience Fair is a key competition that is part of the annual National FFA Convention & Expo, set for Nov. 1-4 in Indianapolis. To qualify, FFA members working as individuals or teams in grades 7 through 12 are required to conduct a scientific research project pertaining to the agriculture or food science industries and win their state’s FFA agriscience fair.

Individuals or teams compete in one of six categories — animal systems; environmental services/natural resource systems; food products and processing systems; plant systems; power, structural and technical systems; or social science — in six divisions — individuals in grades 7-8, teams grades 7-8, individuals grades 9-10, teams grades 9-10, individuals in grades 11-12, and teams grades 11-12.

First-place winners in each state have qualified for the national prequalifying judging. The panel of judges reviewed entries and selected a maximum of 12 in each category and division to move on to the national competition.

2023 Cultivating a Cure sets fundraising record

The 13th annual Cultivating a Cure, an event created to support cancer treatment and prevention research, welcomed nearly 400 attendees and raised a record-breaking $136,245 for the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center — James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Founded in 2011 by the Porteus family, Cultivating a Cure was created to support their passion for cancer research and prevention, while remembering all of those who have battled cancer.

Cultivating a Cure recognizes the value that is found when members of the agriculture community forge and develop their relationships and come together to address issues and challenges facing our industry such as finding a cure for cancer. Since its inception, Cultivating a Cure has raised more than $1.1 million.

This year’s event was held at Boyert’s Greenhouse & Farm in Medina County. Hosts Mike and Patti Boyert and guests Bob and Teri Berry shared their testimony of being a patient at the James Cancer Hospital and how cancer has affected their family. This event was made possible by the partnership between the agricultural community, Nationwide and Ohio State University.

Next year’s 14th annual Cultivating a Cure will be held Aug. 25, 2024, at Hirsch Fruit Farm.

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