A year of planning is culminating Sept. 17-19, as the Farm Science Review is about to kick off its 57th year. The show, at Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio, offers 4,000 product lines and more than 700 commercial and educational exhibits. There will also be workshops and presentations delivered by experts from the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, which sponsors the annual show.
Kick a few tires, climb on equipment, explore technology, ask questions, watch harvest demos, enjoy good food and maybe make a day of it with the family, says Nick Zachrich, Farm Science Review manager.
“Major manufacturers have several new items. Some have added to their space, some have moved to expand — there’s more equipment for visitors to come and see,” he says, while stressing that the FSR’s online directory and mobile app will help visitors find the people and things they want to see.
A LOT TO OFFER: Kick some tires, climb on equipment, check out technology, ask questions, watch harvest demos, and attend workshops and presentations — and enjoy some good food.
The FSR app offers interactive maps, a schedule of events and general information about the show and exhibitors. It can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for “FSR 2019” or by directing your mobile browser to fsr.osu.edu.
The area called Ag Innovations will offer new technologies being showcased in field demos. Experts will be available to share information on drone use, precision agriculture and autonomous tractors.
The harvest demonstrations, “will be exciting,” Zachrich says. “In a year where crops did not get planted for many, we were fortunate to get in a good, solid crop. We are on track to harvest corn and soybeans.”
With delays in planting, low commodity prices and dwindling amounts of hay to feed farm animals, farmers can learn how to reduce input costs and increase their efficiency at a time when both are particularly crucial.
“With last fall and this spring being two of the most challenging seasons for farmers in recent history, you can visit many exhibitors and experts on-site to discuss situations you haven’t had to experience before,” Zachrich says. “All farmers will have to come up with ways to be more efficient, both in animal agriculture and grain production — to be able to plant and harvest crops in smaller weather windows. Farm Science Review is a valuable resource for them,” he adds.
New to the show is a Career Exploration Fair for anyone interested in working in agriculture.
From 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 18, representatives from an array of companies will discuss jobs and internships.
“With the hundreds of exhibiting companies, it’s a great place to look for another job or new career,” Zachrich says.
At a financially challenging time for many farmers, the career fair could offer a boost for individuals seeking additional work opportunities in agriculture.
“There are jobs available and people looking for jobs,” Zachrich says. “We’re doing our best to connect the two. And there are many people who come to Farm Science Review looking for a job or career.”
Currently, there’s a shortage of workers in numerous areas, including service technicians, welders, turfgrass managers, horticulture growers, licensed veterinary technicians, greenhouse managers, and sales and marketing specialists, he says.
Adults seeking a career change or high school students looking to get into an agriculture-related job can benefit from attending the fair, he adds. In addition to recruiting new employees, company representatives can discuss the qualifications and training required for positions likely to open up in the future.
“There are companies that want to hire today, and will train and even pay for education for the right people to work for them,” Zachrich says.
2019 FSR TICKET DETAILS: Tickets for the event, which includes harvest demos like the one shown here, are $7 online, at Ohio State University Extension county offices and at participating agribusinesses; or $10 at the gate.
Experts share knowledge
To cover a lot of pertinent areas and to allow interaction, OSU's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is again offering an Ask the Expert series of talks all three days of the Review. In 20-minute presentations, the experts will discuss such topics as:
• Addressing the USDA forecasts on farm income
• Tax strategies under the new tax law
• Solar leasing options
• U.S. trade policy
• Gene editing in animals
• Building trust in modern agriculture
There are many others as well, including a longer 60-minute presentation Sept. 18 and 19 by Jolene Brown, who says she’s on a mission to share leading-edge best practices, appreciation, laughter and celebration to increase productivity, profitability and peace of mind.
Her session, “Stop the Fighting on the Way to the Funeral Home!” is designed to be an insightful and fun-filled presentation highlighting the mistakes families make that break up their business. She will discuss in-laws and “out-laws,” money expectations, daily communications and important meetings. From conversations to contracts, from assumptions to clarification, from complaints to celebrations, she’s ready to open eyes — and end fighting on the way to the funeral home.
For the Torbin Talks feature, a panel will assemble to present “Farming in the Crosshairs: How Markets and Policies are Affecting the Farmer's Bottom Line.”
The panelists are from CFAES and include Ben Brown (moderator), Department of Agricultural Environmental and Development Economics assistant professor of professional practice in agricultural risk management; John Newton, AEDE doctoral graduate and chief economist at American Farm Bureau Federation; Ani Katchova, AEDE associate professor and farm income enhancement chair; and Ian Sheldon, AEDE professor and Andersons Endowed Chair of agricultural marketing, trade and policy.
FSR offers something for all sizes of farm. The Ohio State Sustainable Agriculture Team sponsors the Small Farms Center to provide information to smaller-acreage farming operations. In addition to scheduled talks, poster displays are available on many topics relevant to small farm businesses.
A sampling of the sessions, offered at two different locations, includes: pawpaws, industrial hemp, controlled aquaponics, alternative agriculture, selecting the right-sized tractor, direct marketing, malting barley and many more.
Hours and ticket information
The Farm Science Review hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept 17–18, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 19. Tickets for the event are $7 online, at Ohio State University Extension county offices and at participating agribusinesses; or $10 at the gate. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free. For more information, visit fsr.osu.edu.