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Farm Science Review features packed schedule

Jennifer Kiel attendees navigate the grounds of Farm Science Review
FSR APPROACHING: The annual Farm Science Review, sponsored by CFAES, takes place Sept. 20–22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, 135 State Route 38 NE in London, Ohio. It attracts thousands every year, including many young people.
Field and technology demos, educational sessions, and equipment displays are planned.

Wear your walking shoes and get ready to explore all the agricultural industry has to offer at Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review, Sept. 20-22.

While a full, detailed scheduled is yet to be released, Nick Zachrich, FSR manager, recently offered some highlights.

With technology advancing and continuing to offer new methods and solutions for growers, FSR provides several opportunities to explore and witness them firsthand.

Spray drones, while not necessarily a new product, are a hot topic. Exhibitors will be showcasing what they can do for both farmers and custom applications.

“With some wetter windows in the spring making it difficult to get into the fields with equipment, a spray drone can operate and take care of some of those issues pretty quickly and timely,” Zachrich says. “Several years ago, we started doing drone demonstrations at the show. It almost seemed like a novelty at the time. Now, we're really diving into what applications drones have on the farm, and spraying has really picked up in the last year.”

A new company that produces a small aircraft will also be exhibiting at the show. “It offers an opportunity for farmers to scout with a manned aircraft,” Zachrich says. “Farmers have many power needs, with diesel and gas engines, but as we look to the future, this is an electric option — another way to get around the farm.”

When talking about carbon markets, he adds, “We talk about soil carbon a lot in agriculture these days and how to capitalize with credits, but what other options are out there to help with our own carbon footprints?”

The vertical takeoff electric vehicle is being offered by a company in Mason, Ohio.

“They feel like their vehicle has some opportunity for farmers, especially rural landowners, to get a bird's-eye view of exactly what's happening on the farm,” Zachrich says. “So, when we're talking about drones, that's a good way to quickly go up and get a snapshot of things, but sometimes having your eyes on what's actually happening out there is a good opportunity. It costs less than a full-size airplane. It looks like a big drone when you come up to it, but it's got a seat for a pilot.”

A couple of the aircrafts will be in the exhibit area, but it will also be demonstrated in the field.

The main goal of the show is education and providing an opportunity for farmers to see what's new in the industry, Zachrich adds. More than 100 presentations are planned again this year from experts, including faculty and staff from the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“We’re offering everything from horse marketing, which is always a hot topic, to grain markets and nutrient management,” Zachrich says. “But we’ll also have discussion on soil carbon and presentations from our College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State. And, of course, we’ll have a great lineup of opportunities for smaller farms, and those growing niche market crops and alternative crops.”

For conservation-minded attendees, the nearly 70-acre demonstration site — home of a forest, a stream, a wetland, ponds, pastures, wildlife food plots, and trails leading past or through them — will offer 50-plus talks, tours and demonstrations during all three days of the event.

The in-field demonstrations will showcase both corn and soybeans being harvested and all types of tillage.

With the brunt of the pandemic, hopefully, in the rearview mirror, some of the exhibit space and plot area has been opened up for ride-and-drive opportunities. “UTVs will be the highlight for this year,” Zachrich says.

In recognition of its 60th anniversary, FSR is working with OSU educators, Extension and the ag crops team to display machinery from the 1960s with comparable products that are modern.

Not only is there plenty to see and do, but there also are plenty of food options. About half of the food vendors are OSU student groups. “We enjoy having students on-site, both in high school and college, and that makes up about 8% of our attendance,” Zachrich says.

Throughout the event, several school buses are coming and going with FFA students. “We have several colleges and universities represented as exhibitors for them to look at career opportunities,” he says. “We will again have our career fair, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon, for students to see what's new in the industry and what job opportunities are there. We partner with the Ohio Agribusiness Association for the career fair, and welcome those wanting to highlight what's new in their businesses and wanting to attract some new employees.”

The annual farm trade show, sponsored by CFAES, takes place Sept. 20–22 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, 135 State Route 38 NE in London, Ohio.

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