LONDON, Ohio — Farm Science Review, one of the biggest farm shows in the U.S., lasts three days. Ever wonder what happens at the site the other 362 days of the year?
Projects. Lots and lots of improvement projects to keep the area in tip-top shape for the following year.
Recent improvements include upgrading drainage in the demonstration fields, planting pollinator plants around the exhibit areas, enhancing vendor electrical services, repaving Friday Avenue and restoring the stream-bed in the Gwynne Conservation Area to stop erosion, said Garrett Nowak, the new site manager. Nowak was named to his position in February after being involved with the Review since 2009.
The Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. It takes place at the college's Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.
Of all the developments taking place for this year’s show Sept. 19-21, the changes to the main road running down the center of the exhibit area may be the most noticeable. Thanks to an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Recycling and Litter Prevention Grant, Friday Avenue has been repaved with recycled tires.
All the streets in the Review exhibit area at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center are evaluated each year to determine which areas need the greatest attention. Friday Avenue is the main road through the Review exhibit area, so repaving it will help the many people who use it.
“Having hard surface roads for the farm show make the site more accessible to visitors and exhibitors,” said Nowak. A good quality surface also reduces dust and assists greatly during wet weather, both of which are likely during Ohio Septembers.
For several years, the North Central Ohio Solid Waste District has partnered with the Review on recycling efforts at the show, and this year the organization provided the asphalt, which uses recycled tire material.
“Asphalt mix is a great outlet for discarded tires and the Review is a great place to showcase the use of the product,” said Nowak.
Another change to the site is in the Gwynne Conservation Area, where a stream bed damaged by erosion is being re-established. The streambank is mostly lined with mature trees, however one section of it is bare because deer have trampled the area, making it susceptible to erosion.
Staff from the Gwynne Conservation Area and members of the Ohio Land Improvement Contractor's Association will be restoring the streambank as a live demonstration during the Review. During the winter months when trees are dormant, willows and dogwoods will be planted to finish the project.
Tickets for the Review are $7 online, at Ohio State University Extension county offices and at participating agribusinesses, and are $10 at the gate. Children 5 and under are free. More than 120,000 people typically attend the Review. For additional information, go to fsr.osu.edu.