Let’s hear it for the Patz 1000 Alley Scraper 4-H Style Revue

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Those folks at Purdue University are sheer genius.

No offense to my friends at the fine land grant universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but in the world of cost recovery, Purdue just scooped you big time.

Purdue University is auctioning the naming rights to several new species discovered by professor John Bickham, who is also director of Purdue’s Center for the Environment. The first offering? The tiniest new family member of “little yellow bats”, weighing less than a tablespoon of water and living in Central America.

The sale benefits the Center for the Environment’s research in the bat’s native habitat — and, of course, the winning bidder could accompany Bickham and others on a future scientific expedition.

Naming rights! Just think of the possibilities.

Those annual pesticide license update sessions? Perfect opportunity for Extension to make a few bucks. After all, think about all those applicators who need their core credits each year. I can see the brochure now: the Micro Flo Malathion 5EC Pesticide Recertification Update.

If you direct market beef, why not sell the naming rights to your next calf? Some yuppie could pay $250 to have you name the little bugger “John Henry,” and you could print out a fancy certificate on your computer and send it to him, along with cute pictures as he grows. And then heads to the freezer.

(Hey, we named one steer after our neighbor — yes, we liked him — and I never had any trouble eating the burgers from the batch!)

Why couldn’t fairgrounds consider naming rights as a way to prop up meager coffers? We could all head to the Farmers National Bank/Butler-Wick Canfield Fairgrounds next year. Or the AEP Noble County Expositions Center.

Consol Energy had enough money to buy the naming rights to the new Pittsburgh Penguins hockey arena — now Consol Energy Center — heck, they’ve made enough money in southwestern Pennsylvania to buy the naming rights for every grandstand in every county fair in the region. And the least we should do is start hawking the CNX Gas Marcellus Shale Demolition Derby.

If organizers can sell the naming rights to a BCS bowl game (the Brut Sun Bowl? San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl?), why not sell naming rights to hot events at the county fair: the Salem Community Hospital Motocross or the Giant Eagle Junior Fair Market Steer Show. And the popular Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Daily Sanitizing Spray Hog Wrestling at the Mile Branch Grange Fair.

At the purebred cattle sales, the embryo package could be followed in the ring by the naming rights package. Or 4-H’ers who think they have a hot shot steer or lamb or hog could sell the naming rights to their animal, and if they win at the farm show or state fair, the successful bidder could be one of the 73 people squeezing into the sale ring photograph.

But you gotta be careful. Remember the Houston Astros’ stadium was once called Enron Field.

The naming rights fundraising campaign is good in theory, but is a tough sell in today’s economy. Although the Wildlife Conservation Society sold its naming rights to a new Bolivian monkey for $650,000 in 2005, the Purdue bat is having a hard time getting to its reserve of $250,000.

The current bid? $5,100.

Going once… going twice…

About the Author

Farm and Dairy Editor Susan Crowell has been with the paper since 1985, serving as its editor since 1989. Raised on a farm in Holmes County, she is a graduate of Kent State University.You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/scrowell and follow Farm and Dairy at http://twitter.com/farmanddairy. You can also find her on Google+ and Facebook. More Stories by Susan Crowell

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