Lots to see at conservation expo

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SALEM, Ohio — The Agriculture and Natural Resource Conservation Expo in Carroll County will have advice on everything from antique tractors to wildlife control.

Set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 13, the expo will also feature keynote speaker Joel Salatin, a Virginia farmer who promotes sustainable agriculture.

Salatin will give presentations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and will be available throughout the day to answer questions. The farmer’s presentation will cover the following topics:

- Farming for profit, production and pleasure

- Diversifying for profit, production and pleasure

- Creating the farm your children will want

- Making room for the next generation

The Salatin family owns Polyface Inc., a 500-acre organic, pasture-based farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. They raise beef, pork, poultry, rabbits and forestry products.

Salatin, who is also an author, has been featured in Smithsonian, National Geographic and Gourmet magazines.

Learning

This is the second year for the conservation expo, which is hosted by the Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson and Stark county soil and water conservation districts. The event is designed to help families learn more about small-scale farming and what options are available for that type of farming.

One of the highlights of this year’s expo is activities for children. Youth attractions include COSI on Wheels (a mobile exhibit from the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus), Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, fingerprinting and identification kits and a kiddie tractor pull.

“That’ll hopefully encourage the kids not just to come and have fun, but to learn while they’re there,” said Kimberly Arbaugh, program administrator at the Harrison Soil and Water Conservation District.

Tons of topics

For adults, the expo offers a variety of speakers and topics. Six tents will be set up, one dedicated to each of the following subjects: energy, forestry, soil and water conservation, wildlife, pasture management and small farms.

Visitors can also learn about beef cattle, dairy cattle, spinning, honeybees, vegetable production, sheep, goats, rotational grazing, fire safety, forest management, archery, horses, split rail fencing, alpacas, geothermal heating and cooling, pond seining, controlling nuisance wildlife, coyotes and rain gardens.

South Central Electric will also have demonstrations on electric.

Speakers include Bob Hendershot, state grassland conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service; Rich Milleson, assistant director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources; David Lytle, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry; Eric Ashcroft, Wakatomika Creek Branch; and Darrin Petko, Stark Parks.

See what it’s about

The expo is funded through donations and grant money. It replaces the Country Living Field Day, which ran from 1994 to 2003.

Last year, the inaugural expo drew a crowd of about 1,000. Organizers are hoping to attract 2,000-3,000 visitors this year and “promote the importance of agriculture and conservation,” Arbaugh said.

The expo will be held in Carroll County at McClester Farm, 4071 Meter Road N.E., Mechanicstown, Ohio. Admission is free.

About the Author

Former reporter Janelle Skrinjar wrote for Farm and Dairy from 2005 to 2009. More Stories by Janelle Skrinjar

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