Farm Science Review adds new demos

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LONDON, Ohio – Ohio State University officials, nearly 600 exhibitors and more than 100,000 visitors are projected to celebrate the Farm Science Review’s 20th birthday at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Sept. 17-19.

An annual attraction since 1962, the Review was previously held at the university’s Don Scott Airfield in northwest Columbus.

No space left. The agricultural trade show sold out of exhibitor space nearly three months ago and nearly 600 commercial exhibitors featuring everything from machinery to seed to work clothes are expected to participate.

“We are filled to the gills,” said Craig Fendrick, manager of the Review.

“We have a limited amount of space left so we’re basically filling vacant spots from cancellations with our waiting list. This year, the front yards of buildings and every nook and cranny will be filled.”

Exhibitor numbers for the 40th annual event are up from last year, expanding the Review’s areas of interest, Fendrick said.

“Though the ag economy is in horrible shape, we’ve still got a waiting list,” he said.

What’s new. The Review also showcases education experts and farm and conservation agencies, and a number of new demonstrations are added this year.

Included in the new are harvesting demonstrations incorporating precision agriculture. In addition, more non-typical combine companies will be participating in the in-field harvesting displays, Fendrick said.

For the first time, the Gwynne Conservation Area will feature Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and other outdoor conservation groups.

“These types of exhibitors have never directly participated. This year, we’ve found an avenue” for their presence at the event, Fendrick said.

Visitors to the Review can also enter raffle drawings for prizes at the Gwynne.

Also added to the lineup is an American Tractor Pullers Association-sanctioned truck and tractor pull. Though not affiliated with the Review, the pull was scheduled in conjunction to attract more spectators.

The pulls will be held Sept. 17 and 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Madison County Fairgrounds, located just a little over a mile from the Review.

The Review’s antique tractor pull has been discontinued.

Special sessions. Visitors to this year’s Review can expect a variety of events including:

* Programs on pesticide storage, Internet privacy and food safety.

* Sessions on family farming and income options at the rural-urban interface.

* Field demonstrations on precision agriculture, corn and soybean harvest and tillage.

* Conservation themes and children’s events.

* Sessions on butterfly gardens, labyrinths in gardens and backyard landscaping.

More visitors. Along with an increase in exhibits, Review attendance is anticipated to be above that of last year, Fendrick said.

“We’ve been deluged these past few days with ticket reorders. Sales are outrageous,” he said, noting that the event typically goes through two to three years in a row with no extra ticket requests.

Current ticket orders are right on track, which should put sales in the 135,000 to 140,000 range, the Review’s 10-year average.

Last year’s attendance was roughly 128,000 and described by Fendrick as “considerably down.”

“Last year the event was just a week after the [Sept. 11 terrorist] attacks. People were hesitant to come to public events,” he said.

Although it will weigh on the minds of the public, Fendrick said he doubts the anniversary of the attacks would affect this year’s attendance.

Tickets. Tickets are $4 in advance and $6 at the gate and can be purchased from agribusinesses and county offices of Ohio State University Extension.

Children 5 and younger are admitted free.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. A complete schedule of events and listing of exhibitors can be found in the print Farm and Dairy for Sept. 12, 2002.

Farm Science Review is sponsored by Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

(You can contact Andrea Myers at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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