Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer: 1 Week, 3 County Fairs

July 24, 2018

The Ohio Soy Sustainable has been in full swing. The week of July 8th through the 14th we attended 3 of Ohio’s 88 county fairs. On Wednesday, we headed down to Wilmington, Ohio for the Clinton County fair. After attending their fair, it became obvious that Clinton County was rich with agriculture. We were set up near the junior swine show, which allowed us to speak with many local farmers about the commodity marketing opportunities associated with the bioeconomy. “You’re telling me that they’re making plastic out of the soybeans I grow?” – This was a common inquiry that we addressed throughout the day.

We experienced a change in landscape as we drove south on Thursday to attend the Adams County fair. Adams County, once know for their bustling tobacco industry, is now home to several thousand head of cattle. The rolling hills of southern Ohio are the perfect climate for producing beef cattle and forage crops. We spoke with the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Wildlife Specialist, Bill Wickerham about his outreach efforts concerning grazing cattle and their ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Bill has also been leading an effort to help local farmers properly dispose of agricultural plastics, such as bale-wrap.

After being in rural counties like Clinton and Adams earlier in the week, it was interesting to see how fairgoers in Dayton, at the new Montgomery County fairgrounds, responded to our program. On Saturday, we were able to speak with many urban consumers that thought they were doing everything they could to be more sustainable. One fairgoer shared their enthusiasm for bioproducts, “We always recycle, but I had no idea you could make so many products from soy!” We were happy to share the word of sustainability and the contributions of agriculture with the people of Montgomery County.

As we travel across the state, we see many different landscapes and talk to several different types of people, but one thing that everyone shares is an appreciation for sustainable practices. Stay tuned for more updates on our travels across Ohio this summer!

This article was written by Bradley Collins, OBIC Student Assistant and Senior at The Ohio State University.