Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer: Champaign, Athens, & Holmes County

Aug. 20, 2018

The Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer is well over half-way to our goal of attending 22 of Ohio’s county fairs. Last week, we conducted our outreach and education program at the Champaign, Athens, and Holmes County fairs. All the counties we have visited so far have all been very different. Some counties have been very rural others are more urban, but every county offers a unique experience.

The 13th fair we attended was in Champaign County. We set up our activities outside of the livestock arena, and spoke to exhibitors and spectators as they filtered in and out of the livestock show. We were able to have a discussion with Champaign County 4H members about biobased materials. These students were very surprised and impressed with the range of biobased materials on the market, such as soy-plastics, and biofiber composites.

The Athens County Fair was the 14th stop on the Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer county fair tour. We drove around 80 miles South East of Columbus to the Athens County fairgrounds, located just steps away from Ohio University’s campus. We had the opportunity to discuss the growing bioeconomy with one of the candidates running for County Commissioner; he was passionate about the forestry and natural resources industry in Athens, and was excited to learn about other bio-industry opportunities.

The next day, the Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer visited Holmes County. Holmes County is known for their busy forestry and agricultural industries. We met several soybean producers that had never seen many of the soybased products we had on display. It is always a fun experience to watch a producer see some of the exciting products that can be made from the commodities they grow. While conducting our activities, we were approached by several alumni of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science at The Ohio State University.

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