Our summer tour of Ohio’s county fairs is winding down to a close, and it feels bittersweet. We may have been to more fairs than the average person in one summer, but Brad and I still look forward to attending each one. Today, we are reflecting on our visits to the Darke and Allen County fairs, our 18th and 19th stops respectively.
We were set up in the Community Tent at the Darke County fair. Fairgoers used this space to sit, relax, and enjoy the live entertainment across the road in the gazebo. With our Sustainable World Tour van next to our table, we had a steady flow of people stop by, and ask us what we were doing. Upon explaining the various bioproducts we are able to manufacture, many consumers pledged to be on the lookout for them while shopping. We spoke to many corn and soybean farmers in the area, and the majority were not aware of everything their commodities could be used to produce. One family with young children was extremely interested in our biobased toy display items as they were concerned with their children’s exposure to petrochemicals.
The next day we traveled to the Allen County fair, and set up in front of the Poultry Barn. One of the senior fair board members saw us set up, and came over to talk to us. He explained the history and community use of the Allen County fairgrounds. It was incredible to hear about how much the community support the fair, and the fairgrounds had: companies hosted employee picnics, other community organizations rented out the space, concerts were held on the grounds, the list continues on! This was also the board member’s first time hearing about bioproducts, so he had lots of questions for us. After answering his questions, Brad and I made sure to let him know bioproducts can be found in the store today so he can support the bioeconomy.
This article was written by Shivani Patel, OBIC Student Assistant and Senior at The Ohio State University.