Over the past 5 months, our staff has been on the road for tens of hours, driving hundreds of miles, talking to thousands of Ohioans, all about ONE small, but mighty, bean. The 2019 Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer program brought interactive bioeconomy education to five of Ohio’s great county fairs. Our team traveled to Paulding, Crawford, Union, Darke, and Morrow counties to speak with consumers about the emerging bioeconomy and soy-based technologies.
Every year, around the first week of June, school-busses and vans flood the rural backroads of Carroll County, Ohio, shuttling student leaders from all around the state to the banks of Leesville Lake, where they will attend Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum. The National FFA Organization seeks to develop the future leaders in science, business, technology, and Agriculture. FFA Members from Ohio’s 315 local chapters can attend one of five general camp sessions where they will participate in leadership development, conservation education, and outdoor recreation activities.
On May 18th, the Ohio State University’s West Campus welcomed visitors to celebrate scientific progress and sustainability, while providing a stage for participating departments and community partners to showcase their work. The Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer fit well within the mission of the event, as we again introduced consumers to the benefits of a biobased lifestyle. We also introduced a new activity at this event: Biobased Bubbles. In addition to our bioproducts identification activity, we allowed consumers to see our mission in action.
Spring downpours did not stop the Columbus community from making a big turnout at the COSI Big Science Celebration. On Saturday, May 4th, we conducted our Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer activities with community members and provided an interactive introduction to sustainability, the soybean industry, and the emerging bioeconomy. The COSI Big Science Celebration was the perfect setting to introduce the public to biobased and soy-based products.
On Thursday, May 2nd, we welcomed a sea of blue jackets to West Campus for the Blue & Gold to Scarlet & Gray event. This event is designed for high school students traveling to Columbus for the Ohio FFA Convention. The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is among the largest youth organizations in the United States. This organization is based in career technical education and prioritizes preparing youth to be leaders within the agriculture industry.
Through the support of the Ohio Soybean Council, the OBIC Bioproducts Innovation Center at the Ohio State University will continue its education and outreach program, the Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer, throughout the summer of 2019. This program reaches a wide audience through our mobile platform, delivering an interactive display to various STEM-based events, youth camps, and county fairs throughout the state. Participants will have the chance to interact with biobased and soy-based products while learning about the positive impact they have on sustainability and the American economy.
Science of Agriculture has successfully completed its 17th year! The two-day program is hosted by the Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, Ohio and was attended by almost 500 middle school students. The goal of the event is to ignite students’ passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
During the summer of 2018, the OBIC Bioproducts Innovation Center travelled over 4,500 miles of Ohio’s highways and rural backroads, all in the name of sustainability. With support from the Ohio Soybean Council, OBIC conducted the Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer education and outreach program at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum and 22 of Ohio’s county fairs.
A total of 108,074 visitors attended the 56th annual Farm Science Review at Molly Caren Agricultural Center, over the span of three days, in the third week of September. Between watching the field demonstrations and checking out some of the 600 commercial exhibitors, visitors were able to test their BioSmarts at the OBIC Bioproducts Innovation Center’s display, located in the Energy Tent.
Schools are back in session, autumn is rapidly approaching, and we have recently wrapped up the Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer county fair tour. Lorain, Hancock, and Morrow Counties were the final three stops on our twenty-two county fair tour. Although we have conducted our outreach activities at county fairs all across the great state of Ohio, the last three were certainly some of the most memorable.