The county fair opens today and while hard to believe, it is once again a sign that summer is on the downhill slide. Here’s to hoping for good weather throughout the fair, even though a nice rain or two would be welcome as crops to continue to grow and develop.
This week many of the 4-H and FFA youth will be exhibiting their projects ranging from livestock to art and woodworking. Growing up, I always enjoyed exhibiting both swine and beef cattle at the Morgan County Fair. I also had the opportunity to travel to numerous other county fairs with my father to bid on and load livestock for the livestock auction that he manages. At every fair I have ever been to, the highlight is always the Jr. Fair programs.
No matter what project they are involved in, where else can a young person develop as many life skills as they can with a 4-H or FFA project? It was my involvement in both organizations that got me to where I am today. On the livestock end of things, I invite you stop out and see what all goes into a fair project. Whether it be six weeks with a chicken, or upwards of a year with a market steer many of hours have been spent in preparation for this week’s fair and it all ends one week from today at the Jr. Fair Livestock Sale.
Also, be sure to stop by and visit our OSU Extension booth in the Jr. Fair booth building and on Wednesday afternoon the Master Gardeners will be doing youth activities in the Ag Hall.
As another reminder, once the fair is over, we will be having a Forage Field Day at 4:00 p.m. on August 20 at Sonnenberg Farms, G214 Co. Rd 12 Holgate. The field will be located at the corner of County Road 12 and State Route 18. Topics for the field day agenda include Soil Fertility, Seed Bed Preparation, Forage Species Selection, Seeding Methods, and more. The field day was planned in response to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Working Lands program.
For those unfamiliar with the program, earlier this spring the Ohio Department of Agriculture announced a new conservation program entitled the “Ohio Working Lands Buffer Program” to establish year-round vegetative cover on eligible cropland in the Western Lake Erie Basin Watershed.
Land owners can receive annual payments for maintaining and harvesting hay and forage on land that acts as a buffer on cropland to provide another line of defense to filter surface water. Only cropland acres where sediment and nutrients have the potential to be transported from the field and enter environmentally sensitive areas are eligible for the program.
I’ll end this week with a quote from William S. Burroughs: “The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.” Have a great fair week and good luck to all!
8/8-8/15 Henry County Fair
8/20 Working Lands Forage Field Day
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator
OSU Henry County Extension