2022 Ohio State Fair
September 6, 2022 Ohio Soybean Council
For the first time since 2019, the Ohio State Fair welcomed a full crowd back onto the fairgrounds in late July and early August. With livestock sales shattering previous records and fair attendance reaching over 850,000 people, it is safe to say that many were happy to see the barns filled and sky ride running again.
The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) had several footprints across the fairgrounds during its twelve-day period. In partnership with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, OSC was stationed in the Donahey Agriculture and Horticulture Building with the “Race for Soy” mini pig races. They also hosted a soybean trivia wheel to test attendees’ knowledge about the soybean industry. Additionally, GrowNextGen ambassadors from OSC’s education program taught all ages about DNA, biodiesel and drone technology. Participants would participate in OSC’s fun activities while learning something new about Ohio’s number one industry.
“Our presence in the Agriculture and Horticulture Building does not go unnoticed,” said Mike Heffelfinger, OSC board member and communication/educations committee chair. “Soybeans are such a diverse crop that we can talk about them in terms of animal and human nutrition, as well as their uses in environmentally friendly products. The soybean and agriculture industries offer numerous career opportunities to those in health science, technology or animal agriculture fields. By talking to fair goers, we can introduce them to the numerous opportunities the agriculture industry offers.”
On the first Friday of the fair, OSC moved out to the Mountain Dew Midway on the fairgrounds for a soybean day. Fair goers played the trivia wheel for a chance to win a prize and also entered a “Guess How Many Soybeans” contest. OSC staff and farmers engaged in several conversations around soybean nutrition, on-farm sustainable practices and the various uses of soybeans.
But the fun did not end there. Animal agriculture is the soybean industry’s number one customer, nearly 30 million bushels of Ohio soybeans are fed to pigs, chicken, cattle and other livestock and poultry every year. Therefore, OSC supported Ohio State Fair livestock exhibitors with “Swag Bags/Buckets”. Along with a bucket or bag, each livestock exhibitor received a free t-shirt, courtesy of OSC and Farm Credit, an animal stress reliever, an OSC magnet, soybean pins and other fun swag that would be useful on show day.
“The council finds value in supporting the hard work these exhibitors have done preparing for their shows both at the state fair and their county fairs,” Heffelfinger said. “We hope they enjoyed their buckets and had a great time at this year’s fair.”
Your soybean checkoff is a proud supporter of the Ohio State Fair and all of its attendees. From educating the general public on the soybean industry to supporting those showing in the ring. OSC hopes everyone filled up on the greasy fair food – possibly fried with soybean oil – and looks forward to seeing you all again next year.