To celebrate the unique ways food touches our lives, we searched our photo archives to identify some of the best sights, sounds, tastes, smells and touches associated with Ohio agriculture. We also asked fans on our Facebook page to submit their favorites.
We received many more ideas than we can share in these pages, but here are a few of our favorites. Tell us your favorites in the comment section.
Thunder, when rain is needed
During a dry spell, a rumbling suggestion of rain in the distance sparks great anticipation. In the anxious moments as the sun dims and the sky deepens, farmers embrace a humbling reality — the crop they’ve invested so much to plant is now held at nature’s whim. Each roll of thunder brings hope.
A pig’s grunt
This little piggy had a curiosity for the camera on a western Ohio pork farm.
Put-Put-Put of an old tractor
Jamey Rauch loads feed for his cattle in Washington County.
Horses haul fresh produce to a Holmes County auction.
Facebook Favorite “The quiet, tranquil evening brings an end to a busy day and provides a time to reflect on all the reasons I love farming!” Submitted by Lisa Righter Davis
A bountiful harvest
Whether it’s a wagon brimming with grain, a freezer full of meat or plants bowing under the weight of ripe fruit, a successful harvest brings joy and relief on the farm and in the garden. It means that the bank can be paid back, there’ll be enough food for winter, or a surplus can be shared with neighbors. The harvest is made more special to those who have felt or seen their work lost to a late-summer hail storm, a wave of bugs or anything else on the long list of all that may go wrong from the time that seed hits soil. Here, Ohio farmer Cody Kirkpatrick harvests soybeans.
Golden wheat swaying in the breeze
A wheat field in northwest Ohio just days before harvest.
Sunsets in rural Ohio
The day ends at Kinkead Ridge winery in Brown County.
Facebook Favorite “Nothing quite compares to the beauty of southern Ohio in the late summer. Quiet moments ‘up on the hill’, you find nature in its most spectacular form.”
Submitted by Amy Davis Newman
The first of the season from the garden From the time seed catalogs begin to arrive in snow capped mailboxes, gardeners anticipate the day when color will flash through tangles of stems and leaves: the first strawberry, the first tomato, the first sweet corn, the first peach of the season. After months of preserves or frozen and shipped-in foods, the taste of sun-warmed, soil-speckled produce plucked straight from the garden is confirmation that the wait is well worth it.
Perhaps no food speaks so clearly of its season than apple cider, which is being pressed at this Hocking County mill.
Fresh meat and produce from a farmers market
Whether it comes from the farmers market or your grocer, the freshness of local foods can’t be beat.
A defining aroma of summertime in rural Ohio, the sweet smell of hay curing in the sun is good reason to forgo the air conditioner and roll down the window on a country drive. Even in the winter, one Ohio dairy farmer noted that “you open a bale (of hay) and it smells like summer again — one of my favorite things.”
The smell of animals, hay, straw, grain and wood give a pleasant, earthy aroma to this Licking County dairy barn.
About half of Ohio’s 75,000 farms raise livestock, providing plenty of options for local meats.
Vegetable harvest stirs up the scent of northeast Ohio’s rich “muck” soil.
Made from fermented, chopped corn plants, silage is laid out for cows in southwest Ohio.
Embrace of family members One of the most common responses we hear when we ask farmers why they chose a life of long hours, uncertain pay and hard work, is that a farm keeps family close. During the busy planting and harvest seasons, youngsters find themselves on the tractor seat next to mom or dad. They trail along as cows are moved to new pastures. Generations work side by side, passing on knowledge and tradition. Here, Scott Isler walks with his daughter outside a hog barn in Marion County.
Sore muscles from a hard day’s work
Matt Reese unloads hay for his sheep in Fairfield County.
This calf finds the fingers of its young caretaker on a Logan County dairy.
Facebook Favorite “When fishing season was just about over, I had these nice fat slippery moving worms that I just didn’t want to throw out, so I put them in my hand and returned them to the earth once again.”
Submitted by Annette McCarthy
Worn-in leather work gloves
Brothers, Winston and George Prosser work together to repair a piece of equipment on their Clark County farm.
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