Interns OHHA

Greetings! It’s us again, the 2023 Ohio Farm Bureau state fair interns. Since returning from our intern trip, we have been hard at work getting ready for the state fair. In the past few weeks, we took two small trips to check out aspects of the agricultural industry we were unfamiliar with to obtain inspiration and information for the Nationwide Donahey Land & Living exhibit. We went to the Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex at Ohio State University’s Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory, and spent a day with one of Ohio Farm Bureau’s ExploreAg camps, where we dove into the ins and outs of the harness horse racing Industry. These experiences were so valuable that we wanted to share a little bit about them with all of you!

Brian Brown StableThe Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association is one of many agricultural organizations showcased in the Land & Living animal zone. We were invited to join an ExploreAg camp to learn more about harness racing and make connections within the industry. Our day started at the Delaware County Fairgrounds where we toured the Brian Brown Stable and shadowed a horse groomer. Our groomer taught us how to harness and bridle a horse and the daily maintenance. We also got to observe a horse shoer in action. Did you know that horse shoes get replaced every few weeks? Next, we went to Sugar Valley Farm, a horse breeding facility. Sugar Valley Farm sells semen globally, and we got to learn how it is collected and packaged. Perhaps our favorite part was seeing the foals! Finally, we stopped at Scioto Downs to watch a harness race. We watched horses race that were bred from the studs at Sugar Valley Farms. After watching all the hard work these horsemen put into racing, we watched it pay off. Thank you to our hosts who shared their passions with us and gave us new knowledge that we can bring into the Land & Living exhibit.

Controlled Environment Agriculture Research ComplexWe were also privileged to visit Ohio State’s Waterman facility to gain more inspiration for our environment displays at the state fair. We toured their new greenhouses and gained insight on growing crops with hydroponics, which means without soil. Prior to this experience, we had little knowledge of this type of agriculture, but our guides were phenomenal in explaining the ins and outs. They had several different biosecure rooms throughout the greenhouse, growing watermelon, tomatoes, squash, and more. The most fascinating aspect was how the greenhouse hatches pollinators and other integral insects to this controlled environment to allow plants to flourish and grow. Additionally, Waterman creates hybrids of certain vegetables which result in hardier species. Our experience was wonderful, and we are so grateful for our hosts!

We have been fortunate to have some neat and educational experiences lately. We are grateful for those that have allowed us to visit with them and tag along for the day. Each experience gives us more ideas for our exhibits in the Land & Living building. With even more experiences like these scheduled throughout the next few months, we are beyond excited for the potential of this year’s exhibit! Stay tuned throughout the summer to see what else we get into. See you at the state fair!

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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