Farm Science was a blur again this year -- from writing October copy while setting up the Ohio Farmer displays to honoring the Conservation Farm Families while proofing the magazine’s final pages all the while saying, “Hello…” to so many friends from the farming community.
It was a fast three days.
The event left me with an overall impression of enthusiasm. Farmers were eager to see what new equipment was being offered, and sales people were excited by the farmer interest.
“We’re making sales,” one equipment representative told me.
“We need a few things,” a farmer friend confided.
“I smell $10,000 land prices and $7 corn again,” said Allan Lines OSU ag economist emeritus.
And then there was the wife with the blister on her heel who sat down in our building and declared, “This is just a big man mall. That’s what it is – a man mall.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
We also had a lady walk through the building and while snagging a free Ohio Farmer magazine she mumbled, “He has been talking to those same three guys for a half an hour now. We don’t even know them.”
HAPPY CROWD: Wyatt Nilsson is a Deere man in all ways. What’s not to like about spending at the man mall with Grandpa Lloyd Kramer and Mom Sara Nilsson from Maria Stein.
The Vice President’s luncheon for 650 ag leaders was on Tuesday. Pork chop sandwiches. Drumstick ice cream. The governor addressed the audience with much enthusiasm. “Gordon, you have got to stop exploiting the Little Sisters of the Poor,” he chided E. Gordon Gee, the university president. Then he turned serious saying, “There’s nobody like Gordon. He’s faced tragedy in his life. He’s a friend of mine and a great adviser. I like him, and you can’t help but like him. I wouldn’t trade any university president for Gordon Gee.”
It was a love fest.
Fit to be bow-tied, Gee, who was his usual lively self. He told about the emails he gets from students including one from Alex who revealed that he had come to Ohio State because it was No. 1 in everything only to be disappointed to learn that Ohio U. in Athens had been named the top party school in the nation. He wrote, “Don’t worry Dr. Gee once I arrive on campus, I will make it my personal mission to correct that.” Gee quickly wrote back, “Alex, we just discovered we have made a mistake with you application. Luckily I have contacted the folks at OU and they are saving a spot.”
FARMER LOVE: Governor John Kasich told the crowd, “I love farmers because they have common sense. They don’t make excuses. They get out in the field and work and if something’s broken, they fix it. It’s a value system.”
Gee called Kasich, “a great friend of higher education,” and “a creative, exciting, positive force.” He concluded, “Thank you governor for creating Jobs Ohio.”
I told you it was a love fest.
SOFT SELL: Ray Ray a one-year old llama from Green Acres Llamas owned by Gail and Doug Targett, toured the grounds. Probably thought she could get her picture in the Ohio Farmer.
Keith Smith, director of OSU Extension, started things off by presenting the retiring dean Bobby Moser with a toy Gator. It was no match for the real 4-seat Gator the dean drove around the grounds. Smith noted that they were thinking about dedicating a building after Moser, but recalled what happened the last time they named a structure in his honor. On the screen behind him appeared a giant photo of the shredded Vice President’s Tent following the winds of Hurricane Ike in 2008.
MOSER SALUTE: E. Gordon Gee, OSU president, said, naming Bobby Moser dean of agriculture was “the best appointment I ever made.” It was also his first appointment at OSU 20 years ago. Moser recently announced he is retiring in a year.
Finally I want to thank everyone for coming to the Conservation Farm Family Awards on Thursday. The Larry G. Vance Soil and Water Conservation Park – from now on maybe we can just call it Vanceville – never looked better. It was a great day, a good crowd and dignitaries abounded. Terry Cosby, state conservationist for NRCS, addressed the group as did, Scott Zody, interim director of ODNR, Keith Stimpert, senior vice president for public affairs at the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ted Lozier, chief of the Division of Soil and Water Resources, and Kent Stuckey, president of the Ohio Federation of SWCDs. Special thanks also to organizer Blaine Gerdes, writer Gail Keck and ad man extraordinaire Tom Shearing for their help.
Again, congratulations to the conservation Farm Family Award winners, the Fair family, the Swope family, the Billenstein family, the Pence family and the Byars family. Look for extended coverage of their operations at Web Exclusives tab of OhioFarmer.com.
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