It seems that Gov. John Kasich has truly bought into the ‘Ag Is Cool” concept being promoted at the Ohio State Fair.
He actually was pretty cool himself in presenting awards to the winners of the Ag is Cool Art Contest on the fair’s opening day. One by one the governor carried the students’ paintings and drawings to the front of the FFA center for the audience and media to see.
“This is better than “Starry Starry Night,” he told Isabelle Yandura, 5 from Delaware. “One day it might sell for millions.”
He complimented Asa DeMange, 7 from Versailles for focusing her photo collage Agriculture Grows and Grows on her sister.
While showing a photograph of a tractor in action, he asked artist Ross Black, 12 from Ashville, if he was going to be a farmer when he grows up, Black responded “I already am one.”
The governor beamed at the response. “Farmers are my favorite entrepreneur. All the new developments make agriculture a very exciting career,” he said. “I want young people to be involved in agriculture. I hope to pull people into the industry who are not connected with ag because ag is cool.”
SIGN HERE: Gov. John Kasich, left, gets help signing the drought order from Ag is Cool artists Brandon Barr, Ross Black and Sidney Black.
A painting produced by 12-year old Samuel Stahl of Fostoria was chosen as the 2012 “Best in Show” entry. However, it was 14-year-old Spence Channell from Powell who got the largest applause for his “uplifting” song and video presentation explaining the history of the grain elevator. Check it out:
Spencer was not present, but his Dad apologized to listeners who might have trouble getting that tune out of their heads.
In a move that brought some added media attention, Kasich linked the art presentations to the signing of an executive order to declare the state in a drought emergency. He even brought forward some the art winners to help him sign the executive order.
“For those you who have never attended one of these things,” he told the crowd. “We use a whole bunch of different pens and we sign it by the word.”
BIG WINNER: Gov. Kasich presented the Best in Show to Samuel Stahl, 12 of Fostoria.
When the signing was over he declared, “The executive order is signed and for the farmers help is on the way.” That help will come in the form of favorable rates on emergency loans. Increased weight limits for trucks caring hay and other forages for feed. It also gives farmers the option to make hay in state highway right of ways.
Kasich arrived several minutes early for the event and took advantage of the extra minutes to ask the crowd what they liked most about the fair. He noted so far his favorite part was beating his wife Karen down the giant slide. Given a chance to respond his wife noted that she was looking forward most to the sheep shearing competition, but so far her favorite was beating her husband down the slide. The governor’s aids refused to comment on who actually won the event.
DOT THE “i”: Brandon Barr, 9 from Xenia, helps finalize the drought order by putting a dot on the “i” for Gov. Kasich.
Fortunately as he went around the crowd asking folks for their Fair favorites, he did not point towards me. I am afraid I would have said, “The best part is when the Governor sleeps in the livestock barns.” While past governors have done this, Kasich has made it clear it’s not on his agenda. The governor seems to enjoy smart aleck comments, but mostly when they are coming from him. I might have been thrown off the grounds. At least he knows ag is cool.