LONDON, Ohio -- An exhibit honoring the contributions of women in agriculture will be displayed at this year’s Farm Science Review.
“Women now make up 1 out of every 3 agricultural producers across the U.S.,” said Gigi Neal, Ohio State University Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources and co-leader of OSU Extension’s Ohio Women in Agriculture team. “We want to recognize the women who are often the backbone of agriculture across the state of Ohio.”
Neal asked Extension educators across Ohio to nominate women for the display, which will be housed in the Firebaugh Building at 384 Friday Ave. at this year’s Review, Sept. 16-18 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Sponsored by the college, the Review features educational workshops, presentations and demonstrations delivered by experts from OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the college’s research arm.
“We have women represented who are anywhere from their mid-20s to one woman who is 100 years old -- her birthday was Aug. 21,” Neal said.
In addition, some women are being honored posthumously, she said.
“Some of them are involved on the farm, in grain and livestock production,” Neal said. “Others are involved in value-added products. Some are from agri-business -- lawyers, insurance, all types of agri-business women.
“It’s a nice representation of the variety of roles women play in agriculture, whether in urban or rural communities.”
The display was put together in honor of Extension’s 100th anniversary this year -- not as a way to look back, but as a way to look forward, Neal said.
“Agriculture is for everyone, but many people don’t realize just how important women are to an operation’s success,” she said. “They’re the wife, the finance person, the mother, the go-fer, the shuttle-bus driver.
“They’re also often the owner-operator, and have been the largest growing segment of the food/ag business sector. They’re really the foundation for so many things that happen in agriculture, and we want to help people recognize that.”
Earlier this year, OSU Extension created the Ohio Women in Agriculture team to coordinate programs and projects aimed at that audience, including the annual Women in Agriculture conference in northeast Ohio and Annie’s Project offerings in counties throughout the state.
Later this year, Neal said, the team plans to create news-you-can-use podcasts aimed at women both on the farm and in the backyard garden. Neal will post such information on the website of the Clermont County office of OSU Extension at clermont.osu.edu.
Farm Science Review is known nationally as Ohio’s premier agricultural event. It annually draws more than 130,000 farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts. An estimated 620 exhibitors with some 4,000 product lines will set up shop at the three-day farm show, an increase from 608 exhibitors last year, organizers said.
This year, the Review is also celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its partnership with Purdue University Extension. Educators and researchers from Purdue will also present educational workshops.
For a schedule of presentations at this year’s Review, see the Schedule of Events atfsr.osu.edu/visitors/plan-your-show/schedules.
Review pre-show tickets are $7 and are available for purchase at all OSU Extension county offices, many local agribusinesses and online at fsr.osu.edu/visitors/tickets. Tickets are $10 at the gate. Children 5 and younger are admitted free.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16-17 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 18.