July 2011 Issue
Editor's Note: Take Us to the Fair
I was going to write something saying there are a million reasons to attend the Ohio State Fair
, but then I looked it up. Actually, there are 100 million reasons. That’s the estimate of how many dollars the fair pumps into the state economy each year.
It’s a pretty good deal under any circumstances, but much more impressive when you consider that good citizenship is perhaps the last thing on most fairgoers’ minds. They’re at the fair to learn and have a good time.
This year’s fair — July 27–Aug. 7 — once again will be a celebration of Ohio’s magnificent products, people and accomplishments. It all takes place at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds in Columbus, location of the fair since 1886.
Among the many educational initiatives at this year’s fair will be the new “Agriculture is Cool” program for students who have just completed the fourth grade. The fair is collaborating with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups for this innovative program designed to promote greater understanding of agriculture among Ohio students.
Alicia Notestone, marketing and public relations director of the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, explains that students who completed the fourth grade in Ohio this year will be invited to participate in the program on any one day of the fair (except Aug. 7). Both the student and one chaperone will be admitted free.
In order to get in, students will simply present their report cards at one of the fair’s two main entrance gates. Once they enter the grounds, the students can visit several hands-on stations where they can learn firsthand about agriculture. They can ride a John Deere tractor simulator, milk a cow, see baby animals, learn how food goes from the farm to the fork, and more.
After the leaving the fair, the students will be invited to write a one-page essay on two stations they visited for the chance to win one of four $500 scholarships. Any fairgoer can visit the interactive stations, but only our newly minted fourth-graders will be admitted for free and be eligible for the scholarships. Participants must view at least four of the agricultural education stations at the fair to be eligible to enter the scholarship contest.
For more information about the “Agriculture is Cool” program, visit agri.ohio.gov. For more information about the 2011 Ohio State Fair, visit ohiostatefair.com.