Check out this year’s virtual Farm Science Review: Plenty to learn & experience free via your device


Plenty to learn free via your device

Tony Nye - OSU Extension



I generally start highlighting events at the Farm Science Review even before now. For the first time in its nearly 60-year history, Ohio State’s Farm Science Review scheduled for Sept. 22-24 will not be held in-person.

Instead, a virtual show will be held and the Review will come to you on your laptop or smartphone this year, and for free. You can watch livestreamed talks and recorded videos featuring the latest farm equipment and research to pique your curiosity.

Virtual visitors can find out about the show’s offerings by going to fsr.osu.edu and clicking on an image of the show’s site. Within that image, people can click on the various icons to find the schedules for talks and demos they’re most interested in, such as field demonstrations or “Ask the Expert” talks.

I personally have gone on the website to see what all is being offered for this year and I can say as of today, not every event and activity is there yet. What I can tell you is to start visiting the website now and continue to check for updated schedules.

One thing you must know is that in order to participate in these sessions, each person must sign up to participate through setting up your own show planner known as “MY SHOW PLANNER.”

Within the FSR website there is a tutorial of how to participate in this year’s Farm Science review Virtual sessions which will be helpful to all visitors to the Farm Science Review webpage. This tutorial is located under the visitor tab for now.

I understand this helpful tutorial will become more visible on the main website as we get closer to the actual event to help folks get signed into the different events and activities they desire.

Among the livestreamed talks will be Ask the Expert presentations. Viewers will enter the talks through a Zoom meeting link and be able to post their questions in chat boxes. If you miss any, you can check back after the talks to watch the recordings.

The 20-minute “Ask the Expert” presentations at Farm Science Review are one segment of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and the College of Veterinary Medicine comprehensive Extension Education efforts during the three days of the Farm Science Review.

Our experts will share science-based recommendations and solutions to the issues people are facing regarding weather impacts, tariffs, veterinarian medicine, and low commodity prices.

“Ask the Expert” topics at FSR this year include the risks of transmitting COVID-19 to your animals, the prospects of U.S. agricultural exports abroad, increasing profits from small grains by planting double crops, climate trends, managing cash flow on the farm, farm stress, and rental rates on agricultural land.

Other sections of the Farm Science Review that are favorites each year will include talks and presentations through the Small Farm Center, Gwynne Conservation Area, Field Demonstrations, Agronomy, Utzinger Garden, Safety-Health and Wellness, information about the different Equipment Companies and other vendors you generally see at the live in-person event.

Another hot topic that will be discussed during this year’s Farm Science Review is the growing interest in on-farm butchering.

Here in Ohio and all over the country, major meat processors have suffered shutdowns and back-ups because of COVID-19, and as small processors they have been swamped with business as an alternative for slaughtering market-ready livestock. Because of this challenge to the livestock and processing industries, more and more farmers have started to think about simply doing it themselves.

Processing livestock safely, humanely, and legally isn’t a simple thing at all, according to Lyda Garcia, assistant professor of meat science in the CFAES Department of Animal Sciences.

Garcia reminds folks that on-farm butchering involves skill and knowledge and it is not something just anybody can do or should do.

During this year’s virtual FSR, Garcia and Lynn Knipe, an associate professor in CFAES’ departments of Animal Sciences and Food Science and Technology, will cover the subject during this year’s virtual Farm Science Review.

Their session, “On-the-Farm Slaughter and Processing,” is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 22, 11–11:30 a.m., at fsr.osu.edu. This could be a great session to attend if you have any interest.

Also, Garcia and Knipe have co-written two new fact sheets, “What You Need to Know About Animal Processing on the Farm in Ohio” and “What You Need to Know About the Legal Side of Home Processing.”

The fact sheets cover subjects such as animal health and welfare, food safety concerns and best practices, and Ohio’s laws and limits on on-farm butchering. One of those laws is that unless the meat is inspected, only you and your family can use it — you can’t sell it.

The fact sheets are currently available and free by going to go.ous.edu/onfarmeatprocessing and go.osu.edu/legalhomeprocessing .

Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

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Plenty to learn free via your device

Tony Nye

OSU Extension