By ED LENTZ

Prior to harvest, the agriculture community has many activities for the public to enjoy.

One can choose traditional family fun at the Hancock County Fair, slow down a bit and go back in time and enjoy the Hancock County Historical Barn Tour, or be dazzled by the latest in farm and food technology at Farm Science Review.

The Hancock County Fair will start on Wednesday and end the evening of Sept. 2. The opening ceremony will be tonight at the Old Mill Stream Centre. This will be 80th season for the fair at its current location.

Ohio State University Extension will have exhibits at several locations at the fair. Agriculture Extension exhibits will be in the old poultry building along with other exhibits sponsored by Hancock County Farm Bureau. Other Extension programs, such as 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences, will be in the Youth and Grange Buildings, respectively.

The Extension Master Garden Volunteers will also have their exhibit in the Grange Building and will have volunteers available to answer yard and garden questions during the fair. See how you do with their pest identification quiz.

This is a year when individuals, for the first time, may want to participate in the Junior Fair livestock sale. With the disastrous farming season caused by the weather, traditional agricultural bidders may be financially unable to support the 4-H and FFA youth at the sale.

4-H and FFA youth learn so many things from raising livestock and participating in the fair. Besides caring for an animal, they learn character traits such as responsibility, respect for others, appreciation of hard work, importance of giving back to the community, and building lifelong friendships. Traits that are lacking in many of today’s youth.

Most of the youth use funds received at the livestock sale for future college expenses or to give back to the community. If you want to support the youth at the fair, participating at the livestock sale is a worthy event. The sale will be held Monday, Sept. 2, beginning at 9 a.m. in the NWO arena.

The Hancock Historical Museum’s Historic Barn Tour is another popular weekend activity in September. This will be the fifth year for this event and will include barns in the southeastern part of the county.

The self-guided tour will feature five historical barns dating from the 1840s to the early 1900s. Each barn tells a unique story about the farm in which it sits and the families who have owned it. Individuals will have the opportunity to visit each barn at their own pace.

The Historic Barn Tour will occur Sept. 14 and the selected barns will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Various activities will be at each barn including hewing demonstrations, live music, children’s activities, and craft and food vendors.

Tickets for the tour may be purchased at the Hancock Historical Museum. More information may be found at the museum’s website: http://www.hancockhistoricalmuseum.org

Another late summer agricultural event to consider is the Farm Science Review near London, Ohio. Farm Science Review is a three-day educational show sponsored by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Over 100,000 visitors attend each year to learn about and observe the latest agricultural research, new technology and to visit over 600 commercial exhibits.

The show is known for its actual field demonstrations of the technologically advanced equipment and examples of successful farming practices.

Educational workshops, presentations, and demonstrations are delivered by experts from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

The hours of the Farm Science Review are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 17 and 18, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19. Complete details about all the events, exhibitors, field demonstrations and educational sessions can be found on the Farm Science Review’s website: http://fsr.osu.

Tickets may be purchased prior to the show at the Hancock County Extension office (7868 County Road 140, Findlay) for $7. Tickets purchased at the gate will be $10. Children age 5 and younger are admitted free.

It has been a difficult year for farmers, but they still want to honor their agricultural heritage. Join them to recognize the importance of agriculture to the community, learn about farming, and have some fun and good eats by participating in one or all three of these late summer events.

Lentz is extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for the Ohio State University Extension Service in Hancock County. He can be reached at 419-422-3851 or via email at lentz.38@osu.edu.

Lentz can be heard with Vaun Wickerham on weekdays at 6:35 a.m. on WFIN, at 5:43 a.m. on WKXA-FM, and at 5:28 a.m. at 106.3 The Fox.

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