COSI Farm Days meld ag with urban

As each generation becomes further removed from the farm, kids have fewer chances to touch, see and climb all over a tractor — a big piece of machinery that any age can find interesting. The annual Farm Days: Little Seeds, Big Tractors exhibit at COSI Columbus, Central Ohio’s Science and Technology museum, was designed to help answer the question of where your food comes from and celebrate the production agriculture work farmers perform. The exhibit is open from August 14 through August 18 on COSI’s English Plaza and Washington Boulevard.

The event started nine years ago with a conversation with the Ohio Farm Bureau.

“The idea for Farm Days started with wanting to bring people down to marvel at the size, the technology, the cost, and how the equipment works to get the job done,” said John Shaw, director of experience production at COSI. “COSI isn’t the expert so we built a partnership to form a committee to decide which direction we wanted to go and to make sure we were representing all aspects of agriculture. We also brought in OSU extension so we could bring in some current researchers and technology that is going on in the field. This has evolved over the year to include more partners that can tell the agriculture story.”

This year they project 10,000 to 15,000 people will come through the five-day exhibit, which covers theCOSI2 whole season of farming, from plowing and planting all the way through to harvest. COSI brings in volunteers, many of who are farmers, to help share the story. Neall Weber with the Franklin County Farm Bureau and co-chair of the Farm Days committee shared his positive experience.

“This event brings the farm to the city,” Weber said. “As I stand here with an ear of corn I am able to explain to families how the combine separates the ear of corn from its kernels. Its neat to have a combine here so I can physically show them how it works.”

Experts from The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will feature presentations every day from 11a.m to 3p.m. Each day will feature a different topic. Sessions include presentations by:

  • Dustin Homan, program director of the Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center, who will discuss biomass and bioproducts Aug. 14.
  • Yebo Li, associate professor in CFAES’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and leader of OARDC’s Wooster-based Bioproducts and Bioenergy Research Laboratory, which focuses on biomass, biofuels, biopolymers, anaerobic digestion and algae-based biofuels, who will hold a biogas demonstration Aug. 15.
  • V.M. “Bala” Balasubramaniam, professor of food safety engineering at Ohio State, who will discuss high pressure food processing Aug. 16.
  • Steve Boyles, OSU Extension beef cattle specialist, who will discuss corral design Aug. 16.
  • Kimberly Cole, OSU Extension Equine Specialist, who will be accompanied by a life-size fiberglass horse to discuss horse-related research projects Aug. 17.
  • Lauren Bates, graduate fellow majoring in environmental and natural resources, who will discuss soil Aug. 17.
  • Monica Lewandowski, academic program coordinator in CFAES’s Department of Plant Pathology, who will discuss plant diseases Aug. 18.

The Farm Days exhibit is a great agricultural awareness program that shares agricultures story and bridges the gap between farmers and consumers. The Farm Days exhibit is open during normal COSI hours, and admission to the exhibit is included with regular COSI admission.

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