At the Farm Science Review, visitors can discover such things as:
- How grazing goats can help control invasive plants in the woods.
- How to call turkeys, identify frogs, stock a pond with the best types of fish, and grow edible mushrooms in a bucket.
- How and when to harvest timber, and an update on volatile lumber prices.
- How to identify the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species new to Ohio that can damage fruit and shade trees and grape vines.
To learn more about woods, water, wildlife, and grazing lands — and walk among them —check out the Gwynne Conservation Area at this year’s Farm Science Review. The nearly 70-acre demonstration site — home of a forest, a stream, a wetland, ponds, pastures, wildlife food plots, and trails leading past or through them — will offer 50-plus talks, tours, and demonstrations during all three days of the Review.
Visitors will find prairie plants blown by the wind, shade from trees, sunlight glinting on rippled water, butterflies, green frogs, bluegills, and bluebirds. Farm Science Review runs Sept. 21–23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, 135 State Route 38 near London, and besides exploring the event’s 100 acres of commercial vendors, equipment displays, and educational exhibits, you can also take a short free wagon ride from the main grounds to the Gwynne. (It’s the same ride that goes to the Review’s field crop demonstrations.)
“Whatever your interests might be, you can head over to the Gwynne to learn something new,” said Carri Jagger, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
CFAES is the host of the annual Review. Jagger is co-coordinating the Gwynne’s educational sessions during the event with Marne Titchenell, wildlife program specialist in the CFAES School of Environment and Natural Resources.
“I learn something new at the Gwynne every year,” Jagger said.
Here’s a look at some of what’s to discover at the Gwynne:
Woods and forest products
Identifying Ohio’s trees, identifying the fungi that grow in your woods, a seasonal guide to woodland management, the chestnut agroecosystem, and how Farm Bill programs can help you manage your woods.
Maple syrup production for beginners, managing a sugar bush, cultivating oyster mushrooms in a bucket, how to manage your woods to produce pawpaw fruit, what fluctuating market conditions and timber prices can mean for your woods, and how Ohio’s “Call Before You Cut” program can help you sign a fair timber harvest contract and keep your woods healthy for the future.
Creating backyard wildlife habitat, Ohio’s owls, Ohio’s snakes, Ohio’s frogs and toads, calling wild turkeys, and preventing landscape damage by wildlife.
Fish and a pond
The best fish bets for stocking a pond, pond aeration basics, backyard aquaponic basics, managing invasive species in ponds, and all about vernal pools, streams, and ponds.
Getting started with grazing, forages for soggy sites, forages for acidic soils, wildlife-friendly forages, growing native warm-season grasses, intensive rotational grazing, and high stock density grazing.
All about kudzu (which, yes, is in Ohio), identifying the spotted lanternfly, the latest updates on Ohio’s top 10 invasive species, and how grazing goats can help control invasive plants in hardwood forests.
All about wild bees, trees you can grow that are good for bees, and details about the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative’s Roadsides for Pollinators program.
You can find the full schedule of sessions at the Gwynne at fsr.osu.edu or in the Review’s free program booklet.
The speakers at the sessions will be from CFAES, elsewhere at Ohio State, other universities, conservation groups, and local, state, and federal agencies.
Also while at the Gwynne, you can see demonstrations of electrofishing, monarch butterfly tagging, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s working canines, and chainsaw maintenance, safety, sharpening, and cutting.
Last year’s Farm Science Review was held online because of the pandemic. Jagger said she’s looking forward to having the event in person again.
“It’s a lot more fun to learn and teach in person than it is virtually,” she said. “There’s just something about being at the site and seeing a good demonstration in person or getting to visit with the other folks in a session.”
Hours for Farm Science Review are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 21–22 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 23. Tickets are $7 online, at county offices of OSU Extension, and at participating agribusinesses, and $10 at the gate. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free.
For more information, visit fsr.osu.edu.