Annie Saling, 14, from Noble County

Grand Drive Events return for 2022 Ohio State Fair

By Matt Reese

Returning for the 2022 Ohio State Fair will be two Grand Drive events, showcasing all the champion drives for each species in the same event. 

Taking a cue from other national caliber livestock shows, the events are designed to showcase the youth with a bit more pomp and circumstance while drawing a larger crowd and some extra bells and whistles. The 2022 State Fair features a Grand Drive for the junior breeding livestock exhibitors on July 30 and a second Grand Drive for junior market exhibitors on Aug. 6. The events require a huge amount of planning and extensive coordinated effort from the barn staffs of the different species. The Grand Drive events also add an extra layer of excitement to the livestock shows leading up to them. 

Annie Saling, 14, from Noble County, had her sights set on the July 30 Grand Drive for breeding livestock exhibitors while she was getting ready for the Ohio State Fair this summer. Heading into the July 29 Junior shows in the sheep barn Saling was hard at work, earning second in her showmanship class. 

“I have been in this with my sister for quite a long time now. We have multiple breeds. I have been through the LEAD circuit and around the country working with my animals,” Saling said. “We have 17 sheep here at the Ohio State Fair between me and my nephew.”

The return to a “full fair” in 2022 also ramps up the excitement at the Ohio State Fair, a hopefully large crowds for the Grand Drive events.

“I think it is definitely nice to have more people here. You get to teach other people about your projects. It is nice to have big crowds to watch you. It puts the pressure on,” she said. “I think the Breeding Grand Drive is a great opportunity. It is a pretty cool experience to watch and be in it. It definitely highlights some of the different things that other shows don’t.” 

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