Farm Science Review harvest demonstrations

FSR welcomes new crop of exhibitors, recognizes supporters

More than 50 companies will join the ranks as exhibitors for the 61st Farm Science Review Sept. 19-21 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center. The new exhibitors represent various sectors in the agriculture industry including livestock handling, equipment advancements, agronomic technology, agricultural policy and more.

“We are witnessing a new wave of technology in agriculture and are looking forward to the advancements our new exhibitors are bringing to the show,” said Nick Zachrich, Farm Science Review manager. “We continue to be a farm show that has something for everybody and that is thanks to the number of exhibitors that show up year-after-year.” 

A few of the new exhibitors joining the line-up at this year’s show include: 

  • Holganix (Booth #554) — Holganix has two unique products for the agricultural market: Bio 800 Agriculture and Bio 800 Breakdown. Holganix Bio 800+ products harness the power of over 800 species of soil microbes to build soil health, increase yield, reduce fertilizer and increase the breakdown of crop residue. 
  • Garford and Zurn USA (Booth #690) — Garford Farm Machinery Ltd manufactures a range of robotic mechanical weed control products specializing in row crop equipment. They are recognized as a world leader for their range of products, which use cameras and image analysis software to locate the position of the crop and guide the tractor mounted equipment left and right to follow the crop row as necessary. 
  • Carswell Distributing (Booth #930,1312 Ride and Drive) — Carswell supplies consumer and commercial electric outdoor power equipment. 
  • Agri Spray Drones (Booth #203) — Agri Spray Drones combines its history of working with farmers and technological expertise to provide customers with drones for custom application services. They are the only drone sales company that operates heavy drones in custom application services. 
  • Midwest Air LLC (Booth #287) — Midwest Air LLC is an Ohio-based, licensed custom application drone retailer. 

Also in 2023, Farm Science Review inducted three individuals who have supported the show in numerous capacities into its Hall of Fame. Kevin King, Ben Overholser and John K. Victor were recognized as the 2023 honorees. 

Kevin King, of Westerville, Ohio 

Kevin King got his start with Farm Science Review in his early years as a student in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “In the spring of 1978, I started working for Farm Science Review as a student employee out at Don Scott Airfield when the show was out there,” said King. 

Being a student worker for FSR was just the beginning for King, “I continued working there through college and then had the opportunity to move into an expanded role and get my graduate degree.” 

After obtaining his master’s degree, King was hired to be the assistant manager in 1983 and served in that role until 1995. 

One of the more memorable tasks King took part in during his time with FSR included moving the show from Don Scott Airfield to the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. 

“The announcement was made a month or two before the last Farm Science Review at Don Scott and we turned it around in a year,” King said. “It was amazing to pull that off in such a short period of time.”

To this day, King still makes time to attend Farm Science Review.

“I sneak out every year for a good part of a day and wander around and chat with folks,” King said. 

Though King is no longer directly involved with planning or execution of FSR, he hasn’t strayed too far. His entire career has been with The Ohio State University, where he currently serves as the senior director of finance and IT for the Office of Administration and Planning. He and his wife, Susan, reside in Westerville, Ohio. 

Ben Overholser (posthumous), of Greenville, Ohio 

Ben Overhosler and his wife, Gail, both grew up on farms in Darke County, Ohio. “Ben was actively involved in FFA and through the FFA, he started the co-op program his senior year of high school and worked afternoons here at SISCO (Superior Implement & Supply Co., Inc.,” said Gail Overholser, owner and CEO at SISCO . 

Ben’s career with SISCO began in 1980.

“He started out sweeping floors, shipping parts and slowly worked his way up,” Gail said. “In 2005, we had the opportunity to purchase the company.”

Josh Overholser, Ben’s son and president of SISCO, reminisces on his dad’s involvement at FSR. “Ever since dad started here, he was a part of Farm Science Review,” Josh said. 

“The month of September from start to finish was always a stressful time, but dad loved it,” Josh said.

For the Overholsers and SISCO, FSR is an opportunity to come together with their manufacturers and end-users. 

“Dad really loved that, it was our one time of year to show our dealers what we do,” Josh said. “He really took a lot of pride in his set-up, making sure that everything was laid out on the lot perfectly, making sure we had the tent set up perfectly, making sure the literature racks were done right. “He just took a lot of pride in hearing positive feedback from our manufacturing partners and end-users.” 

“It pretty much consumed our whole month of September,” Gail said. “He loved those three days and we kind of worked our whole year for that one month it seemed like.” 

As they reminisce on Ben’s legacy, some of their fondest memories year-after-year were the birthday celebrations they had for Ben following the show. 

“A lot of times, his birthday fell during the week of Farm Science Review,” Gail said. “The guys would always try to embarrass Ben with cake and singing at restaurants, which was a fun thing.” 

Though Ben passed away in 2021, his legacy lives on with his wife and son at the helm of the company. 

John K. Victor, of Chillicothe, Ohio 

John K. Victor began working for the university in 1986 and spent many years of his career working with Farm Science Review. Victor’s work with FSR began with one poster and grew to encompass the advertising schedule, posters, brochures and more. 

“In the late 90s, I started helping them with marketing ideas for the show, marketing campaigns and branding for the whole show,” Victor said. 

One of Victor’s favorite parts of his job was helping bring visions to life. “People would contact me to talk about what they were planning and I would help them reshape their idea or figure out how to execute their idea into a poster or exhibit,” Victor. 

In his 30-year career, Victor produced a boundless amount of creative pieces for Farm Science Review, so it’s hard to pick a favorite, but there are some memorable campaigns in which he took part. 

Having recognized the impact 4-H made on students, Victor wanted to bring more visibility to the impact it made at the show. Alongside an extension agent, Victor proposed the idea to create signs that read, “I got my start in 4-H.” 

“We printed those signs, drove around the show and asked every vendor if they got their start in 4-H and if we could display this sign at their booth,” Victor said. “And now they’re all over the state; you drive by a farm and they have that sign.” 

Victor retired in December 2016 from his role as a senior graphic designer for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. He and his wife, Melissa, reside in Chillicothe, Ohio. 

“Kevin, Ben and John each championed FSR through their time and unique talents,” said Nick Zachrich, FSR manager. “The show wouldn’t be where it is today if not for these three individuals and their collective contributions.” 

Tickets for the 2023 Farm Science Review are available to purchase both online (now available) and at participating Extension offices and agribusinesses across Ohio and Indiana. Tickets will be $15 at the gate. Children ages 5 and under are free. 

Farm Science Review is hosted by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Year-after-year, Farm Science Review welcomes more than 100,000 attendees and over 500 different exhibitors to the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio, making it the heart of agricultural innovation and education. Show hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 19-20 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 21. For more information, visit fsr.osu.edu or follow Farm Science Review on social media.

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