Do you smell pork tenderloin and elephant ears? I do – the Delaware County Fair is just around the corner!
I love the fair. It is such a fun, family event showcasing Delaware County and Ohio agriculture and, of course, the famous Little Brown Jug.
Fairs in Ohio begin in early June with the Paulding County Fair and end around mid-October with the Fairfield County Fair. In addition to the Ohio State Fair, Ohio has 87 county fairs and seven independent fairs. That translates into lots of youth participation in livestock shows and 4-H projects. One of the main objectives of a county fair is the opportunity for farmers and their families to showcase their industry and livelihood with non-agricultural folks.
While at the fair, you can walk through the livestock barns and watch the 4-H youth exhibit their animals where you can learn a wealth of farm and food information. For example, did you know that pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world and there are 47 different breeds of sheep in the United States?
Agriculture is one of the United States’ most important industries, employing more than 24 million workers or 17 percent of the country’s total work force. Fields of soybeans commonly seen throughout our scenic county are an example why they are the top U.S. agricultural export. One acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons. Ohio is seventh in the nation in corn exports and just over half of that is used as animal feed. Ohio harvests enough wheat to make 6.5 billion servings of pasta. Ohio is also well known for its flower (yes, flower – not flour) production; we rank sixth in the nation. Ohio’s grape and wine industry has grown from 124 licensed wineries in 2007 to 206 as of June 2014, making Ohio the seventh largest wine producer and ninth largest grape producer in the country.
While you are enjoying your corn dog at the fair, work off those calories by strolling through the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District’s designated conservation area, located right next to the lamb barn. We invite you to join us Saturday, Sept. 19. through Wednesday, Sept. 23, for all of our hands-on activities.
On Saturday, show your team spirit and prepare for the OSU win over Northern Illinois by building your own Buckeye necklace. From noon to 3:30 p.m., Lowes Home Improvement Stores will have staff on hand for a “Build & Grow” kids’ clinic. New on Saturday will be the Division of Wildlife’s archery trailer from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Test your hand-eye coordination and see if you can hit the bull’s eye.
On Sunday the archery trailer will again be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rubber duck races are at 3 p.m. Learn about Dutch oven cooking from 4 to 8 p.m. and sample some tasty tidbits. Also from 4 to 8 p.m. will be nature crafts in the Learning Center.
Monday will feature a variety of “make it-take it” activities for youth from 4 to 8 p.m. and Cabela’s will be on hand to demonstrate campfire cooking.
Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m., the water play table will be available as well as a variety of animal pelts. Both activities are hands-on! Staff from Preservation Parks of Delaware County will bring fascinating wild animals and talk about habitats and life cycles from 5 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday’s activities are from noon to 8 p.m. and feature the water play table and nature crafts in the Learning Center.
All of the activities are free and open to all young and young at heart! Come to the fair and see how conservation keeps our land productive.
To access the complete schedule of events for our conservation area at the Delaware County Fair, visit www.delawareswcd.org or call 740-368-1921. Our staff look forward to seeing you at the fair.
Brad Ross is communications specialist at the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.