Four outstanding fifth-grade students from across the state were selected as the winners of the 2013 “Agriculture is Cool” scholarship competition.

Representatives from the Ohio Expositions Commission, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups presented each scholarship winner with a $500 check and commemorative trophy during a special ceremony at his or her school last week:

  • Dylan Bryan, Elida Middle School
  • Shelby Jones, Fairbanks Elementary School
  • David Leeth, Snowhill Elementary School
  • Reese Shull, Dorr Elementary School

These outstanding students were among dozens to submit essays or creative stories about the “Agriculture is Cool” education program held during the 2013 Ohio State Fair in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups. Scholarships are funded by the Ohio State Fair Youth Reserve Program.

The “Agriculture is Cool” program has been recognized by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions as the best special or specific agricultural education exhibit, event or program for the fairgoing public for fairs with annual attendance between 500,001 and 1 million. It included several interactive education stations throughout the Fair where students could learn about:

  • The many ways Ohio’s largest industry, agriculture, impacts many facets of their everyday lives
  • Modern dairy farming and how dairy farmers take care of their cows to produce safe and wholesome milk and milk a real or simulated cow
  • Animal care and see farm animals being born and new babies interacting with their mothers
  • How modern-day tractors help Ohio farmers maintain crops
  • The beef industry and nutrition, environmental stewardship, recycling and more
  • Soy and corn production and the various uses in food, fuel and other modern items
  • How barns protect Ohio animals and keep them healthy
  • Eggs and various poultry breeds
  • How wool is spun into yarn and how the process has become more technologically innovative over time
  • The weight of animals such as cows and pigs greatly compares to the average weight of humans
  • How to protect themselves from harmful bacteria

The Agriculture is Cool program will be open to visitors of all ages during the 2014 Ohio State Fair, July 23 – Aug. 3. For the fourth consecutive year, exiting fourth grade students (2013-2014 academic year) and a chaperone will be admitted for free upon presentation of a valid report card at the entrance gates.

One in seven Ohioans has an agriculture-related job. Every year, farmers in Ohio produce 7.6 billion eggs, 375 million pounds of chicken, 5.2 million turkeys, 305 million pounds of red meat, 997 million pounds of pork, 117 million pounds of sheep and lamb and nearly 600 million gallons of milk.

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