Throughout its history, Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has been at the forefront of showcasing the future of agriculture.
The Molly Caren Agricultural Center (MCAC) near London, Ohio is home to the Farm Science Review and attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors from all over the United States and Canada, who come for three days to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and learn the latest in agricultural production. The educational programs feature Ohio State and Purdue specialists and are second to none in the agricultural exhibition world.
The 80-acre exhibit area allows visitors and exhibitors to experience all aspects of agriculture production. Inside the exhibit area are the static displays, but the FSR dedicates over 600 acres of land for field demonstrations such as corn and soybean combines, tillage, nutrient and lime applications, and drainage installations.
The Gwynne Conservation Area, GCA, is a 67-acre demonstration and education area for agriculture and natural resources management practices. The Gwynne is home to a natural stream, wetland, ponds, windbreak plantings, crop tree plantings, wildlife food plots, soil pit, riparian forests, dry hydrant and much more. The Gywnne also has an all-season log cabin where educational sessions and classes are taught.
As we move forward improving the Farm Science Review, we can not forget the people and places that provided the foundation of what the FSR is today.
Roy M. Kottman, a former dean of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (known as the College of Agriculture at the time) is credited for launching Farm Science Review. At the time, the college was looking for a replacement to "Farm and Home Week," a 46-year-old program that came to its end in 1959. In 1961, Kottman was approached by M.R. Maxon, regional branch sales manager for International Harvester Corporation. Maxon wanted to know if Ohio State was interested in sponsoring a farm machinery show that would include field demonstrations and educational displays.
Meetings between Kottman and Maxon soon involved Ray Mattson of the Columbus Tractor Club, Thomas Wonderling of OSU Extension, and Robert P. Worral from the College of Agriculture. In March 1962, the group finalized a "Memorandum of Agreement" among the Ohio Expositions Commission, the Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (known as the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station at that time). Later that year, Ohio State President Novice G. Fawcett signed the memorandum. Kottman signed for the College of Agriculture and Rowland Bishop signed for the Ohio Expositions Commission. Farm Science Review was officially born.
The first show was held in 1963 at the Ohio State University Don Scott Airport in northwest Columbus, Ohio.
Over 18,000 visitors paid 50 cents a ticket to view 116 commercial exhibits and be the first to witness no-till corn demonstrations. For the next decade, visitors were treated to such programs as research on 20-inch (510 mm) and 30-inch (760 mm) corn rows, the introduction of big farm equipment, solid-row soybean planting, conservation exhibits, fertilizer application by airplane, and research to fight corn blight.