The groups include the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Poultry Association, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Soybean Association. They put forth their objectives in areas such as the mission and vision for the Expo Center; land use and optimization; the overall experience for youth and the general public; and funding, governance and operations.
“Ohio agriculture is one of the biggest supporters of the State Fair,” the groups note in their recommendations. “The industry also contributes to the success of the Expo Center via non-fair related activities. For example, the Ohio FFA Center is located on the fairgrounds. Agricultural groups host many major events at the Expo Center such as the Ohio Beef Expo, Ohio National Poultry Show, Quarter Horse Congress, Spring Dairy Expo, youth events, Home and Garden Shows and others.”
The groups strongly recommend that the Ohio Expo Center and Ohio State Fair’s mission continue to honor and celebrate its agrarian heritage and its strong tradition of the development of young people through 4-H and FFA, among other youth activities. They added that creating awareness about the vast opportunities for Ohio’s consumers, careers and celebrating the food and agriculture sectors are essential elements of that mission.
The recommendations also include preserving the historical presence of the Ohio State Fair in Columbus and maintaining its easily accessible location. It is well documented that the most dynamic and successful state fairs across the country are located in highly populated, urban areas, so moving the venue would be detrimental to the mission and to the financial viability of the State Fair.
The agricultural groups’ guidelines for facilities and infrastructure call for upgrading the facilities at the Expo Center and State Fair that will allow for maximum earned revenue opportunities. Those recommendations include:
Other priorities can be seen in the proposed recommendations outline. The list and publication are part of a joint effort among the big business associations.
“As industry partners, we remain committed to working with the State to ensure the sustainability and success of the Expo Center and State Fair,” the coalition wrote. “We respectfully request that Gov. DeWine, the Task Force, the Commission, and other public sector leaders respond to these recommendations with action and the urgency and seriousness warranted.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
Ty Higgins, Ohio Farm Bureau spokesperson [email protected] 614-246-8231