LONDON, Ohio (July 13, 2023) - Farm Science Review inducted three individuals who have supported the show in numerous capacities into its Hall of Fame Wednesday night at its annual recognition banquet. 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,” said King. “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,” said King.
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,” said Gail. “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,” said Josh.
“The month of September from start to finish was always a stressful time, but dad loved it,” said Josh.
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,” said Josh. “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,” said Gail. “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,” said Gail. “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” said Victor.
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,” said 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,” said Victor. “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.
Emily Bennett | 937-215-6493 | email@example.com