Lots to see, learn at Gwynne Conservation Area: Farm Science Review 2021

Writer(s): 

LONDON, Ohio—There’s a place you can go to discover such things as:

  • How grazing goats can help control invasive plants in your woods.
  • How to call turkeys, identify frogs, stock your pond with the best types of fish, and grow your own edible mushrooms in a bucket.
  • How and when to harvest timber, and what today’s volatile lumber prices can mean for you and your woods.
  • How to identify the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species new to Ohio that can damage your fruit and shade trees and grape vines.

If you want to learn more about woods, water, wildlife, and grazing lands—and walk among them while you do it—check out the Gwynne Conservation Area at this year’s Farm Science Review.

The nearly 70-acre demonstration site—home of a forest, a stream, a wetland, ponds, pastures, wildlife food plots, and trails leading past or through them—will offer 50-plus talks, tours, and demonstrations during all three days of the Review.

Go there and you’ll also find prairie plants blown by the wind, shade from trees, sunlight glinting on rippled water, butterflies, green frogs, bluegills, and bluebirds.

Farm Science Review runs Sept. 21–23 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, 135 State Route 38 near London, and besides exploring the event’s 100 acres of commercial vendors, equipment displays, and educational exhibits, you can also take a short free wagon ride from the main grounds to the Gwynne. (It’s the same ride that goes to the Review’s field crop demonstrations.) 

“Whatever your interests might be, you can head over to the Gwynne to learn something new,” said Carri Jagger, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

CFAES is the host of the annual Review. Jagger is co-coordinating the Gwynne’s educational sessions during the event with Marne Titchenell, wildlife program specialist in the CFAES School of Environment and Natural Resources

“I learn something new at the Gwynne every year,” Jagger said. 

Here’s a look at some of what’s to discover at the Gwynne:

Trees and woods

Identifying Ohio’s trees, identifying the fungi that grow in your woods, a seasonal guide to woodland management, the chestnut agroecosystem, and how Farm Bill programs can help you manage your woods.

Forest products

Maple syrup production for beginners, managing a sugar bush, cultivating oyster mushrooms in a bucket, how to manage your woods to produce pawpaw fruit, what fluctuating market conditions and timber prices can mean for your woods, and how Ohio’s “Call Before You Cut” program can help you sign a fair timber harvest contract and keep your woods healthy for the future. 

Wildlife

Creating backyard wildlife habitat, Ohio’s owls, Ohio’s snakes, Ohio’s frogs and toads, calling wild turkeys, and preventing landscape damage by wildlife.

Fish and water

The best fish bets for stocking a pond, pond aeration basics, backyard aquaponic basics, managing invasive species in ponds, and all about vernal pools, streams, and ponds.

Grazing and forages

Getting started with grazing, forages for soggy sites, forages for acidic soils, wildlife-friendly forages, growing native warm-season grasses, intensive rotational grazing, and high stock density grazing.

Invasive species

All about kudzu (which, yes, is in Ohio), identifying the spotted lanternfly, the latest updates on Ohio’s top 10 invasive species, and how grazing goats can help control invasive plants in hardwood forests.

Pollinators

All about wild bees, trees you can grow that are good for bees, and details about the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative’s Roadsides for Pollinators program.

You can find the full schedule of sessions at the Gwynne at go.osu.edu/gwynne2021 or in the Review’s free program booklet.

The speakers at the sessions will be from CFAES, elsewhere at Ohio State, other universities, conservation groups, and local, state, and federal agencies.

Also while at the Gwynne, you can see demonstrations of electrofishing, monarch butterfly tagging, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s working canines, and chainsaw maintenance, safety, sharpening, and cutting. 

Last year’s Farm Science Review was held online because of the pandemic.

Jagger said she’s looking forward to having the event in person again.

“It’s a lot more fun to learn and teach in person than it is virtually,” she said. 

“There’s just something about being at the site and seeing a good demonstration in person or getting to visit with the other folks in a session.” 

Hours for Farm Science Review are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 21–22 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 23. Tickets are $7 online, at county offices of OSU Extension, and at participating agribusinesses, and $10 at the gate. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free. 

For more information, visit fsr.osu.edu.

Writer(s): 
Kurt Knebusch
330-263-3776
For more information, contact: 

Carri Jagger
419-947-1070 
jagger.6@osu.edu