LONDON, Ohio (Sept. 15, 2023) - More than half (51%) of all farming operations in the United States have at least one female operator, according to the 2019 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).
“We’re not always the tag-along,” said Emily Mullen, owner and operator of Mullen Dairy and Creamery in southwest Ohio's Okeana and a longtime FSR attendee.
“My ﬁrst experience at FSR was actually a super big deal because I got to play hooky from school for the day and hang out with my dad,” said Mullen. “To be thrown together with a group of people that shared the same passion as I had made me feel like I was part of a community.”
Like other farmers, Mullen has to think outside the box to keep her family’s fourth-generation dairy farm going.
“One thing I noticed as I looked at the generations of past family members is that I had to farm diﬀerently in order to maintain a place in this industry,” said Mullen. “My way of diversifying the cash ﬂow for our family’s farm was to implement the creamery.”
Something that sets the Mullen Dairy and Creamery apart from other creameries is the 25 ﬂavor oﬀerings for ﬂuid milk. The ﬂavors range from banana, cotton candy and cookies and cream, to chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
For many, including women in agriculture, attending FSR is an opportunity for business-minded individuals to come together with other pros in the industry.
“It’s super important that we get together to discuss our new ﬁndings, new things we have implemented on our farm and bounce ideas oﬀ of each other,” said Mullen.
Staying connected is one of the many reasons Mullen comes to the show year-after-year.
“As a dairy farmer, I love to go to the Prenger’s booth and hang out with them because some of them are not on my regular service route and I don’t see them regularly,” said Mullen. “It’s important to maintain those relationships because you never know when you’re going to need to call a friend and ask a question.”
Just like her dad brought her, Mullen is making it a tradition to bring the next generation along for the day.
“I will bring my two nephews,” said Mullen. “It’s their day to play hooky now and it’s a special day with their aunt.”
One woman, in particular, holds a signiﬁcant place in FSR history. Marie (Molly) Brown Caren’s gift to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in 1982 spurred the move of the show from Don Scott Airport in Columbus to the newly-minted Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London.
“Molly Caren’s commitment to agricultural innovation and her desire to preserve her family’s farm for agricultural use gave FSR the resources needed to remain relevant in the past, present and future,” said Nick Zachrich, FSR manager. “Carrying out Molly’s vision for this land will always be at the forefront of what we do here.”
FSR will oﬀer a variety of sessions geared toward women in agriculture as well as opportunities to stock up on agricultural-themed apparel at this year’s show, Sept. 19-21..
Ohio Women in Ag Learning Network
*Presentations at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.
Tuesday, Sept. 19
- Annie’s Project - Celebrating 20 Years of Empowering Women in Agriculture, 2:30 p.m., 426 Friday Ave.
- Spotted Lantern Fly, 2 p.m., Gwynne Conservation Area
Wednesday, Sept. 20
- PPE for Women and Kids, 10:30 a.m., Ag Safety Area
- Family, Life and Mental Health on the Farm, 2 p.m., 389 Friday Ave.
Thursday, Sept. 21
- Women in Agriculture, 10:30 a.m., corner of Equipment Avenue and Beef Street
- Women Working and Living with Livestock by Ohio Cattlewomen, 2 p.m., 1275 Friday Ave.
Boutiques & Apparel:
- Pink Tractor (928 Wool Ave.)
- Rural Roads & Roots Boutique (156 Conservation Ave.)
- Heifer Please Co (155 Conservation Ave.)
- Oﬃcial Farm Science Review T-shirt (Friday Ave. and Beef St.)
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.