By SUSAN MYKRANTZ
LONDON, Ohio — Gwynne Conservation Area is the place to be if you are looking for calm and quiet during the hustle and hurry of the Farm Science Review (FSR) at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center next week.
This year, the FSR is scheduled for Sept. 17-19, and each year, the 67-acre Gwynne Area focuses its exhibits and programs on areas of interest for farmers and homeowners, with topics such as expanding the grazing season and controlling invasive species in their woods.
“As always, the Gwynne has a lot to offer during the Farm Science Review; from educational talks and demonstrations, to vendors/exhibitors and leisurely wagon rides,” said Marnie Titchenell, wildlife program specialist with Ohio State University extension.
She said the Gwynne schedule is packed with talks on grazing and forage improvements all three days, as well as information on the critters around your farm such as bluebirds, conflict species, snakes, frogs, deer, and pollinators, and on invasive plants and insects to be on the watch for – as well as how to ID trees and a plethora of tips on smart management of ponds.
“The Gwynne Conservation Area is the place to visit during FSR if you are interested in conservation practices on farms, nature, and how to promote natural areas on properties,” said Titchenell. “We have over 45 different presentations on foraging, grazing, wildlife, forestry, and aquatics.
“We also have several demonstrations – chainsaw cutting techniques and maintenance, how a dry hydrant works, and electrofishing. And if you are not sure what electrofishing is, come check it out on Wednesday at 12 p.m. We also have a couple of new talks this year on oaks in Ohio.”
In electrofishing, for instance, one applies a current to the water to stun fish, allowing for easy collection for research and sampling. “No fish are harmed in this demonstration,” she noted.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg of information begin offered this year at the Gwynne during the Farm Science Review. We will also have a tent full of natural resources vendors and exhibitors, ready to speak with landowners about conservation issues and land management.”
Other popular demonstrations include a meet-and-greet with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife K-9 Units, and learning how the program works and how canines help wildlife officers in their duties, as well as a session on “Identifying Woodland Fungi.”
The Gwynne will again offer sessions on chainsaw maintenance and safety as a means of educating landowners on their proper use and maintenance. Each day, the Woodland Demonstration Area will include “Chainsaw Maintenance, Sharpening, and Safety” demonstrations at 11 a.m. and “Chainsaw Cutting Techniques Demonstrations” at 12:30 p.m.
There will also be concurrent presentations in several locations around the Gwynne Area, including the Cabin, Woodland Amphitheater, Forages and Grazing Area, and Wildlife and Aquatics area.
Topics in the Cabin this day include common frogs and snakes of Ohio, beginning at 11:30 a.m., followed by “What Can a Fungus Tell Us About Our Woods?”, “Top Five Pond Inquiries” at 1 p.m., and wrapping up with things you should know before selling your timber, at 2.
Topics in the Wildlife and Aquatics area begin with landscaping for wildlife at 10:30 a.m., followed by “Eat A Bug, Save A Planet” at noon, the Exclusion Solution-A mesh fence to protect plantings from deer at 12:30 p.m., a dry hydrant demonstration at 1, and Aquatic Vegetation Management at 2.
Forage and Grazing topics include avoiding toxicity issues of warm seasons forages at 11 a.m. and using annuals in your grazing management plan at 1 p.m., followed by soil testing to increase yields at 2.
Topics in the Woodland Amphitheater include identifying fleshy woodland fungi at 10:30 a.m., followed by “Invasives You Should Know” at 12:30 p.m. and identifying fleshy woodland fungi again at 1:30, followed by “Trees and Taxes” at 2;30.
Topics in the Cabin include “What is Mozart Doing Now? Decomposing!” at 10:30 a.m., examining farmer conservation practice behavior at 11:30, “Maple 101” at 1 p.m., and wrapping up with “Basics of Tree ID” at 2.
Topics in the Wildlife and Aquatics area include “Basics of Pond Aeration” at 10:30 a.m., followed by using aquaculture for conservation at 11; “The Concept of Cover: Managing Structure for Pond Fisheries” at 11:30; electrofishing at noon; placing and managing bluebird boxes at 12:30 p.m.; a dry hydrant demo at 1; “Top Five Pond Inquiries” at 1:30; and “Wildlife Conflict and Answer Session” at 2.
Forage and Grazing topics include alternative grazing systems at 11:30 a.m., followed by forages for extreme drought and flood tolerance at 12:30 p.m. and soil testing to increase yields at 1:30.
Topics in the Woodland Amphitheater include “Conservation Tree Planting –Steps to Success” at 10:30 a.m., followed by “Spotting the Spotted Lanternfly” at 11:30; “What Can a Fungus Tell Us About Our Woods?” at 12:30 p.m.; “The ABCs of Invasive Species – EAB, ALB, GM, BMSB, HWA, SLF, and More” at 1:30; “The Future of Oaks is in Our Hands” at 2; and “Woodland Invasive Plants – What’s the Fuss and How to Treat” at 2:30.
Topics in the Cabin include “Top Five Pond Inquiries” at 10:30 a.m. followed by identification of Ohio snakes at noon.
Topics in the Wildlife and Aquatics area include a demonstration by the K-9 units at 11 a.m. and “The Concept of Cover: Managing Structure for Pond Fisheries” at noon, followed by a dry hydrant demo at 1 p.m.
Forage and Grazing topics include at forages for extreme drought and flood tolerance 11 a.m., followed by using annuals in your grazing management plan at noon.
Topics in the Woodland Amphitheater include “Oak Trees of Ohio” at 10:30 a.m., “What Can A Forester Do For You (and How to Find One)” at 11:30; and finishing up with “Invasives You Should Know” at 12:30 p.m.
Also in the Gwynne Area, visitors can check out demonstrations of the National Archery in the Schools Program from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. daily, and high school students can see demonstrations by the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership beginning every half hour from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. daily.
Shuttles run from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and Titchenell wants to encourage visitors to take some time to hop off on their way to and from the field demos to enjoy the quiet beauty at the Gwynne Area. You can also enjoy some good food there.
“We have one food vendor that does barbecue, and it’s delicious,” she pointed out. “There are rarely long lines, either.”
All activities at the Gwynne Conservation Area are included with admission to the FSR, which is $7 in advance, $10 at the gate, and free for children 5 and younger. Tickets may be purchased at extension county offices and participating agribusinesses.
Free wagon shuttles will run from the west end of the FSR’s main grounds to the nearby Gwynne site from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. FSR hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 17-18 and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sept. 19.
The FSR is sponsored by CFAES; for more information, visit fsr.osu.edu