We had the good fortune to spend the day with the CEO and associates from the Ohio Poultry Association at the Ohio State Fair this passed week. We learned interesting egg and poultry facts and got to eat delicious Ohio eggs cooked to perfection. After the egg-tastic breakfast, my buddy Rachel over at Harmonious Homestead and I took the kids around the fair for rides and fun. Have you been to the Ohio State Fair? If not, put it on your calendar for next year.
The fair seemed bigger and better than ever. I hadn’t been in a few years and was a little shocked by the enormity of it. They have fun to offer everyone from rides and games to concerts, cook-offs, and as always, lots of agriculture. Ohio is an agricultural state, and I love that the fair is a place where I can see animals and talk to farmers. From my morning with the Ohio Poultry Association, I learned Ohio is the second largest provider of eggs across the country. I also learned that most of those egg farms are family owned, and have been for years. The farms have just gotten bigger because the demand for food has increased. Ohio egg farmers do their best to offer good animal welfare, and since they are feeding people they must follow guidelines for consumer health. I am planning to visit a farm in the near future to see some behind the scenes of how they work. I am an interested consumer, and want to know where my food is coming from and how the animals are treated.
Some interesting facts I learned for your health are:
- As far as nutritional content, there is no difference between a brown egg and a white egg.
- Egg cartons cannot be reused (food poisoning fear).
- Eggs are very fresh when delivered to your local grocery store. Sometimes within 2 – 3 days of being laid.
- Eggs differ in color because of the breed of hen that laid them.
- Generally, smaller farms and free-range hens eat a natural diet consisting of insects and table scraps. Larger farms are feeding the masses and generally use locally sourced soybeans and grains. When the hens are free to roam, they will eat their natural diet.
Local farmer Mike Stichler knows poultry and gave us a tour of the chickens, turkeys, and ducks at the fair. He explained which were show birds and which were bred for food. I am amazed by people who farm and make growing and providing food their life. They look at life a little differently than I do and work very hard. As I sit here typing at seven in the morning, they’ve probably already eaten breakfast, fed the cows, pigs, and hens and are on their way to work the corn fields. Ha! I don’t really know, just fascinated by their lifestyle.
After we met some of the birds and got a lesson on breeds and how to care for them, we were turned loose to explore. Rachel and I had busy children who loved the kiddie rides, the little roller coasters and giant slide best of all. I allowed my children one game each, which really was all I could afford. $5/game is steep for me…at least each of my kids won a stuffed animal (that immediately began un-stitching itself). We visited the Butter Cow – that is a must-see at the fair. Plus, you can get a scoop of locally made Velvet Ice Cream! We also saw a magician that put himself inside a balloon – I am not kidding. Only at the fair!
Put visiting the Ohio State Fair (don’t miss the Ag Building and poultry area) on your calendar! Or plan to visit the Delaware County Fair coming up soon! Here’s my post for information: Fair Fever in Central Ohio.
The Ohio State Fair
Ohio Expo Center
717 E. 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211
Some things to help plan your day:
- Get there early and go during the week for best parking and less crowds.
- Go to Kroger or look for discount coupons for admission.
- Strollers are welcome or carry baby. Just remember, you will be doing a lot of walking and carrying your diaper bag.
- Bring cash. There are bank machines, but why pay an extra fee.
- Midway and kiddie rides need tickets to ride. If you or your child plans to ride a lot, get the wristband. It was $20/person this year.
- If your child wants to play games, tell them to bring their own money. I was shocked by how much they were!
- Eat at the Taste of Ohio Cafe – all local food! Unless you are a fried fair food fan.
- Bring lots of water!
- Buy Ohio eggs! Support your local Ohio farmers!
Disclosure: Thank you to the Ohio Poultry Association for a wonderful day at the fair. They provided my family with parking, admission, breakfast, lunch, ride wristbands, and ice cream.