LONDON, Ohio – Have you ever wanted to get into the cockpit of an airplane and fly over a field?
During the Farm Science Review September 21-23, visitors will have this chance without leaving the grassy ground beneath them.
The next annual agricultural show will offer a series of virtual reality experiences such as the use of a crop sprayer, high-tech planters, combines and other equipment.
Sitting in an IMAX-style mini cinema, FSR visitors can watch videos projected onto a dome-shaped screen around them. They will have an enlarged view – a little wider than peripheral vision – so they can feel like they are piloting an airplane. Or ride a high-tech planter. Or looking in a beehive.
To film the videos, educators at the Ohio State University Extension mounted cameras in various locations on planters, tractors, combines and other vehicles, so viewers could have a perspective they didn would not normally.
“It’s kind of like having a bird’s eye view of all these places,” said Brooke Beam, an extension educator in Highland County. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at Ohio State University, which hosts FSR.
One of the videos was taken by drones that flew over fields across the state to highlight the variety of agriculture in Ohio – different crops, different types of soil, and assorted terrain.
“Young people will find the technology really exciting,” said Nick Zachrich, director of FSR. “But also, experienced farmers or producers will have a vision that they don’t normally have – a vision of what someone else is doing. Then they can see if it could be something useful for their own operations.
Having an immersive theatrical experience is one of the new offerings at the upcoming three-day FSR. Last year the show was exclusively virtual due to the pandemic. This year’s show will take place in person, but some lectures and demonstrations will be streamed live from the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio. And many chats will also be recorded so that people can watch them online also from their phones, tablets or laptops.
A new market pavilion will offer visitors the chance to try products that small food and agriculture businesses promote, such as a dairy that could launch a specialty type of ice cream or cheese.
In its third year, FSR’s Career Exploration Fair will be both in person and online. On September 22, the in-person career fair will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. During the same period, on September 24, people can go to fsr.osu.edu for a virtual opportunity to learn about careers in agriculture.
“Being able to be there on the spot and be part of a crowd will be very inviting for people,” Zachrich said of this year’s show. “It’s a good opportunity to get away from the farm for the day.
FSR hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 21 to 22 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 23. Tickets for the event are $ 7 online and at OSU Extension county offices and participating agribusinesses, or $ 10 at the door. Children 5 and under are free.
For tickets and more information on FSR, visit fsr.osu.edu. High-resolution photos and social media resources for FSR 2021 are available at go.osu.edu/fsr2021mediaassets.
Sitting in an IMAX-style mini cinema, Farm Science Review visitors can watch videos projected onto a dome-shaped screen around them. They will have an expansive view so they can feel like they are piloting a plane, driving a high-tech planter, or looking into a beehive.
Follow @GalionInquirer on Twitter. Like The Galion Inquirer on Facebook.