Judges say agriculture displays are tops in state

| September 27, 2013

COSHOCTON – Bob Sieving really enjoys judging displays in the agriculture building at the Coshocton County Fair.

“It’s fun to do because people here put so much into it,” he said.

Sieving is from Bellville and taught agriculture for 32 years.

“I had my students display in three fairs,” he said. “I’d often wonder if the classroom time we’d put into it was worth it, but it is. One time I heard a kid say he didn’t know there were 15 different kinds of apples. We need to keep doing this today to open people’s eyes.”

The agriculture building showcases the best of Coshocton’s pumpkins, corn, potatoes, peppers, grains and much more.

“We look for a high level of quality and lack of defects,” said Dave Snyder of Ashland, who helped Sieving’s judge the displays. He grew up in Coshocton and taught agriculture.

The first step Sieving’s takes when judging is to check the book for qualifications.

“When I’m judging forges I also look to see if they are all leaves or stems,” he said.

A sign in the agriculture building explains that forges are plants or parts of plants eaten by livestock and wildlife. That same sign also states that the 2007 agriculture census has Coshocton County ranked 10th out of 88 counties in Ohio for acres of forges produced.

Freshness is important when judging these forges.

“You can take them down and store them in a box, but sunshine and light will start to make them fade,” Sieving’s said. “It doesn’t hurt them; it just makes them look older.”

He also looks at how they are put together.

“I want it to be an attractive display,” Sieving’s said. “Something that makes me want to look at it. It also has to be properly labeled.”

Both he and Snyder believe Coshocton’s agriculture display is the best in Ohio.

“When you walk in here, you are surrounded by living products and produce,” Snyder said.

The building also features displays by area granges, which are packed full of items such as canned goods, produce and crafts.

“People will be surprised by the different things that are in our displays,” said Sally Campbell, from Walhonding Valley Grange.

Her husband Joe contributed one of the more unique items.

“Where else can you go and see canned squirrel?” he asked.

Martha and Albert Young have been a part of the grange and the fair for 60 some years and their son Wayne also helps.

“It’s tradition for us to do this,” Wayne said.

Albert is the superintendent of the grange part of the building and Debbie Gaumer is in charge of the rest of the displays.

“The exhibitors and team work make this building shine,” Gaumer said. “It wouldn’t be filled without many helping hands.”

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Category: Arts & Entertainment, People & Places, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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