We really appreciate the sponsorship of Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers and the time of the volunteer farmers on the trip that make the I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour possible and successful. Though the point of the 2014 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour is to assess corn and soybeans in Ohio, we try to show our appreciation by taking good care of the participants. Being a group with a healthy respect for all aspects of Ohio agriculture, we did our best on the I-75 leg of the Tour to include many of Ohio’s agricultural commodities.
What can I say? The I-75 group really loved ice cream. As we passed through Findlay at around 10:45 on the first morning on the Tour, I casually mentioned that we were going to be passing by one of the best ice cream shops in the nation — Dietsch Brothers Fine Chocolates and Ice Cream. The famous ice cream shop has deep roots in Findlay dating back to the 1920s. I was fortunate to grow up near Findlay with parents who appreciate good ice cream, so I have a lifetime under my belt (literally) enjoying the wonderful ice cream and candies from Dietsch Brothers. My favorite items are the chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate milk shakes and the incomparable chocolate soda (with a scoop of raspberry chocolate chunk ice cream).
The vote in the car was unanimous that we stop for an ice cream “brunch.” All were in agreement that it was among the most delicious decisions of the Tour as Dietsch Brothers delivered national caliber ice cream prior to lunch.
It should be noted that, while corn yields are typically of significant interest to the online following of Tour, by far the greatest number of comments regarding our crop tour coverage on the Internet were from disappointed people who did not get the mid-morning invite to Dietsch Brothers to enjoy ice cream with the group.
As we traveled down Ohio’s southern portion of I-75 on Day 2 of the Tour, there was little question about where the ice cream loving crew of agronomists and farmers wanted to stop for lunch — Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs. And, while the ice cream was wonderful, I was more enamored with the incredible cheese curds at Young’s coated in buffalo sauce. Wow — those are fantastic, though I needed a light dinner that night.
While our culinary crop tour decisions largely revolved around all things dairy, we were sure to support numerous other categories of Ohio agriculture as well. Another noteworthy stop for us was the popular Red Pig Inn in Ottawa known for their top notch BBQ pork products, which were the highlight of lunch (though it was fairly small since we had already eaten ice cream). And, never fear, Pickaway County farmer Bill Black in particular gave his ardent dietary support to the beef industry. We also enjoyed many eggs, chicken aplenty and at least one turkey sandwich in our travels.
Other Ohio agriculture
A true Ohio commodity tour would not be complete without the inclusion of a couple of my favorites. To allow some extra time to digest our morning ice cream before lunch, we took a side trip with a vigorous walking tour of my family Christmas tree farm in Hancock County, conveniently located midway between Dietsch Brothers and the Red Pig Inn. That walk, and all of my walking on the Tour, was made much more pleasant with the wonders of the wool socks I wore each day. At the State Fair each year I invest in a couple of pairs of really nice wool socks that are incredibly comfortable and do a nice job of keeping my feet cool in the hot summer months and warm in the winter for cutting Christmas trees and the bitter cold nights loading up the wood burner. My feet cover many miles at events like the Ohio State Fair, the Crop Tour and the Farm Science Review and a good pair of comfy wool socks makes a big difference.
Despite having to ride around in a van with me for the better part of a week, I think all the participants on the I-75 leg of the Tour did enjoy the experience. It is always interesting to get a first hand look at the crops around the state as harvest draws near, and a little ice cream never hurts, either.