50 years and counting – Graham has been to every FSR
By Kevin Dye
This year, Madison County welcomes Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review for its 50th overall agricultural exhibition, the 30th at the university’s Molly Caren Agricultural Center site. One Madison County resident joined the celebration Wednesday, keeping his perfect-attendance record alive.
Madison County farmer Bill Graham visited the Farm Science Review on Wednesday for his 50th consecutive year of attending the yearly agricultural exhibition. Graham traveled around the Molly Caren grounds with his wife, Kay, daughter, Katrina, and grandsons, Nick and Ryan. His son, Bill, could not escape working Wednesday, and thus missed the excitement. Graham said he always has been interested in farming.
The Farm Science Review was a place to check on any industry changes and see the latest farm equipment.
“I’ve been going since the very first one,” Graham said. “The early ones were at Don Scott Airport and they had a lot of exhibitors, but everything was very close together there. There weren’t many other places to go and see such large farm exhibits. Back then the Ohio State Fair had some large farming equipment exhibits, but that didn’t last. So the Farm Science Review is the place to go to see the new equipment.”
Graham’s family have been farming the John Bricker farm in Pleasant Township for over 70 years as well as other farms for private owners. Graham said it is still considered a family farm and really does not need the expensive equipment on display at this year’s Farm Science Review, but enjoys seeing the new equipment and change in technology.
“I like to see the big equipment,” Graham said. “You really need to farm thousands of acres now to afford this size equipment. I’m still an old generation farmer and I don’t have computers or any such things on my equipment. It’s really something for old folks to see the Farm Science Review today with all of this high tech machinery.”
Bill said that his family all stepped in and pitched in to help with the farming when Bill had to have open heart surgery last year. He is quite proud that his son Bill and grandsons Ryan and Nick are all interested in farming and hopes his family farm tradition continues.
“It is great that they are taking over with the farm,” Bill said.
“The farm will stay in the family as long as we are all alive,” Katrina Graham said.
As for Bill’s preference for farm equipment, he says he gets a lot of ribbing from his John Deere friends for his use of Massey-Ferguson farm equipment. He said that back when he was younger, J.B. Anderson was very close to his farm and they sold Massey-Harris products (illustrates how long Bill’s loyalty is), which was very convenient to get parts and service. He has seen no reason to switch brands now.
“Oh, my friends get on me about Massey-Ferguson versus their John Deere, but I give it right back to them,” Bill said. “I’ve bought their equipment for several years now and I’m not changing.”
Bill laughed and said that he usually calls himself an agricultural engineer at an event like the Farm Science Review.
“That didn’t work at a conference in Las Vegas,” his wife Kay said. “The woman listened to Bill say agricultural engineer and the woman looked at him and asked if she could just write down farmer.”