It’s farm tour time in many of the counties in our circulation region and although we generally don’t write about each of them — because there are so many — I still have a hard time passing up the local tour, even if it’s just for pictures.

I have enjoyed the Wayne County Farm Bureau tour since I was a kid, and I still get a lot of satisfaction in seeing the progress different farms and agribusinesses have made.

I made it to three locations Sunday afternoon: The Oliver and antiques display at Ron Grosjean’s JR Acres farm, the Ken Miller Supply Oil, Gas, Car, Truck and Agriculture Museum, and Acker Grillin’ Beef.

The oil and gas museum is dedicated to equipment used in the state’s early gas and oil industry, including drilling rigs and transportation equipment.

The Ken Miller family maintains the museum and its collection, and has spent more than 50 years in the oil and gas industry in Ohio and surrounding states.

Most of the equipment dates back to the early 1900s and is a good reminder of the history surrounding early oil and gas exploration. Some of the machines and engines have been restored to run, while others are untouched.

History in the making?

It’s fascinating to walk around the museum and see all the equipment, everything from drilling machines to historical trucks used to transport single barrels of oil, to plugs used to cap the old wells.

If the Marcellus and Utica shale exploration holds up to expectations, we may very well be on the verge of another historical period in the oil and gas industry, with a modernized fleet of equipment and machines that will one day be on display in a museum, as well.

Acker Grillin’ Beef is the name of a beef brand developed by local Auctioneer Dave Acker, and his family. They work together with local processor Shreve Meats, to market a product that is good on the grill, and in the freezer. The Ackers have a long history in beef and a long history in Wayne County.

For the tour, they showed some of their beef housing facilities, the equipment they use and cooked some burgers for the crowd to try. The owners of Shreve Meats were on hand to answer questions about the meat, and make sales.

It was a great weekend for the farm tour and I wish I could have made it to a few more of the stops.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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