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Logan County hosts OSU tailgate party

Ohio State president, mascot appear at Rushsylvania sheep farm


The Ohio State University mascot Brutus Buckeye tries his hand at herding sheep during an event Monday at the farm of John and Sharon Bayliss north of Rushsylvania. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

The lawn at the Rushsylvania farm of John and Sharon Bayliss became a miniature Ohio Stadium on Monday, replete with a tailgate party featuring Ohio State cheerleaders and their playful mascot, Brutus Buckeye.

The first pop-up tailgate party came in connection with a planned stop by The Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, who wanted to see first-hand how an Ohio sheep farm operates.


ABOVE: The Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, center, listens Monday as Logan County Commissioner John Bayliss, right, explains equipment at his sheep farm north of Rushsylvania. BELOW: E. Gordon Gee, left, president of The Ohio State University, and OSU mascot Brutus Buckeye, right, pose with Sharon and John Bayliss during an event Monday at the couple’s farm north of Rushsylvania. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: The Ohio State University mascot Brutus Buckeye, right, strikes a pose Monday on a gravel pile near a barn on the farm of Logan County Commissioner John Bayliss north of Rushsylvania. OSU president E. Gordon Gee, left front, looks on ahead of Mr. Bayliss. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | REUBEN MEES)


“This is the first time I’ve been on a sheep farm in Ohio,” the Utah native said, with his recognizable smile and signature bow tie. “I didn’t realize sheep farming is quite as significant as it is. But agriculture is the single largest business in the state of Ohio.”

Ohio is actually the largest sheep farming state east of the Mississippi River, Bobby Moser, OSU’s Dean of the College of Food Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, explained to his boss as they toured a portion of the 30-acre sheep farm.

Mr. Bayliss, who is also a Logan County Commissioner, also noted that Ohio is known nationwide for high-quality purebred sheep stock.

Mr. Gee, serving in his 11th year as university president — divided among two separate stints — said it has been an annual tradition to spend summers traveling the state to see what’s happening in Ohio’s business world.

“Every summer we get out and try to get to about half the counties in the state,” he said. “First, it’s good to see what’s going on in the state and second, it’s an opportunity for the people to learn more about what the university is doing.

“Obviously, each part of the state has large farms and fields, but every place is different. This is a state with immense variety,” Mr. Gee added.

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