From Ohio History Central
The Ohio Cultivator was a newspaper dedicated to helping farmers. Founded in Columbus by M.B. Bateham in 1845, the newspaper remained in operation until the Civil War when it was merged with the Ohio Farmer newspaper.
Bateham encouraged Ohio's farmers to organize together for their own improvement. With the support of the Ohio Cultivator, several Ohio farmers established the Ohio State Board of Agriculture in June 1845. The Ohio legislature recognized the group, and the board proceeded to establish county fairs across Ohio. Every Ohio county was to have its own branch of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture. Members of the county groups would agree on their individual needs and lobby the legislature to assist them through legislative acts. The county fairs would celebrate farmers and their contributions to Ohio's economy. In 1849, the Ohio State Board of Agriculture established the Ohio State Fair, but a cholera epidemic forced the fair's cancellation. The City of Cincinnati hosted the first Ohio State Fair in 1850. The fair lasted three days.
The Ohio Cultivator helped unite Ohio's farmers. The Ohio State Board of Agriculture allowed farmers to showcase their products and skills through the county fairs and the Ohio State Fair. It also opened lines of communication among farmers. Improved farming techniques spread across the state and the productivity of Ohio's farms increased.