It’s hard to believe that we are already coming to the end of February and kicking off March in a matter of days. I hope you are all enjoying the warmer days and sunshine in preparation for the remaining weeks of winter in Ohio.
These last few weeks have been filled with a great variety of activities, travel, and intentional engagement. I just came back from San Diego as part of 4-H ECOP to plan, with part of the national 4-H Program Leaders Working Group, our national strategy for growing 4-H and increasing access for all youth. Kirk and Hannah joined their peers shortly thereafter, and have excellent strategies and resources for helping the youth in Ohio explore their potential and find their spark. A few of us (Kirk, Lisa McCutcheon, and Adrienne Anderson) joined Intel at COSI this week to learn more about resources and professional development available through the Intel Foundation, STEM Next Opportunity Fund, and the Ohio Afterschool Network to create STEM and STEAM educational opportunities for 4-H youth across Ohio!
I was honored to join some of our Extension team (Sam Custer, David Marrison, Gary Gao, Andrew Holden, and Melanie Ivey) at the Ohio Grape and Wine Conference this week, where we were able to support our industry partners and growers and hear about the great appreciation they have for our educators and researchers at Ohio State. I have also been able to watch and be incredibly grateful for how our CFAES team has come together to support the East Palestine community. Special thanks goes out to Haley Shoemaker, our ANR educator in Columbiana County, for her leadership in coordinating our team to support the local agencies with addressing critical issues and questions brought on by the derailment emergency.
As always, there are so many amazing things going on across Ohio in OSU Extension. I never cease to be impressed by our compassion, caring, engagement, and expertise. Our Extension culture is strong and a daily reflection of our mission to deliver solutions for Ohioans. Thank you for all you do – no one does it better!