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Ohio State University Extension


News and Notes: July 16, 2021

OUR VISION: Ohioans have the knowledge and resources they need to actively engage in creating conditions in which they thrive.

OUR MISSION: We create opportunities for people to explore how science-based knowledge can improve social, economic and environmental conditions.

In This Issue:

Leadership Notes

COVID-19 Updates

College Connections

Campus Connections/Partnerships

Programming Perspectives

Award Opportunities/Reminders

Budget Updates

Operations/Business of Extension

Celebrating Colleagues

Health and Wellness

  1. Thoughts from the Director

    Hi friends...
    July is bringing with it a variety of good news for OSU Extension. We have received positive news related to funding support from our state legislature. The Cooperative Extension line item received a $500,000 increase in each year of the biennium over the governor’s proposal from the House, and an additional $610,540 in FY22 and $406,942 over the House from the Senate. While it is still not an increase over pre-pandemic numbers, this represents an increase for Extension over next biennium. I’d like to thank Adam Ward, Dean Kress, our assistant directors, and our college and university Government Affairs partners, as well as all of you who have helped effectively tell the story of Extension impact across the state that led to this significant increase during a continuing pandemic. It speaks highly of your value and your critical contributions to serving our fellow Ohioans.

    I am excited to reiterate that we have received formal notification from the university that we are able to implement annual merit increases through the Annual Merit Compensation Process (AMCP). The university determined a 3% pool for distribution across our system. This is welcome bit of news, especially considering how many universities and Extension systems across the nation have been dealing with furloughs, reductions in force, and another year of no increases. We have also been able to fund the A&P promotions for this year (n=38). We submitted our data yesterday, and you can expect to see any merit increases in your pay no later than September.

    We are a month into returning to fuller office density and higher numbers of in-person programming. We have been able to return to having day and residential camps and participating in fairs that are approaching more typical environments across the state. We have recently been given the great news that we have a confirmed in-person Farm Science Review this year in September (look for more information coming out soon). Our most recent point-in-time pulse survey looking at how we are feeling as employees shows continuing steady upwards trends toward OK to Great (70%), from where we started asking in November (65%). We are working through the reports from our DEI Task Force, Life/Works Task Force, and Return-to-Office survey results to ensure that we continue a positive path toward organizational wellness and attracting and retaining a talented and supported workforce.

    We have lots of opportunities for additional engagement in our planning for Extension’s strategic future. I want to thank you again for your dedication to our mission, your passion for the work that you do, and for your flexibility and agility (with a big dose of managing through change fatigue) this last year. You are the heart and soul of this wonderful entity called Extension; and I never underestimate the impact of your service to our college, our communities, our state, and our nation. Thank you for being willing to share your ideas and energy for how we can work together to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our employees and our stakeholders.

    Best wishes, Jackie

  2. OSU Extension Keys Update

    Thank you to the approximately 600 participants in the keys workshops. From February 11 until June 24, the LOD team conducted 34 sessions for the Extension organization. Of those 600 participants, 555 (75%) participated in the poll expressing their level of agreement with the keys and the behavior statements. This is the final calculation from the aggregated polls (N=555): 

    Key Values Level of Agreement


    All groups were asked to pick their top values, and a word cloud was created. This is the final word cloud from all of those who participated: 

    Word Cloud from Survey


    The team also received 88 thoughtful open-ended comments that are being sorted and analyzed. 

    Next Steps: Learning and Organizational Development (LOD) will lead the effort to create the next iteration of these core values, along with the individuals who made up the original Disney team (Rob Leeds, Jeff McCutcheon, Nicole Debose, Pam Montgomery, Christy Leeds). After the next version is created, the materials will be made available to everyone to read and reflect upon (around late August/early September). There will be time to provide more comments this fall. In December at the Extension Annual Conference, we will have a final version of our core values (keys) ready. 

  3. Director’s Video Update – Next One Scheduled for Aug. 25

    The next Director’s Video Update will be held on Aug. 25 (a change from the previously announced Aug. 18). The remaining 2021 videos are set for Oct. 6, Nov. 17, and Dec. 15. All video updates will be held at 9am. A registration link will be forwarded two to three weeks prior to each update, and the videos will be recorded for those who cannot join us live. 

  4. Strategic Alignment Update

    We are continuing to make progress on our strategic alignment efforts, and we have contracted with a third-party consultant to engage with us for active listening sessions. These sessions will occur in August and September. One session is with the Extension Leadership Team; three will be held with state level advisory councils; three will be held with our statewide campuses (faculty, students, and staff); and three will be held with volunteers. The dates and known times are listed below. I hope you will plan to join us for one of the statewide campus listening sessions. Please also continue to save the dates for our area visits in October and November (locations to be determined soon).

    Listening for Perspective (July – November 2021): 
    Stakeholder Facilitated Listening Sessions (one onsite, nine online August-Sept.) 

    One facilitated Extension Leadership Team (ELT) session  

    • Aug. 12 (1-4 pm during the ELT meeting) 

    Three facilitated online Listening Sessions for Extension faculty, staff, students  

    • Aug. 16, 1-3pm  

    • Aug. 30, 10am-12 noon 

    • Sept. 8, 10am-12 noon 

    Three facilitated online Advisory Group Listening Sessions  

    • Sept. 13 Extension Internal Advisory Council (online) 1 – 4pm  

    • Sept. 27 State Extension Advisory Council (online) 

    • Sept. 27 Extension Partnership Advisory Council (online) 

    Three online sessions with volunteers facilitated by OSU Extension professionals 

    Local advisory committees facilitated by area leaders (more info to come soon) 

    Area Visits (five onsite, one online) 10am-2pm: Connect with colleagues, engage in professional development, and hear updates. 

    • Oct. 4 

    • Oct .11 

    • Oct. 22  

    • Nov. 8 

    • Nov. 22  

    • Nov. 23 (online) 

  5. Updated Personal Safety Practices – Masks, Health Check, and Distancing

    Ohio State continues to update COVID-19 safety practices in response to changes in public health guidance. The updated guidelines for Ohio State faculty, staff, and students are posted online. 

    Some key points: 

    • You no longer need to do a health check on Compass before coming to campus if you are well.  
    • If you are sick (any kind of sick, not only COVID), you should stay home.  
    • Vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks (except at Wexner Medical Center, clinics, and where posted).  
    • Individuals who are not vaccinated should wear masks when indoors.  
    • Anyone who prefers to wear a mask is welcome to do so regardless of vaccination status. 
  6. Return-to-Office Survey Update

    The Return-to-Office survey was launched on May 14 to 707 recipients, and we received more than 648 responses (a nearly 92% response rate). The results will be used to identify similar concerns and/or needs that can inform current and ongoing approaches to RtO; aid in looking at evolving policies and approaches to supporting life/work balance; and provide insight into the types of support and training needed/desired (e.g., managing stress, learning new technologies). 

    As a reminder, these results will be shared with everyone in both summary and raw data form with any possibilities of identification removed. The summary for the aggregated quantitative data is available now at:  

    The data party volunteers met this week to begin their reviewing and making meaning of the data. Thank you to those who volunteered to participate in this service to our organization – Christina Byrd, Marianne Guthrie, Courtney Woelfl, Bridget Britton, Susan Zies, Sarah Carpenter, Jennifer Lobb, Faye Wilson, Thallia Blight, Misty Harmon, and Gwynn Stewart. The team will be sharing more information about what they discovered during the next director’s video update on Aug. 25. 

  7. Vaccination Self-Reporting Request

    We need your help in planning public health measures for the fall. If you have been COVID-19 vaccinated, please share your vaccination information with the university through a simple online form so you can be counted in Ohio State’s overall vaccination rate. There are many vaccinated students, faculty, and staff for whom Ohio State does not currently have data; and the university would like a more accurate sense of the true vaccination rate of the university community. Sharing your status also will help inform decision-making about public health guidelines for the fall and better support underrepresented portions of our community. Individual information will not be shared with your managers. Even if individuals were vaccinated through the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, please submit the information through this form, so it can be used in the university’s public health response. Medical privacy requirements limit what MyChart data can be shared. As more of the Ohio State community is vaccinated, the university plans to continue to relax health mandates, but needs good data to make those decisions. FAQs and other information are available at

  8. Tour Tuesdays with Knowledge Exchange

    The CFAES Knowledge Exchange has developed a limited series of virtual research experience tours for Extension professionals starting in late July. These tours will share CFAES research right where it’s happening. The first tour is the Wilbur A. Gould Food Industries Center (July 27), followed by urban agriculture at Waterman Lab/Franklin County office of Extension (Aug. 3), and the bee labs on Waterman and CFAES Wooster (Aug. 10). Learn more at

  9. 2021 Outreach and Engagement Grant Recipients Announced

    The Office of Outreach and Engagement has awarded more than $215,000 to 23 recipients of 2021 Outreach and Engagement grants. Grants were awarded at a maximum amount of $10,000 to support development of impact reports for programs, performances or exhibits; development of a public policy document or report; or support for a team to develop a grant proposal or finalize a manuscript for publication submission. Extension has connections with several of the grant recipients, including Carol Smathers, OSU Extension field specialist in youth nutrition and wellness, who will develop a policy paper to be issued by the Ohio Farm to School Network (which is facilitated by OSU Extension). Learn more about all of the funded grant proposals at the Outreach and Engagement website

  10. Mini Land-Grant Virtual Conference (North Central Region) – August 2-3 

    Join your colleagues in the North Central region for a live, interactive experience on August 2-3 that will focus on the land-grant university of the future. Wendy Wintersteen, the first female president of the University of Iowa, will be the keynote speaker. The conference, which will be hosted by the University of Missouri, is free and open to all faculty, staff, administrators, and others who support the land-grant mission in the North Central region. Review the agenda at, and register at

    Land-grant Conference


  11. South Centers Video Updates

    Each quarter throughout the past two years, OSU Extension Director Jackie Kirby Wilkins has connected with Tom Worley, director at OSU South Centers in Piketon, to discuss current Extension activities and provide program updates in a recorded video conversation. This month, Kirk Bloir, assistant director for 4-H youth development, and Sam Custer, interim assistant director for agriculture and natural resources, joined Jackie and Tom for a discussion about ANR and 4-H activities during the summer, as well as some stats about the 4-H program’s impact statewide and nationally. You can listen to their conversation and previous episodes on the South Centers' YouTube channel at – in the “South Centers Chat” playlist. Other playlists on this channel that involve Extension professionals include: Earth is our Home; Forage Focus; Marketing Matters; Healthy Aging Network; Food, Nutrition and Wellness; Healthy Living Resources; Specialty Crops; Sustainable Action; Tree ID Clips; Fruit Production; and Pike County Extension News Update. 

  12. Ohio State Staff Career Development Grant Applications accepted July 1-31

    Staff career development grants are awarded for professional development costs related to the applicant’s job and/or career goals. Applications will be accepted until July 31. Eligible staff can apply for funding for professional development opportunities occurring between September 2021 and April 2022. Awards will be provided as a reimbursement up to $1,250 for individuals, $1,750 for groups of 2-10, and $2,000 for groups of 11 or more. Visit the  Gateway to Learning website for eligibility requirements, scoring rubric, application instructions, a link to the application portal, and additional information. 

  13. Ohio JCEP First-Timers Award Application Deadline Extended to Aug. 1 

    The Scholarships, Grants, and Recognition Committee for the Ohio Joint Council of Extension Professionals recognizes the uncertainty of 2021. This includes limits on out-of-state travel, conferences not being held in-person, etc. Because of this, the committee has extended the deadline to apply for the first-timers awards (purpose to help fund members’ first attendance at national association conferences). The committee also has determined that if you have previously attended a national Extension conference virtually, you are eligible to apply for the award to attend your first in-person conference. You may still only receive the award once. All full members of the association are eligible to apply. More details and links to apply are posted at:

  14. Ohio JCEP Professional Development Award Applications due Sept. 1 

    Reminder that the next round of Ohio JCEP professional development awards are due Sept. 1. All full members of Ohio JCEP are eligible to apply for these awards. Don’t miss out on support of your next professional development opportunity! Details and links to applications are posted at: Please note we are in the process of transitioning the names of these from Ohio JCEP PD scholarships to Ohio JCEP PD awards. 

  15. State Budget Update – CFAES and OSU Extension Highlights

    (per Adam Ward, director, CFAES Government Affairs)
    Agricultural line items:  

    • The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) line item was decreased 1.7% in FY22 and increased 1.7% in FY23 by the governor and House proposals compared to FY21; but the Senate increased the line item by $889,460 in FY22 and by $593,058 in FY23.  

    • The Cooperative Extension line item received a $500,000 increase in each year of the biennium over the governor’s proposal from the House and an additional $610,540 in FY22 and $406,942 over the House from the Senate.  

    • In total, the Senate added $2.5 million over the biennium for Ohio State University Extension and OARDC.  

    • The Sea Grant line item was restored by the House to receive $299,250 in each year of the biennium, and the Senate retained the House-increased funding for Sea Grant. 

    Research Incentive Third Frontier: The 235634 line item provides earmarks for various research projects. The portion set aside for water quality has been increased from up to $2.0 million per fiscal year to $2.5 million per fiscal year. This is generally released in conjunction with Stone Lab/Sea Grant. This remains unchanged since the governor introduced his version of the bill.  

    Meat Processing Investment Program: The CFAES Department of Animal Sciences and OSU Extension would be eligible to partner with the Department of Development to receive grants to aid meat processors by adding additional training programming, and process improvements with $10,000,000 in FY22 funding added by the House and retained by the Senate. 

    Water Quality Pilot Program: A $4,000,000 pilot project was included earmarking H2Ohio funding for a water quality project at Shallow Run in Hardin County. CFAES has been working with stakeholders to obtain a federal grant via the Regional Conservation Partnership Program of the USDA as a match for this watershed project. This was added by the House and retained by the Senate. 

    Farm Production, Policy, and Financial Management Institute: A new line item, 600676 Farm Financial Management Institute, is created and funded in the Senate version of the budget to support a CFAES program. The program is funded at $250,000 per fiscal year. 

    Note: While this represents an increase for Extension over next biennium, it is still not an increase over pre-pandemic numbers. “I’d like to thank Adam, Dean Kress, our assistant directors, and or university Government Affairs partners, as well as all of you who have helped effectively tell the story of Extension’s impact across the state that led to this significant increase during a continuing pandemic. It speaks highly of your value and your critical contributions to serving our fellow Ohioans.” (Jackie Kirby Wilkins, director, OSU Extension) 

  16. County Cost Share for Educators

    For calendar year 2022, the county cost share for the first educator in a county will now be $31,750 per FTE. Each additional educator will be $41,750 per FTE. Key information about the cost of county educators and a history of the rates in recent years is posted on the Operations website.

  17. Blanket Exemptions Provided for National Professional Association Conference Attendance – Remainder of 2021

    Effective July 1, 2021, the university will allow business-related travel in line with updated health and safety requirements and our continued focus on fiscal responsibility. Faculty and staff are expected to exercise prudent fiscal management when considering FY22 travel arrangements to determine whether in-person or virtual attendance at any event, program or other circumstance will be most effective. The new travel guidance issued by the university can be found at the Office of Business and Finance website.  

    If you are attending a national conference during the next few months, use the appropriate travel approval statement below for each conference. The blanket approval email should be added as an attachment in your Workday expense report, along with a copy of the agenda and paid receipt for registration payment (PCard preferred). 

    2021 ESP National Conference Blanket Approval: OSU Extension employees have my approval to invest fees (to be determined) from their funds (program cost recovery funds preferred) to attend the Epsilon Sigma Phi national conference on Oct. 25-28, 2021 in Savannah, Georgia. See for more information. –permission granted via Jackie Kirby Wilkins, OSU Extension director 

    2021 NEAFCS Conference Blanket Approval: OSU Extension employees have my approval to invest registration, travel, and hotel fees from their funds (program cost recovery funds preferred) to attend the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences conference on Nov. 2-5, 2021 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This approval also includes any fees to register for the virtual portion of the conference, instead of physical travel. Check online for more information about the conference. –permission granted via Jackie Kirby Wilkins, OSU Extension director 

    2021 NAEPSDP Conference Blanket Approval: OSU Extension employees have my approval to invest registration fees (to be determined) from their funds (program cost recovery funds preferred) to attend the virtual National Association of Staff and Program Development Professionals annual conference on Nov, 30-Dec. 2, 2021. See for more information. –permission granted via Jackie Kirby Wilkins, OSU Extension director 

    2021 NEA4-HYDP Conference Blanket Approval: OSU Extension employees have my approval to invest registration, travel, and hotel fees from their funds (program cost recovery funds preferred) to attend the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals conference on Nov. 15-18, 2021. This is a hybrid conference, with virtual and in-person activities. Check online for more information about the conference. –permission granted via Jackie Kirby Wilkins, OSU Extension director 

    We will do a blanket registration approval for the OSU Extension Annual Conference on Dec. 7-9, 2021 and the OSU Extension Support Staff Conference on Oct. 14-15, 18-19, 2021 after registration fees are determined. 

  18. Overnight Travel Request Job Aid Now Available

    A job aid to assist with processing overnight travel requests is now available online, as well as multiple other job aids, via the Extension Operations team. There are also job aids and news articles to supplement the university’s administrative resource center (ARC). If you have questions, contact your Operations team fiscal associate. 

  19. Rental Car Reminder

    Please note that rental cars should be considered for out-of-state travel. It’s typically far cheaper than federal mileage rate reimbursement, and it avoids wear and tear on personal vehicles. Visit for more information. 

  20. CART System is Now Open and Available for Use

    The new OSU Extension Choose And RequesT (CART) electronic system is now officially open and available for you to use. CART is your electronic program evaluation, Evaluation of Effective Extension Teaching (EEET), and Race, Ethnicity, Gender (REG) data collection tool all rolled into one easy-to-use application. 

    Through CART, you can quickly choose from these options to create an all-in-one electronic form that will take your workshop participants less than five minutes to complete: select agriculture and natural resources (ANR), community development (CD), family and consumer sciences (FCS), and 4-H youth development program evaluation questions; EEET questions; and/or REG questions. 

    The form is based in Qualtrics and is mobile friendly. All program evaluation questions are available for viewing at this link

    A job aide is available at the following link, which walks you through placing an order, making changes to an order, evaluation practice recommendations, and accessing a dashboard of your EEET results. Program evaluation data will also be available in a dashboard soon. Please read through the job aid carefully, as it will answer many questions. You can also look at the system by creating a test form, receiving the instructional email, and using the link. If you choose to do a test form, please put “Test” in your event title so we will know not to include that data in your dashboard. 

    We encourage use of CART as often as possible for two primary reasons: 1) Quick access to your data. Results will be available in your dashboard, which will be updated on a weekly basis. 2) Ease of use. You will not have the burden of preparing paper-based forms, manually doing data entry at the local level, or copying and mailing forms to the state Learning and Organizational Development (LOD) office. 

    Please discontinue the use of paper-based EEETs immediately, and use the CART system instead. However, if there is a situation where it is absolutely necessary (e.g., internet connection is poor or non-existent), paper-based EEET forms can still be used. The EEET forms (as well as a cover sheet) are available at this link Please be aware, at this time, that paper-based EEETs still must be sent to the LOD office to be processed manually, which will significantly increase the time for you to receive a summary report. For a paper-based form to collect REG data, use this link

  21. Ohio ESP Announces 2021 ESP Regional Award Winners

    (as announced by Steve Brady, president of Ohio’s Epsilon Sigma Phi chapter)
    Ohio ESP represented almost half of all award winners in the North Central region this year. All winners will be recognized during the ESP national awards program at the 2021 ESP national conference in October. Ohio’s winners are: Travis West, Distinguished Service Award; Greg Davis, Continued Excellence Award; Amanda Raines, Early Career Service Award; Eric Barrett, Visionary Leadership Award (tie with Wisconsin); Kayla Oberstadt, Diversity Multicultural Individual Award. 

  22. Extension Educators Become HUD-certified Housing Specialists

    For the past year+, more 19 OSU Extension educators in (FCS and CD, along with Caezilia Loibl, state specialist on housing and consumer finance, have been studying and preparing to sit for the HUD housing exam to become HUD-certified housing specialists. To date, eight have passed the exam.  

  23. OSU Extension Educator Work Was Featured at NACAA 2021 Virtual AM/PIC

    Nearly 15% of the 142 presentations at NACAA AM/PIC this month featured the work of our OSU Extension educators. The program and other information is posted online at

  24. OSU Extension Educators Recognized at 2021 NACAA Annual Conference

    Several OSU Extension educators were recognized nationally for their service and achievements during the recent NACAA conference. Eric Barrett and Amy Stone, 2021 Distinguished Service Award; Lee Beers and Christine Gelley, 2021 Achievement Award. Check out the list of all Ohio NACAA award winners at

  25. Ohio was Well-Represented in the 2021 NACAA Communication Awards

    Ohio had submissions in 11 of the 13 NACAA communication award categories, and 54 entries in the contest. Of these, five were regional winners, and two were national finalists. Regional winners were Amanda Douridas (audio recording); Ed Lentz (personal column); Tim McDermott (feature story) – also a national finalist; Chris Zoller (fact sheet); and Ed Lentz (publication) – also a national winner.

  26. 2021 CFAES Faculty Promotions and Tenure

    Congratulations to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences faculty who were granted promotion and/or tenure at the May 19, 2021 meeting of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees, and to the assistant professors and professional practice faculty who were reappointed at their current ranks after undergoing review during the 2020-2021 promotion and tenure cycle. Visit CFAES Faculty and Staff Affairs website to learn more about several of our Extension colleagues. 

  27. Demetria Woods Celebrated by The Women’s Place in June

    The Women’s Place celebrated Black women faculty and professional staff in its member spotlight in June. Demetria Woods, a member of the Black Women Faculty and Professional Staff at Ohio State, is an Extension educator focusing on 4-H youth development in the Miami County office of OSU Extension. Woods has worked with Extension since 1994, and she brings a rich amount of experience to the role as a participant in 4-H since her youth. 

    The Women’s Place asked Demetria a series of questions about her work at the university and beyond. Find out more in some of her Q&A listed here: 

    • What did you see yourself doing growing up? I knew I wanted to pursue something in the world of business, but I was not sure in what area. Thus, I decided to get a degree in business administration. It allowed me to examine a variety of topics in the field. Unfortunately, I did not land a job in the area of my choice, but while working in a local store, I quickly learned that it was not a job from which I wanted to retire. I went back to school and completed a master’s in Agricultural and Extension Education.  

    • Are you in a position that reflects those interests? Yes (if you don’t count my early years of finding myself). I participated in 4-H throughout my youth; 4-H is the youth development component of the Cooperative Extension System.  

    • What have you enjoyed the most about working at Ohio State? I have always said – the people. I have been blessed to work with amazing youth and adult volunteers. I have also had the privilege of working with coworkers and team members - some for more than 25 years – who have inspired and challenged me to reach to greater heights personally and professionally. 

    • What are your favorite words of wisdom or inspiration? I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. – Philippians 4:13 (King James Version) 

  28. Steps to Better Sleep Challenge via Your Plan for Health

    Physical activity has been proven to help you fall asleep more quickly and spend less time lying in bed awake, thus improving the quality of your sleep. This Your Plan for Health team walking challenge will uniquely combine step tracking with weekly tips for better sleep. Earn up to 2,500 points for participating in the challenge which runs July 5 – August 1. Log into the portal today to create or join a team and make this your best summer of steps and sleep yet. Visit for more information. What you need to do: Share this challenge with your department. Consider ways in which you can support your colleagues during this challenge – for example, help organize teams or schedule walking meetings (where possible). Contact if you have any questions.

  29. OSU Extension Sleep Challenge

    OSU Extension has its own related challenge. Send your favorite routines for relaxing before bed and for getting a great night’s rest, along with your average nightly hours of sleep for the month of July, to Laurie Ward ( by Aug. 1; and you’ll be entered into a raffle for one of two Restore Smart Sleep Assistants.