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Ohio State University Extension


News and Notes: July 7, 2023

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.

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  1. Thoughts from the Director

    Dear Friends,

    I hope you all had a very relaxing and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday weekend. I know the time off the grid (quite literally) was very refueling for me and my family. 

    July is starting with some very good news for our organization with the approval of the state budget. Our Ohio State-specific lines – Extension and research were maintained with 3% increases, each year for this biennium. In a time where there continues to be budget deficits and competing priorities, we are thrilled to say that our work in Extension and continued focus on meeting the needs of Ohio and in each of our communities is still highly valued by our state decision-makers. I would like to thank everyone who has participated in legislative visits, providing state testimony, sharing impact reporting, and building relationships that aided in sharing the story of our work and our impact. We have also experienced good news overall in our county budgets. With nearly all counties reporting for this year, we have an average of 8% increase over last year, for an increase of $1,491,496.62.  I would like to thank all of you for your hard work and dedication, focused on the important things that resonate with our stakeholders. What we all do each day matters; and by effectively telling our story, we will continue to co-create solutions and receive the funding necessary to do so. Well done everyone!

    As I mentioned during the last Director’s video update, compression and equity requests have received final approval; and those employees who are receiving increases related to this effort will have had this reflected in their June pay. The Annual Merit Compensation Process (AMCP) has been completed on our end and is with HR and the college for approval; and it will move forward for final university approval in the coming weeks with merit increases reflected in August for faculty and September for staff. 

    As you are making plans for summer enjoyment with family and friends, I hope you will also carve out some time to spend together with your colleagues. As I have been out and about, I have heard quite often that the things we were touring together (whether it was a team member’s program, a local partner facility, or a local museum) was the first time the team had been there as well. Please take time to discover local gems, plan team-building activities, get in some local professional development, and gather with one another and partners in ways you haven’t before and get to know one another and your community even better.   

    I know many of you work through lunch—but I would encourage you to stop that habit and seek one another out frequently to share lunch in the office, grab a cup of coffee, or just take a moment or two throughout the day to connect and touch base, or perhaps enjoy a walking meeting. Finally, take a moment to really see your colleagues and notice if they need a pick-me-up, a helping hand, or a reason to smile. We are in the middle of some very busy programming seasons, and that small gesture in a moment of need could mean more than you’ll ever know.

    Thank you for the great honor of working with professionals who truly find meaning in their work and strive for a better quality of life for their communities, colleagues, and themselves. Together we can make a difference in so many lives—ours included.

    Be well, Jackie

  2. A DAY in the WOODS Hosted 100th Event in June

    The A DAY in the WOODS forestry program recently hosted its 100th workshop at the Vinton Furnace State Forest in southern Ohio. This milestone workshop took place on June 9 at the Vinton Furnace State Forest with 154 attendees. One highlight of the day was the presentation of a proclamation from the governor and lieutenant governor of the State of Ohio by Steve Gray, assistant director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

    Since it started in 2012, A DAY in the WOODS has grown to include 17 community partners and has attracted more than 5,400 participants. It still holds true to its original goal of providing quality educational opportunities for family forest owners in Appalachian Ohio. And the impact it continues to have on its participants is powerful. Here’s what a couple of participants have shared about their experience with the program: 


    “...the Day in the Woods seminars were indispensable in helping me maintain my timber.”  


    “My favorite part was the interaction between the landowners and resource staff. The structure of [A DAY in the Woods] created the opportunity for both to learn from each other and see and better understand a variety of perspectives. I have taken many things learned...and applied them both professionally and personally.” 

    For more information about the A DAY in the WOODS program, visit 

  3. Mental Health Dinner Theater held in Ashtabula County

    The OSU Extension office in Ashtabula County and the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau found an innovative and fun way to educate residents on mental health. They organized a dinner theater.

    Earlier this year, more than 50 Ashtabula County residents attended the program that featured a short play at the Pymatuning Valley High School Cafeteria in Andover. The audience included farm families and agricultural professionals who work with farmers every day. The play was performed by local community members.

    To learn more about the event and mental health resources available, click here.

    If you would like to host a Mental Health Dinner Theater in your county, contact Andrew Holden ( or Bridget Britton (

  4. Extension Professionals Trained and Ready to Deliver Teen Mental Health First Aid Program

    A small team of Extension professionals across the state is trained and ready to deliver the 4-H Youth Mental Health First Aid Program to Ohio youth. This is a great program for school districts, FFA chapters, 4-H members, and any other youth-related group.

    To learn more about hosting an event in your county, contact Bridget Britton ( 

  5. Ohio Women in Ag Wednesday Webinar Series – July 12 will Focus on Dairy Diversification

    The Ohio Women in Ag virtual webinar series is held the second Wednesday of each month. This program is designed for women who want to learn more about ag, grow their own knowledge, inspire themselves and others, connect with women in ag, and empower themselves and others. Join Bonnie Ayars, Ayars Family Farm Ice Cream and Extension dairy program specialist, on July 12 (10:30 a.m.) as she shares how her family worked together to build a brand and farm-to-school on-farm education on their dairy operation in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. Register at this link one time for the entire series --

  6. Forestry Program Planned at Vinton Furnace State Forest on July 14

    Join Dave Apsley and other Extension professionals on July 14 (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) for an Identifying the Trees in Your Woods workshop at the Vinton Furnace State Forest. For more event information, click here. Registration is required by July 10. 

  7. Specialty and Cover Crops Field Night Planned for July 27

    Join Extension professionals for a two-part, online and in-person hybrid workshop to take a closer look at innovative production techniques for specialty crops. The program will be held on Thursday, July 27 – with part one (via Zoom) starting at 9:30 a.m. and the second part (in person) at the Ohio State South Centers starting at 5 p.m. Program emphasis will be on long cane raspberries and tomatoes, and new types of cover crops to promote healthy soils. Click here for a full program flyer. To register for this free event, visit

  8. Agriculture Technology Field Day Set for Aug. 23 in Henry County

    Join Extension professionals for a day of learning that will focus on technology in the field. The event will be Aug. 23 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Northwest State Community College. The field day will feature talks on spray drones, broadband in Ohio, automation for grain crop production, and field demonstrations. The event has been coordinated by OSU Extension in Henry County and the Northwest State Community College Agriculture Studies program. Click here to view the program flyer.

  9. 2023 Income Tax School Schedule Now Available

    The 2023 Income Tax School schedule has been set. In addition to the traditional two-day income tax schools, four-part webinar series, and ag tax issues webinar, there will be a summer update and a new Introduction to Tax for the Beginning Tax Professional Workshop. This new course will focus on the 1040 and is intended to provide attendees with a strong foundation in Form 1040 preparation by using real world scenarios. A detailed list of Income Tax School dates and locations can be found at

    All of these course offerings are available to Extension professionals for free. To register for any of these schools, contact Barry Ward ( or Jeffrey Lewis ( There is no need to register through the website, because it will charge a fee. 

    Click here for a PDF overview.

  10. Maple Syrup Workshops Planned in September

    Our partners at Penn State University are organizing two maple syrup workshops in September.

    On Sept. 6, there will be a maple grading workshop. Click on this link to learn more and to register.

    The annual Maple Bootcamp (Penn State’s turn to host) will be held on Sept. 6-8, and it will cover all things maple. Additional information can be found at

    These workshops are being offered as part of a USDA ACER Grant between Penn State, Ohio State, and Future Generations University.

  11. New Community Development Program Focuses on Entrepreneurship

    OSU Extension’s new Community Development program, Building an Entrepreneur-Friendly Community (BEFC), is ready to be shared in communities across the state that want to unlock the potential of local business development.

    Customized specifically for each community, this flexible curriculum can be delivered directly to local participants by the BEFC team or can be shared in a train-the-trainer format for those interested in facilitating this process themselves.

    BEFC will help local community and business leaders; understand the contribution of entrepreneurs to their local economy and jobs, identify and plan strategies that can help grow local entrepreneurs, and position their community as an environment supportive of/conducive to entrepreneurial success.

    BEFC will empower leaders to build capacity and promote entrepreneurship through; understanding of entrepreneurs’ needs, creation of a community economic profile, awareness of federal, state, and local programs that support entrepreneurs, and creation of an entrepreneur-specific strategic plan to create an entrepreneur-friendly community. 

    Anticipated program outcomes: 

    • Communities will nurture an environment conducive to the creation, growth, and success of entrepreneurs and small businesses. 

    • Communities will better understand their local economy by receiving sectoral and demographic profiles through an Entrepreneurship Wellness Profile identifying gaps and opportunities.

    • Local leaders will understand their critical role in building an entrepreneurial culture.

    • Local leaders will build capacity to promote entrepreneurial growth by developing key program competencies.

    • Communities will build a roadmap (strategic plan) to follow in their entrepreneur development initiatives.

    For more information, visit or contact any of the BEFC team members below:

    Nancy Bowen-Ellzey (, field specialist, community economics

    Myra Moss (, educator, community development

    Becky Nesbitt (, educator, community development

    Gwynn Stewart (, educator, community development

    Kyle White (, educator, community development

    In memoriam: We would like to acknowledge our colleague and friend, Godwin Apaliyah, Extension educator, community development, who was a member of this team and instrumental in helping to develop and present this program.

  12. Buckeye Yard and Garden Line Calls on Tuesdays

    The weekly Buckeye Yard and Garden Line call happens every Tuesday at 9 a.m. on Zoom. This is a great way to share questions, photos, and seasonal observations related to horticulture, natural resources, trees, turf, gardens, insects, wildlife, and more. For more information about the Buckeye Yard and Garden Line, visit --

  13. Search for Assistant Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources Continues

    Thank you for your participation and input into the search for our next assistant director for Agriculture and Natural Resources. We would like to provide you with an update on the status of the search. After careful consideration of your feedback, it was determined that we have not identified the candidate of choice for the position yet. We will move forward with this search, so please continue in your efforts to help recruit our next Agriculture and Natural Resources leader. The position posting is available here.

  14. County/Unit Website Access Requests

    All county employees and staff in other Extension-related units are encouraged to help update content on your website. Staff should determine at the unit-level who is responsible for content on the website, and that task can be shared among several employees. Each editor on a website accesses the site via their own unique Ohio State name.# and password. Drupal training is required before employees are given access to edit a website. Live training is not currently available, but there are several tutorials and documentation available for those who want to become a website editor. Also, if an employee has moved from one county or unit to another recently, you do not need to be retrained in Drupal, but we do need to adjust your editor access on each applicable site. Contact Cheryl Buck, Extension communication manager, at for information about the Drupal training materials and access to your website. It is not necessary to submit a ticket through the college IT help desk.

  15. Create or Update Your Official Email Signature

    Whether you’re new to Extension or a seasoned professional, right now is a good time to make sure your email signature reflects the current university brand. Click here to be directed to Ohio State’s quick and easy email signature generator.

  16. New Ground Transportation Log

    Beginning July 1, 2023, the college is implementing a revised CFAES Ground Transportation Log (aka Mileage Log).

    Revisions were prompted by updates to university policy and clarification of college protocols related to flexible working arrangements and schedules. The revised log includes university policy and CFAES initiatives.

    The revised CFAES Ground Transportation Log is available at It is requested that CFAES staff transition to using the updated log as soon as possible. Full conversion will be required in September 2023.

  17. NEAFCS Endowment Committee Announces Two Grant Winners

    The NEAFCS Endowment Committee recently awarded two members, one of whom is from Ohio, with grants through its NEAFCS Endowment. The award winners are:

    Margaret Jenkins, Ohio 

    • Project Title: Ohio Alliance for People-Centered Sciences 

    • Project Synopsis: Create an Ohio Alliance for Family and Consumer Sciences modeled after the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences National Partnership for Recruiting, Preparing, and Supporting FCS Educators by embracing and activating Ohio’s statewide people -- centered network of organizations and supporters. 

    • Grant Amount: $3,000 

    • Click here to read the grant proposal 

    Shauna Henley, Maryland 

    • Project Title: An Exploratory Study to Identify the Need and Interest in Consumer Home-Canning of Seafood, and Provide Preliminary Results Towards Validating a Novel Consumer Canning of Low-Acid Seafood Recipe 


  18. OSU Leadership Center Offers Professional Development Workshops

  19. Weekly Office Hours via Office of Sponsored Programs and CFAES Office for Research and Graduate Education

    The Office of Sponsored Programs and the CFAES Office for Research and Graduate Education is offering scheduled office hours for Extension professionals. The goal of these weekly office hours is to answer questions that you have about grants, ranging from proposal submission to the epa-005 process, through award management. The office hours are held weekly from 1-2 p.m. in 15-minute time slots.

    If you are interested in this opportunity, register via Picktime. Indicate your preferred date and time and include your name, your email, your award or grant number, and your question. You will receive an email confirmation of your registration from the CFAES Office for Research and Graduate Education.

  20. Register Now for National ESP Conference

    Join Extension professionals from across the United States for ESP’s annual conference Sept. 25-28 in Billings, MT. Click here for a complete event overview including guest speakers and pre-conference tours or to register.

    Early bird registration ends July 31. Register soon if you’re planning to attend so you can take advantage of the discounted rate.

    Contact Shannon Carter ( if you know you’ll attend the conference and would like to receive an invitation to Ohio’s State Night Out.

  21. DEI Workshops and Speakers in CFAES

    CFAES is committed to ensuring that all of its research and related educational programming are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. There are several upcoming diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)-focused workshops in CFAES. 

    CFAES DEI Workshops (click the links to learn more and register): 
    July 12 Inclusive and Equitable Hiring Practices 
    July 13 Inclusive Citations for Researchers 
    July 28 Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack: How Privilege Manifests in Everyday Life  

    CFAES DEI Speaker Series (click the link to learn more and register): 
    July 20 Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size: Moving Away from Harmful Diet Culture Toward Self-Compassion