News and Notes: June 25, 2020

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.

  1. Thoughts from the Director

    Hi friends...
    I hope you have been able to take a few minutes to enjoy the sunshine and get some walks in over the last few days. These days continue to be hectic and finding ways to slow down, refuel, and breathe are more important than ever before.  

    I want to extend a particular public appreciation to our 4-H professionals and county and state staff supporting the preparation and participation in the county fairs. This 4-H spring and summer season has held many challenges and surprises that could not have been easily predicted, and all of you have been incredibly responsive to our youth, advisors, community stakeholders, fair partners, and commissioners. You have also had to adjust very recently to the announcement of the state fair being cancelled, local fairs following suit… then the announcement of funding for fairs and the impact that had on existing county fair decisions. I know that each day you have had to make adjustments and live in a world full of ambiguity and shifting sands.  

    Thank you…  

    • for being willing to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability 

    • for maintaining positivity when all you likely wanted to do was kick something and throw your hands in the air 

    • for holding the line when it comes to keeping ourselves and our youth and stakeholders safe 

    • for embracing technology and leading innovation and creativity in positive youth development programming  

    You are modeling for the next generation what it means to deal with disappointment, manage changing priorities, work within ambiguous circumstances, and lead in challenging times.  

    For all of our Extension professionals, I know each of you is facing similar challenges in achieving your daily and seasonal aspirations. I see all that you are doing to meet the needs of all Ohioans. Stay strong and ready…we are working diligently to gain approval for moving ahead with in-person programming. We will still very much need to plan and provide virtual programming—we have learned a great deal and have reached new audiences in new and expanded ways. We recognize, however, that not all programming can be achieved virtually; and we are continuing to work with university leadership to consider the return-to-campuses plan for statewide campuses. Everyone’s key concern is safety and the health and wellness of our employees, our clientele, and our communities at-large. Stay tuned and know that we will make it through these challenging times stronger and more agile.  

    I hope you all are starting to feel comfortable and settling into the first phase of reopening in the counties. We are sending each office a small local treat to show our appreciation for all that you have done to serve your communities while teleworking and for the evolution of moving some of our work back into the offices. It is not much, but it is truly heartfelt and a small token of gratitude for what you do each day. Our administrative team values you. Thank you! 

  2. Reminder –  Interim Director Video Update

    This is a reminder that the next interim director’s video update will be held on Tuesday, June 30 at 9am. Please note – registration is required. Register in advance for this webinar at this Carmen Zoom link. Please register by this Friday, June 26 if possible. 

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar. The video will be recorded for those who cannot attend the live update. If you have a disability and have questions about accessibility or wish to request accommodations for this activity, you can request assistance at

  3. Travel Restrictions

    Per President Drake’s email on Saturday, the travel without exemption ban will continue until Dec. 31. I have confirmed the interpretation of this email with the CFAES COVID-19 Operations Team and CFAES Finance.  

    What this means: 

    • We will not be able to attend in-person conferences or other out of state events until the ban is lifted. 

    • We are asking about possible exemptions for in-county/in-state essential Extension travel, but have not received that exemption, so ONLY approved exemption travel (e.g., Exempted research and Extension activities) are currently eligible to travel and for mileage reimbursement).  

    • Travel to offices counts as typical commute and is not part of the restriction or covered by mileage reimbursement. 

    The rationale behind the travel restrictions is still very much founded in reducing the spread of the virus across counties and states, as well as limiting discretionary spending. Most universities in our region, and many nationally, are also extending their travel restrictions through the end of the year; and additional conferences are beginning to transition to virtual platforms. This restriction is in force for all departments and colleges, not simply CFAES or Extension.  

  4. Health Reporting Pilot — Week One

    By now, you should have begun using the OSU Health Reporting Tool available through The Ohio State App and as a part of Ohio State’s program to support a safe and healthy return to campus. If you are reporting to an office or an exempted research/Extension activity site, you will; need to log on and answer four simple questions regarding your daily temperature and your proximity to COVID-19 exposure. The app will provide guidance on reporting to work through a daily red or green health passport. Roll-up reporting for supervisors to monitor their direct reports and roll-up by org is forthcoming (anticipated next week). To learn more or to see the FAQs for the tool and process, visit the OSU Health Reporting Tool site.

  5. Save the date – Virtual Preview of the 2021 National Day of Racial Healing, Healing in Action

    In addition to her role as dean, Cathann Kress serves as a trustee with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Foundation has hosted the National Day of Racial Healing as part of its Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) which was launched in 2016, and is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. At its core, TRHT will unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious beliefs created by racism – the main one being the belief in a “hierarchy of human value.” This belief has fueled racism and conscious and unconscious bias throughout American culture and the perception of inferiority or superiority based on race, physical characteristics or place of origin. You can learn more about THRT here

    Date and time: Thursday, June 25 at 3pm EST 

  6. The Buckeye Funder focused on 4-H Camps Reaches Lofty Heights

    Nearing the end of the campaign, the camp focused Buckeye Funder received nearly $160,000 from well over 1,000 unique donors. What a tremendous effort to offset fixed camp costs this year when in-person camps had to be cancelled. A special thank you goes out to our CFAES Advancement partners and our 4-H professionals and families for rallying the troops. 

    To see more about each camps friend raising efforts and goals, visit the 4-H camp Buckeye Funder site.

  7. Healthy Family 2020

    SNAP-Ed classes have gone online to continue healthy cooking classes. OSU Extension in Lawrence County has a program aimed at helping those on SNAP benefits learn to cook recipes that help stretch a limited food budget. The Ironton Tribune recently reported on this program.

  8. Recent OSU Extension Successes

    Food Safety/Food Preservation Teams:

    • Monthly in-service held on June 18 with three sessions
      • Guest speakers from Penn State Food Safety - 54 attendees  

      • Food preservation tips and resources - 45 attendees 

    • New Ohio Person-in-Charge curriculum discussion - 42 attendees 

    Food Preservation Office Hours (May 19 - July 28):

    • Six sessions with more than 900 participants registered to-date 

    Canner Testing (under exemption status, currently through the end of June):

    • 20 counties offering testing with 101 appointments scheduled to-date across the state 
  9. The Ohio Township Association’s Summer Leadership Academy

    Myra Moss, Becky Nesbitt, and Joe Lucente will be presenting at the Ohio Township Association’s Summer Leadership Academy in early July. Topics include effective decision-making, building sustainable communities, and conducting effective meetings. 

  10. 4-H Educator Receives National Award

    Susan Hogan, OSU Extension educator for 4-H youth development in Franklin County, has received the National Excellence in Urban 4-H Programming Award by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. The award recognizes Hogan's pioneering work in school gardening education in Columbus. 

    Congratulation Susan!!!! 

  11. Ohio NACAA is on Their Game

    Congratulations to the Ohio NACAA members who had research and/or Extension education posters accepted for presentation at the NACAA AM/PIC in September. We represent 10% of the entire poster session nationally! 

    Extension Education Posters: 10 out of 121 from Ohio 

    • Mary Griffith, Trevor Corboy, John Barker, Chris Bruynis (2), Kathy Bruynis, Jacqueline Kowalski, Chris Penrose, Mike Estadt, Garth Ruff              

    Research Posters: 8 out of 62 from Ohio 

    • Jim Jasinski, David Marrison, Eric Richer, Chris Zoller, Ed Lentz, Mary Griffith, Mark Badertscher, and Tim Wiseman                 

    Thank you for all of your hard work in ANR and for the continued commitment to research and Extension and the translation of your work to our residents of Ohio and beyond. Well done! 

  12. Sharing Strategies for Rural Businesses

    Here is a great feature story on Gwynn Stewart, Noble County CD educator.