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.
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!