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Ohio State University Extension


Thoughts from the Director

Dear Friends,

What a busy and exciting few weeks it has been, as we move into fall. This last week we hosted our 59th annual Farm Science Review ( I would like to give a huge shout out to our FSR team, including Nick Zachrich and Matt Sullivan, as well as the many Extension professionals and department faculty who created a wonderful farm show. Even with having to cancel for wind and rain on the second day of the show, more than 70,000 agricultural partners participated in the many exhibits, demonstrations, educational sessions, and Ask the Expert. President Johnson visited and was very impressed with the diverse examples of technology, engineering, and science that are such an integral part of agriculture and was excited to learn that the entirety of the review was owned and operated by Ohio State, which isn’t often the case in other states. Our new iFarm immersive theatre was also a big hit (see the video online). Well done!

On Wednesday of this week, OSU South Centers ( celebrated its 30-year anniversary. OSU Extension has long valued our relationship with South Centers and the Endeavor Center – whether it is partnering in applied research or research translation regarding aquaculture and aquaponics, researching and providing workshops on specialty crops like hops, exploring new technologies or methods for trellised berries or hoop houses to aid in extending growing seasons in Ohio, helping businesses with direct marketing tools or business planning and coaching, support for cooperatives and farmers markets, or building awareness of OSU Extension’s educational efforts through South Centers chats and video production support. Happy 30th anniversary! Here’s to many more years of partnering research and Extension.

Yesterday, we hosted the North Central Region Rural Development Center ( and had excellent engagement with some of our Extension and department faculty, graduate students, and Extension leadership around how we can participate in collaborative grant writing, multi-state projects, and innovation in areas such as health equity, housing, entrepreneurship, health and wellness, food security and access, community vitality. Thanks to David Civittolo and his CD team for organizing this valuable partnership day of sharing and planning.

Today, we hosted the Urban Extension Summit for Extension professionals. We had about 40 Extension professionals from across the state discuss how we can connect with a variety of people through storytelling and how we can use a new Urban October campaign to lift up and celebrate how we live, work, play, learn, and serve in our cities. Ohio’s urban influence is significant, and I appreciate this and other opportunities to work together for Extension to be relevant and strategic at local and state levels. It takes our diverse perspectives to make a difference during these rapidly changing times as we embrace our strengths and look forward to a bright and engaging future! As part of this initiative, we will be partnering with the Ohio State Office of Student Life’s Be Kind food packing event to distribute more than 170,000 meals in the Youngstown area. A special shout out to Eric Barrett and his team for hosting this event. #UrbanOctoberOSU

Tomorrow is our 4-H Celebration of Youth fundraiser, which will be at the Leeds Farm in Delaware. They have already reached $108,000 in contributions toward their $120,000 goal for supporting youth development. The annual silent auction is being held online this year. Bidding is currently open and will close on October 2 at 8 p.m. Anyone is welcome to participate in the silent auction, even if you're not attending this year's Celebration of Youth. Visit to register to participate.

Next week we are looking forward our annual Agriculture and Natural Resources Retreat (October 6-7). The theme is Disconnecting to Reconnect, and they will be blending networking, updates from OSU Extension administration and CFAES department chairs, touring Waterman, participating in a building communication skills workshop, discussing hot topics, and meeting with partner units (e.g., Knowledge Exchange, Learning and Organizational Development, Extension Publishing), and more! Have a great session!

Beginning on Monday, we will be hosting our OSU Extension Road Show Tours, starting in Wooster. We are looking forward to seeing and engaging with many of you in-person next week, sharing updates on our recent strategic planning activities and active listening sessions, gaining final consensus on our lived values, receiving additional training on inclusive hiring, and making time for Q&A and networking. I hope to see many of you at these events or virtually over the next four to six weeks.

There are always so many excellent efforts and things to celebrate in OSU Extension and I can’t wait to see and share more with you in the coming weeks.

Thank you, Jackie