I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of real fall weather, with some crisp autumn air, the promise of everything pumpkin, and some more Buckeye football wins under our belt. Our Extension Cabinet has really enjoyed the beginning of our tours across the state. Our time in Wooster and in Caldwell was wonderfully engaging, and seeing one another in person has been quite energizing. We have also been looking forward to our time with many of you in Piketon at the South Centers today.
I know many of you are enjoying spending time, either in person or via zoom, at your annual program area conferences. It was great to see many of you at the agriculture and natural resources retreat and to hear updates on the wonderful programming that occurred over the last year and that is planned for the rest of 2021. It was also great to see and hear updates from our departmental faculty partners. Our support staff conference was well-attended and packed with excellent sessions about tools, resources, and strategies for succeeding in work and in life. I enjoyed spending time this week with our family and consumer sciences professionals on the first day of their conference entitled Finding and Sustaining Balance in the Midst of Change.” Taking time to really focus on purpose, priorities, and self-care is always important; but is especially critical during constant change, which I know we’ve all been experiencing for quite some time now. I appreciate everyone having made the time and space to engage in the conferences and a great big thank you to our planning committees and LOD.
I want to give a shout out to a few efforts across the state this last week. Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, attended a RMRW event last Friday in his native Hancock County, and his office has communicated a lot of positive feedback on the event. The event received a great deal of local media coverage, including stories with WFIN and Lima News. The treasurer was interviewed for both, along with Jamie Rickle, 4-H program assistant in Hancock County. It looks like he also highlighted a RMRW event in Pike County, although he was not able to be there in person. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the Treasurer’s office to bring more schools and collaborators into the fold, and thanks to our great FCS and 4-H educators leading this program in the counties!
Eric Barrett and his team gave some strong leadership in partnership with Ohio State’s Office of Student Life, Ohio State Athletics, Ohio State CFAES, and Coca-Cola. Some 188,300 meals were packed and delivered to families in northeastern Ohio last week as part of an effort by more than 500 volunteers from Ohio State who joined about 200 community organization partners to fight food insecurity in Ohio. The effort was part of “Urban October,” a worldwide campaign the United Nations launched to focus on the opportunities and challenges created by the fast rate of change in cities. The theme of Ohio’s month-long campaign is “Celebrating Ohio Cities – Where We Live, Work, Play, Learn, and Serve.” For more information about OSU Extension’s Urban October efforts, visit go.osu.edu/urbanoctober.
Finally, I want to thank you for your ongoing engagement in our organizational efforts to seek input on our strategic future, including our recent listening sessions; our efforts to address life/work balance; our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and our identification of our Extension keys for living our values as an organization. All of the input from these and other efforts will be incorporated into our strategic future. Together, we are creating an Extension vision that optimally meets the needs of our employees and those we serve both now and in the future. We will share more on this during our annual conference and throughout the coming year.