The Ohio State University Extension Noble County Office provided members of the OSU Extension Advisory Council a semi-annual update Nov. 13. Program updates included reports from the Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Christine Gelley, M.S.; Community Development Educator, Gwynn Stewart, M.S.; 4-H Educators Nancy Snook and Samantha Schott; Family and Consumer Sciences Educator Samantha Schott and SNAP Ed Program Assistant, Lori Harris.
Nancy Snook was recently selected as an Area Leader for Noble, Belmont, Monroe & Guernsey counties and will provide administrative support to those counties as 50 percent of her job duties. Gwynn Stewart and Christine Gelley both serve on OSU’s state-level Extension Energy Outreach program and Samantha Schott serves on the Statewide Teen Leadership Design Team as Co-Chair. Noble OSU staff Samantha Schott and Tracy Blackstone served as chaperones for 44 youth on a statewide 4-H tour to Washington, D.C. this past summer.
The OSU Extension team has been engaged with Noble CARES opioid coalition and is offering programming in local schools for Red Ribbon Week and through the Generation Rx and HOPE curriculum. Kristen Huck, Pharmacist from Gillespie's Drug, has been helping to teach Generation Rx at Caldwell Elementary School. Generation Rx is a program created by The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and the Cardinal Health Foundation. The OSU staff are also providing lessons from The Health and Opioid Abuse Prevention Education (HOPE) Curriculum with students at Caldwell Elementary. The HOPE curriculum is a series of lessons to develop students’ functional knowledge, attitudes and necessary skills to prevent drug abuse. In 2019, students at Shenandoah Schools will receive the programs.
A total of 106 Noble County 4-Her’s and 31 counselors attended this year’s three-night 4-H camp at Camp Piedmont, as well as 47 participants joined the regional Shooting Sports Camp. There are also 34 youth representing 4-H, FFA and Royalty on this year’s Junior Fairboard.
Noble County 4-Her’s were quite successful at the 2018 Ohio State Fair with 18 Clock Trophy and Outstanding-of-the-Day winners. The Junior Fair Livestock sale had a total of 548 animals sell for a total of $527,907.94 with $10,000 of the proceeds being donated to charitable organizations selected by 4-H and FFA members.
Seminars and trainings have been hosted in local schools, the senior center and in conjunction with community partners including Generation Rx; ServSafe; Mommy & Me; Successful Co-Parenting; Real Money, Real World; Active Parenting and SNAP-Ed programming.
Community Development has secured an opportunity to work with the Ohio University Voinovich College of Leadership to coordinate a no-cost strategic planning process, coordinated with APEG for due diligence studies on potential commercial investment property and added the former-Mahle facility to the APEG Zoom Prospector database for site selection consideration. A plan has also been drafted to apply for Scenic Byway Status for SR78 in cooperation with Monroe, Morgan and Athens Counties (for SR 78 from the Ohio River in Clarington to Nelsonville in Athens.) A Dec. 14 Small Water Systems training is planned. The program is for elected officials and was developed by OSU in partnership with The Ohio Small Communities Environmental Infrastructure Group. Teaching the program would be Dr. Karen Mancl, a professor with the Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering college. Her research efforts focus on rural wastewater treatment and environmental education.
The Community Development educator is also now an active member of The Ohio Economic Development Association, The Eastern Ohio Development Alliance (serving 16 counties) the Buckeye Hills Regional Council General Policy Council (serving 8 counties) and its Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) Advisory Committee, the SE Ohio Manufacturing Council, the Noble County Career Pathways Council and serves as an Ex Officio member of the Noble County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Noble County Planning Commission.
Livestock programs have included the Southeast Ohio Sheep & Goat School, beef school webinars and local programs; a beginning beekeepers class; five programs in partnership with the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association; four beef quality assurance trainings; and a variety of guest seminars. Monthly Farm Talk programs have also been well received.
The Master Gardener program is active providing services and programming from hands-on workshops to Kindred Garden trainings on a variety of topics.
The OSU Extension staff is active in promotion of programs via written articles, radio and television appearances, as well as a robust social media presence.
The Extension Advisory Council reviewed results of the 2018 OSU Extension Community Needs Assessment. Sent to 108 community stakeholders, with a total of 60 responses (a 55.6% return rate), the results show that members of the community ranked the six OSU Impact areas as follows: workforce development; engaged Ohioans, vibrant communities; thriving across the lifespan; health and wellness; environmental quality; and sustainable food systems.
Areas of concern in the assessment include a continued need for emphasis on workplace preparedness for our youth; creating and keeping local businesses; addressing community drug and alcohol abuse; personal budget planning; access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food; protecting livestock and poultry from infectious diseases; and strengthening family relationships.
The OSU Extension Advisory Council will meet again Dec. 10 at noon to further discuss next steps for the Community Needs Assessment outcomes programming. Volunteers representing Family and Consumer Sciences and Community Development are needed. To learn more or to volunteer, contact The Ohio State University Extension Noble County Office at 740-732-5681 or online at noble.osu.edu.
The Ohio State University Extension Noble County Office team: front row from left: Lori Harris, SNAP Ed Program Assistant; Nancy Snook, Area Leader/4-H Educator; Christine Gelley, M.S., Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator; and back row, from left: Carla Wickham; Gwynn Stewart, M.S., Community Development Educator; Samantha Schott, 4-H/FCS Educator and Tracy Blackstone, Office Associate.