SIDNEY — Shelby County native Matt Schmerge has been tapped as the new Ohio State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Educator. He fills the role left vacant by Dr. Debbie Brown who retired in the summer of 2019. She was Schmerge’s adviser while he was in college.
Schmerge is a 2002 graduate of Botkins High School and a 2006 graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in Agri Business and Applied Economics. He minored in crop science and plans on obtaining his master’s degree soon in horticulture and crop science..
“I now plan be the face and source of agriculture information for Shelby County,” continued Schmerge, who is a fifth-generation farmer and farms 175 acres with his father near Botkins.
Schmerge has worked in agriculture retail sales; including, farm equipment, seeds, sold crop inputs, custom applications, and worked with cover crops and crop consulting.
“I am looking forward to working with the residents of Shelby County; including, farmers, gardeners, and youth, to promote a strong interest and knowledge of agriculture, continued Schmerge. “Agriculture is the first and foundational industry of Shelby County.”
As the Extension Educator, Schmerge will work closely with the USDA and the Shelby County Soil and Water Office to inform residents of various ag programs. Schmerge also plans to be active with the 4-H Program, Farm Bureau, Master Gardner Volunteers, and other interested groups around Shelby County.
Schmerge says while building his agri business – From the Ground Up — he found farmers from Jackson Center to Russia to have similar concerns.
“Many of these concerns are financial; how to pay for a $200 bag of seed, a $500,000 combine and to get the best yields to pay for everything.” said Schmerge.
Schmerge says he particularly enjoys working individually with farmers on issues close to his own heart. Changes in the US Farm Bill greatly impacted area farmers and Schmerge says he found fulfillment helping farmers in the Western Ohio through the intricacies of those changes.
He has recently transferred his business to devote full time to the extension service.
Schmerge resides near Botkins with his wife Kate and daughter, Hailey. You can reach Schmerge
at Schmerge.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-498-7242