Brown experiences ‘virtual reality’

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

So, what’s coming up, now that FSR is over? Well, there is a Pumpkin Disease Diagnosis Field Night being held at the OSU South Centers in Piketon on Wednesday, Oct. 3. This program will run 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will include a walking tour of their pumpkin field trials and ideas for marketing opportunities.

Other topics to be discussed include pumpkin crop management, evaluations of 20 pumpkin cultivars, disease control and management, screening for diseases, and more. The cost to attend this program is $10. According to the host, Brad Bergefurd, if you are a current pumpkin grower, or are thinking of growing pumpkins, then you do not want to miss this field night. Pre-registration is required by Oct. 2: Contact Charissa Gardner at or call 740-289-2017, extension 132.

Coming up on Thursday, Oct. 11, OSU and the University of Kentucky will be offering MarketReady Training at the Brown County Fairgrounds in Georgetown, Ohio. This will be a day-long training – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – covering the sale of locally produced foods to restaurants, grocers, wholesalers, and direct to consumers. Some of the key objectives for the day include helping evaluate and navigate various markets; how to establish an effective business strategy in order to effectively reach your target markets; practical information on how to approach and interact with various market channels; and key business functions including the differing needs for different market channels such as invoicing, ordering, insurance needs, packaging, and more.

The cost of this training is $20 and includes lunch. Pre-registration is required by contacting Cindy Kratzer at or by calling 937-378-6716.

On Friday, Oct. 12, at the OSU Mansfield Campus, Ag Educator Curtis Young will be sharing his expertise on “Fascinating Woodland Fungi.” This 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. class will take you through some common fungi and discuss what they do. Part of the day will be spent inside learning key indentification terminology and there will also be a “fungi hunt” as you walk through the woods and then spend time identifying what you find. You can also take your own samples!!

The cost for this class is $35 and includes lunch. Registration deadline is Oct. 5. You can register online at and scroll down the homepage to “upcoming classes.”

Well, last week I mentioned the “virtual reality” experience at the Ohio State Ag Safety and Health display at Farm Science Review. I did it! Once you’ve got the camera/mask/whatever on, you’re standing on the top of a building in a city environment, about 2-3 feet from the edge. Yes, there’s guardrail behind you!

The first activity is to identify locations where one might fall off the roof. There were areas without guardrails, there was a glass sky-light, there was a large piece of equipment that one would need to get very near the edge if there was work to be done on it …

Then, your co-worker shows up to fix the camera on the corner of the building – right where there is no guardrail! It’s then your responsibility to make sure he has the proper equipment to protect him if he falls and that it’s fastened to something on the roof that will hold him and keep him safe … Once he’s outfitted with your choices, he falls over the edge!

Now, you’re told to turn around and look to see how he’s dangling in that fall harness … As you turn, you reach for the “guardrail,” … but there’s nothing there! You can see it – it’s right there! Reach for it to steady yourself … nothing! To tell you the truth, that was probably the scariest for me! But, my co-worker survived! I had selected gear well!

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at