Brown opens door to retirement

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

Shelby County Master Gardeners will be holding the last program in their “Spring Gardening Series” on Tuesday, June 18, at the Amos Public Library in Sidney. This program begins at 6:30 p.m. and the topic is “How the Pest Was Won – Keeping Those 4-Legged Critters Out of Your Yard!” This is free and open to anyone; no registration required.

And, yes, the Hot Line to get all your gardening questions answered is up and running! Our Master Gardener Volunteers are in the Shelby County Extension Office Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to answer your questions!! Bring in samples or call with your questions!!

And, Now On To Ag! There is a Field Day scheduled for Thursday, June 20, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Northwest Ag Research Station in Custar, Ohio – Wood County on “Lake Friendly Farming Research.” Some of the topics include the Effect of Conservation Practices on Ag Phosphorus in Tile Drained Landscapes,” “Nutrient Balancing with Manure,” a Demonstration of Precision Fertilizer Placement Equipment,” “Ultra Early Corn – Does it Have a Fit in Ohio?” and “Soil Health Measurements.”

This Field Day is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided by Pioneer Hybrids. RSVP for lunch by June 14 to 419-257-2060 or

And, yes, there will be other Field Days … “Field Day Season” begins in June and runs through September! I won’t be here to keep you updated, but you can always visit and check under “Events” to see what’s going on!

There is an Ohio Sheep and Hay Day program being held on Saturday, July 13, at the Jackson Ag Research Station in Jackson, Ohio. This all-day program offers the opportunity to visit one of OSU’s research stations that focuses on ruminant livestock and forage production. You will have the opportunity to see new updates to the station, sheep equipment, observe alternative grazing systems using warm season forages, and view hay making demonstrations. There is also a trade show and a children’s program for youth ages 4 through 12. You can find more information at and clicking on the OSIA symbol, going to “programs,” and then clicking on “Ohio Sheep Day.”

OK, so here’s the Scoop: Friday was my last day as an ANR Educator for OSU Extension. It was time for the next phase to begin – retirement! Stanley’s been on my case since February to retire, but there was too much going on: That’s the middle of “Meeting Season,” so I couldn’t leave then; Master Gardener Training didn’t end until the first part of May; and I needed lots of time to get the office cleaned out!

So, now it’s here! It’s been a “good ride” over the past seven-plus years in this position: I’ve met and worked with some fabulous people, have had the opportunity to plan and organize one of the best programs in this area of the state (West Ohio Agronomy Day), and have learned so much from all the field days, meetings, and in-services! Of course, I can’t hold a candle to my predecessors, each of whom was in this position for 30 to 35 years! What a legacy for Shelby County Extension to have had only four ANR Agents/Educators in over 100 years!!

But, as one door closes, others will open. I’m already committed to hosting bus tours for visitors to Auglaize County for the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing and I need to get the details finished for the Cooking Contest for that same celebration! It sounds like I’m gonna get to run grandkids around for summer activities, and probably be teaching science next fall – I need to see that home-school curricula to see just how intense it needs to be for elementary students! I’m hoping to get re-involved with the Women’s Fellowship at church, and I’m sure there will be other opportunities!

Yes, this whole process is a bit nerve-wracking! I’m not great with “unknowns” and “change,” but so many have told me it will be good! I have to admit that I am looking forward to having a bit more “personal time” to read books, get some raised garden beds built, and mow grass during the week instead of all day Saturday!

I’m also hopin’ to be drivin’ tractor someday! However, Stanley has upgraded the planter and has installed GPS and cameras so I’ll need to use the “cab” tractor if I get to do any planting! No more fresh air, sunshine, the smell of “good dirt”! I told him that afterwards I’d just take the “30” out to the field and sit on it to get that good feel!

So, this is “Good-Bye” for the last time. Thank you for all your support over the years!! I’ll miss doing these reports and hearing feedback from all of you! Take care and be safe out there, whatever you’re doing!

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