Planning underway for 2020 programs

By Cassaundra Dietrich - OSU Extension

A.J Zanyk Photography 2016

A.J Zanyk Photography 2016

Believe it or not, we have already started planning for 2020 here at the Extension Office. There’s a lot to be done, including arranging 4-H in the Classroom programming at area schools, packing up from the 2019 fair and preparing for re-enrollment for 4-H clubs and their members, which begins October 1. Applications for 4-H Camp counselors will be out in September and appointments for the 2020 Shelby County Junior Fair Board are already filled.

The Junior Fair Board will host their annual County-wide Rummage Sale fundraiser at the fairgrounds on Aug. 17, which, by the way, relies on donations from the local community. If you have any odds and ends sitting around that you are ready to let go, bring them to the Beige Building at the fairgrounds on the evenings of Aug. 14, 15 or 16. Or come shop on Aug. 17 and see what new treasures you can collect.

The dates for the 2020 Shelby County Junior Fair are July 26 to Aug. 1, which is later in the year than usual. But, with so much keeping us busy until that time, it will be here before we know it! We are looking forward to going into the 2020 fair with a plus one, as we are currently seeking applicants for the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Educator position, which was left vacant after Deborah Brown’s retirement in May.

The goal is to find a candidate capable of planning and delivering a variety of educational programs relevant to local issues. Such topics include agronomic crops, home and commercial horticulture, integrated pest management, water quality, natural resources, rural economic development, agricultural profitability, livestock herd management and alternative agricultural commodities. We recognize that Shelby County’s agriculture industry is rich, expansive and diverse; therefore, we are seeking a candidate with a strong desire to evaluate the educational needs of the local industry and respond accordingly with education and outreach that is timely, useful and enjoyable. We also request that the candidate selected be an effective communicator and collaborator who maintains a high level of visibility in the community. We would like to see the next ANR Educator work closely with internal advisory committees, local commodity groups, program volunteers and other entities that promote agriculture, such as Ohio Farm Bureau. The most ideal candidate would also be willing to assist with the Junior Fair, especially as it relates to quality assurance, livestock exhibition requirements and farm-to-table youth programming.

Right now, the objective is to hold interviews for the position in September and have someone selected by October. The position is full-time and requires at minimum a bachelor’s degree in an agriculture-related field. More information regarding the position, including steps to apply, can be found at under No. 452020. The application deadline is Aug. 18. Help us to find the right candidate who can serve our exceptional community by sharing this information with family and friends.

Until then, our focus at the Extension Office will be on turning over the 4-H program year, retaining existing members and recruiting new youth. In case you were wondering, the projects offered through 4-H are as diverse as the agriculture in Shelby County. There are project options for everyone, even if you don’t live on a farm. 4-H is no longer just about cows and plows; cooking, sewing, creative arts, photography, fishing, outdoors, shooting sports, woodworking, electricity and Lego robotics are just a few of the countless project options available today. If you know a child ages 5 to 18, be sure to share with them the endless possibilities they can explore via 4-H. For information on joining 4-H, call us at 937-498-7239.

A.J Zanyk Photography 2016 Zanyk Photography 2016

By Cassaundra Dietrich

OSU Extension

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