As is typical of those working in community development, we are always looking for ways to improve not just our services, but also our surroundings. This week, the Master Gardeners are busy renovating the memorial garden that decorates the outside of the Ag Services Building. The garden, which was originally constructed in 2001, has remained the same since that time. With the support of the County Commissioners and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Master Gardeners recently took on a project to renovate and upgrade the garden. Renovations include removing overgrowth, moving existing plants, installing new plant life and mulching the entire garden. The decorative fountain is also being repaired by replacing the base, which was sinking, and installing a new pump.
Once the renovation is complete this week, new signs will be placed in the garden to identify the various plant life. The public is invited to stop by and look at the garden any time to get inspiration for what they can do at home to upgrade their personal space. As a reminder, the Master Gardeners are available for questions and guidance every Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through the end of September.
Thanks to strong support from the Shelby County community, the Junior Fair Board raised more than $2,000 at their County-wide Rummage Sale Aug. 17. Items leftover were delivered to Fish Thrift Store to benefit those in need. The Junior Fair Board will be combining their current proceeds from the sale with the funds donated in memory of Jerry Schaffner (Shelby County Fair Secretary who passed away in March) to landscape the entrance to the new grandstands. Budget permitting, upgrades to the space will include a retaining wall, plant life, a water feature and possibly a sensory garden for children. The 2020 Junior Fair Board is very excited to work on this project. Be sure to check it out at the 2020 Shelby County Junior Fair.
The Shelby County Junior Fair Improvement Committee still has tickets available for their Reverse Raffle on Saturday, Sept. 14. The holder of the winning ticket, which is the last ticket to be drawn in the raffle, will receive a $10,000 cash prize. Fifty percent of the proceeds from the Reserve Raffle will be used to upgrade the old show arena on the north end of the fairgrounds. The arena is now used to house various project animals, including breeding sheep and open class hogs. Plans for upgrades include a new roof and pavement updates. Remaining proceeds will be added to an existing fund for a new livestock complex. The Shelby County Fair Long-Range Plan includes removal of the existing beef and dairy barns to make way for a 100-foot by 200-foot complex that would house both types of cattle and possibly another show arena. If you are interested in supporting these efforts, please contact Randy Bensman at 937-726-1821 for a ticket.
Continuing with an improvement mindset, Farm Science Review is almost here. The 2019 Farm Science Review will be held on Sept. 17-19 at Ohio State’s 2,100-acre Molly Caren Agricultural Center, which is located two miles north of London on U.S. Route 40. Farm Science Review presents farmers, conservationists, horticulturalists and the general public an opportunity to see the newest in technologies and innovative practices in the industry. Admission to the event is $7 daily in advance and $10 at the gate. Children 5 and under admitted free. Tickets are available for purchase here at the OSU Extension Office Monday through Friday 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. All advance tickets must be purchased no later than Monday, Sept. 16, at 4:30 p.m. You can also visit www.fsr.osu.edu to learn more.
While “Making the Best Better” may be the 4-H motto, it is also the Extension way. We look forward to bringing the community many more improvements as time moves forward.
The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.