SIDNEY — For OSU Extension educators, December and January are climactic. It is these months that we have spent the majority of fall planning for. Beginning with the end of fair and continuing into the start of harvest, we work on discussing, deciding and tweaking everything that is to come in 2020. We sit through hours of inservices and pour through pages of policy updates. We have critical conversations with commissioners and sift through feedback from advisory committees. I personally refer to late fall as the season of “setting the stage.”
And then, in December, we crest the peak. And from that point forward, it’s quite literally all downhill. We transition from the stage crew to the lead act as we host trainings and workshops and seminars that all work toward one common goal: to disseminate all the knowledge we have amassed in our exploits for the greater good of our community. We pop off one program followed by another, all with the hope that we leave people armed with the resources they need to have a successful New Year. As spring arises, the plot thickens. Planting begins and 4-H meetings are in swing. Fair animals attend check-ins and, before we know it, we have come full circle. It is then, in the “setting the stage” season, that Extension Educators evaluate the sturdiness of their stage the year prior and head back to the workshop to determine their upgrades.
Yesterday, we hosted the first act in our series. Nearly 50 4-H club advisers met at the Extension Office to cover club management best practices, junior fair entry changes and child safety policies. I am grateful for their attendance, as it represents a renewal of their commitment to 4-H and the youth of Shelby County. The 4-H program as we know it would not be feasible without the sacrifices of our adult volunteers. And with no 4-H program, my purpose as an Extension Educator would be null and void, as I would not have an audience to serve. If you happen to be one of our 110 advisers who crested the peak with me yesterday, thank you, thank you, thank you. From the bottom of my heart. You are the stage hands that keep me in the spotlight.
Once 4-H adviser training is complete, our farming community will be asked to join the audience. On Thursday, Jan. 9, OSU Extension and USDA are teaming up to host both a matinee and evening Farm Bill update at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Amos Memorial Public Library in Sidney. Then, on Monday Jan. 13, the annual premier of West Ohio Agronomy Day will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. As always, West Ohio Agronomy Day is a great opportunity to get recertification hours or come and listen to some great speakers on important issues we face today. If you busy on the 13th, an evening recertification class for pesticide and fertilizer training will be cast on Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Contact us at 937-498-7239 for more information on attending these shows.
The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.