Programs scheduled for October

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

Boy! Has it been a busy few weeks! We were in North Dakota three weeks ago for a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Conference/Tour (yes, you’ll hear a bit more about that later!), and when we got back, it was time for Farm Science Review! Someday I need to remember “not” to schedule myself to work all-day-every-day at the Review so I can see some of it!!

The Houston FFA Chapter, Shelby County SWCD and the Miami Conservancy District are holding a “Shelby County Test Your Well Event” on Tuesday, Oct. 13. This “free” confidential nitrate screening and well maintenance information program is available to anyone whose well is more than 40 years old, is less than 50 feet deep, and/or hasn’t been tested in over a year. You can take your samples to the Hardin-Houston Local School anytime between 4 to 6 p.m. You will want to collect your water sample on Oct. 13.

Use a clean jar that seals tightly; avoid touching the inside of the jar or the lid. Remove any filters from your faucet and let the water run for 5 minutes. Fill the bottle and cap it firmly. Keep the sample refrigerated until you take it to the school. Samples from multiple sources can be tested (kitchen, barn, etc.) For more information, contact Houston FFA Advisor Derek McCracken at [email protected] or 937-295-3010.

A Beginner’s Beekeeping Class is being held in Miami County beginning Oct. 13. This four-week series will meet at the Extension Meeting Room in the Courthouse in downtown Troy, each class to begin at 6:30p. During this course, experienced beekeepers will review what you need to know about starting your own bee business. The cost is $50 which includes handouts, refreshments, and a beginner’s beekeeping book. For more information, you can contact Amanda Bennett at 937-440-3945.

The Ohio Woodland Stewards Program will be holding “Capturing Nature’s Wonders,” a one-day class plus an evening field trip on how to take outdoor photography to the next level. This class will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17, at the OSU Mansfield Campus, beginning at 9 a.m.; the field trip will begin at 6:30 p.m. You will learn ‘real time’ instruction in the field as well as intensive classroom preparation, such as the simple steps that make the difference between ordinary snapshots and extraordinary photos.

To get the most out of the workshop you will need a camera that allows you to manually control apertures, shutter speeds, and ISO settings. A lens that has manual focus is also a plus. Any recent model digital single lens reflex or interchangeable lens compact, will work. The cost is $90 which includes morning snacks, lunch, and dinner for the day. Class size is limited to the first 12 registrations to allow more interaction between the instructor and the students. For more information or to register, you can call 614-688-3421 or go to

The Shelby County Forestry Field Day will be held on Sunday, Oct. 18, at the Bornhorst Woods on Staley Road between Wells and Amsterdam Roads near Anna. This event will run from 1 to 4 p.m. that afternoon. This is a “free” family event open to the entire community.

In addition to seeing a portable sawmill in operation and the opportunity to hike woodland trails, there will be chainsaw sculpting, wood carvers, a honey bee display, and the chance to learn about habitat improvement for wildlife. Kids will be able to do crafts, participate in a candy scramble at 2:15, and visit with Smokey Bear at 2:30! In addition, there’s free food: hot dogs, apples, beverages. You can find more information at

By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

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

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