Pre-exam training program planned

By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update

There will be an Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Pre-Exam Training program here at our Sidney location on Fair Road on Jan. 10-11. This is an intensive two-day program mostly directed toward the local/tri-state exam – to be used as a reminder on what best to study in preparation for the CCA exams. The exams themselves will be held at ODA in Reynoldsburg on Feb. 2 and/or Aug. 3.

Harold Watters and members of the Agronomy Team will be leading the trainings. In addition to class time, participants will also receive copies of the new Ohio Agronomy Guide; the 2018 Ohio, Indiana and Illinois Weed Control Guide; Tri-State Fertility Guide; Modern Corn and Soybean Production; and other hand-outs.

These classes begin at 9 a.m. on Jan. 10, will run until done that day, and adjourn by 5 p.m. on Jan. 11. The price for this exam preparation class is $250. Contact Harold Watters at 937-604-2415 or by email at to get registered for this training or to get questions answered.

We still have space in our Master Gardener Training Program being held next spring. Our registration deadline is Jan. 12 to make sure we have time to get materials ordered …

This training will be held on Thursdays, March 1, through the end of April, here at the Extension office in Sidney. Classes start at 9 a.m. and finish by 4 p.m. with time for lunch. Yes, we have active volunteers in our group from Auglaize, Mercer and Shelby counties … and we’ve trained some for other areas, too!

This program provides intensive training in horticulture to residents who then volunteer to assist with educational programs and activities through their local OSU Extension county offices. Some of the things our Master Gardener volunteers have done include providing a “hotline” to answer gardening questions, activities with children and youth, hosting weed identification/control seminars, beautifying the community, developing community gardens, and assisting/conducting the yard and garden talks held in Mercer County and the gardening seminars held at the library here in Sidney. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge, but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must!

Cost of the training is $150, with a $50 refundable deposit due upon return of the application. The fee covers presenters, a comprehensive training manual, handouts, a shirt and light snacks. OSU Extension also requires an online criminal background check. For more information or to obtain a registration packet, call our office or email me. Christmas is coming: This just might be a good fit for someone on your list! …

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has been mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture out to producers since mid-November. Mailed in phases, all of us should have our census questionnaires by mid- to late December. The deadline to respond is Feb. 5, 2018.

This census is conducted every five years and aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The data are used by trade associations, researchers, policymakers, extension educators, agribusinesses, and can play a vital role in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. This census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. Every response matters. Every voice helps shape the future of U.S. agriculture.

For more information, visit (first line under “popular topics” at the upper left) or call 800-727-9540.

Got your Christmas shopping finished? Or started?? I gotta get busy!

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