December 7, 2015 - 9:05am -- Anonymous

Extension Connections
Franklin County eNewsletter

December 2015

Dear Friend of OSU Extension,

It is hard to believe that December has arrived. As I reflect on 2015 and the amazing year that this has been for OSU Extension – Franklin County, I am filled with a sense of gratitude. I am grateful for our amazing team, the individuals whom we have served, and last but certainly not least your willingness to support us along our journey. Whether you served as a program or committee volunteer, funder, or community partner; participated in one of our programs; or simply took a moment to review our monthly eNewsletter, I thank you. We could not have a strong impact on our community without your continued support.

As we look toward 2016, there are many great things on the horizon. As many of you are aware, Roger Rennekamp will be joining us as the new Associate Dean and Director of OSU Extension on January 4. Roger comes to us with many years of experience in Cooperative Extension, most recently as Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement at Oregon State University. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State, and we look forward to welcoming him back to his alma mater. To learn more about Roger, please read this news release.

On behalf of our team at OSU-Extension – Franklin County, I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. We look forward to connecting with you again in the new year!


Laquore J. Meadows, Ph.D.

County Extension Director, Franklin County

Program Updates

4-H Youth Development

Franklin County educators recently participated in two 4-H workshops:  a Science Smorgasbord workshop funded by the Ohio 4-H Foundation and a ChickQuest workshop that explored the life cycle of a chick. In the Science Smorgasbord workshop, educators learned about rocket science through the preparation and launch of a bottle rocket, explored the properties of water, and learned how to make a robot out of a toothbrush. The educators also received free materials to use in their classrooms. The 4-H ChickQuest workshop was held in partnership with personnel from Education Projects LLC, who secured a grant to provide free chick incubators to educators who attend the training. Thirty-two teachers learned about the life cycle of a chick and how to hatch chicks in the classroom. Last year, Franklin County 4-H personnel found homes for nearly 400 chicks that had been incubated in Franklin County classrooms. One teacher stated that the program was the most significant thing she has done as a teacher.

Eight Franklin County teachers participated in a 4-H program called “Project Green Teacher,” designed to train educators to become school garden mentors in their school district. Through a generous grant from the Ohio 4-H Foundation, these individuals were sent to Franklin County OSU Extension’s Master Urban Farmer Program in the fall of 2015. The teachers were from Columbus City, Bexley, Reynoldsburg, and Groveport-Madison School Districts.

On November 13th, the fourth annual Franklin County 4-H Council Taste of Ohio Benefit event raised funds for the coming year of 4-H programming. This fun evening out offered guests a delicious dinner, enjoyable fellowship, and some holiday shopping from an amazing array of silent auction items. Funds that were raised at this event will be utilized by the 4-H Council to support volunteer education, camp scholarships, teen leadership opportunities, and recognition of members’ 4-H accomplishments.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

During the month of November, over 73 Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers increased their knowledge about Ohio trees at a continuing education workshop taught by OSU Extension. The attendees will use this knowledge to teach the general public about the value of trees in the landscape. As an example of how this lesson is being put into practice, several Master Gardeners currently assist the City of Columbus with their new Branch Out  program designed to increase tree cover throughout the city.

On November 12th, 42 new Master Urban Farmers graduated from the Ohio Master Urban Farmer program. Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks and CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron addressed the graduates. The Master Urban Farmer Program is a ten-week course designed by OSU Extension to provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to grow and market food in an urban environment.

Community Development

OSU Extension – Franklin Co., in collaboration with Increase CDC, is currently offering Small Business Development workshops to Franklin County residents at the Schoenbaum Family Center. This six-week program is designed to assist entrepreneurs with the development of a business plan. Income eligible participants also have an opportunity to participate in OSU Extension's Individual Development Accounts program, a savings incentive program designed to help low to moderate income working individuals realize homeownership, begin a small business, or pursue a college education. Those who successfully complete the IDA program are eligible to receive a maximum of $1,000 if they save $500, attend our Financial Literacy workshops, and also attend an asset specific training. For additional information, please call (614) 247-1983. 

Family and Consumer Sciences

OSU Extension, Franklin County is excited to have two new program assistants join our Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP) team. Nora Hesse and Karen Rakoczi provide nutrition education to both Spanish and English speaking families in Franklin County by utilizing the Eating Smart Being Active and the EFNEP for Healthy Pregnancy curricula. Both classes are designed to teach families healthy eating behaviors that reflect the USDA MyPlate guidelines. The participants also learn good food safety practices and techniques for stretching their food dollars. The Healthy Pregnancy curriculum focuses on helping pregnant women learn the importance of eating healthy throughout their pregnancy. If you are aware of a group or organization that might be interested in having Nora or Karen provide either of these classes, please give our office a call at 614-866-6900.

Upcoming Events

December 8, 2015 – CARTEENS Class

December 24-25, 2015 – President’s Day (observed) / Christmas Day (University holidays, office closed)

January 1, 2016 – New Year’s Day (University holiday, office closed)

Franklin County Extension connects with people in all stages of life, from young children to older adults. We work with families and children, farmers and business owners, community leaders and elected officials to build better lives, better businesses and better communities to make Ohio great.

How may we help you? Please contact our office.

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