February 2, 2016 - 1:56pm -- Anonymous

Extension Connections
Franklin County eNewsletter

February 2016

Dear Friend of OSU Extension,

I hope this eNewsletter finds you well and staying warm (and in some instances cool) in our ever-evolving Ohio weather. It is hard to believe that we already are a full month into 2016. Serving as the County Extension Director provides me with a very unique perspective of our work, and I can’t express how much I enjoy witnessing the amazing energy that each of our team members pours into their work in preparation for their service to the Franklin County community. We have hit the ground running strong, and I am confident that 2016 is going to be an amazing year! However; before we look ahead at what is on the horizon, I would like to share a few of our highlights from 2015.

Each year, the Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences releases our annual OSU Extension “County Highlights” report, which measures the impact that each county office has had in their community. I’m pleased to share that in the last year our team has expanded its reach in all four of our primary impact areas – strengthening families and communities, preparing youth for success, enhancing agriculture and the environment, and advancing employment and income opportunities. For example, last year OSU Extension, Franklin County provided financial literacy workshops to 250 residents and offered HUD-certified homebuyer education to 164 individuals, nearly 40 percent of whom are now homebuyers. To read more about our work and impact in Franklin County, click here.

Perhaps the most exciting piece of this news is that our team is positioned to make an even bigger impact in 2016! In the coming months, we will have several exciting developments to share with you. As a result of enhanced SNAP-Ed funding, new community partnerships, and an opportunity to serve our Extension colleagues nationally, we are strategically positioning ourselves to help an even greater number of individuals build better lives, businesses, and communities.

Thank you again for your continued support of and interest in the work of our OSU Extension, Franklin County team. We look forward to sharing more updates as this year unfolds!


Laquore J. Meadows, Ph.D.

County Extension Director, Franklin County

Program Updates

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Largest ever Master Gardener Volunteer class kicks off

Last month the largest class of Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV) that Franklin County has ever hosted began their 10-week intensive training class. On their journey to becoming full-fledged Master Gardener Volunteers, the 56 new MGV trainees will receive a total of 65 hours of horticulture training and pass a final exam. They then will serve as MGV interns, providing a total of 2,800 hours of gardening community service in Franklin County over the course of the year. OSU Extension, Franklin County has one of the largest MGV programs in Ohio with 171 certified Master Gardener Volunteers. In 2015, Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers donated more than 8,300 hours of service at 51 different sites, valued at more than $180,000! To learn more about the program, click here.

Local garden clubs learn to grow fruit
Members of the Hilliard Area Garden Club and the German Village Garten Club recently learned how to grow fruit trees and small fruits in their home gardens and landscapes at two workshops taught by OSU Extension, Franklin County.

Community Development

Building strong communities by strengthening families

True to its mission, OSU Extension offers a wide range of programs to help people improve the quality of their lives, from money management classes to computer technology workshops to home-buyer education. And here in Franklin County, the impact of those programs can be measured in far more than traditional statistics – it also can be measured in life outcomes. Amber Broadus, a Franklin County resident, is just one of those success stories. Amber recently graduated from the Small Business Development program, an 8-week workshop offered by Increase CDC in cooperation with OSU Extension. Amber now is enrolled in OSU Extension's Individual Development Account (IDA) program, designed to help income-eligible individuals accumulate assets (such as homeownership, microenterprise, or college) and take control of their financial future. Upon successful completion of the IDA program, which includes saving $500 in a dedicated savings account and attending financial literacy workshops, Amber will receive $1,000 in matching funds to invest in her future! She plans to use the funds to become a Mary Kay Consultant and purchase her product inventory. To learn more about these and other Community Development programs, call Susan Colbert at (614) 247-1983.

Family and Consumer Sciences

Teaching kids the importance of healthy eating

As part of the Youth Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), OSU Extension is helping teach children the importance of nutrition and food safety in local Franklin County schools. Through fun and interactive lessons, youth learn how to make good choices when eating at home, in the school lunch room, and at restaurants. Recently while learning about dairy, students received a few treats from the American Dairy Association, including the cow hats pictured left. Youth EFNEP is provided free of charge to schools that have a large percentage of students who receive free/reduced lunch. If you are aware of a school group that may benefit from the program, contact Marilyn Rabe at rabe.9@osu.edu.

Senior Series offers unique programming for aging residents

For 20 years, OSU Extension has partnered with the Franklin County Office on Aging to provide free educational programs aimed at helping seniors maintain their independence. Held at various senior sites throughout the county, the Senior Series program is made possible through the Senior Options Grant. Last month OSU Extension, Franklin County’s Senior Series team hosted a presentation at Senior Companions called “When Good People Disagree,” which explored conflicts and ways to respectfully and constructively resolve them. With 89 seniors in attendance, the presentation was one of the largest programs held to-date. To learn more about the Senior Series program, contact Loretta Sweeney at sweeney.400@osu.edu or (614) 866-6900 x 218.

Upcoming Events

Feb. 4: Master Gardener Volunteer Leadership Team meeting (6 p.m.)

Feb. 5: Master Gardener Volunteer training (8:30 a.m.)

Feb. 6 & 13: Home Buyer Education workshop (9 a.m.)

Feb. 6 & 13: Money Management workshop (9 a.m.)

Feb. 6 & 13: Computer Technology workshop: Excel (9 a.m.)

Feb. 8: Deadline (postmark) for Ohio 4-H Conference registration

Feb. 9: CARTEENS (6 p.m.)

Feb. 12: Master Gardener Volunteer training (8:30 a.m.)

Feb. 14: OEFFA Conference: Can American Cities Feed Themselves workshop (1:45 p.m.) – Must register for the OEFFA Conference (Feb. 13-14)

Feb. 18: Master Gardener Volunteer quarterly workshop (7 p.m.)

Feb. 19: Master Gardener Volunteer training (8:30 a.m.)

Feb. 20-28: The Columbus Dispatch Home and Garden Show – Master Gardener Volunteer booth (times vary)

Feb. 24: Franklin County Extension Advisory Committee meeting (9 a.m.)

Feb. 24: New 4-H Volunteer Orientation (6:30 p.m.)

Feb. 24: Pest Management workshop for Urban Growers (7 p.m.)

Feb. 26: Master Gardener Volunteer training (8:30 a.m.)

Feb. 27: 4-H Winter Project Fair (10 a.m.)

OSU Extension, Franklin County 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.

Our mailing address is:

Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County

2105 South Hamilton Road, Suite 100

Columbus, OH 43232

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