March 2, 2016 - 10:41am -- Anonymous

Extension Connections
Franklin County eNewsletter

March 2016

Dear Friend of OSU Extension,

I hope this eNewsletter finds you well and preparing for an amazing spring – just the thought of consistent warm weather and the start of festival season brings a smile to my face! I’m looking forward to being immersed in the remarkable richness and diversity that these festivals and other warm-weather activities bring to our central Ohio communities.

In last month’s eNewsletter I noted that we would have several exciting updates to share with you in the near future. The first item on that list is regarding our recent efforts to actively and intentionally engage with suburban cities across Franklin County. As our work continues to evolve, we strive to deepen our understanding of and relationships with the residents and leaders of all the communities within our county. To that end, over the past several months OSU Extension, Franklin County has been on what I’m affectionately refering to as a #SuburbanRoadTour, traveling throughout the county to meet with the mayors and city leaders of local suburban communities.

To date we’ve engaged with leaders of Bexley, Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, Hilliard, Pickerington, Upper Arlington, and Whitehall, and we look forward to meeting with several more in the coming weeks. In many ways, what we’re learning is instructive to our work and provides us with great information as we look to meet the needs of our county’s residents both now and in the future. While each community has their unique history, culture, and vision, one thing seems to hold true across the board – each are thinking critically about and making long-term investments to help ensure a high quality of life for their residents across the lifespan, from their youngest citizens to their gracefully aging population. Our goal is to learn more about these efforts utilizing an “on the ground” approach so that we are better positioned to support these incredible communities in the future. As we move into March, we’re excited to continue this intentional outreach! To follow along on our #SuburbanRoadTour and to learn more about the work of OSU Extension, Franklin County, follow us on Twitter at @OSUEFranklin.

I wish you and yours a wonderful month and look forward to connecting with you again soon!



Laquore J. Meadows, Ph.D.

County Extension Director, Franklin County

Program Updates

4-H Youth Development

Gearing up for a fantastic 4-H year

It may be winter time, but things are far from quiet for Franklin County 4-H. Last month over 100 families participated in the 4-H Winter Project Fair, and attendees learned more about the many projects they can get involved in, upcoming camp opportunities, and how to join a local 4-H club. Franklin County 4-H also has been busy preparing our leaders for the upcoming year. Last month 35 new adult volunteers were trained to serve as 4-H club leaders – the largest group of new volunteers we’ve had to date! There’s still time to join in the fun this year! To participate in the 2016 4-H year, members must be enrolled with a Franklin County club by Friday, April 1. Click here to learn more about joining 4-H and for a list of local clubs.

Over 100 families attended the Winter Project Fair

Longtime volunteer named one of Sunny 95’s Twenty Outstanding Women

4-H volunteer and vice president of the Franklin County 4-H Council Amy Fleshman recently was honored as one of Sunny 95’s 2016 Twenty Outstanding Women for her work with the 4-H program. Amy, who also serves as co-director of the Franklin County 4-H Camp, is a strong believer in the power of giving back and says her work with youth is some of her most rewarding. "Working with teens I realize it is a very sensitive time of life,” she says. “Often they are self-conscious and cautious about being ‘different.’…Through hands-on learning we develop and sharpen problem solving, team building, public speaking, and other lifelong skills that will help them have self-confidence and be a joy to work with.” Congratulations, Amy, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to 4-H and the program’s families.

Run for fun and step up to serve

Join us this spring for the 4-H Walk & Serve! Held Saturday, April 16, this annual event is open to community members of all ages and includes the Clover 5K Run/Walk and a hands-on community service fair where guests can learn about local non-profits and make much-needed items to support their work, such as dog and cat toys for animal shelters, activity bags for children receiving medical treatments, and fleece blankets for kids in foster care. Guests do not need to participate in the Clover 5K to take part in the community service fair, which is free and will be open throughout the morning. The event is hosted by the Franklin County 4-H Council and sponsored by the Franklin County Farm Bureau, Woodcraft, and Franklin County Agricultural Society. To learn more or register for the Clover 5K, click here.


Agriculture and Natural Resources

Master Gardeners meet and greet guests at the Columbus Dispatch Home and Garden Show

Thousands of home gardeners learned how to solve home, yard, and garden challenges at OSU Extension’s Ask a Master Gardener booth at the Columbus Dispatch Home and Garden Show last month. Guests also learned about OSU Extension and the resources it offers to help home gardeners be more successful during the growing season.

Master Gardener Volunteers engaged with guests at the Columbus Dispatch Home and Garden Show last month

OSU Extension Educator delivers keynote address at national conference

Mike Hogan, Franklin County’s Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources presented the keynote presentation at the National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress held last month in Cincinnati. Mike challenged the 200 attendees from across the nation to adapt their farm businesses to meet the changing economic climate facing agriculture today.

OSU Extension hosts urban farming workshop at OEFFA conference

As part of the annual Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) conference OSU Extension, Franklin County led a workshop for 80 attendees about the challenges and benefits of urban farming. In total nearly 1,200 individuals attended the conference, which is the largest and most comprehensive sustainable agriculture conference in the state. In addition to serving as one of the conference’s three Sustaining Sponsors and hosting the workshop, OSU Extension also shared information about the office’s programs and resources at the conference resource fair.







OSU Extension Franklin County booth at OEFFA


Community Development

The Ohio State University offers free tax preparation for qualifying individuals

Once again this year OSU’s Fisher College of Business, in collaboration with several organizations, is offering free Federal and Ohio tax preparation services to low-income individuals in the Columbus area at the Fisher/OSU Tax Clinic. Now in its twelfth year of operation, the clinic is managed by student volunteers with support from the IRS, OSU Extension, United Way, Fisher College of Business and AMIS department, and the Godman Guild. To make a free appointment, call (614) 221-2255.

OSU Extension, Franklin County helps local families become more financially stable

As part of OSU Extension, Franklin County’s mission to strengthen the lives of those we serve, our Community Development team provides a wide range of educational programs to help families become more financially stable. For example the team offers monthly financial literacy classes, which focus on budgeting, banking, and credit/debt. Many of these research-based programs are built upon asset-building strategies. And as most know, assets are much more than simply income, savings, or equity in a house or business – assets provide an important safety net to help families handle unexpected financial hardships, such as a medical emergency, auto repair, or job loss. By teaching people effective strategies to accumulate assets – and thereby strengthening their safety net – OSU Extension is helping enhance the quality of life for Franklin County families.


Family and Consumer Sciences

Helping more Columbus babies celebrate “one”

Did you know that Ohio has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country? If fact, hitting even closer to home, in Franklin County two to three babies under the age of one die every week. That’s a frightening statistic, and local Columbus organizations and leaders are coming together to help change that. Last month OSU Extension, Franklin County teamed up with several community partners at the CelebrateOne resource fair, helping to educate new and soon-to-be parents about how they can give their baby a safe and healthy first year. New moms and their families were invited to learn about the importance of prenatal and well-baby care, safe sleep practices, crib safety, and nutrition and healthy eating before and after pregnancy. Founded in 2014, CelebrateOne is a community-engagement initiative led by Columbus Public Health and the Greater Columbus Mortality Task Force working to reduce our infant mortality rate and close the racial health disparity gap. To learn more about how you can help more Columbus babies celebrate their first birthday, click here.

OSU Extension, Franklin County engaged with new and soon-to-be parents at the CelebrateOne resource fair

Upcoming Events

March 4: Master Gardener Volunteer training

March 5: 4-H Science Saturday

March 5 and 12: Home Buyer Education workshop

March 5 and 12: Money Management workshop

March 5 and 12: Computer Technology workshop – Microsoft Excel


March 8: Master Gardener Volunteer Garden Leaders meeting

March 9: Master Gardener Volunteer Leadership Team meeting

March 11: Master Gardener Volunteer training

March 12: 2016 Ohio 4-H Conference

March 12: 2016 Urban Agriculture and Community Garden Summit

March 17: Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification workshop

March 18: Master Gardener Volunteer Final Exam

March 21: Starting a Vegetable Garden for your Family workshop

March 22: Grafting Fruit Trees workshop

March 24: 4-H Livestock Quality Assurance meeting

March 24: Columbus Urban Farmer Network meeting (5 p.m., Hoof Hearted Craft Brewery)

March 29: Pesticide Private Applicator Recertification workshop

March 31: Hydrangea School

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

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Columbus, OH 43232

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