What the HACCP?

The title says it all. Most people probably haven’t heard of the HACCP process before, and those that have are likely familiar with it in the food service industry. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, and it was developed in the 1960’s as a way to prevent astronauts from being exposed to food borne illness. The process was since adopted by the FDA thanks to its effectiveness in preventing the spread of disease via processing and packaging of food.

So why is this Sea Grant fish guy talking about astronaut food?

In a dramatic turn of events, folks from the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network adopted this process years ago and used it to prevent the spread of invasive species and diseases and ensure quality control in the Great Lakes seafood and bait fish industries. Other thoughtful Sea Grant and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service employees morphed the process even more to address the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in natural resource management activities. (If you’re not familiar with AIS, check out my previous CD blog on Alien Invaders.)

Invasive goldfish in a Lake Erie wetland- How many potential vectors of spreading AIS do you see in this picture?
(Some answers: boat, buckets, waders, net, coat)

As it turns out, this process is pretty successful in preventing the spread of AIS. So much so that there are a number of folks across the country that are certified to train natural resource managers on using the HACCP process in their work. That list includes my colleagues Jenny Roar and Eugene Braig, who along with myself will be hosting an AIS-HACCP workshop at Stone Laboratory August 28-29, 2017.

If your work finds you in the field, then you are a potential vector for spreading AIS, and you should strongly consider taking this workshop. If you know a natural resource professional, please forward along the information so they can help us protect our natural resources from the scourge of invasive species. Even if you’re not a professional in the field but enjoy outdoor recreation, remember to always take steps to prevent the spread of invasive species!

  • Learn to recognize AIS and report new sightings to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
  • Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!Clean, Drain, Dry! When using boats or other aquatic recreational equipment, before leaving the water access: inspect and remove foreign material, drain water from all containers (bilge, livewell, etc.), clean with high pressure and/or heated water, and allow to dry for at least five days before transporting between bodies of water. Learn more at stopaquatichitchhikers.org/.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait, worms and fish parts in the trash.
  • HabitatitudeGet Habitattitude! Never dump aquarium pets, plants, other organisms, or water, including bait, from one water body into another. Learn more at www.habitattitude.net/.

For more information on AIS-HACCP, or AIS in the Great Lakes, contact me at gabriel.78@osu.edu.

Credits:

Title stolen from the creative brain of Sarah Orlando.

Photos and captions from USF&WS AIS HACCP Manual

Tory Gabriel is an Extension Specialist, Program Manager for the Ohio Sea Grant College Program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

non-target species

Technology, Automation, Work & Extension

With rapidly changing advances in technology and automation, the nature of work is rapidly changing too. How will these changes impact jobs and the communities in which we live (and serve)?

As an example, Amazon’s recent move to purchase Whole Foods made headlines not only because the merger will impact how people shop for food, but also how people shop in general. With goals for Amazon-Whole Foodsincreased efficiency, convenience, and personalized experiences, such business models stand to significantly impact traditional workforce and community development models. Given such challenges, how might we go about changing the way we partner with individuals, organizations, businesses and communities to secure and strengthen community vitality?

Or consider this: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 58.7 percent of all wage and salary workers (or 79.9 million workers) age 16 and older in the US were paid at hourly rates. How will this workforce be affected by new automated technologies, especially those paid an hourly minimum wage? How will an increased use of automated technologies drive pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)? According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, over 40 percent of STEM-related jobs go unfilled due to an unqualified applicant pool in the United States.

Extension professionals work “to create opportunities for people to explore how science-based knowledge can improve social, economic, and environmental conditions.” (OSU Extension, 2017). There is little doubt that the nature of work is changing and what the workforce of tomorrow wants in the way of work is changing too. We are facing some significant challenges… Who is ready to get to work?

Meghan Thoreau is a County Extension Educator (Pickaway County and Heart of Ohio EERA).

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017, April 1). BLS Report: characteristics of minimum wage workers, 2016. Retrieved from United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/minimum-wage/2016/home.htm

OSU Extension. (2017, July 07). Vision, Mission, Values. Retrieved from Ohio State University Extension: https://extension.osu.edu/about/vision-mission-values

Smithsonian Science Education Center. (2017, July 07). The STEM Imperative. Retrieved from Smithsonian Science Education Center: https://ssec.si.edu/stem-imperative

Communities that Rock! NACDEP Conference coming to Cleveland!!!

To borrow an old baseball phrase, “you’re on deck” means you are the next person to bat against the pitcher. As yet another reminder of the pace at which time passes, it does not seem all that long ago that Ohio was “on deck” to host the 2018 NACDEP Conference.

Now that the 2017 NACDEP Conference is behind us, it is our turn to bat.

NACDEP 2018 LogoIn June, 2018 (June 10-13 to be exact), Ohio State University Extension will be hosting over 250 practitioners, academics, and Extension professionals in Cleveland, Ohio to engage, learn and share how we make a difference in the communities in which we live and work.

The OSU Extension planning team has been hard at work for the last six months preparing for the conference.

Mobile learning workshops and pre-conference workshops and tours are being planned that include a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (the city where rock was born), the Great Lakes Science Center, and a visit to Stone Laboratory (on Gibraltar Island) to name a few.

For our foodies we are also exploring food-related options such as a visit to a vineyard in Cleveland, a tour of the historic West Side Market, and dinner in ‘Little Italy’ where you can dine, recline, and catch up with colleagues.

Like Beer? Like local microbreweries? If so, you will enjoy learning about the Great Lakes Brewing Company and its famous Christmas Ale.

Are you ready to roll?  How about a short drive to visit Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world?

Still not sure if you want to come to Cleveland? Check out this video.

 If you want to learn more about NACDEP 2018 contact: David CivittoloAssociate Professor and Field Specialist, Community Economics (civittolo.1@osu.edu) and NACDEP 2018 Conference Co-Chair.

No yard? No problem! Compost your food waste anyway!

Food. It’s what’s for dinner (and, well, breakfast and lunch). Until, that is, it becomes food waste. Did you know that more than 50 million tons of food waste goes to landfills every year, or that roughly half is generated at the household level (ReFED)? We can help reduce food waste through better meal planning, proper storage of produce, and preservation methods through canning or freezing. However, no matter how well we implement any of these strategies we will always have corncobs, carrot peels and ends, and other such waste that ultimately ends up discarded.

backyard compostingWhat can we do? A compost pile is an option if you own your home and have a small space available in your yard. Backyard composting is common in United States, but is best suited for those who own a home with a yard. The renter and apartment dwellers without a yard face the greatest challenge. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 35% of residents (111 million people) in the United State rent the property they live in.

The only city to truly address this challenge is San Francisco with its curbside composting program; one part of the city’s zero waste initiative. There, food waste is picked up by the city the same way they do for recycling and trash, but to be composted. In Cuyahoga County, we do not have curbside composting or a class II composting facility. As such, food waste has become a very salient issue in Cuyahoga County with many apartment dwellers looking for a compost option.

To address this challenge, OSU Extension and two local partners have teamed up. The Cuyahoga County Extension Office is hosting a Food Waste, Recovery, & Education project this summer at the Tremont Farmers’ Market. Farmers’ markets are great community spaces and provide the perfect location for educating residents on the full life cycle of food. In partnership with Rust Belt Riders, a local composting business, and StoneSoupCLE, a non-profit focused on food recovery, we are providing residents the opportunity to stop by the farmers’ market every Tuesday from June 20th through August 15th to drop off their food scraps for composting by Rust Belt Riders. When residents drop off their food scraps at the market, the scraps are weighed so we can track the pounds of waste diverted from landfills and provide residents with real data describing their individual impact and reduction in their carbon footprint.

What will you do to reduce your food waste? To learn more about food waste and food recovery systems, contact Amanda Osborne (osborne.414@osu.edu), County Extension Educator, Cuyahoga County & Western Reserve EERA.

Sea Grant Rocks Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t the only thing bringing people to Cleveland in early June. Ohio Sea Grant hosted seven other Great Lakes Sea Grant Programs and the National Sea Grant Program during the 26th Great Lakes Sea Grant Network Meeting. Over 80 scientists, educators, and communicators from all over the Great Lakes came together to provide program updates, share project ideas, and discuss future collaborations.

Julia fish

Photo credit: Tory Gabriel

The conference began with field trips showcasing some of the amazing educational and tourism opportunities in Ohio. Trips included a fishing charter where participants caught walleye (one of the most important sportfish in Lake Erie helping to contribute to a 1 billion dollar industry), a tour of Stone Laboratory (the oldest continually operational freshwater field station) and a bike tour of sustainable business on Cleveland’s famous West 25th Street. Sustainable business practices include:

  • Water reduction practices
  • Solar panels to heat water
  • Pervious parking lots
  • Rain gardens

Speakers included Jonathon Pennock, the recently appointed National Sea Grant Director, who discussed the new vision for the National Sea Grant Program and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor who spoke about the great work being done in Ohio and the Great Lakes to improve water quality, foster sustainable development, and continued work to improve the health of the Great Lakes.

Educational field trips on the second day showed participants some of the issues facing Lake Erie and offered on-the-ground solutions to solve problems. A boat tour of the Cuyahoga River led by Scott Hardy, Sea Grant Extension Educator in Cuyahoga County, showcased the work being done by local organizations in Cleveland and Ohio Sea Grant to remove the river from the Area of Concern list. Areas of Concern are highly impaired rivers as a result of industrial use over the past century. Local organizations work together to remove contaminated sediment, improve water quality, and repair fish, bird, and mammal habitats to improve the benefits offered by the river.

Boat tour

Photo credit: Todd Marsee

A second boat tour led by Sarah Orlando, Ohio Clean Marina Program Manager, took several people to the Emerald Necklace Marina in Rocky River. The Emerald Necklace Marina is one of Ohio’s many Clean Marinas. Cleans Marinas are marinas that have gone through the certification process through Ohio Sea Grant and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to adopt business and property management practices that improve water quality, lessen a marina’s environmental impact, and work with their boaters to educate on safe and clean boating best practices.

Cleveland skyline

Photo credit: Jill Bartolotta

Some of these practices include:

  • recycling when possible
  • using living shorelines instead of hardened shorelines along the water to improve fish habitat
  • using cleaning products such as vinegar to clean their boats instead of synthetic chemicals
  • educating others about safe and clean boating practices

All in all it was a great few days filled with new project ideas, network visioning, and lots of fun in some of Coastal Ohio’s most beautiful areas.

 

Endnotes:

Ohio Sea Grant. Ohio Sea Grant Website. 2017. https://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/

National Sea Grant Program. National Sea Grant Program Website. 2017. http://seagrant.noaa.gov/

Stone Laboratory. Stone Laboratory Website. 2017.  http://stonelab.osu.edu/

1 billion dollar industry American Sportfishing Association Report January 2013. http://asafishing.org/uploads/2011_ASASportfishing_in_America_Report_January_2013.pdf

Area of Concern. EPA Areas of Concern Website. 2017. https://www.epa.gov/great-lakes-aocs

Cleans Marinas. Ohio Clean Marina Program Website. 2017. https://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/clean

Jill Bartolotta is an Extension Educator for Ohio Sea Grant.

BIG Skies, BOLD Partnerships

Visiting with a colleague recently, she shared that these uncertain times in our workplace, in our communities, and in the larger world around us require that we ask ourselves what we really are about.

For the past several days, nearly 350 practitioners, academics, and Extension professionals came together to share and learn and discuss how we can make a difference within the various communities we serve in the first-ever joint conference with NACDEP and the Community Development Society (CDS).

Big Sky, Montana, provided the conference venue for over 130 concurrent session presentations, 40 poster presentations and 3 IGNITE presentations. Five keynote presentations were included along with 8 mobile learning workshops focused on culture, local food, leadership and collaborative partnerships for economic development.

June conference surprise

Among the presentations were ten involving a dozen of Ohio’s Extension professionals. Topics and presenters (including those involving out of state collaborators indicated with an *) are listed below:

  • Credentialing Local Planning Officials: Master Citizen Planner Program (Wayne Beyea*, Myra Moss & Kara Salazar*)
  • Entrepreneurial Networking Competencies: Contemporary Perspectives on Social Capital (Julie Fox)
  • Energize Job Retention: Energy Management Strategies as a Component of Business Retention and Expansion Programs (Nancy Bowen, Eric Romich & David Civittolo)
  • Bold Partnering: Join a National Network on Leadership Programming (Brian Raison, Kyle Willams* & Elizabeth North*)
  • A New Tool for Increasing Marina Resiliency to Coastal Storms in the Great Lakes (Joe Lucente & Sarah Orlando)
  • Building Collaborative Partnership Around Critical Community/Stakeholder Issues: Watersheds, Agriculture, and a City’s Source Water Quality (Myra Moss)
  • Maximizing the Gains of Old and New Energy Development for America’s Rural Communities (Eric Romich, David Civittolo & Nancy Bowen)
  • Partnering for Community Health (Becky Nesbitt)
  • Exploring ways of using Community Arts, Cultural and Heritage businesses to stimulate Rural Community Economic Development (Godwin Apaliyah & Ken Martin)
  • Using Farmers Markets as a Tool for Economic Development: Increasing Healthy Food Access While Benefiting Small to Mid-Sized Farms (Amanda Osborne)
  •  A Dialogue Prompt for Housing and Land Use Policy in a New Administration (poster) (Anna Haines* & Myra Moss)

Three Ohioans were also installed as officers on the national NACDEP board: Nancy Bowen (re-elected Treasurer), David Civittolo (elected President-elect), and Brian Raison (elected north-central region Representative).

Two OSUE NACDEP members were also recognized with national and regional awards. Raison received regional and national recognition for using educational technology in developing  ‘A Virtual Farm Market Pilot’ and creating materials for ‘Top 10 Ways to Improve Online Teaching and Learning.’  He received regional recognition in the category ‘Excellence in CD Work’ for his effort, ‘Establishing an Impactful Local Food Council.’ Romich received regional recognition (honorable mention) in the category ‘Distinguished Career.’

Sunrise over Big Sky

Leadership, teamwork and collaboration were celebrated and cultivated throughout the conference. And after a very moving final keynote address by Sarah Calhoun of Red Ants Pants, we were reminded again that working together we truly can move mountains. See you next year in Cleveland, June 10-13!

 

 

Greg Davis is a Professor and Assistant Director for OSU Extension Community Development.

Unleashing the Power of Group Wisdom

Why is it so difficult to make good decisions in groups? We know that the benefits of group decision-making are substantial: better thinking, more viable and sustainable action plans, a stronger sense of ownership for achieving a desired outcome. In fact, when done properly, group decision-making may be our best hope for solving difficult, complex issues. Unfortunately, group discussions often result in decisions that lack imagination, thoughtful consideration, or inclusiveness.

group discussionsSo why do smart, well-intentioned people often struggle with making good decisions in groups? According to Sam Kaner, author of Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, “the answer is deeply rooted in prevailing cultural values that make it difficult for people to actually think in groups.” Kaner explains that some of the obstacles to productive group interactions include a lack of good listening skills, a strong need to move to action without adequate consideration or discussion, and treating a difference of opinion as conflict that must be “stifled or solved.”

To move beyond these typical issues, Kaner suggests that groups employ a facilitator, a neutral third party who can help the group members do their best thinking. Good facilitators, he explains, “strengthen the effectiveness of the group of people who are there to get work done.” The facilitator “helps, serves, teaches, and guides,” while the group members themselves “resolve, decide, produce and act.” Good facilitators understand group dynamics, and value the process of group decision-making. They use their skills to help group members tap into their own collective wisdom.

group decisionsA facilitator can help a group move beyond the familiar, often unproductive, patterns of communication, and encourages a sense of shared responsibility, empowering group members to speak up, listen, and effectively participate in the process. According to Kaner, the group facilitator’s three core competencies include:

  • Building and sustaining a respectful, supportive atmosphere
  • Managing the process, but allowing the group to direct the content of the discussion
  • Teaching the group members new thinking skills to help build their capacity for collaboration

Are you interested in strengthening your facilitation skills? Contact Becky Nesbitt at nesbitt.21@osu.edu to learn more about OSU Extension’s facilitation training. For more info, visit the CD webpage.

Seek Excellence logoBecky Nesbitt is an Assistant Professor and Extension Educator in Community Development with OSU Extension. 

Better land use decisions via the American Citizen Planner program

I like to volunteer in my community. Doing so enables me to make a difference in other people’s lives and make some small contribution in return for the benefits I receive. But, years ago when I was asked to serve on my community’s Planning and Zoning committee it felt like I was in over my head.

I kept asking myself:

  • Will I make wise decisions regarding land use in my community?
  • Will I understand the complicated zoning codes and different land use tools such as comprehensive planning?
  • Will I carry out my duties and responsibilities correctly and wisely – and legally?
  • How will I deal with heated community response in difficult circumstances?

At least I was in good company – many volunteer planners continue to express the same concerns and struggle to find where to turn for accurate, useful and easily understandable information.

To make matters worse, local land use issues are becoming increasingly complex, requiring difficult decisions of volunteer citizen planners who often have little preparation or training. Fortunately, the new American Citizen Planner Program (ACP) can help prepare and train these volunteer planners as well as others who are interested in the basic concepts of public land use planning and community development best practices.

eXtension Land Use PlanningJust recently launched online through the eXtension Community Planning and Zoning Community of Practice, ACP provides continuing education for paraprofessional planners and zoning officials, offering the nationally recognized credential of Master Citizen Planner.

American Citizen PlannerThe online program offers two courses – ACP 101 and ACP 201. ACP 101 is designed to help participants learn the foundations of planning and zoning, including the historical context, and their role and responsibilities as planning officials. The 14 units cover such topics as ethics, comprehensive land use planning, working with the public, data collection and analysis, and community sustainability. ACP 201, also 14 units, digs deeper into such topics as land use planning, legal and constitutional authority, the zoning process, conducting effective public meetings and dealing with conflict.

After completion of ACP 101 and 201, participants are qualified to take the Master Citizen Planner Exam. With an exam score of 70% or better, within 60 days of completing the courses they will receive the Master Citizen Planner Credential. It is recommended that the credential be maintained through at least 6 hours a year of continuing education.

Learn more about the American Citizen Planner program, its cost and how to access the online courses here or by contacting Myra Moss at moss.63@osu.edu.

Myra Moss is an Associate Professor and Extension Educator (Heart of Ohio EERA).

Education through Social Networking

Social MediaI have the best job in the world. As an extension educator for Ohio Sea Grant and OSU Extension, my job is to help communicate science in an easy-to-understand way to the public. When I started in this role, this was done mostly through in person meetings, phone calls, emails, and within educational settings such as outreach events. I still continue to communicate with the public and my stakeholders through these outlets, but I have added a new approach for reaching others to this list: social media.

When I created my first Twitter account and a Facebook page for our program, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing! I had used these platforms to interact with family and friends, but was unsure of how to engage the public. However, I soon found that by following other colleagues and programs there was a community well-versed in the art of social communication. In my case, I found a group of science communicators who have taken to social media to help engage the public around the topics that they are researching, and to aid in communicating the scientific process to the public. The #SciComm community – as they call themselves – has helped me to realize the value of social media as a method for education and outreach. Another great network of people who provide helpful guidance on social media is the Educational Technology Learning Network, or #EdTechLN. You can find their social media feed here: extedtechs.org/edtechln/.

I use social media to promote outreach events, share news about recent accomplishments in my organization, and to provide current and factual information on a variety of topics related to my program and organization. As a company, community, or citizen – you can use social media to promote your business, recognize an exceptional employee or colleague, and to provide up-to-date, reliable information to your audience. There are many ways that you can follow and interact with OSU Extension and Ohio Sea Grant on social media – I’ve listed a few below. Feel free to engage with us through these platforms – we’re listening and here to help!

OSU Extension and Community Development:

 Ohio Sea Grant:

Clean Marinas program collage

On our Ohio Clean Marinas and Clean Boaters Page, we promote marina businesses that take steps to improve air and water quality at their facility. We in turn encourage these businesses to use social media to promote themselves as a certified Clean Marina to their clientele.

Sarah Orlando is the Program Manager for the Ohio Clean Marina Program. She can be contacted at: 419-609-4120, orlando.42@osu.edu, or @SarahAOrlando.

Building healthy and productive lives together

Without a place to call home, it is difficult to build a healthy and productive life. And while being number one is usually a good thing; it is certainly not so in this case.

Franklin County has the highest number of evictions in the state, averaging 19,000 filings annually over the last 10 years. Matthew Desmond’s book, Evicted, indicates that evictions occur for a variety of reasons, including: a limited understanding of the tenant’s responsibilities and rights; lack of financial management and home maintenance skills; and, an untenable rent to income ratio.

Franklin County Extension is attempting to address this issue by offering to residents throughout the community a vast array of programs and services focused on, for example: HUD-certified home buyer education; money management; food production, preservation and nutrition; workforce development and much more!

To learn more, check out the materials shared on the Franklin County Extension website. To learn about what’s happening in your community and how OSU Extension can help, visit the OSU Extension website or call your local Extension office.

Susan Colbert is Program Director for Expansion and Engagement in Franklin County (Heart of Ohio EERA).