A Different Perspective

By: Mariah Stollar
Marietta, Ohio
Community Leadership, Community and Extension Education

I have known ever since I was a little girl that I wanted to help people. Growing up, I helped my mom take care of my little sisters, helped build my family’s agritourism business and helped “make the best better” by completing community service through my county’s 4-H program.

When I was a teenager, I realized that I wanted to carry my passion for helping others into a career that would directly impact the community.  Being a part of the 4-H program made me realize what an impact that extension educators can have on youth, and prompted me to pursue a career in extension.

As part of my studies in Community and Extension Education, I completed my 2 week Early Field Experience in Hardin County Extension office.

Before starting my Early Field Experience in Hardin County, I had only experienced what happens in my local office, Washington County.  Even though I knew Washington County’s programs relatively well, I had not been aware of all the things that educators do behind the scenes.  I also learned that a collaborative effort is important among all extension program areas, including 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences and Community Development, to ensure a strong county extension program.

Mariah Stollar, photo 1

Mark Light, the 4-H Educator, made arrangements for me to work with the ANR and FCS educators, as well as himself and the 4-H Program Assistant.  I learned that a lot more goes into extension than planning camp, pre-fair judging and the county fair. Our educators work so hard to improve our communities, and I am now more grateful for them than I ever have been before.  I cannot wait to use what I learned in my future extension career!

A New Angle on FFA

By: Courtney Fulton
Kenton, OH
Agriscience Education/International Studies


Last month, I completed my Early Field Experience at Ridgemont High School under advisor Mrs. Stephanie Jolliff.

During my time at Ridgemont, I was able to be a part of “Ag in the Classroom Day” at Ridgemont Elementary, where high school students educated younger students on topics such as feed rations, alternative energy, hydraulics, and seed germination. We also participated in two other events at the elementary, “Edible Car Day” and “Field Day”.

It was great to see the unification of the district as students of all ages came together to learn throughout my experience. I helped students with their shop projects as well, as the freshmen were making birdhouses and upperclassmen were creating metal projects of their choice. During our time in the shop, I learned how to plasma cut and grind metal, which was so much fun!! I even had the opportunity to teach Mrs. Jolliff’s classes on the last day, which was a very different but positive experience!

Outside the classroom, I attended a variety of meetings with Mrs. Jolliff including building and district wide staff meetings, a grant meeting, a meeting on National Chapter applications, and an ‘At Risk’ students meeting.

I had so many wonderful experiences packed into my two weeks of EFE, but through it all I was also able to gain a much deeper perspective on education and the difference that a compassionate and dedicated teacher can make. At the ‘At Risk’ students meeting, we met with the principal and guidance counselor to discuss several ag students who had failed core classes and were working to make plans for improvement. I was surprised at the names that were mentioned because even after a short time, I knew that these were students who exceled within Mrs. Jolliff’s classroom. It appeared that these students were using FFA as an outlet. Even though they hadn’t had the easiest road, they had found a safe place within the FFA and other staff members recognized that. Legitimate plans were made for each student and many involved doing extra work for Mrs. Jolliff that would transfer for various other credits (like writing papers on agricultural topics for English).

I was thrilled to observe the impact that my cooperating educator was making on her community and on each individual student. It was truly inspiring and I am excited to be a part of an industry that can impact people for the better in ways like these.

Courtney Fulton assists students at Ridgemont High School during her Early Field Experience.

Courtney Fulton assists students at Ridgemont High School during her Early Field Experience.

My First Steps Wearing an Educator’s Shoes

Written by: Christine Balint
Vermilion, OH
Agriscience Education

I was given the wonderful opportunity to do my Early Field Experience (EFE) with the Northwestern-Wayne FFA chapter for two weeks. Here, the students were welcoming and there was a lot to finish up before the school year was over! My cooperating educator was Heather Tegetmeier. Heather has taught at Northwestern-Wayne schools for 15 years as one of two Agriscience Educators.

Heather teaches the seventh and eighth grade programs taught at Northwestern Middle School as well as teaches Ag Science I, Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, and the chapter’s leadership class. Heather teaches alongside Dan Fulk, who was also Heather’s cooperating educator when she was in college. The Northwestern-Wayne FFA chapter has about 135 enrolled FFA members and about 200 middle schoolers who go through the program each year.


During my placement, I was able to work with the kids hands on, and learn their stories of why they love agriculture. Heather helped me prepare many lessons and work with her on finishing the projects the students were working on. It was nice to go into a different classroom and see how another chapter runs their activities in comparison to what I knew from my home chapter. It was especially exciting to see a two teacher program that also included a middle school program. For Heather, she only usually interacted with half of the chapter during the school day, but she most definitely engaged in the Ag Ed setting. As I watched Heather work with the students and get used to the daily schedule of 7-4pm days, I started to feel the transition from student to educator. I was able to do my very own lesson on how to make ice cream and even participated in the chapter’s Ag in the Classroom event where they went to the elementary school and talked to first graders about animal and tractor safety.


It was great to have the students call me Ms. B and to want to talk to me about my FFA experiences, my time at Ohio State, and what it was like to do my EFE placement. For the first time, I was able to see that spark in the students eyes that I too had when I was in high school. This, making a difference in student’s lives, it for sure what I want to do as my future career.


Growing up in a small community, I felt at home in the little rural town of West Salem. It was nice to get back into the classroom where many of my FFA memories were created. When a student does their EFE, they are to basically shadow their cooperating educator, taking note at their teaching techniques, the way the rooms are set up for the kids, and getting a first hand look at the behind the scene actions that Agriscience Educators participate in. By the end of my EFE placement, my eyes were opened up to the exciting and wonderful world of becoming an Agriscience Educator. From the hands-on field trips to developing career skills, I can surely say that I am ready to start my career in Agriscience Education!


A day in the shoes of an Extension Educator

Written by: Blake Campbell
Waterford, Ohio
Community Leadership, Community and Extension Education

I have spent the last few weeks experiencing new and exciting opportunities in my home county, Washington County. Over the course of four weeks I have been working at The Ohio State University Extension Office of Washington County completing my Early Field Experience. My EFE is a part of my major at Ohio State as I am majoring in community leadership with a specialization in community and extension education. These past few weeks have been so much fun as I have gotten to develop skills that will help me in the future.

I am working with Alison Baker the extension educator specializing in 4-H Youth Development. I grew up in Washington County with a huge passion for the fair and 4-H. This same passion led me to go to college and make a career of it. I am so very excited to start this journey in Extension.

Blake assists youth with leadership activities.

Blake assists youth with leadership activities.

I have learned multiple aspects of youth development and education while doing my EFE with Washington County. From attending a horse evaluation to writing a cloverbud connection for the quarterly newsletter, I have expanded my horizon to new and exciting levels. Before starting my EFE I knew little about extension and how they worked with fairs and  4-H, but now I have a better understanding of how extension works. I am very excited to start this fun and exciting career in community and extension education!

Learning about Extension

Written by: Haley Kocher
Bucyrus, Ohio
Community Leadership, Community and Extension Education Specialization

With a major in community leadership and a specialization in community and extension education, my early field experience took place at the Marion County Extension Office. The Marion County Fair takes place the last week in June into July. Last minute details were in full swing as the office prepared for the fair activities. I helped the extension educator plan activities for clover bud day and 4-H camp, as weak as prepare mailings sent to advisors, parents, and members.

Photo submitted by Haley Kocher

Haley talks with youth about extension programs.

The part I enjoyed most was attending the meetings for the Jr. Fair Board, camp counselors, cloverbuds, and dog trainings. Being able to interact with the youth and volunteers in the 4-H program was a highlight for me. I also had the opportunity to lead a team building activity with the camp counselors, seeing them work together and accomplish the task as a team was a neat experience.

One thing I will take away from this experience is the new appreciation for our county educators. I am a ten year 4-H member and this experience gave me a new point of view. Our 4-H educators put in many hours and effort into making sure the fair is successful each year. Obstacles will and do occur but it is how you deal with it and what you take away from the experience that means the most. I enjoyed the time I had in the Marion County Extension Office. It helped me see the role that the extension educators play in each county. 4-H is a great organization for youth and their families and I am excited to one day be a part of our growing agricultural industry.

My Time with Teays Valley

By: Emily Burns
Baltimore, Ohio
Agriscience Education

 This past May I had the amazing opportunity to spend 10 days with the Teays Valley FFA Chapter and High School. I got the chance to work with Mr. Aaron Hansleman and Mr. Josh Bluck while I was there, along with over 100 students.

I was not sure what to expect to get out of my Early Field Experience, but I can honestly say I learned more than I think I could have from any college class. I never stopped learning new things and it has made me very excited and motivated to be the best Ag teacher I can!

We spent most of each day in the shop, but I had the opportunity to attend State FFA Convention, visit their FFA farms, and help the students as they educated elementary students with Soil and Water Conservation. In the shop I got to learn about, and help with, some of their different projects including picnic tables, stools, engines, and some students had even designed their own wood projects.

I also had the opportunity to not only ask Mr. Hansleman and Mr. Bluck questions, but the students as well. I took one day to do surveys for each of the classes I was observing and when I was done with the surveys I had a quick Food Science lesson that I presented to the class with some taste testing and funny activities. During another day, I had the privilege to teach the juniors how to oxy-acetylene cut. This was an experience since I had not done much shop work in 3 years, but it was a great way for me to find things to work on!

Emily Burns, photo 1

Ms. Burns shows students at Teays Valley how to make a cut.


While I was there I also spent time in the main part of the school observing some of the senior’s favorite teachers.  They wanted me to not only be able to see shop work, but also how to teach in a classroom. This was great because I saw how much collaboration and cooperation is necessary from all teachers in the school to make an FFA chapter and agriculture program run. Now I feel very prepared for what I am going into and I cannot wait to become an Ag teacher!

Early Field Experience in Extension

Ericka Priest
Van Wert, Ohio
Community Leadership, Community & Extension Education

My early field experience was a real eye opener and positive experience. At the Ohio State University Van Wert County Extension Office my two weeks of experience were filled with multiple opportunities and friendly people everywhere. At the office, I worked on letters for animal taggings, cloverbud camp promotions, answering phone calls, and handling questions and problems that came into the office from the public. I also started working on getting judges ready for miscellaneous project judging. Outside of the office there were multiple different teaching opportunities.

Ericka Priest, photo 3

I was able to go to Lincolnview High School and talk to their seniors about college and the requirements of academics and financial needs. I was also able to go to Van Wert High School and help put on the Real Money Real World program to the government class from both Van Wert and Lincolnview High Schools. Other teaching opportunities I had were: horse quality assurance and a 4-H counselor meeting. Heather Gottke, 4-H youth and leadership programmer in Van Wert County, also gave the opportunity of going to the board meeting for Camp Palmer.

Ericka Priest, photo 1

This whole experience was an eye opener on how much time and dedication it takes to become an educator in extension. Extension is more than just 4-H, with all parts working together it makes a huge impact to the community.


Thanks Ericka for sharing about your Early Field Experience.

My Early Field Experience in Morrow County

Krysti Dubler
Bowling Green, Ohio
Community Leadership, Community and Extension Education

During the first two weeks of May this past spring I had the awesome opportunity to complete my early field experience in Morrow County under 4-H Extension Educator Becky Barker.  During my time there I was able to take part in many different aspects of Morrow County 4-H and assist in the planning and preparation processes of multiple events.

One of my favorite events I was able to help with was the Morrow County Environmental Day for second graders held at Mt. Gilead State Park.

Environmental Day is a collaboration between many different entities in Morrow County and OSU Extension through which second graders take a field trip to Mt. Gilead State Park to learn about all aspects of the environment ranging from watersheds and weather patterns to seeds and wild turkeys.  Each lesson throughout the day is relatable to what is being taught in their science classes.

4-H in the classroom is one thing that I have never really been exposed to but during my time in Morrow County Becky and I went to Mt. Gilead Elementary School twice a week to teach 3rd and 4th graders about agriculture.  The lessons Becky taught in each session were always hands on and interactive to keep the students interested and present throughout the one hour session.

The students found the lessons on eggs and chickens to be the most interesting because each were given their own individual egg which was placed in an incubator to grow and hatch by the end of the month of May.

My favorite memories from my time in 4-H were while I was a camp counselor and Jr. Fair Board member.  There were two quality assurance sessions, a Jr.

Fair Board meeting and a camp counselors meeting during my two weeks that I was able to attend.  I really enjoyed seeing how different and similar procedures and rules are between my home county and Morrow county in these areas.  That is one thing I love about 4-H – every county is different in the way their 4-H camp, Jr. Fair Board, CarTeens, etc. are handled and each county has their own perfect blend of their events.

My time in Morrow County was an invaluable experience.  I met some of the most “4-H spirited” people who are involved in Morrow County 4-H in one way or another to help improve the opportunities youth have through 4-H.  My Early Field Experience in Morrow County helped me solidify my decision of becoming an Extension Educator in the future.


Thanks Krysti for sharing about your Early Field Experience!

Early Field Experience

Brittanie Johnson
Hilliard, Ohio
Community Leadership, CEE

This past Maymester I had the privilege to do my Early Field Experience with the Franklin County Extension office. My very short time there was some of the best moments that I will take away from my overall OSU experience! I got to be involved in a variety of programs, meetings, and conferences with OSU Extension. After not knowing much about extension before the semester, I now know a lot about the amazing thing that Extension is! Extension has changed so many lives and I hope that one day I can help be a part of that change! #BestEFEever!

Brittanie Johnson, photo 2


Early Field Experience

Rachel Schoville
Alpena, Michigan
Agriscience Education

Hello everyone! For those of you who don’t know for education majors have to complete an early field experience which consists of ten consecutive day of observation with in an Agriscience Classroom. I was lucky enough to be placed closer to home at Whittemore- Prescott High School located in Whittemore, Michigan.

As the day went by and it became closer to my start date I found myself becoming nervous and worried about what I had to complete in the limited time. However looking back now I realize that that was probably a little silly since I actually had extra time at the end of the 10 days. However, during this great experience I was able to work one on one with students and I was even given the chance to teach. I believe that this better prepared me for the classroom as I was able to try multiple techniques and strategies to get the feel of what worked and what didn’t.

As for those agriscience education majors who have yet to complete their EFE the most important advice if one should take any is to teach, because I feel it will tell you if you are in the right career field. As for me I truly cannot wait to get back in the classroom and be able to teach again. Best experience ever!

Yours truly,
Rachel Schoville