Stohlmann hired as 4-H educator in Nebraska


Congratulations to Lauren Stohlmann, a recent graduate of our master’s degree program in agricultural and extension education, who has been hired as the Cass County, Nebraska 4-H and Youth Educator. Stohlmann is a native  and former 4-H member of Cass County and will be responsible for teaching local youth about agriculture, science and nature.

Congratulations Lauren!


Intern Spotlight: Lininger interns with OSU Extension, Marion County

Joanna Lininger
agricultural communication

This summer, my final internship was with OSU Extension Marion County. My mentor was ACEL graduate, Margo Long. Prior to this internship my only knowledge of OSU Extension was its role in 4-H, but through this experience I had the chance to learn its many other functions. I started working at the Marion County Extension office on June 4, 2018 with an internship orientation at the 4-H Center on The Ohio State University campus in Columbus. After the training day, I jumped right in to working on projects and assignments from Margo. I wrote lesson plans for activities that were completed at the Cloverbud Day Camp, painted the picture frames given to the Cloverbuds and created examples of crafts to show the Cloverbuds. During my first week, I was able to attend meetings with Margo including a Marion County Senior Fair Board meeting, a camp counselor meeting and a meeting with the director of the new Children’s Museum in Marion. The next week I was able to assist in running the Cloverbud Day Camp.

My next project was designing and implementing the STEM at the Fair activities that took place during the Marion County Fair. Running a project from start to finish was a great experience. Some of the activities included making paper airplanes, making straw rockets, playing with robots, making salsa, playing with VR and making meditation bottles.  I coordinated the STEM at the Fair activities each day of the fair and assisted with any other tasks around the fair needing attention. I had so much fun getting to interact with the youth at the Marion County Fair.I got to know many amazing 4-H members, families in the community, and Junior and Senior Fair Board members throughout the week. I made a lot of memories during the fair and got the chance to learn in the process.

After the fair, there were only ten days until we left for Marion County 4-H Camp held at Camp Ohio. I had never been to Camp Ohio, so it was a whole new camp experience for me.  Working with the campers, counselors and adult staff was a real pleasure. Also, I had the privileged of putting together the end of camp video. There were a few late nights of work, but I would not have traded the experience for anything. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that I had at the 2018 Marion County 4-H Camp.

When we returned from camp, I had the chance to help the other educators in our office as well as the SNAP-ED team. It was enlightening to see the different sides of what Extension does to help farmers as well as other community members. Working with OSU Extension Marion County was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone. I am thankful to have gotten to spend the summer with a dedicated mentor and meet many wonderful people throughout my internship.


Joanna Lininger, agricultural communication

Lininger working with youth


Lininger working an activity with 4-H’ers




Alumni Spotlight: Leslie Risch Cooksey, ’05, ’12 MS


Leslie Risch Cooksey came to Ohio State from Oak Harbor, Ohio to study agricultural and extension education in 2001. She completed her B.S. in 2005 and her M.S. in 2012. She has been a Buckeye for many years, through both her education and career. She is currently the 4-H Extension Educator in Farifield County, Ohio.

[ACEL]: Why did you select your major?
[Cooksey]: As a very active 4-H and FFA member growing up, I knew that my career path was going to involve agriculture AND either 4-H or FFA. Therefore, I chose agricultural education as my major for undergraduate studies (B.S. 2005) and later my graduate work in extension education (M.S. 2012).

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
With a passion to continue being involved in agriculture and knowing that I would likely not end up back home on our small family farm, I had to choose an agricultural school. I applied at Purdue, Wilmington, and Ohio State. Although accepted to all, after a few college visits, I knew Ohio State was my choice. I also had a twin sister choosing school at the same time and we actually made a joint decision that OSU would be best for us. It was a big deal moving off to college for the two of us – over 2 hours from home and first generation college students in our family.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
I’ve never left OSU since starting my education at OSU! I started working for the Farm Science Review as a student, graduated and moved home to work in Extension as a 4-H Program Assistant in Ottawa County, recruited back to Farm Science Review when a full-time position opened, finished my M.S. while working on campus, and after I had my credentials, I waited for the right opportunity to open up and pursue my next career path with OSU Extension and 4-H. I have been very fortunate.

You were an involved student at Ohio State. What were some of the activities you enjoyed?
Saddle and Sirloin, Ag Ed Society, Towers Ag Honorary, Micki Zartman Scarlet & Gray Ag Day, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Collegiate 4-H, and Meat Judging Team! I served as President of Saddle and Sirloin and was very active with their committees and events in addition to being very active with AES. I worked as a student assistant at the campus office of the Farm Science Review and at the show site for 3 ½ years. I also worked a short time in the OARDC Directors Office on campus. Additionally, I was a part of the 2003 Meat Judging Team.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
Animal and meat science classes – It’s my passion and made me feel “closer to home”. I also enjoyed Dr. Karol Fike (my animal science 200 professor and first animal science class). I also enjoyed having Dr. Henry Zerby as an educator and his meat science classes – not only for what I was able to learn, but he has a great personality and passion for teaching!

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career? How? Early on, the most impactful people on my career path certainly my parents. Additionally, I would say Kathy Booher as the 4-H Agent in Ottawa County and Mr. Louie Damschroder as one of my High School Ag Teachers/FFA Advisors. Both are graduates of OSU. Once on campus, Dr. Susie Whittington was a great teacher in preparing me to be an educator and shared a lot of life lessons that were meaningful to my career path. My guys at Farm Science Review who have become lifelong mentors – Craig Fendrick, Chuck Gamble, and Matt Sullivan – all different in their own ways and have taught me so much about agriculture, people management, financial planning, event planning , agriculture, and definitely the power of networking. This was my first job and they trusted me, empowered me, encouraged me, and wanted to see me do well not only while I was a student attending classes and active in student organizations, and as a student employee for them, but in my future endeavors. They are some of my greatest advocates and are like family to me as well. And perhaps the greatest impact once on campus, was Dr. David and Mrs. Micki Zartman. They have become a second set of parents to me and have opened their home and hearts to me in many occasions. They have been inspiring to me in so many ways from animal science classes to agricultural education and literacy efforts into communities and classrooms. I cannot thank them enough for sharing their passion and love for others and agriculture with me. They are truly two amazing people.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
Serving as President of Saddle and Sirloin Club. As the largest organization in CFAES, I enjoyed overseeing the work of members who planned from start to finish huge events as college students that cannot compare to many other student organizations. It was a group of hard working students who all shared a common interest with me of animal agriculture. I was also able to meet many of my lifelong friends as a member of this student organization. And through this organization, I see many of these people today on a regular basis throughout my personal and professional life.

You said you’ve always been an employee of Ohio State. What position did you have as your first “official” job.
My first job was the 4-H Program Assistant in Ottawa County (OSU Extension).

During your career, have you received any awards or honors? If so, what are those?
As an advisor of the Micki Zartman Scarlet and Gray Ag Day, I was awarded the Outstanding Service to Students Award in CFAES in 2013. We also received the University Leadership Award in 2013 for Outstanding Student Organization – Programming Award in Innovation. In 2013, Scarlet & Gray Ag Day received the New Activity Award in CFAES. In 2012, Scarlet & Gray Ag Day received the Ed Johnson Outstanding Student Organization Award in CFAES.

As a 4-H Extension Educator in Fairfield County, I have received 2nd Place Creative Work – Team Newsletter for Epsilon Sigma Phi, Alpha Eta Chapter / Ohio JCEP. I received 1st Place NAE4HA Award in Ohio and the North Central Region for Educational Technology (Individual). I was awarded Ohio JCEP Scholarships in 2015 and 2017 and the Ohio JCEP First Timer Scholarship to attend NAE4HA in 2015.

As the 4-H Extension Educator coordinating local 4-H participation in the National 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, the Fairfield County 4-H Program has been national winners in 2015 (Ag Innovators Experience Video Contest – Rural Division by Rachel Salyers for the Water Windmill Challenge) and 2016 (Ag Innovators Experience Social Media Marketing Challenge) which as a result has brought $6500 to local and state 4-H programming from these two national 4-H awards.

Throughout your career, what have been some of your favorite highlights?
It’s the little things on a daily basis that make this career path rewarding. Simple thank you’s, seeing youth excel with local, state, and national 4-H awards and experiences. Being asked to write recommendation letters. Looking back at pictures from just 2 ½ years ago since I started in my current position, it’s amazing to see how much some of these kids have grown in their 4-H honors and experiences. I am pleased to be in a position to help them seek youth opportunities through the 4-H program.

What advice would you give to a current student in our department?
Get involved in student organizations. The classes will come and go and you will get through them. Find your fit in a student organization and seek out friendships there that share a personal interest with you. Lifelong friendships and networks will form that will pay off for the rest of your life.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
The importance to give back each day to those you work with and work for. And maybe even to the people you never will meet. Things always come back around in some way. I think living my personal life and career path in a positive way that young people will appreciate and respect will help them become caring, contributing, citizens as young adults. Also, if you think it can happen, make it happen. I have learned how to pull in my resources from various networks in ACEL, Farm Science Review, CFAES, and now Extension when I or someone I know needs support and advice.


With Buckeyeman a Scarlet and Gray Ag Day.

Leslie and members of the Micki Zartman Scarlet and Gray Ag Day committee.

Farm Science Review staff members.

Now a master’s degree graduate!

Leslie with Mrs. Micki Zartman

2013 Scarlet and Gray Ag Day committee

Alumni Spotlight: Lucinda Miller, ’74, ’77 MS, ’09 PhD

Lucinda Berry Miller joined our department for her master and doctoral degrees in agricultural education, which she completed in 1977 and 2009, respectively. Originally from Ashland, Ohio, Lucinda now resides in Mt. Vernon, Ohio and works for The Ohio State University Extension as an extension specialist with 4-H Youth Development livestock, companion and small animal programs.

[ACEL]: Hello Lucinda! You completed your undergraduate degree in animal science at Ohio State and then completed a master’s degree in agricultural education. Why did you choose our graduate program?
[Miller]: I wanted to do something related to agriculture and follow my love of 4-H.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University for all three of your degrees?
Is there any other? Seriously though, I chose Ohio State to get the education I needed to either teach vocational agriculture or become an Extension professional.

Did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career?
Actually it was my professors who influenced my career path.

What professor was that for you?
Dr. Joe Gliem had the biggest impact as he constantly urged me to think critically and problem solve. He never gave up on me and always encouraged me.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? Did you have a favorite?
I enjoyed the animal production classes the most. Horse Production was my favorite, because of my love of horses and Dr. Charlie Hutton as my professor.

Outside of the classroom, in what activities did you participate?
I was involved in Saddle and Sirloin Club. I also worked as a student employee at the OSU horse barns for 3.5 years as an undergrad.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I really enjoyed working at the OSU Horse Facilities and learning from Dr. Hutton and Chuck Smith.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I taught a Small Animal Care unit at Live Oaks Career Center as a vocational agriculture instructor. I actually did my student teaching during my first fall of teaching!

Over the course of your career, what positions have you held?
I have worked at Live Oaks Career Center, OSU Extension in Pike and Scioto counties and for the State 4-H Office.

You’ve been recognized by a number of organizations for your dedication to 4-H. What are some of those awards? I don’t remember all, but some include Excellence in 4-H, National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Distinguished Service Award and Meritorious Service Award and I was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame.

We know your career isn’t completed yet, so as of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I think my favorite and most rewarding is seeing former 4-H members, such as yourself*, be successful as adults; hopefully a lot of that success was instilled in them as 4-H members.

We have several students interested in Extension and positions like you have held. What advice would you give them?
My advice is for students to follow their dreams, find a vocation they love and that doesn’t seem like a job, and take advantage of job opportunities that come along to fulfill those dreams. (Good study habits never hurt, either!)

Our last question, what did ACEL cultivate in you?
I think ACEL taught me how to engage students to take risks and explore the many avenues of learning. Dr. L.H. Newcomb and Dr. Joe Gliem taught me how to be a successful teacher.

Thanks Lucinda!

*Miller refers to Emily Wickham, who conducted this interview. Wickham was a 13 year 4-H member in Pike County while Miller served as the 4-H agent/educator.

Alumni Spotlight: Tom McNutt, ’55, ’62 MS

Tom McNutt graduated with his bachelor and master degrees in agricultural education in 1955 and 1962, respectively. Originally from Dunkirk, Ohio, Tom and his wife reside in Hilliard. He has worked in a few positions over the years, with his most recognizable one being the garden expert on NBC4 each Saturday morning from 1989 to 2013.

[ACEL]: Hello Tom! You majored in agricultural education. What influenced your decision to choose that major?
[McNutt]: I was very active in 4-H, FFA, and Vocational Agriculture in school and wanted to be like my Vocational Agriculture teacher.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University? Did Ohio State influence your career path?
Ohio State University offered everything I needed to accomplish my objectives. It provided me with all the essentials for the career I had already chosen.

Did you have a favorite course and professor during your time at Ohio State?
Animal Science Feed and Feeding because the professor was a master teacher. I really liked Dr. Austin Ritchie.  He was my advisor and mentor during my undergraduate work at OSU.

Outside of the classroom, how did you stay busy?
I worked 20 hours a week in the OSU mailing room and weekends selling automobiles, Fuller Brush products, and night shift at a hamburger restaurant to pay for my education.  This left me very little time for campus life.

Share with us a favorite memory of yours from our time at Ohio State?
Once I was coming out of the shower following Phys. Ed. class and ran smack into Woody Hayes.  He picked me up by both my shoulders and said, “Young man, did you ever think about coming out for football?”  I shuddered and replied, “No, Sir!”  To which he stated, “Well you should with the way you hit!”

What a compliment from Coach Hayes! After you graduated, what was your first job?
I taught vocational agriculture at Belle Center High School in Logan County.

What other jobs have you held throughout your career?
In 1963, after teaching Vocational Agriculture at Belle Center and Dublin high school for 7 years, I moved to Ohio State University faculty, first as a 4-H Agent then promoted to Agriculture Agent and County Chairman.  I retired from extension on December 31, 1988 and hold the title of Professor Emeritus.  From 1989 to 2004 I served as executive coordinator of the Ohio Council of Cooperatives.  Also serving as Executive Director of the Ohio Agricultural Council from 1990 to 2003.  I was also the NBC4 TV News Garden Expert from 1989 to 2013, hosting a live TV show every Saturday at 8:00 A.M. and taped another garden segment for Sunday mornings.

You’ve had a long career, with many awards and honors. What are a few of those that stand out to you?
I have received numerous state and national awards for work with cooperatives, community service, public relations, horticultural management and media. I few by name that stick out include the John W. Galbreath Award, Ohio Farm Bureau Cooperative Educator Award, Educator and Public Service Award – Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, NACAA Search for Excellence Award (5 times), OFMA Award for Dedicated Service to Franklin County and the Cream of the Crop Award from the Franklin County Fair.

I have also been inducted into several Hall of Fame’s including: Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame, Dublin High School Hall of Fame and Hardin Northern High School Hall of Fame.

From throughout your 60 year career, you must have many memorable highlights. Share a few of those with us.
I wrote and published a book entitled “Tom’s (Green) Thumb – Advice to grow on in a (Mc)Nutt shell”, I have hosted farm and garden tours with my wife Joan and lectured all over the world while visiting. And while filming my NBC4 segment, I would meet so many nice people.

What advice would you give to a current Ohio State student who looks to a career like yours?
Enjoy your college years but take it seriously.  My philosophy has always been, “Promise no more than you can deliver and deliver on all your promises.”

Our final question. What did ACEL cultivate in you?
All people are important. Be willing to listen to all points of view. Most of all, enjoy life!

Meet Our Faculty: Dr. Keith Smith

Making a positive impact on his students as a professor in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, is far from the only thing that Dr. Keith Smith has given to Ohio State. For over twenty years he tirelessly served as the director of OSU Extension. Dr. Smith has also served as the associate viceOSU CFAES Dr. Keith L Smith Assoc. VP & Driector OSU Extension president for agricultural administration, and the associate dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State, just recently retiring from these positions in 2015.

A graduate from Utah State University and Iowa State University, Dr. Smith has his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural education. Currently, Dr. Smith utilizes these degrees both as a professor and as the Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership. The latter is a role that focuses on administration and leadership in Extension education. As the chair, Dr. Smith works with other faculty and Extension professionals to help mentor faculty, design and conduct research and scholarship, and provide leadership development opportunities.

With a long list of accolades and accomplishments, Dr. Smith continues to serve and make a positive impact. He has both authored and co-authored a vast array of articles and papers that are focused in the areas of leadership, teaching, and program development. It is no wonder Dr. Smith is a valued member of the ACEL faculty team.


To get in contact with Dr. Keith Smith, reach him via email at

ACEL to Sponsor EXTENSION Africa Conference

The Center for African Studies (CAS) and partnering departments will host an international conference October 20th and 21st, 2014 on Agricultural Extension and Food Security in Africa.  The conference will feature paper presentations on food security, extension, gender, environment/climate change, private sector, information technology, youth and related issues on African development. The conference will be hosted at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center (Day 1) and the Fisher College of Business (Day 2).

Keynote Speakers will include
* Mr. Benedict S. Kanu, Lead Agricultural Expert, OSAN, African Development Bank, Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. Topic: “Prosects and Challenges of achieving Food Security in Africa”
* Dr. Keith Smith, Associate Vice President Agricultural Administration and Director, Ohio State University Extension. Topic: “100 Years of Cooperative Extension Service in the United States: Lessons for African Countries”
* Dr. Silim Nahdy, Executive Director, African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAS), Kampala Uganda. Topic:  “The Future of Agricultural Extension in Africa”

Why the conference? Smallholder farm families account for more than 70 percent of Africa’s one billion population. Therefore, any hopes of increasing agricultural production and achieving food security must focus on this smallholders farming sector. Extension workers constitute the main source of information on modern farming methods for these farmers. Therefore, the greatest challenge, facing African leaders is making extension more effective. However, obstacles to extension effectiveness in Africa include: salaries, benefits and transportation but more significantly, the training of extension workers. Rondinelli argues that the process of agricultural and rural development programs in Africa is becoming increasingly complex yet extension workers lack the sophistication to cope effectively with this increasing complexity. What training do extension workers need? Is a common extension model for Africa possible? How can the effectiveness of extension be measured? The College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, especially the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership, which seeks to provide technical assistance to African countries on extension must address these critical issues.  This conference, organized by the Center for African Studies and the Office of International Programs in Agriculture, provides a forum for examining the future of extension in Africa’s agricultural transformation agenda. It is hoped that the conference will lead to policy changes, curriculum reform and field experimentation on extension effectiveness.

The conference will also feature paper presentations on research topics on food security, extension, and related issues.

Conference Sponsors include the Office of Diversity and Inclusion,the International Studies Program, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, the Middle East Studies Center, OSU Extension, and Department of  Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership. For more information on the conference please contact Laura Joseph, Assistant Director of the Center for African Studies or Robert Agunga, Director at: (614) 292-8169 or by email at