Strengthening Hamilton County 4-H: By Tony Staubach

The most powerful leaders are those who can exercise humility. This past month I was at a conference at The Ohio State University for Urban Serving Universities. The messages from all the speakers were robust and powerful but none more than a panel I attended on issues of poverty, race, class, and discrimination in our education system. The leaders on this panel all had different perspectives and views, but no one could deny the reality that humbling one’s self and exercising humility did the most to foster a mutually respectful and academically successful system.

My own experiences mirror this realization. As an educator I have found that bonds between the student and teacher should never be forged as a hierarchy. Rather the success of the student and teacher are linked in the ability to be vulnerable with each other. To share perspectives and thoughts. This great success has been modeled throughout history and is often replicated in higher education. It is not a mentor role (thought that does happen), it is not rooted in paternalism. It is a true bond of teacher and student. The reality is that we are all teachers and students at different times in our lives.

It isn’t a secret that I have learned a great deal from my students, I have probably learned more from them than they have ever learned from me. To teach is to love success. I am thankful every day for the amazing work of teachers, but also of the 4-H advisors, volunteers, and parents who humble themselves and exercise humility in their attempt to serve our youth as positive adult role models who foster a culture of success and service.

Tony Staubach

Learn more about Hamilton County Extension Below:

Partner Highlights:

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County:
The public is invited to take part in a series of free workshops on the ins and outs of being a landlord. This nationally recognized program discusses crucial issues related to managing a rental property. Topics discussed at each training include applicant screening and avoiding fair housing issues, crisis resolution and the eviction process, property maintenance and working with Code Enforcement, and the importance of a preventive maintenance schedule, fire safety and prevention.

Dates and locations:
Wednesday, February 26th, 9am-2pm: Main Library
Monday, March 9th, 6-9pm: Main Library
Wednesday, March 11th, 6-9pm: Main Library
Saturday, April 18th, 10am-3pm: Clifton Branch
Friday, May 15th, 10am-3pm: Corryville Branch
Tuesday, August 18th, 3-6pm: Pleasant Ridge Branch
Thursday, August 20th, 3-6pm: Pleasant Ridge Branch
Monday, September 21st, 6-9pm: Main Library
Wednesday, September 23rd, 6-9pm: Main Library
Saturday, October 17th, 10am-3pm: Corryville Branch
Monday, November 16th, 1-6pm: Oakley Branch

Follow this link to learn more.

Cincinnati Museum Center:
Grab your lunch and join us! Our popular Brown Bag Lecture Series take place at the Forest Park Senior Center. With an emphasis on Cincinnati history, these informative and exciting lectures will inspire you to be more curious about the community around you.

Brown Bag lectures are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required, but space is limited.
Lectures all take place at the Forest Park Senior Center, located at 11555 Winton Road, Cincinnati, Ohio. Lectures run from noon to 1 p.m. on the third Friday of the month.

2020 Lecture schedule:
February 21: Union Terminal
March 20: Cincinnati and the Presidents
April 17: Up & Away to Mt. Auburn
May 15: Emery Family Legacy
June 19: USS Cincinnati Commissioning Foundation
July 17: The Cincinnati Story, 1788 to 1925
September 18: Cincinnati and the Miami & Erie Canal
October 16: Historic Hauntings
November 20: Industries that Built the Queen City
December 18: Architecture – The Art Deco Era – 1920 to 1940

Follow this link to learn more.

Hamilton County Farm Bureau:
Hamilton County Farm Bureau has multiple scholarship opportunities for students pursuing post-secondary education including FFA students.

Application Deadlines:
• Active Member Agricultural Scholarship – April 1, 2020
• Community Member Agricultural Scholarship – April 1, 2020
• FFA Scholarship – April 1, 2020
If you have any questions, contact 513-831-5870 or via email at

Hamilton County Community Fair: 
Thank you must continue to be extended to the Hamilton County Community Fair for their ongoing support of Hamilton County 4-H. Hamilton County 4-H has removed the county wide membership fee. 4-H members interesting in exhibiting at the Community Fair will have the choice to purchase a Community Fair membership which will admit them to the fair every day and provide them with other benefits throughout the year. Be on the look out for more info soon!

Volunteer Needs:
Looking to volunteer with Hamilton County 4-H? We are looking for adults to serve as club advisors at our afterschool sites.

Follow this link to learn more about the job description.

Chick Quest:
It’s that time of the year. Classroom Teachers can sign up for ChickQuest. This year we are asking for a $25 donation (or whatever you can afford) to support the program payable by cash, Credit Card or Check to OSU Extension, Hamilton County. The basic kit includes, eggs, incubator, teacher manual, a cardboard brooder box, and a light. Workbooks for students cost $5 each or $50 for 25 books. Eggs will go out the first Wednesday of each month beginning in February and continuing through April.

Follow this link to learn more or to sign up.

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Nancy and Colonel David Bull, we can enhance the impact of the 4-H program for generations of youth to come through the establishment of an endowment to be used exclusively for 4-H programming in Hamilton County. Nancy and David Bull have a deep sense of the community of philanthropy. They would like to leverage their gift of $50,000, half the amount needed to fund the $100,000 endowment, as a challenge gift to other donors who are interested in establishing support of Hamilton County 4-H. Their gift will match dollar-for-dollar to the first $50,000 raised to establish the Hamilton County 4-H Endowment.

Follow this link to learn how you can donate.


Follow this link to view the Hamilton County 4-H 2020 Calendar.

Auricle courtesy of Tony Staubach, Extension Educator 4-H Youth Development, Hamilton County 

Across the Globe, Urban Sprawl Is Spreading

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences charts a worrying global shift towards more-sprawling and less-hooked-up street networks over time. In their interactive online Global Sprawl Map, the bluer the area, the more compact its streets tend to be. The redder, the more sprawling. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: City Lab

Across the Globe, Urban Sprawl Is Spreading

Follow-up to Summit on Extension in Ohio’s Urban Communities

All are invited to attend a Zoom meeting on March 2, 2-3 p.m. EST. The meeting will pull together attendees from January’s Summit as well as others across the state who are interested in the future of Extension in Ohio’s Urban Communities. The goals generated from the Summit along with a Plan of Work will be explored during the session. If interested, please add the meeting to your calendar and join us on March 2.

Zoom Meeting:

One tap mobile
+16468769923,,6142920456# US (New York)

+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 614 292 0456

Follow this link to learn more about the Summit on Extension in Ohio’s Urban Communities.


North Central Region Network Conference

Join National Urban Extension Leaders on May 18-19 for the NCR Network Conference to engage with colleagues from your region. The conference will be held at the Pyle Conference Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus located in the heart of Madison, Wisconsin.

Conference Goal: To build a network of urban Extension professionals in the North Central Region that leverages the knowledge and life experiences of the participants.

Conference Objectives:

  • Provide an affordable and high-quality professional development experience for urban Extension colleagues in the North Central Region.
  • Showcase Urban Extension models that are successful.
  • Leverage the knowledge and life experiences of the urban Extension professionals to improve work in our respective urban communities.

Follow this link to download the Conference Agenda.

The NUEL Steering Committee will meet on May 20 & 21 following the NCR Network Conference – All are welcome to attend! Be sure to register for the steering committee if you plan to attend.

Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: NUEL


Food Security & Healthy Communities Panel Discussion

Last month, CURA hosted a panel discussion on Food Security & Healthy Communities. This was the first in a series of events centered around the theme of Food Security & Healthy Communities. The panel consists of experts from the City of Columbus – Cheryl L Graffagnino, Franklin County – Brian Estabrook, OSU Extension – Karima Samadi, and the College of Engineering, Knowlton School of Architecture – Kareem Usher.

Nearly 11% of the world’s population are food insecure or malnourished, and it may get worse: by 2050 farmers will need to produce almost 60% more food than currently. In Franklin County Ohio food insecurity is affecting Columbus neighborhoods. The type of food that is available to residents in these neighborhoods also plays into food insecurity. People who live in areas that do not have easy access to supermarkets tend to rely on stores that sell nutritionally-deficient or more expensive food. Transportation services, sidewalks, and the availability of crosswalks are also variables in residents’ access to healthy food options.

Follow this link to learn more.
Follow this link to watch the recorded panel discussion.

Sourced from: CURA

Making a Difference Through Family and Consumer Sciences

Celebrating Family and Consumer Sciences Educator Day on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS): the field of study focused on the science and art of living and working well in our complex world.

Family and Consumer Sciences Educators: career title of individuals most often found working in secondary, post-secondary, and Extension programs.

Who should celebrate Family and Consumer Sciences Educator Day?
Anyone who wants to:

  • celebrate Family and Consumer Sciences Educators
  • share the story of FCS education’s relevance in today’s society, and effectiveness in addressing modern life needs within our United States
  • encourage students to consider careers as FCS educators

I am a Family and Consumer Sciences educator in an urban county. In many ways my programming looks similar to my colleagues in rural counties but there are some differences. While I feel self-conscious about taking a day to promote my work, I’m starting to understand the importance of FCS Educator Day. When I look at the inspiring work that my colleagues are doing across the state, in urban, rural, and suburban communities I realize that it’s a wonderful opportunity to highlight the stories and work of FCS Educators.

The theme for promoting FCS careers is: Making a Difference Through Family and Consumer Sciences. I’m confident my FCS colleagues would be making a difference, no matter what their field of work. When I think about this group of individual professionals, working in different communities across the state, there are notable commonalities. One specific trait I notice in my peers is that every one of us is a Problem Solver. We certainly don’t look at everything the same way, act in the same way, or solve problems in the same way; but I cannot think of an example when my colleagues weren’t willing to jump in and help create solutions. The problem solving is not limited to just offering advice. My colleagues actively help work on and contribute to solutions.

Occasionally, challenges are easily identified and then fixed. More often, especially when working with people and families, there is no one right answer. Sometimes it’s even difficult to determine the specific dilemma. Most solutions take time and require dedication and effort. My colleagues don’t shy away from a challenge. Because we work in various counties across the state, most of us do not see one another on a regular basis. We rely on technology to call, zoom, and share resources. Even without working together in the same physical space, FCS educators often work as teams and therefor are good at co-creating solutions.

For FCS Educator Day,

  • If you are a problem solver and you’re considering your best career path, learn more about Family and Consumer Sciences. It’s a field of study that benefits a variety of careers.
  • If you are reading this and thinking, “I know an FCS Educator,” take a moment to let them know what you appreciate about them. If someone is comfortable being in the spotlight, please share their story widely. If someone prefers working in the background, it’s a good time to recognize what they contribute to this field. Send a note, post a message, or share a picture of the professionals that contribute to strong families and communities.
  • If you are reading this and thinking, “I wish I knew an FCS Educator” check out your local schools and Extension office. Occasionally, FCS is not given the recognition it deserves. While FCS Educators could be spending more time promoting the work they do, my guess is that most of my peers will spend FCS Educator Day, similar to other workdays. They will be building a better community, working with one person, family, or class at a time and not necessarily seeking accolades.

Follow this link to learn more about FCS Educator Day.

Article courtesy of Patrice Powers-Barker, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Lucas County, Ohio


Good Natured Garden Partners

A Growing Team sharing about their experience

A Growing Team sharing about their experience

Good Natured Garden Partners (GNGP) is a program that allows a collaboration between OSU Extension, Mahoning County, and youth programs throughout the Mahoning Valley. The groups in the program are called “growing teams.” The growing teams that participate have at least one adult facilitator and as many youth that want to take part in the garden. GNGP usually ranges from 10-15 growing teams per year. Growing teams are allowed to be sponsored by an organization, but do not have to be. The goal of these growing teams is to plant and care for a garden throughout the summer. Youth learn the importance of hard work, dedication, and responsibility through this program, while learning where their food comes from and how to provide for themselves.

Youth at the End of Summer Garden Party

Youth at the End of Summer Garden Party

At the end of the program GNGP have an “End of the Summer Garden Party” where the participants come together for fellowship and a friendly competition. The competition is for the growing teams to bring in the products of their gardens. There are categories for vegetables such as; best plate of peppers, best plate of tomatoes, biggest zucchini, best plate of cucumbers, other vegetables, vegetable oddities, best basket of vegetables, and dress up the vegetable. There are also categories for herbs and flowers such as; largest sunflower, best bouquet of flowers, and best bouquet of herbs. The youth participants receive ribbons and prizes during the competition for all of their hard work. During the garden party the growing teams are asked to come forward and tell about their time in the garden throughout the summer.

Follow this link to learn more.

Article courtesy of Kristen Eisenhauer, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development and Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mahoning County, Ohio.

Cover Crops Can Help Urban Growers

Cover crops are a critical tool for improving soil quality on farms of all types and at all scales. Urban farms and gardens deal with unique challenges while growing in urban spaces that cover crops can help address.

Urban soils can be heavily degraded when topsoil is removed for construction. Sites that previously hosted buildings also have heavily compacted soils. Compacted soil makes it difficult for crop roots to penetrate and access water and nutrients and limit water penetration which can cause flooding or standing water. Cover crops can also help address non-soil-specific problems, such as create forage for pollinators, reduce weed pressure, and prevent soil and nutrients from running off into waterways.

The Michigan State University Extension cover crop team is releasing several tools to help urban growers incorporate cover crops into their soil management practices. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Morning Ag Clips