Replicable Ways to Support the Early Childhood Workforce in Your City

There are countless reasons why supporting the early childhood workforce is central to an economically thriving community. Much like construction workers shape our infrastructure through building our cities’ roads, bridges, and buildings, the early childhood workforce plays an integral role in shaping the development of our most valuable resource – young children. Municipal leaders recognize the importance of high-quality early childhood education opportunities and many are taking action to implement policies that support the early childhood workforce. National League of Cities reached out to the cities of Jacksonville, Florida; Long Beach, California; and Albuquerque, New Mexico to find out how their municipal leaders are supporting the early childhood workforce. Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: Cities Speak

World Food Day at Ohio State

The Ohio State University Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT), the Sustainability Institute (SI), University Libraries, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) are hosting a three-day series of events for World Food Day. Events on October 16-18 will highlight World Food Day’s aim to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: The Ohio State University

American Community Survey Provides New State and Local Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau released its most detailed look at America’s people, places, and economy. New state and local statistics on income, poverty, and health insurance are available in briefs, detailed tables, data profiles, and more. The American Community Survey (ACS) also produces statistics for more than 40 other topics. “Each completed survey is important because it is a building block used to create statistics about communities in America,” said Census Bureau American Community Survey Office Chief Donna Daily. “This information provides an important tool for communities to make data-driven decisions, assess the past, and plan for the future.” Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: The United States Census Bureau

Strategic Doing: Leading Complex Collaborations, The Ohio State University

In this 2.5 day training, you’ll learn how to begin thinking differently about collaboration, how to help groups have different, and more productive kinds of conversations, and how to make sure conversation turns into action. There will be a simulation for the first two days of the training, and you’ll be learning Strategic Doing by doing it – as well as plenty of time for unpacking why it works so you can make it your own. On the last half-day, you’ll have time to consider how to start using Strategic Doing to approach your own challenges, and get assistance from the instructors as well as your peers. Participants will receive a copy of the book: Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership (Wiley, 2019), a workbook, as well as access to an online library of resources. The workshop will start on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 8 a.m. and conclude Friday, November 8 at 1 p.m. Follow this link to access event details.

Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Strategic Doing

Conference Inspires Educator to Think About How to Help Residents Develop Careers

As a first-time participant of the National Urban Extension Conference (NUEC), I was delighted to be surrounded by Extension professionals who work within similarly diverse counties as the one I serve. Two specific things stuck with me from the conference. One was how D’Argagnan Scorza, from UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability and also Founder and Director of the Social Justice Learning Institute, challenged attendees to identify “what we do as Extension professionals.” After leaving us to think, he provided his answer “we develop.” The other presentation that stuck with me was a workforce development presentation by Geniphyr Ponce-Pore from Colorado State University. She connected 4-H’s Life Skill Wheel to the soft skills many employers seek as the basis of hiring. So, as an agricultural and natural resources (ANR) educator who is working to “develop” residents in the arena of agriculture and horticulture, how do I use this to inspire programing?

Building future career pools. The idea of building future career pools for nurseries, greenhouses, garden centers, and farms is exciting. Cross-programing 4-H and ANR could be a great opportunity to do so. Youth often only consider careers they are exposed to and see people like themselves in. In urban settings this doesn’t often include ag careers. I was left with the question of, how can I work with 4-H to widen those horizons, expose youth to careers they might have not otherwise considered? 4-H provides the soft skills and beyond. How can ANR provide the base of technical skills, experiences on farms and in greenhouses, and an introduction to the industry?

Working with adults seeking careers. In Cuyahoga, I already do some work to “develop people” who are seeking agricultural careers. We have a program called Market Gardener Training, and its goal is to allow people to learn what it takes to start their own farm business. The participants are interested in urban agriculture as a source of income and a way to provide fresh foods to their community. We have had more than 200 participants and continue to see interest year after year. The motivation to start a farm business is strong, however for some participants the agriculture and business development skills are not—this leaves people with an incredibly steep learning curve to climb.

After listening to the workforce development presentation, it got me thinking about methods and partners that could help participants climb fast. A review of new and beginning farmer programs advises practitioners to go beyond classroom lectures, to include on-farm experiential-learning, online resources, and support in building social and knowledge networks (Niewolny & Lillard, 2010). In the way of partners, there are workforce development agencies in Cleveland that focus on getting people into new careers quickly. I have a sense that workforce development agencies know the struggle of a steep learning curve and working with people who need to climb fast. I am interested in connecting with local workforce development agencies to better understand the strategies they use to address these struggles.

I still have much to explore. If anyone is working on building future career pools or working with adults seeking careers, I am interested to connect on the topic. Like the advice I give to beginning farmers, I am open to listening and learning from others for best practices and lessons learned. In this case, relating to developing people into agriculture and horticulture careers.

Niewolny, K. L., & Lillard, P. T. (2010). Expanding the boundaries of beginning farmer training and program development: A review of contemporary initiatives to cultivate a new generation of American farmers. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 1(1), 65–88. Retrieved from https://www.foodsystemsjournal.org/index.php/fsj/article/view/11/4

 

Article Courtesy of Margaret Rivera, Agriculture and Natural Resource Educator, Cuyahoga County.

Registration is Open for the 2019 Ohio Food Policy Summit

Join Ohio Food Policy Network for the 9th Annual Ohio Food Policy Summit on Monday, October 28, 2019 at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, hosted by the Ohio Food Policy Network and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. The Summit will kick-off with a morning workshop “Redesigning the Table: Using Equity and Systems for Collective Action,” which will be led by Johns Hopkins University’s Food Policy Network that is intended to strengthen and equip Ohio’s local food policy councils. This workshop is designed for members of local food policy councils, but anyone interested is welcome to register and attend.
Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Ohio Food Policy Network

Strategic Initiatives and Urban Engagement Welcomes New Graduate Student

DaVonti’ is the Graduate Associate working with the Strategic Initiatives and Urban Engagement unit.DaVonti’ Haynes is a doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership program in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio State at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the College of Social Work. His research interest includes collegiate access for urban and Appalachian populations, successful transition mechanisms, retention, and programming for students from high school to college. DaVonti’ has previously participated in 4-H through the Cuyahoga County Extension Office, and will be a new member of the Strategic Initiatives and Urban Engagement team at Ohio State University Extension.

Welcome DaVonti’!

 

 

 

 

Food Sovereignty and the Role of Extension: Partnerships that Work

Join the Racial Equity in Food Systems Working Group Monday, September 16, 2019 from 3 – 4 p.m. EST, to learn about “Food Sovereignty and the Role of Extension.” This webinar will provide an introduction to sovereignty, looking at how and why this principle is used in different First Nations communities. Following this introduction, two partners (one from the community and one from Extension) will describe how they have worked together on food sovereignty projects. They will describe how the partnership developed and key elements of a partnership that promotes food sovereignty. There will be time in the webinar for questions, comments, and suggestions of related resources. Presenters include: Janie Simms Hipp, Jennifer K. Gauthier, and Brian Kowalkowski. Follow this link to register.

Sourced from: Michigan State University