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.
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.’
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.