From Across the Field – Year One in the Books

If you have been keeping track of the weather and planting progress across the state, there is tremendous variation on acres planted and soil moisture. That same variation exists here in Henry County as well. In general, State Route 281 has been the dividing line between the heavy and moderate rainfall events. With the rain over the past couple of weeks it is almost like déjà vu of spring in 2017 all over again.

It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago when I arrived in Henry County to start my career with OSU Extension. In making the change from student to young professional there are many first’s, some challenges, and some unknowns. It didn’t take long to realize that in position sometimes we are asked to not only specialize in one area but also be knowledgeable about many others. At times it’s more like an acre wide and an inch-deep approach.

It has certainly been a year of learning. As a livestock specialist, I’ve spent a great deal of time learning agronomy, horticulture, and the other non-animal agriculture disciplines. From day one, my focus has been to find the right answer as opposed to just giving an answer. There have also been names and faces to learn over the past year. Getting the right name matched with the right face is an ongoing process at times.

When people ask if I like or enjoy my job, they answer is simple: Why wouldn’t I? There are not many careers available in which every day brings a new question or problem to solve. It’s the day to day unpredictability and flexibility and the chance to remain involved in agriculture that peaked my interest in Extension early on during my time as a student. I get to work with great group of individuals, that have a wide array of experience in an organization that spans across an entire state. If I don’t know the answer to a question here in Henry County, I can always pick up the phone and contact someone who does. Lastly when you grow up a Buckeye, earn an education as a Buckeye, having the opportunity to work for Ohio State is just icing on the cake.

As for the biggest challenge in the first year on the job, this one is also an easy answer: Getting people to know that I am here to assist with your agriculture and natural resources (ANR) needs. Before I arrived, this county was without ANR programming for a number of years. While I realize that it will take some time to build a program. I have been fortunate to be able to work with different families and stakeholders in the community on a variety of projects and there many more folks that I would like to meet and perhaps work with here in 2018 and beyond.

I’ll end this week with a quote from explorer and mountain climber, Edmund Hillary, “Life’s a bit like mountaineering – never look down.” Have a great week.

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