Get your Christmas pictures with a cow!

Take some Christmas pictures you won’t soon forget.  Get your pictures with a Highland cow.  Donations go to the Licking County Cattlemen and the Midwest Highland Cattle Association to support scholarships and educational events.

Seeking applications for the Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame

The Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame was established to recognize those individuals who have demonstrated a life-long exemplary service to their community and the industry of agriculture.


Nominations may be made by any individual or organization by completing a nomination form and returning it to The Ohio State University Extension, Attn: Licking County Hall of Fame Committee, 771 E. Main St., Suite 103, Newark, OH 43055. Nominations forms can also be emailed to the OSU Licking County Extension Office at

More details are on this award are on the application form.  Applications must be on the furnished form as they are scored according to the point system on the form.

Licking County Agricultural Hall of Fame Nomination Form

The deadline for nominations is December 31st.

Private pesticide applicator and fertilizer applicator recertification for 2023

If you are due for recertification of your private pesticide and/or fertilizer certification the Ohio Department of Agriculture will be sending out notices in the next couple of weeks.

We will be holding a daytime session on February 21st, 2023 from 10-1 for pesticide and 1-2 for fertilizer.

We will be holding an evening session on March 14th, 2023 from 6-9 for pesticide and 9-10 for fertilizer.

On February 22nd, 2023 from 7-8 p.m. we will be holding a recertification for fertilizer only.

Please contact our office to reserve your spot. 740-670-5315

If you do not have these certifications and would like more information on how to obtain them please contact me at


Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Workshop

Join OSU Extension in Muskingum County on January 26 for a 2023 Fruit and Vegetable Producer Workshop. This workshop will focus on issues in weed control, pest management, small fruit production, and weather impacts on Ohio agriculture. This workshop features presentations from OSU Extension specialists Doug Doohan, Ashley Leach, Gary Gao, and Aaron Wilson. Updates and CEU’s will be provided for private pesticide applicators. Doors open at 9:00 AM with Welcome and Introductions starting at 9:45 AM. PRE-Registration is required, and the program cost is $35 per person which includes lunch and materials.

Click here for the flyer with registration information: 2023 Fruit Veg Workshop Flyer

Our new publication on Keeping Farmland in the Family

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Farmland can be a family’s most important asset, recognized for both its heritage and financial value.  Here’s some proof:  over 1,900 “Century Farms” in Ohio have been in the same family for over 100 years. And 130 of those farms have been in the same family for over two centuries — testaments to the importance of farmland to Ohio families.

But there are threats that can cause farmland to leave a family despite its value to family members. Long-term care costs, divorce, debt, co- ownership rights, poor estate planning — these are situations that can put family farmland at risk. The good news is that legal strategies can counter these threats.

In our new publication, Keeping Farmland in the Family, we offer five legal tools that can help keep farmland in a family:

  • Agricultural or conservation easement
  • Right of First Refusal
  • Long-term lease
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Trust

These legal tools offer a range of protection for family farmland, allowing a family to use a highly restrictive strategy that protects land for many generations or a less restrictive approach that secures land only for a generation or two. Examples provided throughout the publication can help farm families see how different scenarios play out.  The guide does not intend to substitute for individual legal advice, but offers a family a starting point for discussion and decisionmaking with an agricultural attorney.

Read Keeping Farmland in the Family here.  We were able to produce this publication with financial assistance from the National Agricultural Law Center and the USDA’s National Agricultural Library.

OSU Extension to teach maple growers how to tap into business planning during Maple Days Dec. 9–10

Published on November 22, 2022

General public invited to enjoy three-course, maple syrup-infused buffet and robber bingo during One Sweet Gathering on evening of Dec. 9

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio State University Extension presents Ohio Maple Days, a series of educational sessions on maple syrup production to help maple syrup producers and hobbyists prepare for the coming season. The event will run Dec. 9–10 at the John C. Myers Convocation Center, Ashland University, 638 Jefferson St., Ashland, Ohio 44805.

New this year, the Ohio Maple Producers Association will host One Sweet Gathering, which includes a social hour; a cash bar with maple beers and other maple beverages; a three-course, maple-infused benefit dinner; and game night. Proceeds will support education and research at The Ohio State University at Mansfield.

Ohio Maple Days kicks off Friday, Dec. 9, from 1–5 p.m. with a half-day seminar called Maple Business Planning Deep Dive. Mark Cannella, Extension associate professor, University of Vermont, will present lessons on strategic planning, marketing, and managing finances toward profitability. This longer-form program will offer time for group discussion and time to work on individual basic business planning steps.

Additional sessions will run Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9–4 p.m. and will include research talks, seminars, vendor displays, and downtime to enjoy meals and engage with fellow maple enthusiasts.

“Ohio Maple Days are designed to not only move maple producers forward with new ideas and technology, but also to attract new producers,” said Kathy Smith, program director, OSU Extension, the statewide outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “Anyone interested in maple syrup production is welcome to attend. Whether you’re a for-profit business, hobbyist, 4-H student, or someone considering tapping their backyard maple tree, Ohio Maple Days has something for everyone.”

Registration for the Friday and Saturday workshops, as well as the benefit dinner are separate. Registration details are:

Maple Business Planning Deep Dive
Friday, Dec. 9, 1–5 p.m.
Cost: $20
Register online at

One Sweet Gathering
Friday, Dec. 9, 6 p.m.
Cost: $60/ticket; cash bar and extra bingo tickets sold separately
Click here to download the registration form.

Saturday Sessions
Saturday, Dec. 10, 8:30–4 p.m.
Cost: $45 for regular attendee; $100 for vendor
Register online at by Dec. 2

More information about Ohio Maple Days, including a brochure with more details, can be found at

Thinking about selling home-based or farm-raised foods? Our webinar series offers help

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

Direct food marketing in Ohio is hot. The latest USDA survey identified 7,107 Ohio farms with direct food sales–third highest in the nation.  That might be why our program receives more legal inquiries about food sales than any other area of law.  And that is also why we’re hosting a three-part webinar series on “Starting a Food Business,” providing an introduction to what a producer needs to know about selling home-based and farm-raised foods directly to consumers and retailers.

The free webinar series will be from 7—9 p.m. on January 24, February 28, and March 28 in 2023, with these different topics each night:

  • January 24:  Start-Up Basics.  What do you want to sell?  We’ll review initial considerations for selling your food product.  We’ll cover food safety, licensing, legal, and economic considerations for starting up a food business.
  • February 28:  Selling Home-Based Foods.  Learn about food product development, Ohio’s Cottage Food and Home Bakery laws, and requirements for selling canned foods.
  • March 28:  Selling Meat and Poultry.  A look at the economics, processing options, and labeling and licensing requirements for selling meat and poultry.

Our teaching team for the webinar series includes:

  • Nicole Arnold, Asst. Professor and Food Safety Field Specialist for OSU Extension.  Nicole supports food handlers, consumers, and educators with food safety education and risk communication efforts.
  • Peggy Kirk Hall, Assoc. Professor and Agricultural Law Field Specialist for OSU Extension.  Peggy directs OSU Extension’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program and regularly teaches and writes on food laws.
  • Emily Marrison, OSU Extension Educator in Family and Consumer Sciences.  Emily’s food science background provides expertise and insight on food safety, product development, and selling home-based foods.
  • Garth Ruff, Beef Cattle Field Specialist for OSU Extension.  Garth has a background in animal science and specializes in livestock production and marketing, farm management, and meat science.

The webinar series is free, but registration is necessary.  Find details and the registration link at

Focusing on Mental Health during the Holidays

Bridget Britton, Behavioral Health Program Specialist

Now that harvest season is finally wrapping up, many of us are looking ahead to the holiday season. The last several weeks of the year are full of parties, gift-giving, and festive meals. While many eagerly anticipate this time of year, some individuals feel more anxious or depressed during the holidays. A study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2021 found that 3 out of 5 people said their mental health worsened during the holiday season. Financial pressures, conflict with family members, loss of loved ones, and busy schedules were common reasons people felt stressed, anxious, or depressed.

If you notice your mental health worsening during the holidays, take hope! You can do many things to boost your mood or reduce stress. Consider these options:

• Practice self-care. What activities help you feel refreshed or relaxed? Taking a walk around your property, watching a favorite movie, or driving through a Christmas light display in your community are all simple activities that can bring happiness.
• Avoid negative coping strategies. It is common for people to enjoy alcoholic beverages, but excessive drinking to change your mood can harm your physical and mental health. Click here to learn more.
• Set healthy boundaries. It is okay to say “no” or “not right now.” If your schedule is too busy, consider limiting the number of invitations you accept. If family gatherings are a little contentious, plan to stay for only an hour or two.
• Follow your regular routine. Enjoy holiday treats AND remember your veggies and protein. Settle in for a fun movie night AND aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Proper rest and nutrition help your mental health tremendously!
• Acknowledge your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and tell them how you feel. Sometimes, just saying words out loud can help remove a burden from our minds. Your loved ones may also be able to provide additional support.

Sometimes, our own efforts aren’t quite enough. Don’t hesitate to contact a trained professional if your mental health worsens or you experience a mental health crisis. Here are some important resources:
• 988 – call or text this number 24/7 to be connected to the Suicide and Crisis Prevention Lifeline. A trained counselor will listen to you, support you, and share resources in your area.
• 741741 – text the Crisis Lifeline 24/7 to connect with a trained counselor.
• 911 – if you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts or a medical emergency, call emergency services immediately.
• 1-800-720-9616 – The Ohio Careline is a 24/7 service that provides emotional support and connects callers to local resources.

The holidays can be a time of excitement and happiness and can also be challenging or difficult. You can take many steps personally, and many professionals can help. You are not alone. Take the steps you need to protect and improve your mental health today.