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Extension Office Reopening and In-Person Programming Update

Licking County Extension Office.

While the office has been closed to the public for the past two weeks, we are excited to say that we will be re-opening on Tuesday, January 19th. We will return to our Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., office hours, but do request that you make appointments or call ahead of your arrival. We are operating on reduced staff, with only two to three staff members in the office each day. You’ll likely find Adrienne and I in the office on Wednesdays and Thursdays, at least for the next few weeks, as we prepare for enrollment and advisor trainings. If you forget to make an appointment in advance of arriving to our parking lot, please know that you’re more than welcome to call and say that you’re outside – we’ll happily let you in with a smile! We’ve even posted our office phone number on the door!

Club Meetings.

As you begin to plan 4-H Club meetings, we would encourage you to stay virtual for a while longer… Ohio 4-H has announced that beginning January 16th, clubs can begin to return to their in-person meetings, provided they have an educational program planned that can not be conducted virtually. Keep in mind two parts of that statement – first, there must be an educational component to the meeting, and second, it should be held virtually unless it is not possible to do so. While all of us are anxious to see our 4-H members and their families, keep in mind that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. In speaking with many teens, we know that some are hesitant to attend face-to-face trainings simply due to their concern that they could be exposed, quarantined, and hence miss school or sporting events. This is a realistic concern, and we need to be cautious of the approach that we take to offering meetings and events.

At the county level, we are committed to staying virtual through the end of February, and hope that you will join us in doing the same. In planning for March, we are planning for both face-to-face and virtual, knowing that we may need to make a switch last minute, depending upon disease transmission at that time and guidelines of OSU, Ohio 4-H and our Health Department. Realize that as we begin to offer in-person programming, we will still need to make virtual attendance / participation available as needed. When offering in-person programming, keep in mind that you will need to plan accordingly to adhere to facial covering, hand washing, and social distancing guidelines – disinfecting the meeting location prior to, and after the meeting. We’re anxious to get back to 4-H, but we must also commit to keeping all our families safe.

Ohio 4-H Guidelines.

Below, you will find information from the State 4-H Office to assist you in staying up-to-date on guidelines and protocol. You will find 4-H information about in-person meetings and events on the state 4-H Stay Connected webpage.

In-person Meetings and Events Guidance and Requirements

As we begin the new year, the Ohio 4-H Planning Guide for In-Person Meetings & Events has been updated to reflect current guidance from Ohio State University and health officials. Beginning SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2021, the following is in effect:

  • Hosting virtual meetings and events is preferred
  • If activities are critical/essential and are in-person, they must be education-focused
  • Group cannot be larger than 50 people, including adults, youth, presenters, etc., and be held in a facility that will allow for appropriate social distancing of the families attending
    • Keep in mind that many facilities are encouraged to adhere to 25-50% capacity.
  • This directive is dependent on local health department guidelines.
  • The group size may need to be reduced to 10 (or other amount), based on directives from your local health department.
  • Face masks are required inside and outside at all times
  • Potlucks and buffets are not permitted. Food and beverages should not be served / provided.

Find details and updated guidelines at  Ohio 4-H Planning Guide for In-Person Meetings & Events

Finally, all of you are familiar with the map that is shared weekly by the Ohio Department of Health with updates to transmission rates. Please know that the above guidelines are in place while Licking County is “red” or a color that corresponds to a lower transmission rates. Should Licking County reach “purple” status, our office will return to being closed to the public and all in-person programming will be cancelled, postponed, or moved to a virtual setting.

We’ve Got This!

302 days… That’s how long we have been working to adapt our 4-H program to guidelines in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For some of us, it feels as though this is never going to end, but it will! We are working our way back to the 4-H that we remember with face-to-face programming, handshakes and hugs, and lots of smiles visible on faces. It will just take a while longer… We’ve got this, and after navigating through last spring and summer – I feel as though we can do anything! Keep your chin up and know that we are here to support you… But let’s not sit back and wait until all is normal, let’s find value in virtual, be mindful of the safety of all, and let’s get this year started in a positive way!

Take the Leap Career Readiness Program

On behalf of the Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council, we would like to introduce you to the 2021 Take the Leap Year Program. Thanks to the Ohio 4-H Foundation Board, Take the Leap Year is a teen-led, five-month free program available to Ohio 4-H Teens ages 13-18. The goal is to help teens from Ohio gain leadership skills, career development skills, and learn how to establish and maintain goals. They will learn these skills through programming, journaling, and working with their peers.

Registration is now open at go.osu.edu/taketheleap and due January 24, 2021.

More information about the program:

The program will be meeting virtually on the third Wednesday of each month February-May. There will be two meetings in June, with one on the second Wednesday of the month and on the fourth Wednesday. These workshops will be held in the evening. Each session will have different themes taught by teen leaders. Prior to beginning in February, registered participants will receive a package in the mail with supplies for the program.

Below are the following plans with the corresponding months:

  • February: This meeting will be an introduction to the program. Throughout the program, we are challenging teens to pick one word to apply to all aspects of their life. This word can help them reach their goals.
  • March: Working with teens to develop a 5-year plan to help them determine what they would like to accomplish in the near future.
  • April: Teens will learn professionalism skills that will benefit them in their later careers. They will learn about resume building, elevator pitches, business cards, and much more!
  • May: Participants will learn about state opportunities within the Ohio 4-H program.
  • June (2nd Wednesday): Q& A with 4-H alumni and the opportunity to learn about several career paths.
  • June (4th Wednesday): Closing Ceremony

If you or any of your teens have questions please contact TLC Officers Avalon Havan (ava.havan@gmail.com) or Nat Kresic (natkresic@gmail.com), or TLC Advisors Kayla Oberstadt (oberstadt.1@osu.edu), Frances Foos (foos.61@osu.edu), or Sarah Longo (longo.79@osu.edu).

 

2021 Small Ruminant Webinar Series

Ohio State Extension invites you to the 2021 Small Ruminant Webinar Series! The information provided will be applicable to both sheep and goat producers large and small. Register online for no cost at: https://go.osu.edu/smallruminantwebinars2021
Webinar One- Lambing and Kidding: 90 minutes Tuesday, January 19th | 7 p.m.
Members of the OSU Sheep Team will cover preparing for lambing/kidding season, ewe/doe and lamb/kid care before, during, after birth, managing dystocia, troubleshooting and addressing health concerns, colostrum, bottle feeding, creep feeding, castrating, tail docking, vaccinations, and allow time for Q&A.
Webinar Two- Small Ruminant Nutrition: 90 minutes Tuesday, February 16th | 7 p.m.
We will address the importance of providing adequate protein, carbohydrates, and minerals in the forms of processed grains, hay, grazed pasture, minerals, and supplements to your flock/herd. Q&A included.
Webinar Three- Weaning, Sorting, and Selling- Lambs, Kids, and Spent Breeding Stock: 90 minutes Tuesday, March 16th | 7 p.m.
We will offer strategies for weaning lambs/kids and preparing them for joining the breeding flock or entering the meat processing chain. Also included will be examples of marketing strategies and determining what to do with ewes/does and rams/bucks that are no longer meeting breeding needs of the flock/herd.

Equine Education Competition Teams Forming

Have you ever considered getting involved in Horse Bowl, Hippology or Horse Judging, but didn’t know where to start? We’ve got just what you need! An informational session will be held on January 12th, that will help you in better understanding each event, and allow you to sign up to participate! For those who have competed previously, please know that we want you to attend as well! The 2021 contest schedule looks a little different than years past… The Hippology and Judging Contests will be held on April 10th, and the Horse Bowl contest on June 14th.  All 4-H members enrolling in a Horse project are eligible to participate.

Please join us for an informational meeting, so that we can establish team and plan practice dates and times…

Attendance during this organizational meeting is very important!

When:  Tuesday, January 12th  / 7-8:00 p.m.

Where:  Online – Zoom Meeting

Please send an email to Lisa Kuhn at lakuhn2010@gmail.com so you can  be sent the meeting link. Lisa is also more than happy to answer any questions you may have…

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

There is also a Virtual Clinic on Saturday, February 20th that you can attend to better understand how the contests will operate in a virtual setting. You can register online at:  https://ohio4h.org/events/virtual-state-4-h-horse-hippologyjudginghorse-bowl-clinic .  If you are planning on participating in the contests, we would strongly suggest signing up for this free clinic.

January is Ohio 4-H Mental Health Month

January is Mental Health Month and we encourage you to check out what Ohio 4-H is offering. The following activities are happening live (virtually) throughout the month. Registration is required to receive the link.

  • January 6th, 6:00pm: Volunteer Training: Mental Health 101
  • January 12th, 5:30pm: Mindful Wellness Activity
  • January 13th, 6:00pm: Volunteer Training: Typical Adolescence vs. Emerging Mental Health Problems
  • January 19th, 5:30pm: Youth Special Interest Club: Healthy Body Healthy Mind (#1 in series)
  • January 20th, 6:00pm: Volunteer Training: Trauma Informed Approaches
  • January 26th, 5:30pm: Youth Special Interest Club: Healthy Body Healthy Mind (#2 in series)
  • January 27th, 6:00pm: Volunteer Training: Suicide and Non-Suicidal Self Injury
  • February 2nd, 5:30pm: Youth Special Interest Club: Healthy Body Healthy Mind (#3 in series)
  • February 9th, 5:30pm: Youth Special Interest Club: Healthy Body Healthy Mind (#4 in series)
  • February 16th, 5:30pm: Youth Special Interest Club: Healthy Body Healthy Mind (#5 in series)
  • February 23rd, 5:30pm: Youth Special Interest Club: Healthy Body Healthy Mind (#6 in series)

You can also access Mental Health tip sheets, a review of the Your Thoughts Matter: Navigating Mental Health 4-H project book, and an activity card for you to complete during January.

All these dates, links, and resources can be found at go.osu.edu/MentalHealthMonth.