OSU Extension Announces Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness: A Tournament of Education

Columbus, Ohio—Did your usual conference get canceled? Looking to fill the void of the big basketball tournament? Ohio State University Extension is here to help with a new virtual education program for the agricultural community.

“Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness: A Tournament of Education” will include 64 educational events broken into daily brackets. Each day, a virtual educational session will be held at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. The educational tournament is free of charge and will likely continue until mid-May.

“This effort is a direct response to providing a variety of useful and timely sessions for farmers and families across the state during Gov. DeWine’s stay-at-home order,” said Jacqueline Wilkins, interim director of OSU Extension. “While our ‘tournament’ is being loosely tied to March Madness, it’s not a competition, and people can join in at any time for as many or as few sessions as they desire.”

The tournament opens on Wednesday, March 25, with the eFields 2019 Results webinar. Learn how the eFields program used modern technologies to help Ohio farmers learn new practices and techniques to improve farm efficiency and profitability. Tip-off is at 9 a.m., and registration is required at go.osu.edu/eFieldsWebinar.

Also in this bracket is a March 25 noon webinar from Sam Custer, interim assistant director of OSU Extension’s agriculture and natural resources program, to discuss how educators are working remotely to continue serving Ohioans during these uncharted waters of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Tournament “brackets” will change daily. Topics will cover a variety of subjects and be presented in a variety of virtual platforms. When possible, question-and-answer opportunities will be included.

To find complete details on the tournament’s educational opportunities and other event and webinar links, visit go.osu.edu/agmadness.

Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness is just one example of how OSU Extension is employing its online resources during this challenging time to remain engaged with Ohioans. “The intent is to reach the agricultural community in a time of high stress,” Custer said. “OSU Extension has also updated its Ag Crisis website to include a toolbox of resources related to COVID-19. Those can be reached at go.osu.edu/AgCrisis.”

OSU Extension has implemented a teleworking plan effective immediately, and all OSU Extension offices statewide are closed until further notice. The plan mirrors The Ohio State University’s decision last week to require all employees who can do so to work from home and to maintain only critical services on university property across all campuses.

Clients, stakeholders, and other community members can continue to connect with any OSU Extension staff member via phone or email as usual. To contact your local Extension office, visit  for office phone numbers and a direct link to each office’s website and staff directory. If you reach voicemail, please leave a message with your name and contact information, and you will be contacted as soon as possible.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), and works to share knowledge with every county in Ohio. Its four major program areas are family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, community development, and agriculture and natural resources.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Governor DeWine recently issued a state of emergency and implemented a variety of strategies to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Beginning March 18, 2020, the OSU Extension – Muskingum County office will be closed to the public until further notice.

In order to reduce risk to employees and clientele, Ohio State University has implemented a teleworking plan. While the Muskingum County Extension Office will be physically closed, we are committed to continuing to conduct our work as fully as possible. We are equipped to facilitate effective teleworking and will continue to serve our clientele and communities. You should continue to feel free to call or email with any OSU Extension staff member as you normally would.

OSU Extension is deeply committed to the health and well-being of its staff and our community while doing it’s part to help slow the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have questions, please feel free to contact our office at 740-454-0144 and follow the voicemail prompts to reach the appropriate staff member.

Questions Regarding The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) On Farms With Employees

A white paper was recently shared with me regarding questions regarding farms and the coronavirus:

Sheep 101 February 8, 2020

Zanesville, OH–The Muskingum County Sheep Producers Improvement Association will be hosting a free informational workshop for everyone currently raising sheep and interested in raising sheep, open to all ages.  The workshop will be Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Pleasant Grove United Methodist Chruch, 400 Pleasant Grove Road, Zanesville, OH 43701.  A light lunch will be provided.  Braden Campbell, Program Coordinator with the OSU Sheep Team will keynote the program by discussing Pasture Management.  Dr. Clay Elliot from Purina will speak on Nutrition and Dr. Brian Williams will speak on Sheep Health.  A light lunch will be provided.

Sheep 101 Program Flier

OSU Sheep Team

Monday, January 13 Press Release

We had a lively January Ag Network Breakfast program this month (January) as a guest from the Public Utilities commission of Ohio (PUCO) joined us for the morning.  We benefit greatly from access to excellent electricity and natural gas, but as with many things, there are challenges and controversies.  PUCO regulates investor-owned utilities of natural gas, electric, telephone (local and long-distance), water and wastewater, commercial motor carriers and moving companies, and railroad crossing safety.  They do not regulate cell phone service and towers, internet service, cable service, propane and fuel oil, municipal utilities, or electric and natural gas cooperatives. For many of us the most visible place we see the role of PUCO is in our electric and natural gas service.  One resource we discussed at length during our program was the Apples to Apples Comparison Charts which provide a comprehensive listing of the companies electric and natural gas billing services.  As it turns out, it can be a bit dicey navigating through all the offerings to see where your best options are.  This chart can be found at https://energychoice.ohio.gov/ApplesToApples.aspx.

PUCO: https://www.puco.ohio.gov/

PUCO Apples to Apples Comparison Charts: https://energychoice.ohio.gov/

AEP  Ohio’s Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program: https://www.aepohio.com/save/business/programs/Agriculture.aspx


Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Calendar:

January 13.  Extension Advisory Committee Meeting

January 14.  Master Gardener Training Class Begins

January 16. Private Pesticide Applicator Exam Training, 6:00 PM, Rural Services Building

January 23. Private Pesticide Applicator Exam Session, 1:00 PM, Rural Services Building (Register for Exam at this link)

January 28.  Agronomy School

January 30.  Ohio Beef Cattle Nutrition and Management School Session 1.

January 30.  Ohio Beef Cow/Calf Workshop Session 1.

February 4.  Muskingum Ag Network Breakfast

February 4.  Pesticide and Fertilizer Applicator Recertification

February 6.  Pesticide and Fertilizer Applicator Recertification

February 8.  Sheep 101 (Muskingum County Sheep Producers Improvement Association)

Monday, January 6, 2020.

2019 is in the books and was a year dominated by international trade, hemp legalization, and significant weather impacts on Ohio agriculture.  What is in store for 2020? One list highlights farm income, farm finances, African swine fever, trade war, D.C. drama, U.S. economy, global unrest, acreage debate (planted crops), weather, ending grain stocks, and trade impacts on livestock producers as the conversations that lie ahead for the industry. We can only do our work and wait to see what comes to pass.  In the meantime, our work remains and programs from OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources are on the immediate horizon.

“For the true measure of agriculture is not the sophistication of its equipment, the size of its income, or even the statistics of its productivity, but the good health of the land.”  Attributed to Wendell Berry.

Calendar:

January 7.  Muskingum Ag Network Breakfast, 8:00 AM, Friendly Hills Grange

January 10. Pizza, Pop and Profit, 12:00 PM, Rural Services Building

January 14. 5:30 PM, Master Gardener Training Class Begins

January 16. Private Pesticide Applicator Exam Training, 6:00 PM, Rural Services Building

January 23. Private Pesticide Applicator Exam Session, 1:00 PM, Rural Services Building (Register for Exam at this link)

January 28.  Agronomy School

A check on the weather (as of Dec 12)  shows 1.10 inches at the Zanesville Weather station (Zanesville Municipal AP) in the past seven days. 30-day rainfail total is 3.85 inches and a total of 1.09 inches is recorded for the year. (https://w1.weather.gov/data/obhistory/KZZV.html).  In 2019, annual rainfall was 41.71 inches.

Monday, December 16, 2019 Press Release

Holiday season is in full swing and with that our Extension programming is focused on our upcoming new year.  Enjoy these holidays, but note the schedule beginning in January.  Early in January, we host Jill Kocher from the Ohio Public Utilities Commission at the Muskingum Ag Network Breakfast on Tuesday, Jan 7.  Then, we offer several opportunities in Pesticide Safety education and will offer an opportunity to take the Private Pesticide Applicator exam here in Zanesville.  We provide a training session on January 16 at the Extension Office in preparation for hosting the Ohio Department on Agriculture on January 23.  If you are like many people, you hesitate at the mention of pesticides due to concern about potential risk to human health or the environment. However, Ohio has a rigorous Pesticide Safety program under the direction of the Ohio Department of Agriculture to ensure proper use and care for the community and this is one way Extension programs serve the community.  Opportunities for current license holders to earn their continuing education credits are coming up February 4 and February 6.

If you missed the Farm Bill Education meeting last week in Dresden, another meeting will be offered in McConnelsville on Dec 19 at the vo-ag room at Morgan High School. If you participate in agricultural risk coverage or price loss coverage programs this meeting provides insight into the upcoming decision making process for the new Farm Bill program.


Calendar:

January 7., 2020.  Muskingum Ag Network Breakfast, 8:00 AM, Friendly Hills Grange

January 10. Pizza, Pop and Profit, 12:00 PM, Rural Services Building

January 14. 5:30 PM, Master Gardener Training Class Begins

January 16. Private Pesticide Applicator Exam Training, 6:00 PM, Rural Services Building

January 23. Private Pesticide Applicator Exam Session, 1:00 PM, Rural Services Building (Register for Exam at this link)


A check on the weather (as of Dec 12)  shows 1.13 inches at the Zanesville Weather station (Zanesville Municipal AP) in the past seven days. 30-day rainfail total is 2.66 inches and a total of 40.08 inches is recorded for the year. (https://w1.weather.gov/data/obhistory/KZZV.html)

Monday, December 9, 2019 Press Release

Zanesville, OH–Putting up a tree this holiday season?  Keep it real!  We all have our preferences and strategies for holiday decorating, but if you go for a live tree there are few good tips to keep in mind.

  1.  Know your stand.  Go for a larger reservoir to keep the tree fresher longer
  2.  Make sure you have a fresh cut. If left to long, the base of the trunk will seal and be unable to absorb water
  3. Water immediately as soon as you get home. If you can’t put the tree up right away, put it in a bucket or tub in the garage.
  4. Plan your placement.  Windows with southern exposure will dry the tree out faster.
  5. Water often.  Check the water level daily and make sure it does not go below the base of the tree.
  6. Plan to recycle.

Need more?  See ohiochristmastree.org or itschristmaskeepitreal.com/


Upcoming events

December 12, 2019. Farm Bill Education Meeting, 7:00 PM, Tri-Valley High School

January 7., 2020.  Muskingum Ag Network Breakfast, 8:00 AM, Friendly Hills Grange

January 10. Pizza, Pop and Profit, 12:00 PM, Rural Services Building

January 14. 5:30 PM, Master Gardener Training Class Begins

January 16. Private Pesticide Applicator Exam Training, 6:00 PM, Rural Services Building

January 23. Private Pesticide Applicator Exam Session, 1:00 PM, Rural Services Building (Register for Exam at this link)

February 4. 8:00 AM, Muskingum Ag Network Breakfast

February 4. 10:00 AM, Pesticide Applicator Recertification Training

February 6. 6:00 PM, Pesticide Applicator Recertification Training


A check on the weather shows just a trace of rain at the Zanesville Weather station (Zanesville Municipal AP) in the past seven days. 30-day rainfail total is 1.65 inches and a total of 38.95 inches is recorded for the year. (https://w1.weather.gov/data/obhistory/KZZV.html)

Monday, Dec 2, 2019 Press Release

Zanesville, OH–As we wrap up 2019 and look forward to 2020, I am sure everyone has plenty to do and we at the Extension office are no different.  The monthly Muskingum County Ag Network Breakfast is Tuesday morning, Dec 3, with Tim Thompson, Muskingum County Board of Elections, as the guest speaker.  Join us at Friendly Hills Grange, 5880 Friendly Hills Road, Zanesville, OH for breakfast and the opportunity to learn more about behind-the-scenes and the work of hosting an election.  The Ag Network Breakfast is held monthly, and is open to the public.  Breakfast is $9.

We will be hosting a Master Gardener Volunteer Training class in winter/spring 2020 and the original signup deadline has passed, but we still have room in the class.  If you have interest, please contact the Extension Office as we still have space in the class.  After Dec 31, we will no longer be able to process new applications. Applications for the class are available at muskingum.osu.edu/mgv and at the Extension office.

If the 2018 Farm Bill impacts decisions you will be making for your farm business, be sure to join the USDA Farm Service Agency and OSU Extension on Dec 12, 2019 at Tri-Valley High School, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM with FSA and OSU Extension representatives who will discuss the program and considerations for enrolling.  The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law last December, reauthorized the existing Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill, however producers will need to make new program enrollment decisions over the coming months.

Recent Posts

New Master Gardener Volunteer Class Deadline Extended to December 31, 2019

Ohio FSA and OSU Extension Service Host Farm Bill Education Meeting Dec 12, 2019

Pesticide Applicator Recertification Training

Register for the 2020 Agronomy School

Winter Ag Law Update in Coshocton County

Monday, November 25, 2019 Press Release

A number of events and programs are beginning to take shape on our outreach calendar as we begin to head in to the winter months.  I highlight three today that are likely to be of interest to many agricultural producers.  An Ag Law Update will be held Dec 9 in Coshocton, a Farm Bill update will beheld December 12 in Dresden, OH, and the annual Coshocton/Muskingum Agronomy School is on the calendar for January 28, 2020, also in Dresden.  Details and updates are posted through this newsfeed and may also be found at the OSU Extension Muskingum County Website.

Join OSU Extension on Monday evening, December 9, 2019 as we host Peggy Hall (OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Director) for a “Winter Ag Law Update.” Attend and learn more about the legal issues impacting farmers. This meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Frontier Power Community Room located at 770 South 2nd Street in Coshocton, Ohio.

The Ohio State University Extension Service and FSA County offices are planning a series of 2018 Farm Bill education meetings across the state. All producers are invited to attend these informational meetings, which are designed to provide important information to assist producers as they begin to make farm-bill related program decisions.  A Farm Bill Education meeting for Muskingum County will be held Dec 12, 2019, at Tri-Valley High School, Dresden, OH, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law last December, reauthorized the existing Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill, however producers will need to make new program enrollment decisions over the coming months.

Join OSU Extension in Muskingum and Coshocton Counties for the 2020 Agronomy School. This school will focus on topics to increase corn profitability, improve grain crop nutrient management, and understand new trends in Ohio weather. Also learn more about the farm bill, commodity prices, and trade issues. Featured speakers include Aaron Wilson, Atmospheric Scientist, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center; Ben Brown, Program Manager for Farm Management; Glen Arnold, Field Specialist, Manure Management; and Harold Watters, Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems. The 2020 Agronomy School will be held on January 28, beginning at 9:00 AM, at Dresden United Methodist Church, Dresden, OH.  Pre-registration is required.  The event website can be found at muskingum.osu.edu/agronomyschool.

Weather History, Zanesville Municipal AP

Past 7 days: 0.65 in.; Past 30 days: 3.46 in.; Year-to-date: 38.07 in.