Germinate International Film Fest Coming Soon!

Germinate International Film Fest promotional posterCome one, come all to the Germinate International Film Fest, featuring a diverse range of films highlighting agriculture and rural communities! The Highland County Office of OSU Extension is pleased to announce the inaugural festival will be held on August 16 and 17, 2019, in Hillsboro, Ohio. Germinate means to grow and the purpose of this film festival is to grow knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities.

Historically, researchers have found that rural communities and the agricultural industry have been depicted in entertainment media as outdated, having unrealistic portrayals, and as fodder for comedic material in film and television programming. However, online streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Apple iTunes, have recently curated sections of films related to food production and culinary expertise. These curated films represent consumer’s desire to want to learn more about how their food was prepared and where it was grown. The Germinate International Film Fest seeks to aggregate films that represent rural communities and their associated industries in an accurate manner, including current technologies, practices, and programs.

The concept behind the Germinate International Film Fest is to provide a forum for open discussion about agricultural, environmental, and rural community development topics important to the public. While rural areas represent 97 percent of the United States’ landmass, only 19.3 percent of the population resides in a rural area. Less than two percent of the nation’s population identifies as farmers. This film festival will provide an opportunity to showcase the agricultural industry from the perspective of agricultural producers, researchers, and rural community members.

Rural communities face many challenges. Germinate International Film Fest seeks films that will highlight the resiliency of rural communities and the individuals who are making these communities thrive. Does your community have a fabulous community garden? An engaged non-profit determined to increase technology in schools? Any programs that set your community apart from others? If so, we want you to tell their story and share it via a film at the festival.

While there are thousands of film festivals in the world, Germinate International Film Fest is different because these films will be selected based upon their ability to tell a compelling and logical story, as well as providing factual information about the topic being discussed. The festival will fill a void in current festival line-ups to highlight rural communities and the natural environments and industries surrounding them. Ten percent of the selected films will be sourced from local filmmakers from Ohio, allowing for attendees of the festival to be able to connect with local producers and filmmakers from the area surrounding Highland County, Ohio. Filmmakers of all skill and expertise levels are encouraged to apply. Additionally, there will be a still photography division for additional competition.

Film submissions will be accepted for the following categories:

  • Short Documentary: 59 minutes or less
  • Feature Documentary: 60 minutes or more
  • Short Narrative: 59 minutes or less
  • Feature Narrative: 60 minutes or more
  • A short of any kind: 20 minutes or less
  • Virtual Reality: 20 minutes or less
  • Photography:
    • Agriculture
    • Nature or the environment
    • Rural communities
  • Student Films: collegiate and graduate student-produced films
  • Youth: any filmmaker that is under 18.
  • Scholarly and/or Extension

Submissions are encouraged for all styles and methods of film production, including but not limited to: aerial cinematography, stop-motion, animation, and live action. Applicants are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination for the cinematic direction of their submissions.

Do you have a film or photograph that would be a great addition to the festival? If so, we welcome you to apply through The deadline to apply is June 30, 2019.

Southern State Community College will host the screenings of the festival at their central campus in Hillsboro, Ohio. Hillsboro is located about an hour from Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus, making the location for the Germinate International Film Fest an easy commute from any of Ohio’s metropolitan areas. In addition to the live screenings of films, attendees will be able to participate in a series of hands-on workshops related to video production, photography, agriculture, natural resources, astronomy, and community development topics. The workshops will be held at various locations throughout Highland County.

For more information about the festival, contact the Highland County Office of OSU Extension at 937-393-1918. Tickets will be available for purchase in July through the Highland County Extension Office.


Commodity Outlook for 2019

Brooke Beam, Ph.D.

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

February 26, 2019


My mother and I have been working on our genealogy for several months. While we knew the basics of our family history, there have certainly been a few interesting discoveries along the way. We didn’t know that our ancestor was once a king of a portion of Ireland, or that another immigrated to the New World on the Mayflower, or that Sir Isaac Newton was a distant cousin.

We did know that most of our relatives came from England and Europe. One of my mother’s great-grandfathers immigrated from England to the United States in the early 1800s. He arrived in the United States with nothing more than a trunk containing all of his possessions. He decided to start his life in Ohio by settling in Madison County, where he established a successful grain milling business and farm. Despite the distance from the rest of his family in England, he kept in contact with his father, who still operated the family farm in High Bradfield, England. My family has kept their written correspondence to each other from the 1840s. The conversation between father and son in these letters focuses on each of their agricultural ventures on two different continents, the markets, grain, and cattle.

In 1840, commodity outlooks were a concern, just as they are today. To better prepare for the 2019 growing season, the Highland County Extension Office will be hosting Ben Brown, Director of the Ohio Farm Management Program through the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, to provide a commodity update for local farmers. The program will be hosted on March 20, 2019, at 7 PM in the Large Meeting Room, located in the basement of 119 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro. The program is free to attend, however, RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918.

The Farm Management Program strives to address critical farm management issues affecting Ohio agriculture, including marketing and price analysis, farm financial management, risk evaluation, agricultural processing, environmental objectives, and farm entry and growth. Brown has recently published a summary of the 2018 Farm Bill and an outlook for U.S. Corn Exports for the coming years. Brown’s Commodity Outlook will provide farmers with information on making planting and marketing decisions for the 2019 crop year.

For more information about the program or to RSVP, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.


Upcoming Events: 

The Highland County Extension Office will be hosting a tour of the OSU Meat Lab in Columbus, Ohio, for those who are interested in beef and meat production on March 19, 2019. The tour will coincide with the meat class on campus, so attendees will be able to see the lab on a harvesting day. The tour will be held in the morning and space is limited. Please call the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918 for additional information and to reserve your place for the tour.

Video Production 101 will be held on Monday, March 25, 2019, at 6 PM at the Lynchburg Public Library in Lynchburg, OH. The topic of this program will cover the basics of video productions for beginners and will be presented by Brooke Beam. If you have a small business and would like to incorporate more videos into your marketing plans or you are interested in learning the basics of video production, this program is for you!

The topic of the Highland County Monthly Extension Programming for March will be Storytelling for Video Production. The program will be held on March 27, 2019, at 10 AM. Attendees will learn about the different kinds of documentary films and how storytelling impacts the audience’s perception of videos. The program will be held at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro and is free to attend. Attendees are encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918.