Looking for a last-minute gifts for your farmer?

Brooke Beam, PhD

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

December 19, 2019


Twas the weekend before Christmas and people filled the stores, yet the farmers were still completing their chores.

Unlike many industries, livestock farmers do not get any days or holidays off. Livestock needs to be fed and watered daily. Due to the nature of their livelihoods, many of the farmers on your nice list this year may appreciate useful items that can help them on the farm. Christine Gelley, Extension educator in Noble County, compiled a list of material gifts you might consider for your farmer if you are looking for last-minute ideas this year:

  • Flashlights- You can never find one when you need one, or the battery dies halfway through your project. There are so many styles to choose from: magnetic bases, hanging, minis, dual-purpose, etc. Don’t forget the extra batteries!
  • Headlamps- If you know the experience of holding the flashlight for a farmer, you’ve probably been yelled at a time or two for pointing it the wrong way. Headlamps can help you by giving them control of where the light goes and also keep two hands free while doing any job. Again, extra batteries are a must
  • Tow Straps- Can you ever have too many? Pick a set in their favorite color, the sturdy kind that can survive being pitched off the truck bed on a highway, whipping in the wind on the interstate, and survive to tow another day.
  • Shoe Goo- Farmers use everything until it is completely worn out. Shoe goo can help their favorite boots last another three months and costs a lot less than a new pair. Use a new pair of socks as the bow for this gift.
  • Snacks- The kind you can leave in the truck or tractor for six months and still eat without fear of food poisoning.
  • Caffeine- Whatever mode of delivery they like, coffee, tea, or soda pop. Keep them fueled and happy. Purchase in bulk if you can.
  • Degreaser Spray- Depending on where they get their oil and grease, get them the grease blaster product to match, they kind that is safe for hands, surfaces, and laundry too. As the wife of a tractor mechanic, I one hundred percent recommend these products.
  • A Watch- Waterproof, shatterproof, backlight options. You know they’ll be late getting back from the field or barn, maybe with a watch you’ll get a better estimate of how late that will be.
  • Touchscreen Compatible Gloves- Keep your farmer tech-savvy, even when it’s cold out.
  • Record Books- Stop by your Extension Office and pick up a farm record-keeping book, just in time for the New Year. Someone may also be there to give you ideas for other practical gifts too.

However, as we all know, the best gifts are immaterial. Spending time with your family, friends, and faithful, four-legged companions truly makes the holiday season brighter. As I finalize my holiday wrapping, I have found that my family’s nine-month-old Collie puppy has a spectacular knack as a wrapping assistant. While I may have to wrap each present multiple times in order for it to resemble a decent package, Coco and I are having a grand time in preparation for the holiday season. May you and your family have a joyful holiday season filled with good health and lasting memories.

For more information about OSU Extension programming, contact the Highland County office at 937-393-1918.


Upcoming Programs:

Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification will be held on January 15, 2019. Applicators who need to renew their certifications will be mailed a letter from the Ohio Department of Agriculture in December. Registration for the recertification course is available through the OSU Extension, Highland County Office. The cost for both pesticide and fertilizer recertification training is $40, pesticide recertification only is $35, and fertilizer recertification only is $15. There is an additional licensure fee that is paid directly to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Exploration of International Agriculture – Ireland

Learn more about Irish agriculture and how you can implement agriculture tours on your farm. This program will include samples of Irish products. This program will be held on January 22, 2020, at 5 PM in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of the Highland County Administration Building. The cost to attend is $5.00 per person. RSVP in advance to the OSU Extension, Highland County office at 937-393-1918.

Ag is Everyone’s Business Breakfast

Hosted by the Highland County Chamber of Commerce

Date: February 24, 2019

Where: Southern State Community College

Cost: $20

Tickets can be purchased through the Highland County Chamber of Commerce at 937-393-1111.

Operation Military Kids

With the end of a year comes time for reflection of gratitude and growth. The Ohio Military Kids (OMK) program has experienced both. Our gratitude extends to those who contribute time and talents to support the growing number of military-affiliated youth served by OMK.

OMK has a full schedule planned for the 2020 event season. Ohio Military Kids is a partnership with Ohio State University Extension 4-H Youth Development and Family Readiness with Ohio National Guard. With this amazing partnership, Ohio Military Kids puts on several events throughout the state of Ohio. These events range from daylong educational programs, to overnights, to weekend camps, and even weeklong residential camps. These events are open to youth of military families, and they do not have to be a member of 4-H to participate. 4-H members and adults have the opportunity to volunteer for OMK events, including as camp counselors in the summer!

The mission of Ohio Military Kids is to support the youth of military families throughout the deployment cycle. Ohio 4-H is an essential supporter of the Ohio Military Kids Program and its mission. Ohio 4-H works hand-in-hand with Ohio National Guard to deliver fun and supportive programs to military families. With military youth in every county in Ohio, the partnership of 4-H to promote OMK opportunities to your military friends and neighbors in all 88 counties is appreciated!

Visit go.osu.edu/OMK for more information as you express your gratitude for those who serve our country and help us continue to grow the reach of Ohio Military Kids by sharing this website with a military family!

Leadership Highland Health and Public Safety Day

Brooke Beam, PhD

OSU Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator


November 21, 2019


The Leadership Highland class of 2019-2020 met on November 20, 2019, for the health and public safety day in Hillsboro, Ohio. The class visited Highland District Hospital, Highland County Sheriff’s Office, Highland County jail, Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, Highland County Health Department, and the Highland County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

Tim Parry and Ashlee Cheesbro provided a guided tour of the Highland District Hospital. The hospital is in the process of adding an addition to the building, which will include a physical therapy department, surgical suites, other room for several other specializations. The new addition is expected to open in phases, with the first phase expected to open in early 2020. Parry and Cheesbro discussed partnerships with many area hospitals, including Children’s Hospitals and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Highland County Sheriff’s Office provided a tour of the county jail, the Sheriff’s office, and the 911 call center. The county jail has had an increase in inmates over the past few weeks, with a high of 103 inmates last week. So far in 2019, the 911 call center has handled over 14,000 911 calls. Annually, the Highland County Sheriff’s Office drives 450,000 miles on patrol. The Leadership Highland class also learned that the Highland County Sheriff’s Office has issued over 10,000 CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) permits.

The Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District responds to a range of 5,500 to 6,000 calls a year. The territory covered by Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District covers 362 square miles, including two townships in Ross County and part of a township in Fayette County. At the Hillsboro fire department, five individuals work every shift.  An additional two work at the Rocky Fork location and four work at the Greenfield location. Participants of Leadership Highland were given a tour of the fire department and an educational tour of the equipment that is used by the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District.

Highland County Health Department provided a tour of their offices. Staff described the various sub-divisions of the health department, including vital statistics, health education, restaurant inspections, tattoo inspections, and public health nursing.

The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is directed by David Bushelman. The office provides coordination for response and recovery disasters.  Buchelman writes emergency plans for Highland County, which are updated every five years. The phases of emergency management that Bushelman follows are mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

The next meeting of Leadership Highland will be held in early December covering regional economic development. For more information about Leadership Highland or other Extension programming, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.


Upcoming Programs:

A Farm Bill Decision Meeting will be held on December 5, 2019, at 1575 North High Street, rooms 27 and 30B, in Hillsboro, Ohio. The meeting will start at 1 PM. The 2018 Farm Bill allows the choice to enroll in ARC or PLC for 2019-2023. Enrollment for 2019 is currently open with the deadline set as March 15, 2020. Join OSU Extension and the Farm Service Agency for an informational meeting to learn about important information to make the right selection for your farm.

Leadership Highland Regional Development Day

Brooke Beam, PhD

OSU Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

December 5, 2019


Leadership Highland met on December 4 to learn more about regional development, communication strategies, and local service. For the Regional Development day, Leadership Highland visited Samaritan Outreach Services and the Wilmington Air Park.

The day began with a communications workshop focused on video production and communication strategies for businesses. Participants learned about how videos are trending in global internet traffic and how to implement them into daily social media posts. Each participant learned how to set the cameras for an interview and the basic concepts of framing a scene.

Amatha Farrens, Blaine Williams, and Scott Lewis sort toy donations at Samaritan Outreach Services.

Leadership Highland learned first-hand about the duties of staff at the Samaritan Outreach Services by volunteering for part of the morning. The Leadership Highland class assisted patrons in selecting their groceries, helped sort toy donations for the Christmas toy drive, and helped package soap for senior boxes. Samaritan Outreach Services helps 900 families in Highland County have access to food, toiletries, coats, and toys for the holidays. Private donations are accepted. Toys are being collected for the annual toy drive, and they are low on items for teenagers at the moment. The date for the toys to be distributed to families is December 20.

The Leadership Highland class during the Regional Development Day with the gingerbread houses they constructed as a team building exercise.

Leadership Highland participants completed a teambuilding exercise by collaboratively constructing gingerbread houses. Mel McKenzie and Amatha Farrens won the competition for the best-decorated gingerbread house, followed by Amanda Hall and Courtney Gallimore with a gingerbread train and Bill Davis and Blaine Williams with an OSU v. Michigan themed gingerbread house. The completed gingerbread houses are on display in the OSU Extension Office in Hillsboro throughout the holiday season.

The final tour for the day was of the Wilmington Air Park. The tour included the maintenance facilities, a driving tour of the air park, and a visit to the control tower. The Amazon facility employs approximately 900 residents from a multi-county area. In total, there are 14 different employers located at the Wilmington Air Park who employ nearly 3,000 employees. Standing eleven stories tall, the control tower provides a unique perspective of the region. Structures in Xenia and Springboro are visible on clear days without the assistance of binoculars. Many Hillsboro features are not visible from the tower due to the rolling topography of Highland County.

Daniel Evers, Executive Director of the Wilmington Air Park, spoke to the Leadership Highland class about the Air Park.

The next meeting of Leadership Highland will be held at the end of January. For more information about Leadership Highland or other OSU Extension programs, contact OSU Extension, Highland County at 937-393-1918.