Start Your Garden


Brooke Beam, PhD

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County


March 31, 2020


In one of Governor DeWine’s press conferences over the weekend, Dr. Amy Acton, director of health for the Ohio Department of Health, discussed the benefits of starting a garden. Gardening can be a good way to spend more time outside, learn more about vegetable production, and the final results will provide delicious, fresh food for your table.

The first step is to establish the available space for your garden and how large you would like it to be. Starting small is a good idea if you are inexperienced with gardening, as the care of the garden can become a chore. Selecting a location for your garden that provides a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight is best. Try to avoid structures that produce shadows, trees, vines, or other obstacles. Another consideration is keeping your garden close to a water source.

Before you plant, you will want to be sure there are no buried power or gas lines. Call 811 or 1-800-362-2764 to contact the Ohio Before You Dig call center. They will be able to identify if there are any buried lines to avoid or not. Raised garden beds are also another option you can use.

If you are wanting to start to plant soon, you can plant carrots, swiss chard, collards, kale, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, and turnips starting on April 1st. Additional planting information:

Many local hardware and farm stores have a variety of seed available and can assist you with your planting needs and supplies.

There will be a series of horticulture and gardening related webinars offered over the upcoming weeks. Topics include bees, microgreens, and cut flowers. You can see the full list of webinars and register via:

For more information about Extension programming, contact the OSU Extension office in Highland County at 937-393-1918. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter for daily posts and links to webinars and online resources.



4-H Winning Plan

Winning 4-H Plan

Winning 4-H Plan request forms and final 4-H plan need to be completed by June 1, 2020.  A completed Winning 4-H Plan includes the request form and a meeting with the child, guardian and extension educator to discuss and plan out the year’s accommodations.  Please contact the office for more information.

Ohio 4-H Project Central

Search for new and different projects to take. Learn all about projects, what other people think of it, and view sample pages. Rate a project you have already taken and share your feedback.

Please take time to rate the projects you have taken! This will give feedback to 4-H Educators as they continue to update and create new projects. Do all this at: 

AgGrad Announces its 30 Under 30 Class for 2020, including OSU Extension Educator Brooke Beam

This article is from

The article was posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

By Tim Hammerich


Today on National Ag Day, AgGrad announced winners of this year’s AgGrad 30 Under 30 Awards, a program that shows the future of agriculture is bright and aims at rewarding those making the extra effort to move this industry forward.

Eighteen judges were asked to select winners from peer and self nominations based on contributions to agriculture, community, strength of innovation and significance of accomplishments. Winners will be featured on AgGrad’s social media channels and in a special print and online publication.

“From driving change within their local U.S.-based communities to supporting farmers and educators across the globe, the future is now with these incredible nominees!” 

-Renée Vassilos, Director of Agriculture Innovation at The Nature Conservancy, and AgGrad 30 Under 30 Judge


    • Production
      • Brooke Beam, Agriculture,Natural Resources and Community Development Extension Educator in Ohio
      • Casey Call, Head Grower at Plenty in California
      • Jesse Wiggins, Sales at Wiggins Farms LLP in Texas
      • Tony Lopes, Operations Team Leader at Tony L. Lopes Dairy, L.P. in California
    • Innovation & Technology
      • Alacyn Cox, Product Support Rep at John Deere in Iowa
      • Alexander Chuck, Chief Financial Officer at Pharm Robotics in California
      • Ellie Symes, Founder and CEO at the Bee Corp in Indiana
      • Tyler McGee, Founder and CEO at Tycom, Inc. in North Carolina
    • Entrepreneurship
      • David Chan, COO and Founding Team Member at FarmTogether in New York
      • Delaney Howell, Host of Market to Market and Founder of Ag News Daily and the Global Ag Network
      • Matt Foley, Program Director at Invest Nebraska in Nebraska
      • Mitchell Hora, Founder of Continuum Ag in Iowa
      • Tyler Nuss, Purchasing Manager at Rivian in California and Co-Founder of The Modern Acre
      • Zane Peterson, Owner and Manager of Peterson Timber, Inc in California
    • Education & Advocacy
      • Benjamin Brown Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Agriculture in Ohio
      • Hannah Thompson-Weeman Vice President of Communications at Animal Agriculture Alliance in Maryland
      • Matthew Malcolm, Managing Editor at Malcolm Media Ag Publishing in California
      • Peter Bachmann Vice President of International Trade Policy at USA Rice Federation in Washington D.C.
      • Sarah Mock Freelance Writer Focused on Rural and Agricultural Issues in Washington D.C.
    • Agribusiness
      • Cain Thurmond Senior Account Manager at CSX Transportation in Illinois
      • Garrett Lister Risk Management of Cattle at Innovative Livestock Services in Kansas
      • Jordan Bonham Rasmussen Farm Marketer at Cargill in Nebraska
      • Lorryn Bolte Global Marketing Communications Specialist at Novus International, Inc. in Missouri
      • Pedee Ewing Research Associate at Bayer in Idaho
      • Rosie Thoni U.S. Public Relations Lead at AdFarm in Kansas
      • Tristan Hudak Vice President of Ag Biotech, Inc. in California
    • Sustainability/Food Security
      • Andrea Zinn Smallholder Farmer Finance & Agri Data Consultant in Costa Rica
      • Anna Glenn Agriculture Instructor with Hope in Harvest Missions International in Liberia
      • Keith Heidecorn VP Sustainability at Locus Agricultural Solutions in Ohio
      • Sarah Hulick Grower Innovation at Full Harvest in California

“These 30 individuals are at the forefront of agriculture and will one day be the leaders in agribusiness, innovation and technology, education and advocacy, entrepreneurship, sustainability and production,” says AgGrad Founder Tim Hammerich.

AgGrad was established in 2015 with the mission of “helping young professionals find their place in modern agriculture.” The company accomplishes this mission by providing blog posts, career profiles, job postings, “AgGrad Live” (a video program), and a weekly podcast called the “Future of Agriculture.” All is provided at zero cost to students and young professionals and supported by participating agribusinesses.

For advertising opportunities or more information on AgGrad, contact Tim Hammerich at or 512-643-1556.

4HEYA Applications Now Available


4-H Event Youth Assistant (4HEYA) applications are now available!  This is an opportunity for teens 13-18 as of January 1 to get a short term experience at the state level.  Applications are available at and are due by May 15, 2020 to  They also require 2 reference forms (one from a 4-H / Extension professional).

Want more info about the opportunity?  See below.

Here is a basic overview of the opportunity:

  • What: 4-H Event Youth Assistant (4HEYA)
  • Who: Individuals age 13-18 (as of January 1 of the year of application) and have at least 1 year prior 4-H experience.
  • Timeframe: Apply by May 15, selection, training, service to OSF, and evaluation.  Complete responsibilities by August 31, 2020.
  • Requirements (in addition to application/selection process):
    • Training-Must attend one of the options for training (July 8 or July 14)
    • Events-Must work a minimum of 3 events at the Ohio State Fair; may work more if desired
  • Program Fee: $25/person for first year members; $10 for 2nd or more year members
  • Teens Receive:
    • 4HEYA Polo & Nametag
    • State Fair admission, parking ticket, and meal ticket(s)
    • Optional State Fair housing in the Rhodes Center (if desired)
    • Experience of working events at the Ohio State Fair
    • Opportunity to enhance leadership skills and be involved in the State 4-H program
  • What about the Teen Leadership Council? YES, these members may apply for 4HEYA AND TLC this year, if desired.  TLC applications will be available in June and will be due the Friday following the Ohio State fair.  Their term is September 1, 2020-August 31, 2021.  Current TLC members are not eligible to apply for 4HEYA, as they are already fulfilling obligations at the Ohio State Fair.
  • Questions? Contact Hannah (, Kayla (, Sarah ( or Frances (

Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness – Tournament of Education

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

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

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”

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.

4-H Animal Opportunities


Avian Bowl is Saturday, July 11, 2020

For more information, check out


Rabbit Quiz Bowl Contest is Saturday, July 18, 2020

For more information, check out*F

Swine News:

  • Any youth showing hogs at the Ohio State Fair or national show will have to have a parent or guardian certified in adult Pork Quality Assurance. You will need that number in order to enter. The training is offered at However Kathy will be attending training later this spring to be able to offer the training in person.
  • The 2020 Ohio State Fair will be going ractopamine free for Market Hog. Stay tuned: We will update you as we receive more information.

4-H Graduation Cords

4-H Graduation Cords

4-H Graduation Honor Cords will be available this year for current 4-H seniors to purchase. These green and white cords will proudly proclaim seniors’ long-time active involvement in the Highland County 4-H Program and their local 4-H club. The cords, pictured here, are available from OSU Extension Highland County. To order yours, please send a check, payable to OSU Extension, Highland County, in the amount of $15.00, on or before Thursday, April 9.  We will place the order with National 4-H Supply, and let you know when you can stop in to pick up your cords. Of course, purchasing and wearing the cords is optional. We will provide all area high schools with a list of all our graduating seniors who purchase a cord so they are aware of what the cord represents. Let’s show our colors at graduation.  An order form is attached, or available online at: