Article by Michelle Unsworth, Leadership Highland participant
Photographs contributed by Brooke Beam, OSU Extension, Highland County
Leadership Highland spent their March meeting exploring local education by touring four schools and interacting in panel discussions. The panels discussed serving on a school board, The Southern Ohio Education Service Center, and challenges facing our local superintendents. The participants of Leadership Highland joined the participants of Leadership Clinton for part of the day to discuss the joint educational services offered to both counties.
Southern State Community College (SSCC) was the first stop of the day. Dr. Kevin Boys, President of SSCC, discussed enrollment and trends. Boys discussed the trend of lower community college enrollment rates when the job market is booming. When the economy shifts, people become more interested in learning a new skill to remain an employable candidate. Since unemployment is low, SSCC’s enrollment is 2,455 students, of which sixty-seven percent attend part-time. Boys also discussed the College Credit Plus program in which High School students take college classes.
Laurel Oaks Vocational campus was the second tour of the day. Mike Hart, Assistant Principal, explained that many of the programs offered at Laurel Oaks maintain enrollment around 25 students per program and acceptance is competitive. Criteria such as GPA and attendance determine acceptance decisions. Laurel Oaks school provides students with a way to earn certificates and experience so they are prepared to enter the workforce directly after high school graduation.
Wilmington College was the third stop of the day. The history of the college and the facilities were showcased through a tour of the private school’s campus. Wilmington College offers financial assistance programs to entice local students to stay local during college. The goal after college is for graduates to accept jobs and remain local residents.
Participants of Leadership Highland also traveled to Greenfield Exempted Village School District to tour the McClain High School with Mr. Jason Potts, the High School Principal. In addition to being one of Highland County’s high schools, the school is unique in the sense that it is historic and is home to an extensive art collection.
The superintendent panel addressed educational challenges in modern society. The panel explained how our educational system is vastly different than it was ten years ago. A huge concern is that today’s children are not prepared to be successful. There has been an increase in social and emotional issues that children are experiencing in life, which hinders the learning process. Issues such as poverty, drug abuse, neglect, and social media can leave students emotionally traumatized. Schools are no longer teaching kids solely academics, as schools must adjust their way of thinking and prepare kids to be successful in school and life. Mindy McCarty Stewart, Wilmington City Schools Superintendent, explained how Wilmington’s schools train all teachers (K-12) in trauma training so they know how to interact with children of drug abuse or other emotional issues. They are also using restorative practice training to reintegrate students and involve the parents regarding issues. For example, simply suspending a student does not help anyone, having them take ownership of their actions and learn from it is a better approach.
The big lesson of the day was learning that schools K-12 are evolving to keep up with the social and environmental trends many students face when they are home. Schools have adapted to meet societal needs. Our educational systems are working hard to teach children things they may not have learned at home or to find ways to relate to traumatized children so they open up to learning. This is essential so our young children have opportunities later in life to participate in College Credit Plus programs, attend vocational schools and eventually be ready to attend college if that is their best choice.
The next meeting of Leadership Highland will be a tour of the Ohio Statehouse in April. For more information about Leadership Highland, contact the OSU Extension Office of Highland County at 937-393-1918.
Join the Highland County Extension Support Committee for the annual Extension/4-H Fundraiser on Saturday, April 6, 2019, in the Rabbit & Poultry Barn at the Highland County Fairgrounds. The dinner will begin at 6 PM. Dinner costs: ages 11 and up are $10.00, ages 4 – 10 are $7.00, and ages 3 and under are $3.00. For more information, contact Kathy Bruynis at 937-393-1918. Donations are appreciated.
Global Climate Change Update with Dr. Thomas Blaine will be held on April 25, 2019, at 6 PM in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of 119 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH. Come and learn about the history of climate change, its currents trends, and outlook. Hear how it applies to your backyard, farm, and everyday life. RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918.
Forage Webinar with Christine Gelley will be held on April 30, 2019, at 5 PM in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of 119 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH. Gelley will discuss a variety of forage-related topics to help you prepare for the 2019 growing season and upcoming winter. This webinar will provide information for both hay and livestock producers. RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 937-393-1918.
The Germinate International Film Fest will be accepting submissions through June 30, 2019. The festival will be held on August 16 & 17, 2019, in Hillsboro, Ohio. For more information or to apply visit https://filmfreeway.com/GerminateInternationalFilmFest. Contact Brooke Beam at the OSU Extension Office of Highland County at 937-393-1918.
By Garth Ruff, ANR Extension Educator, OSU Henry County Extension
With last week’s rain showers leaving much of the area saturated, there were limited opportunities for farming or even yardwork. I took advantage of the soggy conditions here in NW Ohio and headed south on Friday to a fairly productive couple of days in Morgan County. We had a good chance to winterize and store all of the hay equipment and tractors that we typically don’t use during winter time.
Regarding hay implement storage, we make an effort blow off the chaff, seeds, and dust with a leaf blower shortly after use and then pressure wash the piece prior to pulling in to the machinery shed for the down season. Once everything is cleaned off, each machine is greased and gear boxes are checked for fluid levels. Any major repairs or maintenance such as changing mowing knives can be done during the winter months as time allows. Given the unpredictability of the weather the past few years, it is nice to be able to pull the hay equipment out of storage, hook up to a tractor and head directly to the field. This eliminates the need of a full day of maintenance, especially when the hay making window is short.
That was the case for about all of 2018, as it was one lousy season for making dry hay across the state. For those who have to purchase hay this winter there are a few things to consider in terms of hay quality and value. There are some visual and sensory characteristics we can look at, as a gross indication of forage quality. The presence of seed heads (grass forages), flowers or seed pods (legumes), indicate more mature forages. Good-quality legume forages will have a high proportion of leaves, and stems will be less obvious and fine. While we tend to favor bright green forages from a visual perspective, color is not a good indicator of nutrient content, but bright green color does suggest minimal oxidation.
Smell of the forage and moisture content are also valuable indicators in determining hay quality. Good quality hay will have a fresh mowed grass odor; no musty or moldy odors. Dry hay made and stored at less than 15 percent moisture should be at minimal risk for molding.
Visual appraisal of the hay has some limitations, the only sure fire way to determine quality is to look at a forage analysis of the cutting. When looking at a forage sample analysis, perhaps the most valuable figure is the percentage of Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN). The higher the TDN value, the higher the digestibility of the forage, and increased digestibility is directly related to nutrient availability.
Other values that you may find on a forage analysis include Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF), Crude Protein, and Relative Feed Value (RFV). When interpreting the forage analysis goals for ADF, NDF, and Crude Protein vary between grass and alfalfa hay, but in general as fiber values increase, forage maturity tends to increase resulting in reduced digestibility for the livestock. A good rule of thumb for quality alfalfa or legume hay is a 40-30-20 analysis for NDF, ADF, and Crude Protein respectively.
I’ll end this week with a quote from Will Rogers: “It’s not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts.” Have a great week.