Leadership Highland Agriculture and Natural Resources Day

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

October 17, 2018


From left to right: Mat Greene, Liz Brennfleck, Diana Grooms, Michelle Unsworth, Rob Holt, Destiny Bryson, Scott Hopf, Evan Davis, and Ken Davis at the Davis’ farm.

The Leadership Highland class of 2018-2019 met on October 17, 2018, for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Day. Participants learned more about agriculture, natural resources, and conservation in Highland County and Ohio.

The first tour of the day was to the Fallsville Wildlife Area. Participants met with Kash Adams, the Fallsville Wildlife Area Manager, who discussed the covey of Quail which reside in the wildlife area. Adams described the ideal habitat for Quail and how the Fallsville Wildlife Area staff creates those habitats. Adams led a hike to the Fallsville Wildlife Area waterfall, which has seen an increase in visitors since being featured on social media tourism sites.

Leadership Highland participants and Kash Adams at the Fallsville Wildlife Area waterfall.


Fallsville Wildlife Area Waterfall

The second stop of the day was Davis Farms. Ken and Christa Davis hosted the participants of Leadership Highland in their farm shop to discuss the innovations and technologies used in modern agriculture. Participants then met with Evan Davis in one of the family’s cornfields, where they gained first-hand experience on the process of harvesting with a combine, grain cart, and semi-trucks. The final stop of the Davis Farm tour was of their grain bin facility, where Leadership Highland participants learned about the importance of drying and storing grain to maintain grain quality.

Evan Davis showed participants about the technological features of the combine head.


Ken Davis describes harvest on his farm while his son, Evan, drives the combine in the background.

David Daniels, the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, spoke before lunch about his career in agriculture and trends in agriculture throughout the state. Daniels stated that one of the main challenges facing agriculture is the public perception of agricultural practices and being able to effectively communicate with consumers. Dr. Andy Londo, Assistant Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Ohio State University Extension, Dr. Greg Davis, Assistant Director of Community Development of Ohio State University Extension, and Kathy Bruynis, Highland County 4-H Youth Development Educator and Extension Area Leader, also joined the Leadership Highland class for lunch and Daniels’ presentation.


Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels spoke to the participants of Leadership Highland and guests about his background and Ohio agriculture.


The final tour of the day was of The Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon. Dr. Tom Worley, Director of OSU South Centers, provided a tour that highlighted all areas of South Centers programs and research. Leadership Highland participants learned about the CFAES Center for Cooperatives, Direct Agricultural and Food Marketing, Family Nutrition and Wellness, the Soil and Water laboratory, aquaculture, and aquaponics programs housed at South Centers. Participants were given a wagon tour of the small fruits and horticulture research test plots. These test plots included viticulture, blueberries, and research on water required to efficiently produce corn and soybeans in inhospitable climates on Earth and potentially Mars. The final portion of the tour was of the Endeavor Center, where participants were able to view the television studio used to produce many Extension television programs.

Dr. Gary Gao spoke to the group on the wagon tour of the research test plots at South Centers.

Special thanks to Bagshaw Enterprises Inc. and Rob Holt who provided a passenger van for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Day tours, and to all of the guests, speakers, and hosts who made the day possible. For several Leadership Highland participants, this was their first time to tour a farm during harvest, see the Fallsville waterfall, or to tour South Centers. The next meeting of Leadership Highland will be Health and Public Safety Day in November.

Upcoming Events: 

Beef Quality Assurance Training: 

  • Thursday, October 25, 2018, 6:30 P.M., Producer Stockyards, Hillsboro, Ohio

Call your local Ohio State University Extension Office to register for the BQA training. The Highland County Extension Office can be reached at 937-393-1918.

July and August Extension Programming for Highland County

By Brooke Beam, Ph.D., ANR/CD Extension Educator, Highland County


What was previously referred to as the Farmers Club, has been revived in the form of Monthly Extension Programming. The upcoming programs will consist of a combination of agricultural, community development, and natural resources-based topics.

The first Monthly Extension Programming was held on June 25, 2018, on solar energy in Agriculture. The presentation was presented by Eric Romich, an Extension educator specializing in alternative energy.

The next Monthly Extension Program will be held on July 25, 2018, at 10:00 A.M. at the Ponderosa Steakhouse. Eugene C. Braig IV, the Program Director of the Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources’ Extension Aquatic Ecosystems program, will be the guest speaker.  Braig will present the All-Purpose Pond Management Overview, which will provide helpful information on how to construct and maintain a healthy pond.

Following Braig’s presentation, the Highland County Extension Office, Highland County Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA NRCS, USDA FSA, USDA Rural Development Office, and the Highland County Farm Bureau will provide a brief update on current programs and dates to remember.

The cost of the presentation is $5.00 a person. Call the Highland County Extension Office to RSVP and reserve your seat for the program at 937-393-1918. Lunch is not included; however, attendees are encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa Steakhouse.

The Monthly Extension Programming for August will be presented by Dr. Scott Shearer, the Chair of the College of Food Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences’ Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Dr. Shearer will present on Big Data and UAVs in Production Agriculture.

More details on August’s program will be available at July’s program meeting.

Also new for the Highland County Extension Office is an online blog. You can access the blog via https://u.osu.edu/osuextensionhighlandcounty/. Check the blog for updates from state Extension teams and local Extension programming.

Contact the Highland County Extension office at 937-393-1918 for more information about the Monthly Extension Programming and the blog.


Upcoming Events:

The Ohio Sheep Day at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station will be held on July 14, 2018, from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The cost to attend for Ohio Sheep Improvement Association Members is $15.00, non-OSIA members $25.00. The cost includes lunch. Topics covered during the day include sheep handling systems, lambing facilities, lamb feeding operation set-up, and a pasture walk. The Eastern Agricultural Research Station is located at 16870 Bond Ridge Rd., Caldwell, OH 43724. For more information, contact Roger High at 614-246-8299 or at rhigh@ofbf.org.

The Highland County Ohio State University Extension Office will host the second Monthly Extension Programming on July 25, 2018, at the Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro at 10:00 A.M. The guest speaker will be Eugene Braig, the Program Director of the School of Environmental and Natural Resources’ Extension Aquatic Ecosystems program. The presentation will be the All-Purpose Pond Management Overview. The cost to attend the presentation is  $5.00. Please RSVP via email to beam.49@osu.eduor by phone at 937-393-1918. Plan to purchase lunch on your own.

Join the Highland County Soil and Water Conservation District, Ohio Department of Agriculture, USDA NRCS, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife for a Grazing Workshop. The event will be held at the Millstone Creek Farm at 9061 Grabill Road, Hillsboro, Ohio. The event is free, but you should RSVP to the Highland SWCD at 937-393-1922. Dinner will be provided by the Highland County Cattleman Association and Union Stockyards. The program will be held from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M.


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