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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué January 3, 2013


Positive Thinking for 2013

-Keith Smith, associate vice president, Agricultural Administration and director, OSU Extension

At the APLU (Association of Public and Land-grant Universities) meeting this past November, I was reminded about the impact Extension has on our society. I mentioned this at our annual conference – Waded Cruzado, president of Montana State University, presented the Seaman A. Knapp Lecture, and she reminded all of us that Extension is needed more today than ever. To summarize some of Cruzado’s thoughts, Extension is:

  • a well-rounded program…that provides consistency…identity and responsiveness
  • among the most effective mechanisms for individual and social empowerment
  • not only about service and outreach; it is truly about engagement

As we prepare to finalize updates to our OSUE strategic plan this spring, as well as look forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of Extension in 2014, I’d like to kick off the new year by encouraging each of us to think and act more positively this year – about the impact OSUE has on the citizens of Ohio AND about the impact of our own work on this wonderful organization. Yes, we will have challenges throughout the year, but as Norman Vincent Peale has said -- “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” We also have many positive things to be thankful for as we begin 2013; and I’d like us all to remember that we are more than capable of applying the “power of positive thinking” to whatever projects we tackle this year.

I plan to include some information about being positive in the Communiqué on a regular basis this year; and to get us started are some thoughts from the book A Brilliant Way to Live and Work by Sanford, Losoncy L. & Walsh, C. (2011).  FL: DC Press. 

Make it unfashionable to be a downer. Inspiration doesn't survive in an energy-sapping context. This doesn't mean that tough realities are denied and not faced; but, the “electrifier” always has a positive spin on a setback. After all, inspiration stems from our spirit; and our inner spirit is stronger than our outer circumstances. Our spirit has unlimited resources that transcend and add strength to our weary physical bodies and fragile psychological egos. When our bodies and minds are down, an insight from our spirits gives us the jolt!

The first way of energizing our work environment is by inspiring the development of a culture of people who are filled with energy, hope and positive motivation. Each person moves from the highest part of his or her mind, heart, and spirit. More of thisinformation is available on the OSU Leadership Center Web site,

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Director’s Internal Advisory Committee

-Keith Smith, associate vice president, Agricultural Administration and director, OSU Extension

The Director’s Internal Advisory Committee met December 21; a number of topics were discussed. Programs and activities that are being conducted in the state include e-mail updates for 4-H clubs; national STEM funding; JCEP work; successful co-parenting programs; CARTEENS programs; Real Money, Real World; animal welfare; ANR winter meetings; beef schools; work on passing levies; barbeque boot camp; Healthy 'n Fit FCS program; agronomy day; Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference; renewable energy; shale energy activities; Annie’s Project; and local fresh food. 

The group also discussed the budget for Extension—federal, state and county; strategic plan; retirement planning; the possibility of a new region being created; and leadership replacement plans. Excellent discussion took place, and I expect more discussion in the future with the internal advisory committee.

A number of people are rotating off of the advisory committee this year. I sincerely thank these folks for their participation - Masa Alman, Steve Boyles, Steve Brady, Holly Brooks, Amanda Forquer, Christine Kendle, Myra Moss, Vicki Myers, Becky Nesbitt, and Michelle Treber. New individuals will be welcomed to the committee, and we will announce those names soon.

The next meeting of the Director’s Internal Advisory Committee is March 11, 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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Reminder - Any Payment to 2011 VSIP Participants is NOT Allowed

-per Melissa Krygier, assistant vice president, Agricultural Administration, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

This is a reminder that any previous OSU Extension employees who left the University via the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) in 2011 signed an agreement that they would not accept employment from Ohio State for a period of two full years from the date of separation.

By implication, this includes any compensation or reimbursements associated with any sort of work/activity for Ohio State. Volunteering is allowed, but this means volunteering ONLY for functions unrelated to the original job that someone performed while employed at the university and without any accompanying financial transaction occurring with Ohio State. This includes payment and/or reimbursement for travel, services performed, items purchased, etc.

Thus, any current OSU Extension employee may not pay or reimburse a previous employee who exited the University via the VSIP in 2011. If you have any questions, contact Garee Earnest (614-292-2968 or, Marge Hall (614-292-3863 or, or Linda Riemenschneider (614-292-0459 or

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A & P Committee Members for 2013

The Administrative and Professional Promotion Committee will include: Mary Beth Albright, Eric Barrett, Mark Light, Jeff McCutcheon, Lisa McCutcheon, Marilyn Rabe, Brian Raison, Joyce Shriner, Treva Williams. The alternates are Jeff Dick and Dan Remley.

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P & T Committee Members for 2013

The Promotion and Tenure Committee will include: Barbara Brahm, Theresa Ferrari, Rose Fisher-Merkowitz, David Marrison, Mark Mechling, Myra Moss, Ryan Schmiesing, Judith Villard-Overocker, Bruce Zimmer. The alternates are Joe Heimlich and Bev Kelbaugh.

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Larry Gearhardt Selected as Field Specialist - Taxation

Larry Gearhardt has joined OSU Extension as the field specialist focusing on taxation, as of January 1. Larry was formerly with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation as their senior director of Legal and Local Affairs. He will be located in the Agricultural Administration building, and his complete contact information will be available soon.

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EEET Summary Reports for County Program Faculty and Staff

Attention County Program Faculty and Staff!!

Your EEET summary report for your 2012 performance review will be emailed to you the week of January 7, 2013. The PDF will come from Kim Showalter ( in the Program Development & Evaluation Unit – NO hard copies will be sent.

Please remember it is your responsibility to review the document IMMEDIATELY and notify Kim Showalter if you believe there are any errors or missing data. It is YOUR responsibility to forward the summary report document to your supervisor by January 15.

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Research in View Update

-Debby Lewis, leader, Program Development & Evaluation

Please visit the Program Development and Evaluation (PDE) Web site for OSUE help with Research in View. This link will take you to the “Extension Reporting” section of the PDE website and it is where we have posted the most updated versions of the “helpful documents” for RiV and where we have posted recordings made of RiV trainings for OSUE employees.

Tip of the Day! Review the “Extension Annual Report Help Sheet” under “Helpful Documents” to guide you on which sections of RiV you should complete. A warning…if you are entering data into categories under “non-dossier items” besides the Extension section (e.g., Internet Communications, Media Contacts, etc.), that data will NOT appear on an Extension Annual Performance Document NOR a Dossier Document. Please use only the “Extension” section under “non-dossier items”.

Please email the RiV team with any TECHNICAL difficulties in RiV ( A technical difficulty may be that your RiV profile has “disappeared.” Contact Debby Lewis ( or Kim Showalter ( with any “where do I put THIS” type of question.

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Requests for Dean McPheron to Attend Events

If you have a request for Dr. McPheron to attend an Extension function, e-mail Dr. Smith (, use the subject line “Dean McPheron event request,” and explain what you would like him to attend. Dr. Smith will discuss this event with Dr. McPheron and also forward the event request to the dean’s executive assistant, Joan Lieb, who will then coordinate his schedule with the appropriate event contact person.

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The Changing Face of the Organization: Millennials in the Workplace - January 29 Online Seminar

Who are these new employees in your workplace? How do you relate to or manage this latest generation to enter the workforce? These younger employees are technologically wired, highly educated and eager to make a difference in their workplace. This highly interactive workshop is filled with information you can apply immediately in your organization.

Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000, and this generation is almost as large as the Baby Boomer generation. An achievement-oriented group, these new employees are technically connected 24/7 and use social networking to connect with their peers. Millennials are a high-achieving generation wanting to make an immediate impact in their career, and they are anxious to take on leadership roles.

  • Learn about the culture and events that have shaped the Millennial Generation.
  • Determine ways to improve communication and build relationships with this generation.
  • Generate ideas about how to manage and coach this generation of employees.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop on January 29 from 9 a.m. to noon. The registration fee is $60 per participant.

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Tri-State Diversity Conference February 20-22

Bridges to Cultural Inclusion is the theme for the 9th annual Tri-State Diversity Conference to be held in the Cincinnati area. This year’s keynote speaker is Jimmy Cabrera, a professional speaker, leader, motivator, encourager and author for business and educational communities. His presentations are captivating, high-energy and full of passion. The title of the keynote is Turning Barriers into Bridges. The early registration deadline is January 23. To register, visit

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