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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué March 13, 2013


Featuring the Work of OSUE Field Specialists

Throughout the year we will be spotlighting the work of our field specialists. In this issue we feature Peggy Hall (Agricultural and Resource Law).

I have enjoyed the “scaling up” of our Extension law program. This new position has encouraged me to help build a law program unlike any other. Law tends to be segregated in its own separate world, but our program is unusual because we’re integrating law with other content areas to create this cross-disciplinary approach, which is helping us grow a bigger and better program.

People often ask me why I don’t “go for the big bucks” by working in private practice. I’ve done that, and I believe I have greater impact on people here in Extension—that’s what excites me about my job. It may sound corny, but it is so satisfying and exciting to be an educator, to solve problems and help people understand the law.

Shale gas development is a very hot topic—I could easily spend all of my time working on legal issues related to Ohio’s shale boom. Another hot topic today is food law, which encompasses food safety, local food production, biotechnology, animal welfare and more. Food law involves and affects so many—farmers, consumers, policy makers, agencies, private industry—everyone seems to have an interest and stake in food law.

I’ve worked with Extension educators and other academics within the university to collaborate on shale development education—we have a team of Extension educators that includes Steve Schumacher, Mike Lloyd, Chris Penrose, Chris Zoller, Mark Landefeld, Sarah Cross, Clif Little, Dave Marrison, Polly Loy and Cindy Bond. I’ve joined the Food Safety team and have been working with Extension educator Emily Adams on home-based and farm-based food production. Eric Romich, field specialist in energy development and I are partnering on a wind development project; and I’ve just begun working with Eric Barrett, educator in Mahoning County, to revise the Ohio Farm Labor Handbook.

I’m focusing on converting my expertise into more output products, whether it’s through blogging, website development, articles, fact sheets or podcasts. One of the most challenging parts of my job is managing individual requests, teaching and speaking engagements in a way that leaves time for writing and producing other outputs. I hope to continue to improve that this year.

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Pulse Survey Results and Responses

In fall 2012, your colleagues responded to the monthly pulse survey in the following ways:

*Mean scores could indicate strong agreement.

  • I am committed to OSU Extension. (mean of 8.54)

*Mean scores could indicate agreement.

  • OSU Extension is heading the right direction. (mean of 6.46)
  • I receive adequate support in completing my job responsibilities. (mean of 6.90)
  • Changes in the organization are based on the implementation of the strategic plan. (mean of 6.79)
  • The organization has been represented on the new refinement committee appointed to review the 2008 strategic plan. (mean of 7.02)
  • Extension has been consistently successful in implementing organizational change. (mean of 6.06)
  • I am experiencing a significant amount of work-related stress. (mean of 6.28)
  • OSU Extension benefits from having state-wide field specialist faculty positions. (mean of 6.99)

*Mean scores indicate neither agreement nor disagreement.

  • There is a lack of OSU Extension engagement in urban areas. (mean of 5.94)
  • Our technology is in sync with the general business community. (mean of 5.30)

Your colleagues also shared their opinions and insights in response to the open-ended question in the same pulse survey – “What is needed to make Extension work more relevant?”

  • “A balance of high-tech and high-touch, fine-tuning the skills of both the professionals and volunteers delivering Extension programming to Ohio’s citizens and beyond.”
  • “A focus on the evolution of the population of Ohio: needs, wants, motivators. We must remain flexible and engaged with a changing audience.”
  • “Each of us must be more strategic in how and with whom we partner.”
  • “Extension needs to focus on more relevant ideas and offer programming to various audiences. …all populations can benefit from our programming. Getting the word out about Extension is key to becoming more relevant and successful.”
  • “Making sure entire organization is not only trained on new technology, but has access to it, and knows how to use it in delivering programming.”
  • “New methods of program delivery that address the needs of our ever-changing and evolving audiences, particularly those in the urban centers of the state.”

Additional information is available online. To see a complete list of responses shared and a distribution of the means for each survey question above, you can access this pulse survey link- Click on “show replies” at the bottom of the results page to view all narrative responses.

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Assistant Director for ANR - Search Committee Request

As many of you are aware, a search committee has been formed to identify and screen applicants for the OSU Extension Assistant Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources faculty position. The search committee includes the following members:

  • Glen Arnold - field specialist, Manure Nutrient Management Systems
  • Pam Bennett - state Master Gardener Volunteer coordinator,/Extension educator ANR,/county Extension director, Clark County
  • Susan Crowell, editor, Farm & Dairy
  • Mark Landefeld, Extension educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Monroe County
  • Pierce Paul, associate professor and Extension specialist, plant pathology
  • Kathy Smith, program director, School of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Scott Shearer (committee chair) - chair Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

The committee asks for your assistance in publicizing this opportunity and with identifying quality candidates worthy of consideration. The position announcement (job opening number 374221 - has been posted to the OSU HR Web site. The committee will begin screening applicants on April 14 with initial plans for on-campus interviews to be held May 15 and 16.

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In 2012, many of you participated in a pilot project of the Adobe Connect Web - conferencing platform for the Office of the Chief Information Officer at Ohio State. The pilot has come to an end, and the OCIO has purchased Adobe Connect (OSU licensed as CarmenConnect) for use by all colleges and departments in the university.

For the past several years, OSU Extension has contracted with Cisco for use of the WebEx Meeting Center (less than 25 participants) and WebEx Event Center (more than 25 participants). The contract for WebEx Meeting Center will expire on April 28, and the decision has been made to adopt the CarmenConnect platform as the Web - conferencing tool for use by the organization. WebEx Event Center (more than 25 participants) will remain available through November 28.

To begin the transition from WebEx Meeting Center to CarmenConnect, please request your CarmenConnect account no later than April 19. You may request your account by sending a request by email to with the following information:

First Name, Last Name example - John Doe (example -

College: CFAES

Department: OSU Extension

Campus: (e.g.) Zurich County

Besides realizing a financial savings, this transition will provide other benefits to the organization:

  • Scheduling a Web - conference with CarmenConnect is very flexible. There is no need to have an approved scheduler create a conference for you. You can create conferences yourself and use them any time.
  • CarmenConnect utilizes Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as its primary audio delivery mode, but also allows the integration of VoIP with a variety of telephone conferencing providers. Users can set up an account for a toll - free 800 number through the university ( or utilize other providers such as
  • CarmenConnect offers a wide variety of graphical layouts which allows users to customize their conference to help reach their educational goals, as well as provide rich collaboration tools for work on projects, documents, etc.
  • CarmenConnect is the Web - conferencing platform that eXtension uses for its programs. Using CarmenConnect will allow OSUE personnel into eXtension web conferences.

More details about training opportunities, FAQs, and tips and tricks videos to help you become a proficient CarmenConnect user will be forthcoming.

To learn more about CarmenConnect, go to:

If you have immediate questions about CarmenConnect as it relates to an upcoming program or event,  contact Ken Kulka (614-292-2012 or

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Upcoming CFAES Diversity Events

March 19 is the third in the CFAES Community Dialogues, Series featuring the OSU Leadership Center’s Beth Flynn leading a discussion on multiple generations in the workplace. This is a WebEx and log-in information can be found under CFAES Community Dialogues.

The article that will be discussed can be found here:

The CFAES Diversity Speaker Series is on March 28 and will feature Bob Henry Baber, author of Pure Orange Sunshine with special guest musician and songwriter David Morris presenting “Appalachians, their unique place in American diversity (in the American mosaic).” This event will take place in the Traditions Room of the Ohio Union. The session will be streamed live 4 - 5:30 p.m. and can be viewed at the following URL. It is also being recorded and will be archived for future viewing.

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Advanced Strengths Development Workshop – March 20

Leading with your strengths will help your team and organization grow. – Gallup Strengths Center

Gaining a deeper understanding of your strengths and how to utilize them at work increases your chances of success. Each person has a unique combination of strengths. These strengths are utilized in helping someone perform at his or her best, overcome obstacles and capitalize on the strengths of his or her teammates.

In this advanced strengths workshop, participants will have the opportunity to discover their complete strengths profile. Awareness workshops provide you with your top five strengths/themes; in this workshop you will receive your complete profile of your 34 strengths. To participate in this workshop, you must have attended a StrengthsFinder awareness workshop.

Beth Flynn will facilitate this workshop on March 20 from 9 a.m. – noon in room 105 of the Agricultural Administration building. The registration fee is $125 per participant. To register, visit:

If you are unable to attend, you may send someone else in your place. Cancellations prior to the day of the workshop will be refunded minus a $5 cancellation fee. No refunds will be made for no-shows/cancellations on the day of the workshop. Certificates of participation are available for individuals seeking professional development hours.

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2013 Diversity Leadership Symposium – April 12

Spring is right around the corner and so is the 2013 Diversity Leadership Symposium. Join colleagues from across the university and learn more about cultural intelligence, interfaith understanding and respect, today’s veteran on campus, along with several other great topics. Registration is $45 for OSU faculty and staff, with students invited to attend for free; continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack is included. For more details and to register, visit

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Conference of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium RFP is now Available

The Call for Proposals is now open for the 14th Annual Conference of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC). This year's event is hosted by ESC's western region and will be held at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas on October 8 and 9. The call for proposals deadline has been extended to March 31.

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Upcoming Activities at Secrest Arboretum and Gardens - Wooster

A hands-on Pruning Workshop will be held March 20, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Learn proper techniques of maintaining landscape plants plus a tool sharpening demonstration; bring your pruners. Participants will go home knowing how to restore the plants in their landscape through dormant pruning techniques.  The fee to register is $50; e-mail Joe Cochran at or download the registration form:

The Arbor Day Celebration is April 20, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Attend all or part of the day’s program; for complete details go to:

A Plant and Art Sale will be located at Fisher Auditorium on the OSU/OARDC Wooster campus; offering a great selection of plants and art. This year’s sale is May 11, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Interested in volunteer opportunities? Contact Joe Cochran at

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