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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué April 10, 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 Harold Watters, field specialist, agronomic systems.

The most enjoyable event I have experienced since becoming a field specialist is traveling to Ukraine. I had visitors in Champaign County on two occasions in 2011 from Ukraine. One of the groups went home and was asked what could make the experience better; “bring Harold to Ukraine” was their answer. The invitation came in January 2012 and with my change in duties, I did not feel locked into a daily office routine, so I accepted. It was a wonderful trip for me. I saw the country, visited lots of farms, talked with agronomists and learned a lot. The soils are beautiful, and the people are wonderful.

Part of my responsibilities during the trip was to deliver American know-how on corn and soybean production. I gave presentations via a translator to groups of Ukrainian agronomists and farm managers. My visit in March 2012 led to two more visits, in August last year and March 2013. Ukrainian agronomists were trained under the Soviet system – one answer on how to grow a crop; so I spent much of my time convincing them that they needed to experiment a little to really find those right practices to increase corn and soybean yields.

What excites me about my job? I am an agronomist. Now, I get to spend every day working on my favorite topic. I have been called an agronomy nerd since the move to the field specialist position; guess that’s true. Nutrient management is of great concern. I love working on systems, and this provides a challenge to manage phosphorus and nitrogen and still increase yield for corn and soybeans.

My partners have not really changed, but I now have the opportunity to spend more time with them. Over the past year, I have had the chance to work with several people on the soybean and corn growers association boards. I have also become more involved with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, working now on their education committee to help plan the expanded crop production conference.

Southwest Ohio has not had the number of agronomy events that were held in northern Ohio. I want to work with the ANR educators in western and southwestern Ohio to deliver top programs for their growers. The winter of 2013 brought the highest attendance at the Western Ohio Agronomy Day in Shelby County; and a new program in Fayette County brought in a good turnout for the new program there. I’ll help emphasize more cooperation and assist with finding good speakers to continue the agronomy education efforts of both of these programs. The Farm Science Review is another event that has a place for agronomy education. I plan to continue to working and building on those educational efforts in the agronomy demonstration plot area.

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Signature Program Submissions - April 15 Logic Model Worksheet Deadline

The Signature Program Guidelines were e-mailed to everyone on March 15. If you are planning to develop and submit a proposal for a new signature program, you need to discuss your completed logic model worksheet with an assistant director and/or the associate director, programs by April 15. The logic model worksheet is located at

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James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture – May 2

Sterling K. Speirn is president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan, one of the largest private foundations in the United States. Since he assumed his role in 2006, Speirn has led the organization through a comprehensive review of its mission, vision and program priorities.

The Foundation’s strategic framework seeks to integrate three core program areas: education and learning; food, health and well-being; and family economic security while emphasizing the promotion of racial equity, civic and community engagement, and whole child development.

The Patterson Lecture honors former Ohio State Board of Trustees member James Patterson and the cause to which he is most committed - a vibrant university fulfilling its land-grant mission in an ever-changing world. This annual event brings to campus a prominent figure to speak about the range of challenges facing colleges and universities in the 21st century. 

The event will be held 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Ohio Union Performance Hall. The seating is limited to 300 guests. RSVP by April 18 at

An Outreach and Engagement Forum will follow immediately after the Patterson Lecture, be sure to visit the Ohio State University Outreach and Engagement Forum from 1 - 3 p.m. in the Ohio Union, Great Hall. The Forum is a poster exhibition featuring a wide array of initiatives in which Ohio State faculty, staff and students are partnering with members of our local, national and international communities.

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National Conference on Diversity, Race and Learning set for May 6-7 in Columbus

The 19th annual National Conference on Diversity, Race and Learning conference will be held at the Fawcett Conference Center of The Ohio State University. This year’s theme is: “Prognosis Diversity: Prescription for Making America Whole.” For more information on the sessions and the presenters, click  "diversity training." OSUE administration will sponsor 10 individuals to attend both the pre-conference workshop May 6 and the conference on May 7. Those interested in applying for scholarships should answer the following questions in an e-mail and send them to Ken Martin at before April 15.

  1. Why do you want to attend this conference?
  2. How will you incorporate what you learn into your work?
  3. How will you share your experience with the organization?

Administration will review the answers of those requesting sponsorship. Those receiving funding will be asked to write a paragraph for publication in the Communiqué explaining what they learned.

The conference registration form can be completed and e-mailed to or faxed to 614-292-7889.

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Building Employee Engagement and Relationships Using Strengths - May 8

People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job. – Gallup Strengths Center

Employee engagement is all about an employee’s commitment to an organization. It’s about more than a paycheck; it’s about doing all that is needed to achieve organizational success.

When leaders focus on their strengths and those of your employees, it helps increase employee engagement. When you use your strengths, you are able to perform your best work and are most productive. According to Gallup data, “employees who simply learn their strengths are 7.8% more productive. Developing those strengths motivates employees to learn how to best apply themselves and makes them more likely to care whether their activities are profitable.” Thus, utilizing your strengths increases your engagement and commitment to your organization. 

  • Learn the benefits of employee engagement
  • Gain new ideas for how to best engage employees
  • Identify what drives employee engagement
  • Discuss how strengths can drive employee engagement

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop on May 8 from 9 a.m. - noon at room 105 of Agricultural Administration building. The registration fee is $60 per participant.

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National Outreach and Engagement Staff Workshop - May 10

The Office of Outreach and Engagement is hosting a professional development workshop for University outreach and engagement staff. “Boundary Spanners: A Framework for Capacity Building, Quality Improvement, and Professional Development for Outreach and Engagement Staff,” will be held on May 10 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. There is no fee to attend, with a limit of 50 attendees. Register at More information is available at

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Carolyn Gunther Receives Award

The Undergraduate Research Office announced that Carolyn Gunther, Human Sciences state specialist recently received an Outstanding Research Mentor award. Congratulations Carolyn! For more information about the award, visit:

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Faculty Call for Outreach and Engagement Proposals Due April 15

Funding is available to support faculty with regular appointments interested in working with the Office of Outreach and Engagement during May and/or summer terms. There are $2,500 stipends available for May-term projects and $6,000 for summer-term projects. Projects selected will receive staff support. Proposals should target defining and designing ways in which the university can better support outreach and engagement scholarship. Interested faculty should complete by April 15 the brief application form at

Read more:

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Personnel Update – January to April 2013 attachment

Personnel Update Jan-March 2013.pdf

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