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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué July 17, 2013


Positive Thinking

-Keith L. Smith, associate vice president, agricultural administration and director, OSU Extension

As I continue our series on positive thinking, I would like to share with you some thoughts from the book Attitude is Everything – 10 Rules for Staying Positive by Vicki Hitzges (2010) published by Simple Truths.

Rule #5 is Joy Boomerangs
You know how when you do something nice for someone such as bring an unexpected gift to a friend, compliment a waitress, return a windblown hat to a stranger and it makes you feel better? If you do that repeatedly, it could help you in all kinds of ways. In fact, if you become altruistic and put others first, research indicates that you will probably die smiling.

Happiness is a byproduct of living generously. The Journal of Science published a study that examined the relationship between philanthropy and well-being. Researchers analyzed the spending patterns of more than 600 men and women, and then questioned them about their general happiness. When subjects spent money to pay bills or buy items for themselves, they didn’t report feeling happier. Yet when subjects spent money buying gifts or donating to charities, their actions made them feel much happier.

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington

The bottom line is this: Do unto others as you’d like to have done to you. Apparently the good you do boomerangs and comes back to you! For a happy, healthy, positive life, share your money and yourself.

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Federal Budget Update – Farm Bill Report

On July 11, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2013 farm bill (H.R. 2642), but without the nutrition title. Per Cornerstone, “The bill was debated under a closed-rule (which precluded amendments). It included 11 of the 12 titles of H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, as amended on the House floor in June.”

Cornerstone also said “H.R. 2642…includes most of the land-grant system’s recommended reauthorizations and ‘tweaks’ for the research, education and Extension programs administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). And, as reported previously, the bill includes $475 million (over five years) in mandatory funding for three NIFA programs: (1) Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative; (2) Specialty Crops Research Initiative; and (3) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.”

The U.S. Senate previously passed its own version of the farm bill, thus “The Farm Bill situation remains extremely fluid.”

Cornerstone Government Affairs maintains a website for the Budget and Advocacy Committee of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly.

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Performance Appraisal and Calibration Update

On June 27, Dr. Smith hosted a performance appraisal and calibration feedback session that included Graham Cochran, the regional directors, and a CED representative from each region (David Marrison, Pam Montgomery, and Kathy Michelich).

A summary of themes that had been identified from system-wide feedback on these processes was shared, and discussion was held to determine if any additional concerns had been overlooked. It was agreed that the primary issues had been identified. A variety of potential solutions were considered on how to proceed. The following areas of improvement will become the focus over the next 12 months:

  • Increased communication regarding performance management philosophy and process
  • Review tool modifications (rating scales, definitions, flexibility of tool for calculation of scores)
  • Calibration process decisions (e.g., groups for calibration, comparing across job categories)
  • Additional training to improve process integrity and unit head skills
  • Improved strategy for determining merit/rewarding high performance

As these items are addressed, OSUE Human Resources will also confirm that all changes to the performance management system are consistent with college and university HR best practices.

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Ohio State Tobacco Policy

OSU campus leaders hope to have a tobacco-free campus by January 1, 2014. This ambitious goal is part of a larger effort to become the healthiest campus in the world. This policy will impact not only the Columbus campus, but all regional campuses and properties owned and operated by Ohio State, OARDC and OSU Extension as well. Bev Kelbaugh, associate professor and Extension South Central regional director is serving on the sub-committee established for representatives of the regional campuses, OARDC and OSU Extension. ALL forms of tobacco will be banned from not only the buildings, classrooms and offices, but all property owned and operated by Ohio State. The policy can be reviewed at:

August 1 marks the beginning of the “soft rollout” plan, at which time the university will begin to communicate with members of the campus community about the new policy. The target date for the formal policy to be implemented is January 1, 2014.

Many new products on the market that are smokeless will be included in the ban. The effort is being focused on tobacco-free, rather than smoke-free. “Smokeless tobacco products contain tobacco-derived nicotine, and come in novel forms like dissolvable pellets and strips, lozenges, and nicotine-coated sticks. Since these products are relatively new, their health effects are not well known yet.” See more at

Since most of our offices are not in an Ohio State-owned property, we hope to establish partnerships with county government to encourage adoption of similar policies. However, at this time, we know we can only enforce the university policy on property we own and operate. Several impacts for our offices and facilities will need to be considered. Some of the concerns of those serving on the university committees include appropriate signage, being a good neighbor, cost of clean-up when we no longer provide ash trays or receptacles on property, and how the university expects to enforce policy and create a new norm – a tobacco-free environment, Be sure to read the policy and send any questions or concerns to Bev Kelbaugh at

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Staff Advisory Council Recognition Awards – Nominations due August 30

It is time to nominate your outstanding co-workers for the 2013 Staff Recognition: Above and Beyond Awards and the Shirley Brooks-Jones Citizenship Award. All CFAES employees are eligible for these awards. They are brought to you by the CFAES Staff Advisory Council.

Nominations forms are due August 30! For more information:

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The Full Monty: Advanced Strengths Development – August 6

The full monty is a British slang phrase of uncertain origin. It is generally used to mean "everything which is necessary, appropriate, or possible;”‘the works.’ - Wikipedia

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 you perform at your best, overcome obstacles and capitalize on the strengths of your teammates.

In this advanced strengths workshop, participants will have the opportunity to learn about their complete strengths profile. Awareness workshops provide you with your top five strengths/themes, and in this workshop you will receive your complete profile of your 34 strengths.

*To participate in this workshop, you must have attended a previous StrengthsFinder® awareness workshop. Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop on August 6 from 9:15 a.m. to noon in room 105, Agricultural Administration building. The registration fee is $125 per participant. Register at

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