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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué January 8, 2014


OSU Extension Strategic Plan Update

-Bev Kelbaugh, South Central regional director and Kirk Bloir, program director, OSU Extension

Recall that the new OSU Extension strategic plan has three overall goals we are going to accomplish by working on 10 initiatives. Each initiative has a set of metrics to help us all know how we’re doing as an organization on implementing the strategies, tactics and action steps in the plan. Knowing what to track and report guides our accountability efforts.

Throughout this year, we’ll be working to track and report baseline data against which we’ll be able to document our accomplishments. A one-page summary of the metrics is posted at the bottom of the strategic plan webpage: A direct link is As data become available, we’ll share updates with you.

If you have any additional questions or suggestions about the OSU Extension strategic plan, please feel free to contact either Bev Kelbaugh (; 740-584-2516) or Kirk Bloir (; 614-557-9788).

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Dilemma Flipping

-Jackie Kirby Wilkins, North East regional director, OSU Extension

In Bob Johansen’s book, entitled Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain Future, dilemma flipping (chapter three) is defined as the ability to turn dilemmas which, unlike problems, cannot be solved-- into advantages and opportunities. Typical characteristics of dilemmas of the future include those situations that appear to be unsolvable, recurrent, complex and messy, threatening, confusing, and/or puzzling, yet potentially positive. The difference between problems and dilemmas is that problems have solutions. Dilemmas, on the other hand, provide opportunities to improve or make better a situation but not necessarily to solve the problem.

Current examples of dilemmas include:

  • the economy
  • diasporas (complex, living, social networks bound by common values)
  • war
  • boomers and retirement

These dilemmas are complex and ever-changing. Dealing with dilemmas requires an ability to sense, frame, and reframe the situation. An individual must step back, check his or her own assumptions, and consider other perspectives. Effective dilemma flippers are able to reimagine an unsolvable challenge as an opportunity, see situations from multiple perspectives, and understand that dilemmas are not black and white.

Johansen suggests that creative courses of action appear, but are often affected by fear or other emotions. Dilemmas are dynamic and often require agility and constant revision. To be an effective dilemma flipper, one must love the process of puzzling, not just the outcome. In the end though, an individual must not get stuck in the puzzling and joy of mystery but must be decisive. In Extension, the skill of dilemma flipping seems particularly relevant. As we look to celebrate our next hundred years, what dilemmas do you see facing us? How might you flip those dilemmas into exciting and transformational opportunities?

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Featuring the Work of OSUE Field Specialists

The Communiqué has been spotlighting the work of our field specialists; in this issue we feature Nancy Bowen-Ellzey (community economics). 

As field specialist in community economics, my work is focused in two areas: sustainable economic development and community and regional planning. The neatest thing that has happened with my work since I started is the new or strengthened partnerships established with fellow colleagues. Examples include an $18,500 North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) grant to expand the Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) signature program in collaboration with land-grant partners in Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota and Minnesota. I’m working with co-leader, David Civittolo, and a six-member BR&E team to reinvigorate and expand the 30-year program by integrating new curriculum tools and technologies. Another example is a grant for nearly $200,000 which was secured through the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration to help communities leverage manufacturing supply chain opportunities as a result of the shale play in eastern and southern Ohio. This three-year project commenced in October 2013 and involves a multi-disciplinary team of nine colleagues within Extension and OARDC. As principal investigator (PI) of both grants, my plan in 2014 includes carrying out the objectives of these projects in collaboration with co-PIs and team members.

When I accepted the position two years ago, I knew it would be a great fit for me. I enjoy all aspects of community economic development work; but what excites me most, as field specialist, is the entrepreneurial nature of the position. It’s great to have the flexibility to innovate and to develop partnerships across all disciplines and geographies. “Change is Inevitable: How Field Specialist Positions Can Help Meet the Challenge” (, was published in the Journal of Extension last summer by CD field specialists David Civittolo, Eric Romich and myself, in addition to Greg Davis, to describe the opportunities and challenges of the position. I can safely say that, in the 30 years I’ve worked in the field, I’ve never been more excited about my work!

The focus of most of my efforts is anchored in traditional community economic development work, including BR&E, energy and downtown development, and tourism, and how these strategies encourage small business development and support the sustainability of communities and regions. As part of the Energize Ohio team, I’m involved in creating programs that meet the energy development needs of communities statewide. This year, we designed a new workshop in partnership with JobsOhio geared to teaching clients about on-site renewable energy and how this strategy can address the BR&E goals of communities. With successful metrics in hand, Eric Romich, Myra Moss and I are currently working to market and replicate the workshop as a great teaching opportunity in collaboration with economic developers and county-based educators.

Probably the “hottest” program area I’ve been involved in is conducting economic impact analyses for colleagues and partners such as JobsOhio and industry associations, to measure economic changes that can be expected as a result of an investment or disinvestment. Using IMPLAN, we can measure the direct, indirect and induced impact of a specific industry or event on an economy. This information can be helpful to businesses, educators and community leaders in planning and making informed decisions. Another “hot” topic area is industry compensation analysis work, particularly on the heels of health care reform. In 2013, I enjoyed collaborating with two colleagues, Rose Merkowitz and Becky Nesbitt, to conduct a compensation study for the social services industry within a multi-county region in southern Ohio. The model we developed has great potential to be replicated successfully for public or private sector clients throughout the state.

In addition, to current grants projects and focus area initiatives, my plan in 2014 is to continue to build on or establish new working partnerships with education, industry, non-profits and community partners including the Economic Development Association, USDA, National Science Foundation, Soybean and Ethanol Associations, American Wind Energy Association, JobsOhio, OARDC, Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center, John Glenn School, Fisher School of Business and land-grant institutions in other states. I plan to establish new partnerships with colleagues in centers and departments within OARDC. I’ll be looking for opportunities to collaborate on research and teaching projects while engaged in current team efforts to research and publish, including articles on microenterprise development, the economic impact of utility-scale renewable energy projects in Ohio and the tourism development as an economic development strategy for rural areas. I’m looking for 2014 to be the most productive and satisfying year yet!

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Ohio State Severe Weather Policy Reminder

County-Based Staff
In accordance with university policy during snowy and icy weather, the following short-term closing procedures must be followed:

  1. If the county in which a person works is under an emergency Level 3 and the office is closed, then the employee is not required to report to work and would not be required to take vacation.
  2. If the county commissioners close the building where the Extension office is located (regardless of snow emergency level), then the employee is not required to report to work and would not be required to take vacation.
  3. If an employee lives or travels through a county that is under a Level 3 snow emergency, but his or her office is located in a county not under a Level 3 and the county commissioners have not closed the building, and the employee chooses not to report to work, then that employee is required to take vacation, compensatory time or leave without pay. Details of these arrangements need to be determined by the employee and his or her immediate supervisor.
  4. Employees are encouraged to use their own best judgment in deciding whether to risk driving to the office in Level 1 or Level 2 snow emergencies. They cannot be forced to come to work; but if the office is open and he or she chooses not to report to work, then that employee is required to take vacation, compensatory time or leave without pay. Details of these arrangements need to be determined by the employee and his or her immediate supervisor.
  5. County directors and unit heads are required to report to their immediate supervisor if the county is under a Level 3 snow emergency and/or if the county commissioners close the building where their office is located.
  6. County directors may not close the office unless the above conditions are met for snow and/or severe weather emergencies.

This policy is also posted on the OSU Extension intranet at

Campus-Based Staff
Review the Ohio State policy listed online at this link: Weather and other Short-Term Closing Policy 6.15 – It is the responsibility of faculty and staff to know if they are classified as essential, alternate or standby, and the responsibilities associated with each designation (which are described in the policy online).

An employee’s classification is stated in his or her annual merit letter. If he or she has been employed for less than a year, the classification should be stated in the offer letter addendum. Note that classifications are subject to change, and individuals classified as alternate or standby can be changed to essential and they can be required to work if necessary.

WOSU 820-AM is the official media outlet for Ohio State-related weather cancellations. Information will also be available at and 247-7777.

If you have a question about how the severe weather policies apply to you, consult with your immediate supervisor.

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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 20; a number of topics were discussed. The group was updated on the federal budget including the SNAP-Ed budget, things are looking better on the federal level and we could possibly be restored to our 2012 Smith-Lever level which would restore the $813,000 we lost in 2013. We could also see a slight increase in SNAP-Ed dollars.

The group discussed the regional director search; the vice president's discussions to be held during the coming year; the strategic plan and efforts to implement the strategic plan.

Other concerns brought up were items relating to the hiring process, orientation, starting salary levels, technology (especially related to our IT specialists) and a number of questions about specifics of the OSUE strategic plan.

We also shared among the group exciting things occurring throughout the county and state which ranged from programs such as: Energize Ohio, farm solar projects, business retention and expansion, working with megatronic businesses, 4-H STEM-related initiatives, CES annual meeting, SNAP-Ed contacts from last year (more than 100,000), levy campaigns, and fire prevention programs in 4-H.

We also had a discussion about the number of top-notch people we have in Extension – especially some of our new hires. We had excellent candid conversations which will be shared with administrative cabinet. I look forward to meeting with this group again this year.

A number of people are rotating off the advisory committee this year. I sincerely thank these folks for their participation - Nate Arnett, Jeff Dick, Mauricio Espinoza, Jenna Hoyt, Kathy Lechman, Pam Montgomery, Liz Smith, Cheryl Spires, Demetria Woods, and Curtis Young.

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OSUE Promotion Guidelines Available and Other Updates

The 2014-2015 A&P educator and faculty promotion guidelines are now posted on the Extension Administration website in the Policy and Procedures Handbook at:

The Department of Extension will be submitting a request to the dean of the graduate school for exclusion of those faculty and senior A&P employees who are pursuing degrees within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. If you are a faculty member or senior A&P professional who has recently enrolled in a degree program offered by the college where you hold an appointment, contact Ken Martin, department chair ( or Lisa Dune ( no later than January 31.

P&T Committee Members for 2014
The Promotion and Tenure Committee will include: Barb Brahm, David Civittolo, Greg Davis, Rose Fisher-Merkowitz, David Marrison, Mark Mechling, Ryan Schmiesing, Judith Villard-Overocker, and Bruce Zimmer. The alternates are Linnette Goard and Robert Horton.

A&P Committee Members for 2014
The Administrative and Professional Promotion Committee will include: Mary Beth Albright, Nate Arnett, Eric Barrett, Rob Leeds, Mark Light, Jeff McCutcheon, Marilyn Rabe, Brian Raison, and Treva Williams. The alternates are Cindy Leis and Kathy Michelich.

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Reminder – Business Office Training Schedule Now Available

All courses offered via Adobe Connect. One-time $5 fee to register for as many classes as you want. All courses will be recorded for those who cannot attend or for those who are on the waitlist. A printable training schedule and class descriptions are posted online: FY14 Training --- Registration Link:

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CFAES Crisis Communications Plan Reminder

Reminder -- An updated version of the college's Crisis Communications Plan is online at The plan, particularly the call list, is updated every six months.

All CFAES faculty and staff should be familiar with the plan, and every office should have at least one paper copy of the plan readily available in the event of a crisis situation.

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Outreach and Engagement Grants Information Roundtable – January 13

An Outreach and Engagement Grants Information Roundtable will be held on January 13 from 2-3 pm, in room 110B of Hale Hall.

For those applying for – or thinking about applying for a 2014 Engagement Impact Grant, OSU CARES/OSU Extension Seed Grant or Service-Learning Grant, representatives from each office will be on hand to address specific questions about developing and submitting proposals.

If you would like to attend, register at We will not conduct a webinar for this information session. The deadline to submit your proposal is February 28. For more information about the grants, visit

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FY14 Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grants Program

The FY14 Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grants Program has been released by USDA-NIFA. Project types supported by AFRI within this RFA include single-function research projects, multi-function integrated projects, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) grants. Grants shall be awarded to address priorities in United States agriculture in eight areas:

  • Plant health and production and plant products
  • Animal health and production and animal products
  • Food safety, nutrition, and health
  • Rewable energy, natural resources, and environment
  • Agriculture systems and technology
  • Agriculture economics and rural communities
  • Critical Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE)
  • Exploratory Research

Note that NIFA offers two new program areas (CARE and Exploratory) in addition to the six program areas that support research, and integrated projects.

The Grant Development Support Unit is available to assist you and your team with a variety of services. They can be reached by contacting Lori Kaser (; 330-263-3637).

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Diversity Leadership Symposium – February 7

Fight the winter blues by attending the 2014 Diversity Leadership Symposium featuring Lee Mun Wah as the keynote speaker. Come and engage with colleagues from across the university. This year’s theme is “In-reach to Outreach: Fostering Cultural Engagement through Awareness, Reflection and Action.” Registration is $45 (early bird rate) for OSU faculty and staff. On January 15, the registration fee increases to $55. Students are able to attend for $10. The fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. Register online:

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National Conference on Diversity, Race and Learning set for May 5-6 in Columbus

The 20th annual National Conference on Diversity, Race and Learning will be held at The Ohio State University in May. This year’s theme is: “SOS!”: Summoning Our Strength for the Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. For more information about the sessions and the presenters, check online.

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Conflict Management for Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders – January 23

Who should attend?
Supervisors (current and aspiring), work team members, directors/administrators, "front-line" staff

Why attend?
Conflict is a part of our lives and is one of the biggest distracters of success and overall productivity in the workplace. Leaders set the tone for others within their respective organizations or companies on dealing with conflict. Leaders who increase their knowledge of conflict management have a stronger capacity to help others develop their own conflict skills and abilities. Leaders will leave the workshop with specific information and tools that can be immediately utilized by themselves and others within their organizations or departments.

Description and Objectives:
Conflict is a part of our daily lives at work or at home. How we manage conflict has a direct impact on how fulfilled we feel about work, the quality of work, and the quality of work from our respective teams or units. Effectively dealing with and using conflict as a positive tool is a major component of success in current or future leadership roles.

Leaders of organizations and units also realize the impact of conflict on an organization's or team's culture. Do we have an environment that allows for differences of opinion to be openly shared? Do you or your team members have the knowledge and skills to work through conflict situations rather than allowing conflict to undermine the team's or unit's effectiveness?

This workshop will provide participants with a greater understanding of how conflict affects their work and strategies to develop one's conflict management skills. Participants will also complete the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) assessment to identify their preferred mode of conflict management and understand individual and team implications to their style.

More specifically, you'll learn:

  • How conflict is negative and how conflict can be positive in our management and leadership roles.
  • Strategies to create a culture that effectively utilizes conflict situations to strengthen the team or unit.
  • The role of and use of assertiveness and cooperativeness in conflict management.
  • Five approaches to dealing with conflict and when they should be utilized...they include - avoidance, competition, compromise, accommodation, or collaboration.
  • Your preferred approach to conflict by completing the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) during the workshop.
  • Specific strategies to deal with conflict situations and increase your capacity as an effective leader.

Jeff King will facilitate this workshop on January 23 (9:15am-noon) in room 105 of the Agricultural Administration Building. He brings a wealth of experience in leadership and administrative roles for more than 30 years. Jeff is an associate professor at The Ohio State University. He is the director of the OSU Leadership Center, an Extension specialist, and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership.

The fee is $60 per participant and includes the TKI assessment. To register, visit

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What is Your Personality Color Spectrum? – January 29

Who should attend?
Supervisors (current and aspiring), work team members, directors, board members, "front-line" staff

Why attend?

  • Increased awareness of self and others
  • Effective communication skills
  • Improved working relationships
  • Enhanced Conflict Resolution skills

Workshop Description
The Spectrum Temperament Development Model is a fun and exciting method for helping people better understand themselves and others. In our interactive workshops, participants are introduced to the different personality styles using the language of color. They gain an understanding of their own strengths, needs, and motivators, while also learning to value the differences among the people around them.

The research-based Spectrum Temperament Development Model is founded on the philosophy that individuals and organizations have the ability to increase and develop their potential if provided with applicable knowledge and skill. Spectrum Development emphasizes the key components for achieving optimal success: an awareness, appreciation, and development of self and others.

Beth Flynn will facilitate this workshop on January 29 (9am-noon) in room 105 of the Agricultural Administration building. The fee is $60 per participant. To register, visit

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Personnel Update

The personnel update for the last quarter of 2013 is attached.

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