Communiqué February 18, 2015


Budget Update

-Brian McClain, manager, business operations; CFAES Finance Service Center

Federal --- For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, funding is flat with the previous fiscal year. For the federal budget year beginning October 1, 2015, everyone is waiting for information about how Congress will handle President Obama’s proposed budget. The budget, which includes a 16.6 percent increase in discretionary funding from the FY15 appropriation, also mentions specifically an increase of $125 million above 2015 for a total of $450 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. The proposed budget figures include some increases for SNAP-Ed and food safety, and a $4 million increase for Smith-Lever.

State --- For now, we expect level funding for OSU Extension, OARDC and Sea Grant, as it was in the governor’s budgeted submitted to the legislature. The governor’s budget does call for a 2 percent increase in the State Share of Instruction (SSI), which relates to student enrollment and tuition.

The February 4 CFAES legislative luncheon was well attended. At least 45 senators or their aides and 94 representatives or their aides visited the statehouse atrium to view the educational displays and interact with numerous volunteers, Extension professionals and OARDC researchers.

County --- Legislative visits have started. As of this week, 65 counties have reported their calendar year 2015 appropriation with an overall increase of 3.1 percent. At this point, 31 counties have reported increases, and 27 are flat-funded. The seven counties reporting decreases to date include five levy counties, which will likely end up with flat funding once real estate tax collections are complete.

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Extension Field Specialists by the Numbers

-Bev Kelbaugh, Southeast regional director, and Greg Davis, assistant director, Community Development

The field specialist position type was added to the Extension staffing model beginning in 2012. This position addresses many of the initiatives outlined in the Extension strategic plan; for example: proactively address educational and research needs (#1), demonstrate impact (#2), cultivate partnerships (#3), and address financial sustainability (#4), among others.

Envisioned as a state-level position charged with comprehensive responsibilities for teaching and applied research in very specific areas of focus, a key obligation of this position involves the task of securing grants, contracts, and user fees. To date, 14 such positions have been filled crossing all four program areas (see the most recent field specialist ‘roster’).

An informal survey of accomplishments over the past three years reveals the following facts and figures. Field specialists are expected to teach: nearly 50,000 individuals have participated in nearly 900 educational programs. They are expected to conduct applied research: more than 100 peer-reviewed pieces, including 17 journal articles, have been published. They are expected to secure extramural funding: more than $6 million has been awarded for applied research and scholarly work. They are expected to partner far and wide with private industry, organizations, and communities: more than 350 such unique entities have worked with these positions, as well as colleagues from 33 other state Extension systems ranging from Maine, to Texas, to Alaska.

More than 125 other faculty and staff within CFAES, EHE, and beyond have worked with these field specialists in integrated fashion to respond to large-scale statewide needs and individual requests. A complete report will be available by mid-spring.

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Extension Reconsidered

-Karen Bruns, assistant director, Family and Consumer Sciences, and leader, OSU CARES; and Ken Martin, chair and associate director, programs, Department of Extension

In November, 14 county educators and local teams were trained to hold conversations in their communities as a part of the national Extension Reconsidered initiative. Champaign, Hancock and Fayette counties involved 14- to 30-year-old residents in a conversation about their current community and what they would like to see in the future. Eleven other counties will be holding their conversations over the next two months. All of the conversations will be summarized and used as part of our statewide needs assessment efforts, to be shared with the new Extension director and shared nationally with the Extension Reconsidered initiative led by Imagining America.

To learn more about the most recent Extension Reconsidered conversations held in Hancock County and led by Shawn Ochs, see
Also see for details on the Fayette County conversation led by Godwin Apaliyah.

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OSU Extension County Websites – Upcoming Training Opportunities

-Cheryl Buck, executive assistant to the director

As you may know, the OSU Extension county websites are now based in the Drupal 7 content management system. The county website structure and content types are unique to the county sites. CFAES Communications has added monthly Drupal training sessions in 2015 for the OSU Extension county websites.

This training is open to new Extension employees, those who will be handling website responsibilities for their county, or those who would like a refresher. This training will cover the basics of Drupal 7: how to create and edit pages, news items, events, people, and the general guidelines for content placement. Any Extension employee who will be adding or updating content on your county website is required to attend a training session before he or she is given access to the county site.

The Extension county website training sessions will be held on the fourth Friday of each month from 9am to 1pm, starting on February 27. Space is limited and the sessions will be filled on a first come, first-served basis, so email Bonnie Scranton at about which session you would like to attend and which county site you will be editing after training. Visit for more information.

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Family and Medical Leave Policy Changes

Effective February 1, 2015, several changes to the Family and Medical Leave (FML) policy went into effect. These changes include:

  • Altering the FML eligibility from 1,040 hours worked to 1,250 hours worked for the 12-month period before using leave (60.1 % FTE or greater for the entire 12-month period);
  • Adding student employees as covered employees; and
  • Changing the definition of immediate family member to be 1) spouse or domestic partner; 2) biological, adoptive, step-, or foster parent; 3) individual who served as caretaker to an employee when the employee was a child; or 4) biological, adopted, step-, or foster child; a legal ward; or a child of a person serving as caretaker to the child who is under 18 years of age, or 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

For more information or questions about FML, click here or contact Lindsey Harkless at 614-292-8998;

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Save the Date – Karen Bruns Retirement Open House on March 25

An open house will be held on March 25 from 3-5pm in the Agricultural Administration auditorium, to recognize Karen Bruns for her years of service to OSU Extension and The Ohio State University. Feel free to share this notice with others who may want to attend. If you have any questions, contact Terri Fisher at; 614-688-4486. RSVP at

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Outreach and Engagement Forum – Call for Proposals

Poster proposals are being accepted for the third annual Outreach and Engagement Forum to be held on May 6. The forum is an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to interact with Ohio State’s outreach and engagement community, share their work, and make connections with potential collaborators. Those interested in displaying a poster should complete the proposal submission form at by February 27. There are a limited number of spaces available for presenters. The forum will take place on May 6 from 1-3 p.m. in the Ohio Union Archie Griffin Ballroom. Contact:

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Strengths-Based Selling – February 24 Online Workshop

Do you consider yourself to be a "natural born" salesperson? Research shows that when you build on your strengths, you get the best sales response. Capitalizing on what you do well (your strengths) drives sales performance. Developing your strengths takes time, talent, skills and knowledge.

A successful salesperson has the ability to build relationships with prospects. By building complementary partnerships with others on your sales team, all of you can be stronger by combining your strengths together. Using the strengths you have can launch you into successful sales opportunities.

Participants can expect to gain knowledge about:

  • Overcoming the reluctance to calling prospects
  • Utilizing your strengths to improve sales performance
  • Steps for building relationships
  • Increasing your chances for success using your strengths

To participate in this workshop, you must have attended a StrengthsFinder workshop. Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9 to 11am. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, go to

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Ohio Ag Council Scholarship Applications – due February 27

The Ohio Agricultural Council is offering up to six $1,000 scholarships to assist students pursuing agricultural-related studies and to help promote agriculture and agri-business as a growing field of career opportunities. The application deadline for the 2015-2016 school year is February 27. Click here to download the 2015-2016 application.

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Performance Management and Coaching – March 2 Workshop

As a manager or unit supervisor, you have the important responsibility of guiding, directing, and managing the performance of individuals you supervise. This can be a daunting and sometimes challenging part of your role. This workshop focused on coaching and performance management is a great place to begin developing and/or strengthening your skills and gain valuable resources that will help reduce the stress associated with the performance management process.

This day-long workshop will be divided into two sessions, between which we will break for lunch and have time to socialize with the group. Jeff King is facilitating this workshop from 9am to 3:30pm. Cost is $140 per participant. To register, go to

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What is Your Personality Color Spectrum? – March 3 Workshop

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. 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.

Spectrum temperament development is used to help team members with:

  • positive conflict resolution
  • effective communication
  • building strong teams


  • Participants will gain an understanding of their strengths, needs and motivators.
  • Participants will gain an awareness about how they can improve their workplace through learning more about their co-workers.
  • Participants will learn to value the difference among the people around them.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9am to noon. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, go to

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Leadership YOU – March 11 Workshop

Are you exceptional? Every person has special gifts to share with others, which brings a purpose to their life. Do you know your life's purpose and your gifts? Leadership begins by knowing yourself, and what makes you unique as a leader?

Just as companies and organizations have mission statements, it is important to create what your leadership mission statement is. This document gives you a way to communicate your passion, gifts, values, and goals to yourself and others. Your mission statement allows you to be an authentic leader, and gives you a navigation tool to share your unique gifts. When you live your mission, you set an example that helps others share their unique gifts too.

Participants in this workshop will:
Determine and define what special gifts she or he has to offer
Develop a personal mission statement and development plan
Create strategies to live his or her life’s passion and gifts

What benefit does this workshop give to your department or organization? When an employee knows, understands and has a plan for living her or his gifts, he or she brings energy and excitement to work. Having a life's mission allows the employee to utilize her or his gifts and strengths to perform at his or her best at work on a daily basis. Research shows that employees who are using their strengths and gifts are six times more likely to be engaged at work, which equals higher productivity and a great contribution to the success of the team, department and organization.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9am to 3pm. The cost is $140 per participant. To register, go to

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DISCflex – March 18 Workshop

The foundation of personal and professional success lies in understanding self, understanding others and realizing the impact of personal behavior on the people around you. DISC provides insight into an individual’s style that can help predict the likely trends of their behavior in the future. It does this by evaluating four key factors in an individual style (dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance).

Through a 24-question assessment, DISC can be used to describe a person's general approach, including their motivations and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and some of the basic assumptions they make about other people. It can also go far in helping to predict how a person will react to a specific set of circumstances.

Participants will learn to:

  • Discover behavioral strengths
  • Foster teamwork
  • Improve communication skills
  • Reduce conflict and stress

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9am to noon. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, go to

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Ohio Ag Hall of Fame Nominations – due March 31

Someone who wants to nominate an individual he or she believes is deserving of consideration for induction into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame may download a nomination form by clicking here. Nomination forms and three letters of recommendation must be submitted by March 31 to be eligible for consideration in 2015.

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OSU Extension Personnel Update

See the attached summary of Extension appointments, changes, separations, and retirements for the second half of 2014.

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