agriculture

OSU Extension Office connects community with university resources

osu extensionThe Ohio State University Extension in Seneca County aims to connect the university’s resources and knowledge to the community. Originally working closely with farmers to share research on growing better crops and livestock, the OSU Extension now works with many different parts of the community. It separates these parts into four compact areas of outreach; Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Services, and Community Development.

Agriculture and Natural Resources programs assist with technology, marketing and educational support, and even offer training opportunities and certifications.  4-H Youth Development teaches kids lessons in leadership, communication and collaboration while increasing their knowledge in math, science, technology and a variety of other topics. Kids are able to participate in a number of ways, including community clubs, camps, in-school and after-school activities, and summer programs that both increase their self-confidence and personal skills in addition to honing their skills in specific subjects such as animals, computers, public speaking, or cooking. Family and Consumer Services provides community members with the skills, knowledge and resources to make informed, healthy life choices. This is done through teaching and promoting safe food practices, better nutrition, better finances and better relationships using evidence-based, impartial, current research into useful information that can improve the quality of people’s lives. Community Development advances income and employment opportunities by applying cutting-edge research, knowledge and innovations to improve local businesses and the communities they serve. By examining the needs of each community, the OSU Extension is able to enhance the wellbeing of communities and neighborhoods through interactive and collaborative partnerships with local businesses and organizations, community leaders and local officials.

Since 1914, the Ohio State University Extension has been helping Ohioans build better lives, better businesses, and better communities. To learn more about the OSU Extension visit their website, and check out some of the additional programs they offer like the Master Gardener Volunteers and SNAP-Ed, a free nutrition education and obesity prevention program serving low-income adults and youth.

Check out this video for an overview of the office: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuP5o__j4Hk

Seneca Conservation District

seneca conservation district logoFor more than 60 years, the Seneca Conservation District has been working with landowners, local, state, and federal agencies as an advocate of conservation in order to maintain healthy and productive working landscapes. With 24 staff members, 4 of which have joined the team in the last year, the District’s long history of helping people is continued through educating the community on how to take care of the environment. Many members of the staff specialize in an area of conservation, and they are ready to assist the community by providing resources and guidance to residents and business owners.

The Seneca Conservation District helps farmers with nutrient management, improving soil health, responsible water quality and quantity, protecting local wildlife habitats, and managing manure nutrients. The District has cover crop resources for farmers, as well as no-till drills, tree planters, and soil probes to rent, and field flags, erosion control netting and staples for purchase. In addition, the District arranges pasture and grazing management plans, engineering plans, private sprayings on rural ditches, new research and investigation into conservation techniques, and wildlife crop damage complaint consultations. Also overseeing the Seneca County Ditch Maintenance Program and the Seneca County Floodplain Management program, staff is ready to help farmers balance decisions by considering economic impact.

Schools can incorporate conservation into their curriculum with ease as the Seneca Conservation District provides educators with classroom instruction, presentations, and education materials on natural resources and agricultural topics. Students can also benefit from the educational tours given at the outdoor learning lab, Miller Conservation Farm. The District can assist educators on grant applications for related projects and with “Wild School” sites and fundraising, and supports students through Conservation Camps scholarships, academic scholarships, mentoring/job shadowing experiences, and youth conservation trophies at the Seneca County Fair. Students can also explore the Miller Conservation Farm, Kelbley Wildlife Area, and Red Fox Wildlife area which are maintained by the Seneca Conservation District. All these environmental programs are top of the line educational materials that strive to teach our youth about the importance and value of soil and water resources.

The community is encouraged to take part events hosted throughout the year by the Seneca County District. Farmers, college, and high school students join the team as part of the Nutrient Bus Tour, a fantastic learning experience to gather information about nutrients flowing into the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) and how they affect Lake Erie algal blooms last November. Farmers were invited on a cruise in August with The Charter Boat Captains Association to chat with the Division of Wildlife to learn about the unique habitat and species that live in and on the shores and water of Lake Erie. For families, Water Fest is a day filled with games and activities held at the Miller Conservation Farm, including crafts, hands-on water activities, and hayrides. Miller Conservation Farm hosts many events including youth clay pigeon shoots, a mobility impaired deer hunt, a youth turkey hunt, and many more!

Learn more about the Seneca Conservation District here.