OSU EXTENSION … Jeff Dick and Jessica Runkle were present for the November 14, 2022 commissioners session to give an update on some changes in their department. Present for the commissioners session were Commissioners Brian Davis, Lew Hilkert, Terry Rummel, Clerk Anne Retcher and incoming Commissioner Bart Westfall. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
As leaders of the Williams County 4-H program, 4-H Educator Jeff Dick and Assistant Educator Jessica Runkle met with Commissioners Terry Rummel, Lew Hilkert, Brian Davis and incoming Bart Westfall on November 14, 2022.
Jeff said that they had been interviewing to fill the place left empty when Stephanie Karhoff moved into the state position as OSU Extension Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems.
They believe they have found the right person as they offered the job to a candidate “who will be a great asset to Williams County.”
He explained that he could not give the name of this person yet as they will not be graduating till November.
OSU has asked that they not divulge the name until after the person, who has accepted their offer, actually has their degree.
Jessica reported that Courtney Krieger, who was a Program Assistant for Ag and Natural Resources in Fulton County, has taken a new position now as Water Quality Extension Associate for Fulton, Williams and Lucas Counties, but will still be working out of the Fulton County office.
This means that the Williams County office will be working with her, and the pesticide and fertilizer clinic has already been scheduled for March 9, 2023.
During the past year Krieger surveyed ninety-two soybean fields prior to harvest to record the most common weed species as well as some in-season monitoring of a corn insect, western bean cutworm, and the disease tar spot, to improve grower’s pest management strategies.
In her update, Jessica shared concerning fertilizer and pesticide recertification, 31 pesticide and 44 fertilizer applicators attended to recertify their Ohio Department of Agriculture licenses.
Ninety three percent of the pesticide applicators “improved practice to improve the environment following recertification training.”
In Beef Quality Assurance (BQA), Williams County had 42 local beef producers attend the BQA program to learn best management practices and capture more value from their market cattle.
Jeff clarified that the beef producers number includes those who do it as a hobby and some 4-H students who did them as a project, not just commercial producers in the county.
Master gardener volunteers hosted a holiday arrangement class in December 2021 but will not be holding that for 2022.
They also participated in the 2022 Maple Syrup Festival and did a tour at Sauder Village to teach about master gardening and the plants at Sauder Village.
After the board went into recess, Jeff asked if they were going to talk about the finances and Hilkert said that as the budget is based on the money generated through the levy, their budget is managed by OSU now.
“The money does not flow through the county,” Rummel said, and Hilkert recommended that Jeff could just send a copy of the reviewed budget to the commissioners so they are aware of how money is spent.
Jeff also informed the commissioners that Bruce Clevenger, who was their immediate supervisor, has taken an Agronomy Field Specialist position in farm management with OSU Extension, and so hiring is going on to fill his position as well. He will still be utilized but will not be in a supervisory position.
In regular session, the commissioners approved Resolution 287 supplemental appropriations and also signed, which included travel for Heather Mercer and Apryl McClaine to attend the EMAO Winter Conference; change order for 2022 Pavement Marking Project #5-2022; certification form in regards to a juvenile division grant for which they have applied; the minutes of previous meeting and the payment of bills.
With no further business the meeting adjourned.
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