Welcome to winter! Boy did the snow come down this past weekend. What a great lake effect snow! All of this snow and this week’s colder temperatures are Mother Nature’s triumphant announcement that winter is here! As we creep closer to Christmas, I would like to dive into the Christmas stocking and share some odds and ends.


Congratulations to Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, which was one of three recipients of the Ohio JCEP (Joint Council of Extension Professionals) Friend of Extension Award last week at OSU Extension’s Annual Conference.

This recognition is the highest honor our Extension professional organization gives to individuals, businesses or organizations which support the mission of OSU Extension. 

Our office has been blessed to be able to work hand in hand with our local Farm Bureau organization on issues affecting our farmers. This work includes collaboration on two important task forces dealing with the CAUV and phosphorus issues as well as co-sponsoring the very successful Ashtabula County Ag Day each May for our local first graders. 

We were very pleased that our State Professional Organization recognized them for their incredible partnership.

A special thanks to Mandy Orahood, Ashtabula County Farm Bureau organization director, and Lynn Frank, Ashtabula County Farm Bureau president, for attending the awards luncheon in Columbus Dec. 7 to accept this award.

We congratulate them and look forward to working together for many years to come.


Speaking of the Phosphorus Task force ... the Northeast Ohio Phosphorus Task force is seeking farmers to track the winter weather conditions in Northeast Ohio.

The committee met Nov. 21 to review the data collected from the winter of 2016 and voted to continue the data collection this winter.

We are asking farmers to monitor the weather and soil conditions present each day from now through the end of March.

We are asking for cooperators to track two questions each day. No. 1: Is your ground snow covered or frozen and No. 2: Is the top two inches of the soil saturated. According for the new legislation from Senate Bill 1, no manure or fertilizer can be applied (without incorporation) if these conditions exist in Northwest Ohio. While we are not under these restrictions in Northeast Ohio, we might be in the future. We are completing this research to be proactive.

This research will allow us to determine the percentage of days in our watersheds where it would be acceptable for manure or fertilizer application if these restrictions were in place (like we did this past winter).

Our goal is to have at least one cooperator from each township in Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties to track this data for us.

Farmers interested in tracking should contact me at 440-576-9008 or marrison.2@osu.edu so that your name is added to our cooperator list. Thanks for helping us to be proactive.


OSU Extension is pleased to announce that we are in the process of hiring a new Director for 4-H Camp Whitewood located in Windsor.

The director will be responsible for the overall administration of Camp Whitewood. The job requirements include Master’s degree in camp administration, business management, youth development, education or another related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. 

A full description and application instructions can be found at https://www.jobsatosu.com/postings/74986. The deadline for application is Dec. 18. For questions regarding the position, please contact Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins at 330-350-0512 or Jenna Hoyt in our office at 440-576-9008.


I would like to end today’s column with a thought from Thomas S. Monson who stated, “My brothers and sisters, true love is a reflection of the Savior’s love. In December of each year we call it the Christmas spirit. You can hear it. You can see it. You can feel it.”

Have a good and safe day. 

DAVID MARRISON is associate professor and extension educator, agriculture and natural resources, Ohio State University Extension. Marrison can be reached at 440-576-9008 or marrison.2@osu.edu.

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