When Dick and Kaye Clay were approached by a shale energy representative about possibly leasing a portion of their Harrison County land, Kaye Clay knew where to turn for guidance.
She had previously worked for the Guernsey County office of OSU Extension and was familiar with a fact sheet that Extension educator Clif Little had written in 2008, "Leasing Farmland for Oil and Gas Production."
"Knowledge is gold," Kaye Clay said. "I thought I knew a few things about oil and gas development, but I didn't know a fraction. That's where Extension comes in. That's where I turn."
The Clays used the fact sheet's checklists to prepare for negotiations with Gulfport Energy, and also talked with Little "and picked his brain," she said.
"Extension educators are so willing to share their knowledge, and if they don't know, there's someone they can contact and get back with an answer," she said. "I can't say enough about Extension."
"With the knowledge gained from Extension, I have the confidence to ask the correct questions and make informed decisions so we're not taken advantage of."—Kaye Clay, Harrison County
Dave McCleary in neighboring Tuscarawas County had a similar experience.
A representative knocked on his door with a lease agreement to run a pipeline on McCleary's land -- something that more and more Ohioans are likely to experience as additional shale energy wells begin producing and the gas and liquids need to be delivered to energy facilities.
The representative "came back the next day wondering if we had signed the agreement so he could give us our check," McCleary said. "It was tempting -- he was standing there with that check in his hand, but if we had signed it then, I would have ended up with a small check and a big headache."
Video (1:58): Dick and Kaye Clay talk about the helpful information on shale energy they've gotten from OSU Extension.
-- Martha Filipic, Communications and Technology