OSU Extension introduces 3 new signature programs, graduates 2

OSU Extension engages people to strengthen their lives and communities through research-based educational programming. A tremendous variety of locally specific programs focus on meeting citizens' needs right where they live and work.

Since 2008, OSU Extension has also used six very topic-focused signature programs to address broader, current critical needs of the state. These signature programs complement the impacts of Extension's existing portfolio of core programs. In 2011 alone, OSUE connected directly with nearly 140,000 Ohioans through the signature programs.

Following an application and review process in early 2012, three new OSU Extension signature programs kicked off in July, and two current programs will graduate as of Dec. 31.

Video (6:23): OSU Extension Director Keith Smith discusses the new signature programs.

Energize Ohio, Assuring Quality Care for Animals, and Local Foods are newly designated as signature programs. Several factors were considered during the selection process -- especially relevance and significance, collaboration and participation, and evaluation and impact.

  • Energize Ohio is working to develop resources and opportunities for renewable energy production, development, marketing, and education in Ohio. Eric Romich is the team leader.
  • Assuring Quality Care for Animals teaches 4-H youth how to use best practices that guarantee quality, safe food animal products for consumers and responsible animal handling, care, and welfare. Paul Kuber and Lucinda Miller are leading this team.
  • Local Foods are in demand, and this program will help coordinate strategies to get more food choices from producers to retail outlets to consumers efficiently, safely, and cost-effectively. Mike Hogan and Kate Shumaker are the team leaders.

As of Dec. 31, Why Trees Matter and New Start for Financial Success will graduate as signature programs.

The continuing signature programs focus on Dining with Diabetes, Increasing Profitable Crop Yields Above Trendline -- 2014, Business Retention and Expansion, and Real Money Real World.

Timely, relevant, focused

Summary statements and links to the home pages for the signature programs are located on the OSUE website. The new signature program team leaders will update the content on the new sites as each team becomes fully functional.

The OSUE signature programs provide an opportunity to:

  • Focus on the most relevant, timely, and key issues via greater emphasis on in-depth program delivery and evaluation.
  • Capitalize on innovative ideas, materials, and/or methods.
  • Demonstrate evidence of impact.
  • Promote and market OSU Extension.

All of the OSUE signature programs are reviewed regularly for continued impact and relevance to Ohio citizens. 

-- Cheryl Buck, OSU Extension