Extension Signature Programs

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Why Trees Matter/Next S.T.E.P. Program

The OSU Extension Why Trees Matter/Next S.T.E.P. interdisciplinary program focuses on the economic, environmental and social benefits of community forests. Powerful new research-based tools provide information on the energy savings, storm water remediation, air quality and carbon sequestration of individual trees and plantings in community and landscape settings. The program also includes 130 research sites throughout Ohio as part of the Ohio Street Tree Evaluation Program (OSTEP), the development of the new TREE (Tree Research Evaluation and Extension) plot at the Secrest Arboretum of OARDC, volunteer development such as the Master Tree Steward Master Gardener Specialization Program, along with the development of educational curricula and informational resources for educational programming. The Why Trees Matter/Next S.T.E.P. program involves the OSU Extension Nursery Landscape and Turf Team, the  Woodland Stewards Team, the AGNR and CD programs, partner agencies and organizations, communities and green industry companies. The program directly assists Ohio citizens with management, plant selection and evaluation decisions regarding Ohio’s valuable green resources.

New Start

Ohio families and households who file bankruptcy are looking for a “new start” in financial management. The Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 changed the rules for consumers and their attorneys. In order to discharge their debt, clients must first complete a debtor education class. Ohio State University Extension offers the New Start Program, a Department of Justice-approved class. Participants will be issued a certificate of completion to provide to the court. This program is supported by the Healthy Finances Team.

Real Money, Real World

Each year, America’s high schools graduate thousands of young adults who are unprepared for the world ahead of them, particularly in important matters of employment and financial decisions affecting their lives. Real Money, Real World curriculum was created to simulate real-life experiences to help make youth aware of the money management skills they need to be productive and successful members of society. The curriculum focuses on making students aware of the correlation between educational attainments and earning power. Real Money, Real World programs are designed to be a partnership of the county Extension office, the school, and the business community. This program is supported by the Healthy Finances Team and the Workforce Preparation Team.

Dining with Diabetes

Diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death in Ohio and the number one cause of adult blindness, amputations and kidney failure. Over $130 billion is spent annually on diabetes care and management. Dining with Diabetes is a program designed for people with diabetes and their family members. It helps individuals learn strategies to manage their disease and includes a follow-up reunion three months following class completion. Dining with Diabetes is a partnership between Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Department of Health and health education partners. It is supported by the Diabetes Education Team.

Business Retention & Expansion

The Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) Program aims to strengthen the capacity of local officials and community volunteers to better understand and manage their local economy. The program engages communities in a formal survey process to identify strategies that will help local businesses remain profitable and expand. The ultimate anticipated outcomes: a more engaged community, a database of local information, and a more robust local economy. The program is targeted to communities of all sizes that are desirous of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the local economy. A team, the BR&E/ Economic Analysis Team, is currently in development and is very excited about the prospect of giving leadership to this program on a wider scale as a signature program.

Increasing Agronomic Crop and Forage Yield

Increasing Profitable Crop Yields above Trendline-2014 is a program to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fiber, fuel and industrial uses of Ohio’s crops. The year 2014 celebrates the 100th year of Extension education and it is fitting that programs have been developed to meet a growing crisis in world food & energy production. Dr. Luther Tweeten, professor emeritus of Ohio State's Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics has seen the world struggle through two previous food crises in 1960 and in the early 1970s. According to Tweeten, “the current global food crisis may even be more dire.” The program is led by ANR Commodity/Issue crop teams (Agronomic, Forage, Fruit and Vegetable). It is a multidiscipline program that assists the agribusiness industry and producers to increase profitable crop yields in a socially and environmentally responsible way, adding more raw commodity for Ohio’s business growth and export markets.

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Ohio State University Extension embraces human diversity and is committed to ensuring that all research and related educational programs are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. This statement is in accordance with United States Civil Rights Laws and the USDA.

Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Agricultural Administration; Associate Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Director, Ohio State University Extension; and Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership.

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