Ohio 4-H Highlights : September 2020

  1. Farm Science Review: robots, experiments, tour a hatchery, and more!

    A person on a computer looking at Farm Science Review Online.

    A robot milking a cow might conjure up an image that’s nothing like it actually is.

    If you’re picturing a pair of metal arms and legs and a rectangular face with flashing lights, you would be way off. Picture instead a movable metal bar that goes under the cow, attaching pumps.

    “I think the notion of it is interesting to people. They want to see it. They want to see how it works,” said Mary Beth Albright, a 4-H educator with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

    A 4-H member leading a STEM activity at the 2019 Farm Science Review.If the possibility of seeing a robot milking cows, watching baby chicks hatch, or exploring farming in Hawaii intrigues you, watch and listen to Farm Science Review’s virtual 4-H talks Sept. 22–24.

    Experiments online will allow you to discover the science behind making ice cream or the qualities of healthy soil. You can create tools to test water quality and explore career options in farming.

    All this is free and available by registering at fsr.osu.edu for 4-H’s prerecorded videos and livestreamed presentations during Farm Science Review.

    On Sept. 24 from 9–10 a.m., watch cow-milking robots when you take virtual tours of two Ohio dairies, Albright Jerseys in Huron County and Blue Sky Farm in Monroe County.

    Enticed by food pellets, cows head to a robot to be milked. On average, milking takes only about seven minutes.

    “We do have some cows that loiter near the robots and try to milk again just to get more pellets,” said Albright, whose family owns Albright Jerseys.

    During Farm Science Review, you can also see what farming is like in Hawaii from 360-degree views of coconut, cinnamon, and tea fields.

    Why Hawaii? A view of Hawaiian farmland.

    “It’s a gorgeous state,” said Elliott Lawrence, a 4-H educator in Lucas County.

    “It’s completely different from what we’re accustomed to farms looking like.”

    Cinnamon, coconut, bananas, tea—all can be seen growing in the lush, tropical climate.

    For a full schedule of all Farm Science Review talks and demonstrations, visit fsr.osu.edu.

  2. View the Ohio 4-H Fall Showcase

    A Camp...ish participant making thank you cards.

    This year has been filled with unexpected challenges, but thanks to the creativity of Ohio 4-H professionals,  youth have had the opportunity to participate in unique and innovative learning experiences. Watch this Fall Showcase brought to you by the Ohio 4-H Foundation and hear stories from 4-H educators around the state who are working hard to make the best better.



  3. Blast-off to Mars with Ohio 4-H and join the 4-H STEM Challenge

    Mars Base Camp - Explore a hands-on mission to Mars at home!

    We’re launching a trip to Mars and we want to help you get there! The 2020 4-H STEM Challenge explores sending a mission to Mars and what it takes to sustain life in space. The Mars Base Camp kit includes activities that use STEM skills like mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and agriculture.

    We want Ohio 4-H families to join in, and thanks to the Ohio 4-H Foundation and Google, you can receive an $8 discount on the Mars Base Camp family kit. The family kit is available at shop4-h.org for $15.95, plus shipping, but with the Ohio 4-H discount and the $5 discount available on their website, your final cost is just $7.80 + tax. Mars Base Camp - Explore a hands-on mission to Mars at home!

    Want to learn more? Get ready to blast off: 

    Participate online with a coding challenge at Insight from Mars

  4. Down on the farm

    Meghan Kieffer with her rabbits.

    In March, Kiersten Heckel, Tuscarawas County 4-H educator, and Chris Kendle, FCS educator, planned an event with the Dover Public Library to introduce youth to 4-H and farm animals. When the pandemic changed their plans, Heckel and Michelle Moon, 4-H program assistant, created “Down on the Farm, ” eight videos highlighting 4-H members and their animals. Thanks to a long-standing partnership with the library and the Zoom video conferencing platform, children were able to sign-in, watch the videos, then ask the 4-H youth questions.  According to Heckel, “It was a great opportunity for our 4-H’ers to use their public-speaking skills and promote 4-H to families.”

    You can go down on the farm, too and view their videos at the links below.

    Squeal Appeal (Swine) - starring Emma Leggett of the Boots & Chutes 4-H Club



    Something to Crow About (Poultry) - starring Jonathon Domer of the 4-H Jr. Achievers



    It’s More Than Horsin’ Around (Horses) - starring Gemma, Cora, Aria & Isla Dotts of the Boots N Bling 4-H Club



    Just a Goat and Her Girl (Goats) - starring Kylie Stein of the 4-H Jr. Achievers



    Just Hopping Around (Rabbits) -  starring Meghan Kieffer of the Atwood Lakers 4-H Club



    A Mooving Experience (Dairy) - starring Peyton Vickers of the Happy Harvesters 4-H Club



    Beef Up Your Knowledge (Beef) - starring Barrett Evans of the 4-H Jr. Achievers



    What Do Ewe Know (Sheep) - starring Adeline Kendle of the Above & Beyond 4-H Club


  5. Faces of Ohio 4-H

    Bob with a sheep at the 1961 Hartford Fair.

    Each month we highlight an Ohio 4-H alumnus. They have amazing stories to share, from their personal experience in 4-H to how they have given back to the program. This month we feature Bob Sachs, Licking County 4-H alumnus and retired Williams County 4-H extension agent.

    When we spoke to Sachs, he shared his start in the 4-H program. “I joined my dad’s 4-H club, Johnstown Clover Kids, in 1954 and was a member for nine years. Our 4-H club meetings were youth-led with officers, parliamentary procedure, officer reports, service, and recreation. My earliest memories included playing the game “Rhythm” and going to 4-H camp. I held most of the officer positions, served on the Licking County 4-H Council as a youth member, judged parliamentary procedure, and was a member of the Licking County 4-H band.”

    Showing animals was an important part of Sachs’ 4-H career. “I have fond memories of showing Corriedales at the Hartford Independent Fair and the Ohio State Fair. We didn’t have a pick-up truck or trailer, so I took my sheep to the fair riding in the back of a 1956 Ford Station wagon!” Bob with a sheep.

    Even when Sachs’ 4-H career as a member ended, his involvement in the program continued. “After high school, I majored in agriculture education at The Ohio State University. I taught vocational agriculture for four years, then became a 4-H extension agent in 1971 – a position I held until my retirement in 1995.”

    “Being a 4-H agent was challenging and rewarding,” said Sachs.  “It included camp, project judging, county fair, livestock judging and sale, and state and national activities. The ultimate reward was seeing youth develop personal and leadership skills that would carry them through to adulthood.” And those leadership skills were demonstrated by several Williams County 4-H youth who later became Extension professionals.*

    And retirement wasn’t the end of Sachs’ commitment to 4-H. “I started facilitating group challenges and low ropes course initiatives at 4-H Camp Palmer while I was an agent and continued when I retired. Now my wife and I attend local 4-H events, support the Williams County junior fair, and contribute to 4-H Endowment fundraisers,” he said. “We also helped establish a 4-H Camp Palmer endowment fund through the Dale E. and Bernice Mansperger OSU Development Fund. The fund is nearing $100,000.”

    Looking back, Sachs said 4-H taught him skills for a lifetime. “Set goals and work toward accomplishing them. If you don’t try, you have no chance to succeed.” His advice to current 4-H members?  “Take more than one kind of project to widen your experience and when working on a project, find people who know more than you do and learn from them.” Bob Sach, Trish Raridan Preston, Kirk Bloir

    * The youth from Williams County who later became Extension professionals includes: Lisa Barlage, Ross County, FCS Educator; Melissa Rupp, Fulton County, FCS Educator; Shannon Sachs Carter (daughter), Fairfield County, FCS Educator; Teresa Johnson, Defiance County, 4-H Educator; Tonya Bowman, Hamilton County, (former) 4-H Educator; Laura Rohlf, Henry County, 4-H Educator; Michelle Weber Griffith, Athens County, (former) 4-H Educator; Kim Herman, Williams County, (former) 4-H Program Assistant; Jessica Runkel, Williams County, 4-H Program Assistant; Jeff Fisher, Pike County, (former) ANR Educator; Jeff Dick, 4-H Field Specialist, 4-H, Kirk Bloir, State 4-H Leader

  6. Calendar of Events

    October 7 is National 4-H Spirit Day.

    September 22 – CFAES Land-Grant Cornerstone Conversation (virtual) – 12 p.m., Join us for the 2020 Land-Grant Cornerstone Conversation being held virtually during the 58th annual Farm Science Review and hosted by Dr. Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The program will premiere on YouTube.  A link to the premiere will be emailed to you when you register at go.osu.edu/FSRjoinus.

    September 22-24 – Farm Science Review (virtual) - Virtual visitors can find out about the show’s offerings by going to fsr.osu.edu and clicking on the image of the show site. Within that image, you can click on various icons to find schedules for talks and demos, such as field demonstrations or “Ask the Expert” talks. Checkout the Youth/4-H page with loads of hands-on learning in the OSU 4-H STEM in Ag Tent.

    October 4-10 – Ohio 4-H STEM Challenge – This year, thanks to a generous donation from the Ohio 4-H Foundation and Google, you can receive a discount on the 4-H Mars Base Camp family kit!  And you won’t want to miss a very special week of virtual activities all about Mars from October 4-10. Register for your code today at go.osu.edu/2020ohiostemchallenge. You'll receive a discount on the family kit, combine it with the $5 discount at Shop4-h.org and your kit is only $7.80 + tax!

    October 7 – National 4-H Spirit Day (everywhere) – Join in as 4-H members, alumni, and professionals celebrate National 4-H Week by wearing your favorite 4-H shirt.

    October 7-18 – Paper Clover at Tractor Supply Company (TSC stores) – To help support 4-H, purchase a paper clover in-store or add a donation at checkout on tractorsupply.com.  Please visit tractorsupply.com/4h for more details.

    October 8 – Gardening with Dr. Timothy McDermott (Zoom) – 12 p.m., The CFAES Alumni Society Board presents “Gardening with Dr. Timothy McDermott.” This event is free, registration is required.

    November 5 – 4-H Celebration of Youth – Pathways to the Future (virtual) – Join us for an evening celebrating and raising funds for the Ohio 4-H Youth Development program. Watch for more details coming soon.