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Following the success of their 2019 summer program at the National Youth Sports Program camp (NYSP), Ohio State University Extension Cuyahoga County entered into a 5-year agreement (OSUE and Case Western Reserve University) to provide the “Where Does your Food Come From?” program each summer during NYSP Camp. The 5-week camp runs from the beginning of June through the first week of July and encompasses all four Extension program areas (4-H, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Community Development, and Family and Consumer Sciences). Topics include food science and food science career exploration, Agri-science and nutrition, food safety, gardening and insects, and mental health and physical activity. OSU Extension staff provide the interactive lessons to all 8–10-year-olds and arranges a field trip to a local farm. In addition, 4-H staff and volunteers also arranged a drone program for all 800 campers during the 2019 program year and provided Health Rocks! programs in 2021. Unfortunately, due to COVID, NYSP did not take place in 2020, but thanks to the wonderful partnership between OSU Extension and CWRU and the trusting relationship and safety plan that was established, OSU Extension was approved to continue programming in 2021. The leadership worked diligently to maintain safety procedures that highlighted the flexibility of each staff and dedication to the youth. This video link highlights this years’ camp.

Sourced from Ohio State University Extension Cuyahoga County

4-H Youth Development prides itself on providing essential resources to reach underserved minority populations. 4-H provides programming and professional development for volunteers to include diverse hands-on training, and cultural competency workshops. This JOE article provides best practices for the inclusion of African American volunteers in 4-H programming efforts that could help extension educators better understand the need to include minority volunteer roles and responsibilities. These strategies include strengthening diverse volunteer make-up, increasing participation and trust among African American youth, and engaging volunteers working in educational organizations that could provide real world experiences for youth. Authors: Maurice Smith Jr. and Shannon Wiley. Follow this link to read the article.

Sourced from Journal of Extension

All too often we witness subtle comments or behaviors rooted in bias that cause harm to others, many times directed toward people in vulnerable populations. Have you ever been in a situation like that and wanted to say or do something, but didn't know what to do? Anyone can become an active bystander and learn to address explicit and implicit bias. In this 90-minute, interactive webinar, you will learn about some of the most common forms of bias and identify tools you can use as an active bystander to interrupt bias in daily life. This webinar will be presented on Thursday, September 30, 1-2:30 p.m. ET by Dr. Leo Taylor. Follow this link to register.

Sourced from the CFAES Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Gaining Ground Webinar: Zoning for Urban Agriculture
Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 2 p.m. EDT

Speaker: Andrea Clark, Policy & Planning Manager, KC Healthy Kids

Gaining Ground is a free webinar series geared toward agriculture educators. The goal of Gaining Ground is to equip agriculture educators with knowledge from national experts that support Urban Food Systems enterprises. Each webinar is delivered by experts from the urban core such as urban farmers, nonprofit educators, food policy advocates and government workers. Participants will learn technical and systems-level information for successful Urban Food Systems practices through the series. Gaining Ground is presented by Kansas State University's M.S. in Horticulture with an emphasis in Urban Food Systems. Click here to register. Follow this link for more information about the Gaining Ground Weninar Series.

Sourced from K-State

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a landmark change in the way Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are established for more than 42 million people who use these benefits to help put food on their tables. Beginning October 1, 2021, the value of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which is the federal government’s representation of a minimal-cost nutritionally adequate diet and the basis for calculating monthly SNAP benefits, will be permanently increased by 21 percent and updated periodically for inflation. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from the USDA Media

Exploratory Research Groups (ERGs) are designed to support early-stage, exploratory research and creative expression on a range of faculty-determined topics. The Ohio State University Sustainability Institute (SI), in collaboration with other units and programs on campus, aims to support researchers from across the university in growing collaborative, interdisciplinary teams focused on sustainability or resilience topics. SI is committed to supporting ERGs through ongoing partnership, including support through networking, in-kind services, and limited financial resources as possible, to best address the unique challenges and opportunities of each group. The overall intent of ERGs are to:

  • Help build connections and community across researchers with similar interests.
  • Support and grow ongoing interactions of interdisciplinary groups faculty and researchers that may also include students or external partners.
  • Provide a means for faculty or research staff that are new to the university to meet their community of similarly interested scholars.
  • Grow the capacity of interdisciplinary teams to compete for larger grants and awards. 
  • Provide opportunities for mentorship, leadership and professional development for junior faculty and researchers.

Follow this link to see the list of the ERGs that are currently launching and sign up to participate.

The National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) has an one-year Fellowship opportunity open for interested Extension professionals. The Fellow will work with NUEL to help expand its capacity and communication tools, and with NUEL and ECOP to support the work of the newly forming national leadership program team for Urban Agriculture & Food Systems.

Applications should be submitted through email to:

Follow this link to learn more about the NUEL Communication Capacity Building Fellow Job Description

For additional questions about the position, contact:
Marie Ruemenapp, National Urban Extension Leaders, Michigan State University

For additional questions, about the application process, contact:
Megan Hirschman, Partnership and Development Specialist, Extension Foundation

As Boston area communities experience a wave of development pressure to support a growing population, how will the inevitable neighborhood change affect residents’ health and well-being? The study, facilitated by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examines community change and health in nine Massachusetts communities. In each community, community-based organization partners recruited residents with strong ties to the community to be trained as paid part-time researchers. Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from Shelterforce

The first release of race-ethnic statistics from the 2020 census makes plain that America’s “diversity explosion” is continuing, albeit in the context of slower national growth, especially among the youth. The new numbers show that, for the first time, there was a decade-long loss in the number of white Americans who do not identify with other racial and ethnic groups. This means that all of the nation’s 2010-to-2020 growth is attributable to people of color—those identifying as Latino or Hispanic, Black, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Native American, and as two or more races. Together, these groups now comprise more than 40% of the U.S. population. Follow this link to read the complete story.

Sourced from Brookings.

Photo of Solomon GarnerThe Strategic Initiatives and Urban Engagement unit welcomes new graduate research associate Solomon Garner. He obtained his Bachelor’s of Science degree from The Ohio State University, majoring in Community Leadership with a Leadership Specialization and a minor in Youth Development. He also has an Organizational Leadership Certificate from Otterbein University. He is pursuing his Master’s degree through the department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. With a passion for helping people, a part of his belief is to give back and build for the future. Solomon is a native to Columbus, Ohio and in his downtime, he’s out with his dog, completing a fitness routine, or trying a new restaurant or venue.

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