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OSU Extension has joined the global community in celebration of Urban October. Urban October was created by UN Habitat as an opportunity for everyone to be part of the conversation about the challenges and opportunities created by the fast rate of change in cities and towns. Ohio’s theme is Celebrating Ohio Cities – Where We Live, Work, Play, Learn, and Serve. Celebrating Urban October provides a foundation for deeper engagement that contributes to healthy urban communities and urban-, suburban-, and rural-relationships. For easy ideas to implement and graphics you can share follow this link to the Urban October Toolkit.

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Using one image and 100 words share what you have been doing to “create opportunities for people to explore how science-based knowledge can improve social, economic, and environmental conditions in our urban and metro communities. We will help share these stories during Urban October. Submit your stories here

Last Friday, nearly 50 urban Extension colleagues gathered virtually for the OSU Extension Annual Urban Summit. During the Summit folks shared their gifts with the group, heard from Brian Raison about storytelling to connect to your audience, worked through scenarios in situation rooms, and learned about how they can get involved in Urban October. Resources shared from the Summit are located here.

Ohio State University Extension is celebrating “Urban October,” a worldwide campaign the United Nations launched to focus on the opportunities and challenges created by the fast rate of change in cities. The theme of Ohio’s monthlong campaign is “Celebrating Ohio Cities—Where We Live, Work, Play, Learn, and Serve.” This is OSU Extension’s first year participating in Urban October. In the coming years, the Extension team looks forward to collaborating with additional university and community partners to build on this foundation and foster local, state, national, and global connections. For more information about Extension’s Urban October efforts, visit

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.