OSU Extension updates Commissioners

Stephanie Karhoff, of the OSU Extension Office, updates the Williams County Commissioners on the extension office budget on Monday. Karhoff also thanked commissioners and county voters for supporting renewal of the extension levy in the Nov. 2 general election. From left are Jordan Beck, the extension’s water quality extension associate for Williams, Fulton and Lucas counties; Karhoff, agriculture and natural resources educator for the county extension office; and commissioners Lew Hilkert and Terry Rummel.

The Nov. 2 passage of the five-year, 0.4-mill renewal levy for the Ohio State University Williams County Extension office allows the office to continue offering its programs and services at the same level to county residents. The levy passed overwhelmingly by about an 80% to 20% margin.

And thank you, Stephanie Karhoff, educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources for the county extension office, said to voters and county commissioners during an office update to commissioners on Monday.

The levy — first approved in 2012 and successfully renewed since then — raises $298,489 annually through the life of the levy. That will continue to fund the office’s rent, salaries, equipment, information technology support and a host of community-based programs, Karhoff told commissioners.

Some of those programs include 4-H youth development, agriculture and natural resources, horticulture/gardening and community nutrition education.

Karhoff said the levy proceeds will also allow the office to ensure its ongoing fiscal health and meet its recommended carryover balance.

In addition, the office is planning to reinstate its Master Gardener classes in spring 2022, after those classes were suspended last year due to COVID.

Karhoff was accompanied Monday by Jordan Beck, the extension’s water quality extension associate for Williams, Fulton and Lucas counties, who is based in Wauseon.

Beck began in his position in March 2020. He explained that his goal is to engage farmers and agriculture in new production strategies, technologies and best management practices, along with improving fertilizer uses and reducing nutrient and sediment losses within the western Lake Erie basin.

Beck said his position is grant-funded (not funded by levies or taxpayers) in partnership with OSU College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Cargill and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The county’s OSU Extension is located in the county’s East Annex office building, at 1425 E. High St.

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