Last updated: November 28. 2013 4:15PM - 421 Views
Sam Custer

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During this season of thanks, I extend to you my appreciation for your continued support of our educational and informational programs conducted throughout the year. Extension’s heartbeat is the involvement of the people in its programs.

People such as you, who visit, contribute, ask, volunteer, or learn, provide a strong heartbeat in our community. Our goal is to service the entire community by providing research-based education that will improve people’s lives and respond to citizen’s needs. Ohio State University Extension works with many audiences on a variety of issues, including community and leadership, and providing youth activities.

Everyone in Darke County has been great to me during the past 15 months as I have transitioned in to this new position as your agriculture and natural resources educator. There has been much to learn and many have offered and aided in making my learning curve achievable.

We are blessed in Darke County to have the agriculture community that we do. When I put a call out asking for assistance with some research plots, the Tom Harrod, Kevin Schmitmeyer and Todd Schmitmeyer families volunteered to let us experiment in their fields. Ken-Feld Equipment donated the use of a tractor for almost a month as we completed five different treatments on Darke County fields to determine the value of swine manure as a side dress nutrient. We were very pleased with the overall results of the work and I want to especially thank Mike VanHorn and Jeff and Alan Wuebker for their weigh carts for measuring our yields. We will be sharing the results with you later this year.

The Bill Coppess and Tony Bornhorst families assisted with our Soybean Limiting Factors research, letting me work in their soybean field throughout the growing season collecting soil and tissue samples and scouting for diseases and insects to provide answers how we can raise soybean yields like we have done with corn over the past 40 years.

This past growing season was very interesting and I had a great group of people who collected and recorded rain totals throughout the season. To all the rain gauge guys, thank you very much. You can see their data at www.cocorahs.org.

In August we had a bus tour highlighting Darke County Agriculture. Special thanks goes out to Koenig Equipment, Cooper Farms, Wuebker Farms, Roger Winner Beef Farms, Ross Medford Farms and the Buschur Family Dairy for being great hosts for the tour that was summarized by a participant as the best bus trip they have ever been on. Thank you Darke County Pork Producers for providing lunch for the group.

I would be remiss to not thank the media outlets of Darkle County. They have all been great as we share research based information with the citizens of Darke County. I have enjoyed the opportunity to answer their questions and to be part of their mission in sharing positive news.

I would like to thank my co-workers in the office for helping me learn my job. They have been patient with me and have made my new career very enjoyable.

As always, family and friends are the critical in everything we do. Thank you for helping me with the social media arena, identifying insects and weeds, listening to my concerns and sharing in my excitement.

Finally I would like to thank county commissioners Delaplane, Rhoades and Stegall for always supporting OSU Extension, Darke County.

Again accept my thanks and appreciation for the continued support.

For more information about OSU Extension, Darke County, visit the Darke County OSU Extension website at www.darke.osu.edu, the OSU Extension Darke County Facebook page or contact Sam Custer, at 937-548-5215.

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