"Welcoming Guests Back on Our Farms and Ranches"

Join agritourism operators from Italy, India and the USA for a one-hour conversation about how to safely open to visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Welcoming Guests Back on Our Farms and Ranches" is the first in a series of virtual gatherings for farm, food, and travel communities. Register now for the meeting on Tuesday, September 22nd:

Register at:   https://uvmextension.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMlfu2urDwvHtPyk7nu5JYLI54QDYQfI3bT

As Covid-19 restrictions ease in some parts of the world, travelers who are eager to venture forth seek safe, healthy, outdoor experiences away from crowds— leading to a surge in demand for agritourism experiences. Join agritourism operators from Italy, India, and the USA for a discussion about how to safely open farm stays and prepare for overnight guests during the Covid-19 pandemic. Hear what is working and what is not, and come prepared to share your experiences and questions.

Speakers include Scottie Jones from Leaping Lamb Farm in Oregon and Farm Stay USA, Elisabeth De Coster from Le Mole sul Farfa in Italy, and Harkirat Ahluwalia from Citrus County in India. Lisa Chase from University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Tourism Research Center will moderate the virtual gathering.

Lyme Disease in Ohio

Lyme disease is caused by an infection with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi.  In Ohio, B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis.

Lyme disease cases are increasing in Ohio as the range of blacklegged tick populations continues to expand in the state and encounters with this tick occur more frequently, particularly in the forest habitats preferred by this tick.

Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks calls nymphs.  Nymphs are tiny (less than 2 mm) and difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months.  Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria, but they are much larger and are more likely to be discovered and removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria.  Adult blacklegged ticks are most active during the cooler months of the year.

The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites.

If you find a tick on your body, remove it quickly to reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease.  See a healthcare provider if you do get sick.  Lyme disease is curable.  Early diagnosis and treatment are important in order to avoid further health problems related to Lyme disease.

ODA Unsolicited Seed Drop Off

If you have received or know someone who has received a package of Unsolicited Seeds from China, there is now a drop box at our Montgomery County Extension Office.  Drop offs can be made Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9am - 4pm.  The drop box is located at the building entrance.

Picture of the drop box

ODA Addresses Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

The Packets Contain Unknown Seeds & Often Feature Chinese Writing

REYNOLDSBURG, OH (July 27, 2020) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has been notified that several Ohio residents have received unsolicited packages in the mail containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are currently unknown and may contain invasive plant species. Similar seed packets have been received recently in several other locations across the United States.

If you receive a package of this type, please DO NOT plant these seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, do not open the sealed package. You can report the seeds to ODA online here or you may contact the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Anti-smuggling Hotline by calling 800-877-3835 or by emailing SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. Also, if possible, please retain the original packaging, as that information may be useful to trade compliance officers as they work through this issue.

Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production. ODA and APHIS work hard to prevent the introduction of invasive species and protect Ohio agriculture. All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.

Ohio Farm Poll

Last February, Ohio State launched the inaugural Ohio Farm Poll to understand how Ohio’s diverse farmers were affected by changes in markets and weather in 2019, and to take the pulse of the state’s farming community. Over the last 3 months more than 40% the farmers invited to participate returned a survey, and the team is still getting surveys in the mail. These excellent response rates will give researchers unprecedented, accurate insights into Ohio farmers’ priorities and experiences. They have been actively entering data will be starting analysis in June, and will share results with farmer participants and with our organization as soon as they have them. The OSU researchers would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out a survey. They could not do this work without you!

Enhancing Agriculture and the Environment

Ohio’s diverse agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries contribute more than $100 billion to the state’s economy every year. OSU Extension agriculture and natural resources (ANR) programs assist with technology, marketing and educational support – protecting Ohio’s position in the global marketplace.

OSU Extension also works to help local residents and community leaders enhance and sustain the environment and natural areas throughout the state, balancing economic advancement with environmental sustainability.

Our ANR professionals help producers develop and expand profitable, sustainable farming and other agricultural businesses – thereby creating jobs and economic opportunity for Ohio’s citizens. They also provide leadership, collaboration, consulting, unbiased information, applied research, and access to land-grant university knowledge to address local issues and needs.

ANR in Montgomery County

Ohio State University Extension Montgomery County agricultural mission is to bring to all agricultural enterprises the most current science-based research and educational programming available to further their specific goals.  The program encompasses the traditional/non-traditional producer, the niche producer, the commercial nursery, hobby farmer and the urban stakeholder.  General topics covered are land use, natural resources, resource conservation, commercial crop and livestock, production, fruit and vegetable production, marketing, financial and estate concerns.  A special emphasis is placed on educational programming for the local producer supplying the local marketplace. 

Contact Suzanne Mills-Wasniak, ANR Extension Educator, at 937-224-9654 ext. 123 or mills-wasniak.1@osu.edu for information and answers to questions about your local environment. 

You can also learn more about all OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources programs at agnr.osu.edu.


Extension has been helping all Ohioans build better lives, better businesses and better communities since 1914.