Erika Lyon
Extension Educator - ANR
Ohio State University Extension
Jefferson County

Lyon, E.*1,
1 Extension Educator - ANR, Ohio State University Extension, Steubenville, OH, 43952

The ANR Extension Connection newsletter for Jefferson County, Ohio highlighted relevant agricultural and horticultural information, updates, and local and regional events during the summer of 2019. The objective of the newsletter was to ensure that county residents stayed in the loop on Extension programs available to them as well keeping them informed of relevant issues and interests in the fields of agriculture and natural resources. Newsletters contained articles on livestock production, horticultural pests, invasive species, farm stress, among other topics that were based on the needs of the county. The newsletter reached a general audience consisting of agricultural producers, growers, consumers, county officials and the general public.

Many community members of Jefferson County do not have good access to the internet to receive information. Furthermore, those who do have internet access often encounter scientifically unsupported claims online represented as facts. These newsletters included both reactive and proactive science-based information that could be received both electronically and by mail. For example, an article about the hazards of ash trees was included to inform county landowners of the dangers of dead stands of ash created by the Emerald Ash Borer. Although the beetle had been present in the county for some time, many dead ash trees had not been removed, and these trees were creating hazardous conditions for anyone walking nearby.

My role as editor for this newsletter included writing articles on topics related to agricultural production, compiling articles written by colleagues relevant for county clientele, creating advertisements for county and nearby events and opportunities, formatting and distribution. Newsletter issues were designed using Microsoft Publisher software.

With options to receive online or through the mail, the newsletter reached 427 households through mailing of printed copies and approximately 250 individuals and agencies via email on a bimonthly basis. Additional newsletters were also made available for pick up at the Jefferson County Extension office. Clientele frequently referred to the newsletter for information and, as a result, contacted the office with further questions regarding the topics included. Attendees at county programs often stated that they found out about events through the ANR Extension Connection newsletter.