Thank you, Clinton County


Wow, how has time gone by so fast? As some of you already know, on Jan. 31, 2023, I will be officially retiring from my position as the Clinton County Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources. It has been a great career of 35 years and I owe it to all of you Clinton County. From the first day I arrived until now, I have always felt that I belonged to the community.

There are many wonderful memories with a few hiccups here and there, but all have been rewarding with a purpose of supporting and promoting agriculture in all forms and sizes. There are many people to thank over the years as supporters, listeners, mentors, and friends. Too many to start naming with the fear I would forget someone.

Clinton County is recognized for its agricultural presence in Ohio and the eastern U.S. Midwest where corn is king, soybeans are vital and hog production once ruled. We don’t have the Corn Festival just because, we have it because it helps define our agriculturally productive county. Those may be the big three, but I am not forgetting all the other commodity production we have that helps with the diversity of agriculture in Clinton County.

Agriculture is the foundation of our community and the stability for us. Back many years now when DHL left us, we felt like our worlds were turned upside down. Don’t get me wrong it was devastating, but it was that farmer attitude and agriculture as an economic driver that I truly feel was a big reason why we survived. Our strength in agriculture, our hard-working families and the leadership of this county moved us forward in a positive direction over time. I am proud that I have been able to be a part of it over the years.

In promotion of agriculture, we need to remember that it impacts our lives in so many ways from food and fiber, to fuel, jobs and the list goes on and on. So as the slogan goes, “If you enjoyed a good meal today, THANK A FARMER!” I realize not everything in agriculture is that simple. With reward however does come risk that our farm families get challenged from. We have many challenges like water quality, weather, disease, world competition for our commodities, and other production hurdles. At the end of the day however, as stated before, agriculture is our foundation to our community. Embrace it, respect it, and help keep it going strong for years to come. We need to feed a world and that may be the biggest challenge of the future we all must collectively face and conquer.

Some of my program highlights over the years have included corn colleges, soybean workshops, on-farm research and other agronomy-related programs, swine and goat production, new and beginning small farm programs, women in agriculture, estate planning, the farmers market and home horticultural programs like Master Gardeners. These are all programs that I was heavily involved with from development to leadership and I have felt they were beneficial to our producers and farm families.

Besides thanking the many farm families and ag businesses I have worked with; I want to also thank the Clinton County Commissioners for their continued support of the Clinton County Extension Office. Along with Ohio State University, the county commissioners have financially supported us allowing our office to have impactful programs with Clinton County families, farmers and our youth that will be the leaders of tomorrow. Their continued support will allow us to fill my vacant position. It is hopeful this can be done within the next couple of months. Someone not too long ago made the statement that they figured the new educator would be some young person, implying they may not be well seasoned yet for the role. I quickly responded and said I was young once too and I hoped that Clinton County would embrace that new person and welcome them to the community just like they did for me 35 years ago.

I did not have all the answers when I started and I sure as heck don’t have all of them now. I hope that the new person comes into the county with fresh ideas and motivation that can help keep agriculture strong.

I also want to THANK the Wilmington News Journal and all the staff for the opportunity to share with you almost every week through my career. Not all my Extension colleagues around Ohio have an opportunity to have a weekly column. So again, thank you for letting me have an opportunity to advocate for agriculture here in Clinton County. In the interim, I have a great network of agricultural extension educators from the neighboring counties that will be available to assist and help with questions, needs, and concerns you may have.

Thanks to our Wilmington News Journal leadership, these same folks I have worked with over the years will continue to provide information for the weekly agricultural column on Saturdays. I am hopeful the new person will have the opportunity to communicate with you, the Clinton County community, through the means of a weekly column as well. If you have questions, need some assistance or are looking for information, do not hesitate to contact the Clinton County Extension office staff at (937) 382-0901 or stop by the office at 111 S. Nelson Ave, Wilmington. They will be able to assist you and help you get in contact with one of my colleagues.

Speaking about the staff here, what a great group I call my extended family. Tracie Montague, Ann Foxworthy, and Candy Matthews, thank you for all you do and have done that has made coming to work a treat. There have been others along the way that I have had the pleasure to work with in our office.

Finally, one last time, I want to say THANK YOU Clinton County for allowing me the honor to serve you and be a part of your agricultural world the past 35 years. Our paths will cross I am sure as I do not plan to crawl into a hole and disappear. Until then, happy trails and keep up the good work.

Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

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