December 15, 2020 - 8:00am -- lehman.488@osu.edu

Dairy Scholarship

The Wayne-Ashland Dairy Service Unit is accepting applications for the 2021 DSU Scholarship now through February 15. The Dairy Service Unit is the entity best known for organizing the annual Dairy Twilight Tour. It also seeks to promote the industry in our local communities through other promotional and educational endeavors.

Applicants should have a background and/or desire to pursue a career in dairy, must live in Wayne or Ashland county, and be a senior in high school or enrolled as a first or second year student in a post-high school program. At least one scholarship of $1,000 has been given annually, and additional scholarships may be awarded at the boards’ discretion. Application forms can be found at the Wayne county Extension website: wayne.osu.edu and include additional information for completion.

4-H or FFA advisors may also nominate a youth for the Outstanding Dairy Youth award which recognizes an individual who has achieved excellence in dairy projects/activities over the past year. The nomination form can be found at our website with additional instructions. The winner will receive $250, presented at the annual banquet.

 

Winter Blues

Each year, starting on June 21, the hours of daylight begin shrinking until we make it to December 21st and daylight begins to increase day by day. In a year like 2020, the winter blues can seem overwhelming. Between a very divisive pre and post-election, civil unrest, economic distress, a global pandemic and not too many rays of sunshine for agriculture on top of all that, we might ask ourselves “Why do I bother getting up each morning?”

I could reference multiple statistics or sources about the mass decline in mental, emotional, and social health attributed to various parts of the aforementioned issues that we are all facing, but they are much more than statistics - they are personal experiences. I imagine that everyone reading this has faced the blues in the recent weeks or at least knows someone who is. Even when the statistics show that we are not alone in our struggles to feel connected and hopeful, the reasons behind those struggles still remain unique to each one of us.

The question in the first paragraph arises when we are looking down or back at all our problems. Imagine yourself sitting on a tractor with the plow behind you. You look down and all you notice beneath you are the weeds and stubble from the previous crop. Perhaps you decide to look back and see some accomplishments, but then notice the remaining land to be tilled. You also consider that when you finish plowing, there are additional passes through the field before you are ready to plant, then there’s the long waiting until harvest- and what if there is a repeat of last year… That could certainly be depressing.

Now, if you have ever run a moldboard plow (traditional plow) through the soil, you already know that looking down, over, or behind frequently makes it very difficult (nearly impossible) to drive straight. When you plow, you have to look straight ahead and keep a wheel in the furrow. Regular maintenance and replacement of parts on the plow is also necessary for it to do its job.

In life, we need to look ahead, keep our feet on the path, and take time for some rest and relaxation. Plows that are not maintained will break. People who do not intentionally maintain physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health are asking for a breakdown in the future.

When we have purpose and motivation to walk through life, the tasks, struggles, and daily grind become more bearable. Better questions to ask yourself each morning or anytime you begin to feel down might include the following: “What can I be thankful for today?”, “What am I able to accomplish today?” or, “How can I serve someone else today?”

Those three questions come from a perspective that realizes life is not simply about our circumstances, an unchangeable gloomy fate, or even ourselves. We are each a part of a much bigger story that includes our family, friends, coworkers, and everyone else we encounter.

Christmas is just around the corner. How we celebrate might look different this year- our circumstances have changed. The reason for Christmas has not changed, however, and that should give us hope and encouragement to look ahead.

 

Matthew Nussbaum is an OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Assistant and may be reached at 330-264-8722.

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