Pictured (l-r) are: Rob Holt, Mat Greene, Diana Grooms, Liz Brennfleck, Mike Hart, Melissa Elmore, Michelle Unsworth, Destiny Bryson and Doug Ernst during the tour of Weastec, Inc.
Pictured (l-r) are: Rob Holt, Mat Greene, Diana Grooms, Liz Brennfleck, Mike Hart, Melissa Elmore, Michelle Unsworth, Destiny Bryson and Doug Ernst during the tour of Weastec, Inc.
By Brooke Beam, PhD
Ohio State University Extension, Highland County
Agriculture and Natural Resources/
Community Development Extension Educator

The participants of Leadership Highland this month toured several Highland County businesses. The programming for the Leadership Highland Business and Industry Day included a variety of small and large business operations.

Leadership Highland participants started their day at Batter Up Bakery in Leesburg. Casey McIntosh, co-owner of Batter Up Bakery, described the process of creating their baked goods, partnering with local businesses to source ingredients and the upcoming lineup of baking classes offered at the bakery.

The second stop of the day was to Higgins Steel Roofing in Hillsboro. Tim Walker provided a walking tour of the facilities and demonstrated the process used to create a wide variety of metal products manufactured on site to fit the customer’s needs. Higgins Steel Roofing uses roll-forming technology to create a series of metal building materials, standing seam roofs and building accessories.

In the afternoon, Doug Ernst led the participants of Leadership Highland on a tour of Weastec, Inc., a subsidiary of the Toyodenso Co. Ltd.

Weastec, Inc. tests electrical switches for automotive companies. Products that have been tested will be shipped to companies like Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen. Weastec, Inc. was founded in 1988 and has grown to include the Weastec Technical Center in Dublin, where engineers are able to design, develop and test new electrical automotive products.

The final stop of the day was a tour of the Highland County Extension Office, where participants learned about the different educational opportunities offered to the public.

Programs discussed included 4-H and Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Master Gardener Volunteers, Community Development and SNAP education.

The next meeting of Leadership Highland will be held in late March for Education Day. For more information about Leadership Highland, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

Upcoming events

• The Highland County Extension Office will be hosting a tour of the OSU Meat Lab in Columbus for those who are interested in beef and meat production on March 19. The tour will coincide with the meat class on campus, so attendees will be able to see the lab on a harvesting day. The tour will be held in the morning and space is limited. Please call the Highland County Extension Office at (937) 393-1918 for additional information and to reserve your place for the tour.

• A commodity update with Ben Brown, the program manager for the Farm Management Program, will be 7 p.m. March 20 in the meeting room in the basement of 119 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro. The program is free to attend, but RSVP is encouraged to reserve seating. The Farm Management Program strives to address critical farm management issues affecting Ohio agriculture, including marketing and price analysis, farm financial management, risk evaluation, agricultural processing, environmental objectives and farm entry and growth. Brown has recently published a summary of the 2018 Farm Bill and an outlook for U.S. corn exports for the coming years. Brown’s commodity outlook will provide farmers with information on making planting and marketing decisions for the 2019 crop year.

• Southwestern Ohio Beekeeper School will be held on Saturday, March 23 at the Oasis Conference Center in Loveland. The cost is $35 and includes a continental breakfast and buffet lunch. Classes will be offered for beginners to moderately experienced beekeepers. Vendors will be onsite to sell equipment. Registration is limited to 350 people. Registration is available online at warren.osu.edu or the event page http://go.osu.edu/swohbeeschool.

• Video Production 101 will be held 6 p.m. Monday, March 25 at the Lynchburg Public Library in Lynchburg. The topic of this program will cover the basics of video productions for beginners and will be presented by Brooke Beam. If you have a small business and would like to incorporate more videos into your marketing plans or you are interested in learning the basics of video production, this program is for you.

• The topic of the Highland County Monthly Extension programming for March will be storytelling for video production. The program will be held at 10 a.m. March 27 at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro and is free to attend. Attendees will learn about the different kinds of documentary films and how storytelling impacts the audience’s perception of videos. Attendees are encouraged to purchase lunch on their own at Ponderosa. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by calling 393-1918.

• The Small Farm Conference and Trade Show will be held on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 at the OSU South Centers in Piketon. The conference is designed for small farm owners wanting to learn more about how to make their farms work better for them. Many topics will be offered to help landowners expand their operations. Land owners can attend workshops and seminars taught by Extension professionals and industry leaders on a wide variety of agricultural enterprises. Attendees will also get to meet various vendors at the trade show. The trade show will be open part of the day on Friday, and all-day Saturday. For details, go to go.osu.edu/OSUFARMConference2019.