Schumacher retiring as extension agent

STEVE Schumacher of Woodsfield grew up on a family farm, was taught to work hard and enjoyed all aspects of agriculture.

Now, he is retiring on June 28 after 30 years with The Ohio State University Extension Service.

“I have had outstanding co-workers in Belmont County and throughout the state,” Schumacher said. “The clientele and public officials over the years have been great to work with. I have truly appreciated everyone’s help and support and will always cherish my time working as an Extension Educator.”

His plans for the future include spending more with family and friends and traveling to visit his two sons as they start their careers.

“I plan to do more gardening and spending more time on the family farm while enjoying the outdoors,” Schumacher said.

Schumacher has worn many hats during his 30- year career. He spent 29 years as an Extension Educator. Four years were spent in Harrison County, nine years as a multi-county Extension Educator in both Belmont and Monroe Counties and the last 16 years full time in Belmont County. He has also spent the last two years serving as the state co-leader of the OSU Shale Education Work Group.

A 1978 graduate of Woodsfield High School, Schumacher obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University in 1982 and in 1983, he received a Master of Science, Extension Education, from OSU. He said he was very involved with 4-H and when he attended OSU his background directed him towards his field of work.

In 2012, Schumacher was honored by being named the sixth recipient of the Steve D. Ruhl, Outstanding Agriculture and Natural Resource County Educator award. The award was established in 2007 and recognizes a county educator who has provided outstanding education programs. Schumacher was reorganized for his work with agricltural commodity groups, maser gardening programs and shale energy education on the local and state level.

Other honors awarded were the 2006 Distinguished Service Award, Natioanl Association of County Agricultural Agents which is presented to the top two percent of the nation’s Agricultral Extension Agents. The award was presented in Cincinnati at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Professional Improvement Conference.

Among his many notable accomplishments were the establishment of the Master Gardner Program in Belmont and Monroe Counties.Since then nearly100 volunteers have been trained and the group continues to provide educational information. Schumacher established a Forage and Grass Grazing Council in1990 and worked extensively with promoting rotational grazing.

He has helped plan and conduct 23 Rubberneck Tours in Belmont County, and has worked extensively with Agricultural commodity groups such as the Barnesville Feeder Calf Sales, Inc., the Belmont County Dairy Committee, Hillside Sheep Producers and the Ohio Valley Cattlemen’s Association.

Schumcher has provided leadership in educational efforts while partnering on progams with the Belmont County Farm Bureau and the Belmont County USDA Agencies, SWCD, NRCS and FSA.

Since 201, Schumacher has served as the co-leader, OSU Shale Education cation Work Group and has planned, hosted and conducted 11 programs in Belmont County providing educational information to farmers, landowners and community leaders in the area of Shale Energy Education.

Schumacher said “Agriculture and Natural Resources are still an important aspect of our communities and will continue to be in the future.”

To celebrate Schumacher’s 30 years of service, a retirement celebration for him

will be held Wednesday, June 26, from 3-6 p.m. at the St. Clairsville Church of Christ, 190 Woodrow Avenue.