I think during the last month I’ve been in six states and had the blessing of family time, professional development and many growth opportunities. For Dad’s 90th birthday, he requested a trip to Nashville to the Grand Old Opry and the Ryman Concerts. We had wonderful trip and enjoyed getting to visit family on the way, and if you haven’t made it to see the Ark in Kentucky, I thought it was a great experience.

Our National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences was held in Hershey, Pennsylvania this year, truly the sweetest place on earth. We enjoyed many chocolate favorites and I gained some curriculum pieces from others that I hope to use in teaching next year, along with inspiration for new lessons to write.

In Denver was our National Epsilon Sigma Phi, the Extension Professional Development Organization where it challenged me to be swifter, higher and stronger with everything I do. Who is it that challenges me to show up each day and be better than I was before? It was there at the Olympic Training Center we visited with the athletes and learned how much time and effort go into training long before they make the team.

At this conference, it really resonated with me, the reason I have enjoyed this profession as I do. I’ve had the privilege of growing up with 4-H and FCS. Part of the land grant university offers outreach to the community in ways others don’t. I’d like to share with you the Extension Professionals’ Creed; I think it may explain it better:

I Believe in people and their hopes, their aspirations and their faith, in their right to make their own plans and arrive at their own decisions, in their ability and power to enlarge their lives and plan for the happiness of those they love.

I Believe that education, of which Extension is an essential part, is basic in stimulating individual initiative, self-determination, and leadership. That these are the keys to democracy and that people, when given facts they understand, will act not only in their self-interest, but also in the interest of society.

I Believe that education is a lifelong process and the greatest university is the home; that my success as a teacher is proportional to those qualities of mind and spirit that give me welcome entrance to the homes of the families I serve.

I Believe in intellectual freedom to search for and present the truth without bias and with courteous tolerance toward the views of others.

I Believe that Extension is a link between the people and the ever-changing discoveries in the laboratories.

I Believe in the public institutions of which I am a part.

I Believe in my own work and in the opportunities I have to make my life useful to humanity.

Because I believe these things, I am an Extension professional.

Because this opportunity has been a journey for more than three decades, I can honestly say I love my job, it’s been a privilege to serve Wayne County and I look forward to additional opportunities in the future.

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.