DANVILLE — The Knox County OSU Extension hosted Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee at an informal breakfast and a meet-the-people gathering at the Red Fox Country Inn near Danville on Tuesday.
The event was part of Gee’s summer tour series, where he travels around the state meeting with alumni, prospective students and the people in general.
“We want him to see at the grassroots exactly what we are doing,” said Larry Hall, OSU Extension educator, 4-H development. “This is an opportunity for him to meet the people we work with on a daily basis.”
“[Gee’s staff] called us and asked us to host his visit here,” explained Troy Cooper, extension educator. “We wanted him to see some of what we did here. We also wanted to have a theme of local foods. Denny and Sue [Simpkins, owners of the Red Fox Inn] went out and got as much locally produced food as they could for this breakfast. They tried to buy all local food.”
When Gee arrived, he spent about a half an hour moving from group to group, talking with the gathering of about 80 people.
After the home-cooked breakfast of sausage, french toast and fruit plate, Gee spoke to the gathering. And he had them in the palm of his hand.
He sprinkled his funny stories with his views and appreciation of what is done in Knox County by the Extension Office and the county’s committment to agriculture. He also recognized the Knox County Commissioners and State Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl for their contributions to agriculture in the county.
“Thanks for the great work you’ve been doing, “Gee said. “The future of this county and this country is agriculture, and the work done by our county commissioners and the Extension office. The reality in this country today is, if we are going to remain a First World nation and a leader in this world, we are going to put a lot more time and energy into the creative side of what we are about. That’s always been a part of the American dream.
“We have to have the habit of the heart. That is found in our legislatures and our Extension agents. We find it in our great universities. That’s what makes the difference. We believe in ourselves and with energy and creativity we can create a brighter future for ourselves. It’s an investment strategy.”