COLUMBUS, Ohio – As a comedian, Drew Hastings has joked about needing the help of The Ohio State University’s Extension program to get started as a cattle farmer.
“When I asked my extension agent what to plant, he suggested I plant a for sale sign,” Hastings jokes.
A few self-deprecating jokes about life on the farm combined with respect for farmers have led to a wider farmer following for Hastings’ stand-up comedy.
However, Drew’s recognition of agriculture as being the last great manufacturing in the U.S. has caught the attention of agri-business, farming associations and now, Ohio State.
OSU oversees the extension programs with the aim of improving the lives of Ohioans through research-based education programs in the areas of agriculture, nutrition and family and consumer sciences.
On Thursday, Dec. 15, Hastings is giving the keynote address at OSU’s annual extension conference in Columbus. As state programs such as extension face budget cuts, the theme for the conference this year is appropriately titled “Extension: Now More Than Ever.”
The conference is a two-day event in Columbus. Drew’s speech will be given during lunch with an audience that includes OSU President Dr. Gordon Gee, Keith Smith, Director of OSU Extension and other prominent university officials.
“We felt that Drew could speak to our theme “Extension, Now More Than Ever” very well,” said Amanda Forquer, program assistant for Ohio’s state 4-H office. “Drew is a true example of how important OSU Extension is to our state. Drew has used extension resources to aid him in his farm operation and actively works with the Extension Community Development Educator. We are very happy to have him join us.”
Hastings was also recently named as a Famous Farmer spokesman for the Farm American program which is sponsored by Furniture Row stores and #78 NASCAR Sprint Cup racing team.