LONDON, Ohio – Natural gas production from shale has potential for significant impacts on rural Ohio. Experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and OSU Extension will discuss opportunities and challenges for rural economies in developing this natural resource at the Farm Science Review, Sept. 20-22 near London.
“This is one of those things a lot of folks are starting to think about, the impact that shale gas could have on a good bit of Ohio,” said Stan Ernst, Ohio State University Extension outreach program leader in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. “There is a lot of attention paid to Marcellus shale, but when you look at the Utica shale, it covers even more counties across the state.”
Extension economists and policy analysts will provide farmers and landowners with information on the current natural gas landscape in Ohio, as well as key questions to consider when examining potential leases and business opportunities.
The department will host a panel discussion on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. in the Tobin Building at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center. Three Extension experts will participate in the panel.
The panel is Professor Doug Southgate, Professor Allen Klaiber, who is joining the faculty this fall, and Mike Lloyd, Extension educator for community development in Noble County. Each offers a different perspective on shale gas-related issues.
Southgate’s research focus is economic development and the environment, including the associated public policy issues. Following the panel, Southgate will also discuss shale gas issues as part of the Question the Authorities program in Alumni Park at the Review.
Klaiber, joining the department from Penn State, served in Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment, and studied natural gas production in that state.
Lloyd is one of the coordinators of Extension's educational effort on Marcellus and Utica shale. He specifically studies the associated economic and community impact at a very local level.
“When these discussions start, we have to look at how to put together the right deal for the landowners and the community at large," Ernst said. “When we start talking about mineral rights in Ohio, it gets really interesting... There are a lot of broad policy implications.”
Professor Matt Roberts will moderate the panel.
In addition to the panel presentation in the Tobin Building, Extension experts will present two sessions in the Small Farm Center on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Extension Educator Mike Hogan will present a primer on leasing farmland for oil and gas production in Ohio at 1 p.m. Following Hogan's presentation, Peggy Kirk Hall of Ohio State's Agricultural & Resource Law Program will present a session on legal issues facing landowners who lease farmland for oil and gas production at 2 p.m.
Farm Science Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. It attracts upward of 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada, who come for three days to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and learn the latest in agricultural research, conservation, family and nutrition, and gardening and landscape.
Farm Science Review pre-show tickets are now on sale for $5 at all OSU Extension county offices. Tickets will also be available at local agribusinesses. Tickets are $8 at the gate. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20-21 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22.