2020 Meritorious Service Award

Jerry Bigham

2020 Meritorious Service Award recipient

Professor Emeritus

Jerry has been a steady member of CFAES leadership for the past 43 years. Through his many roles, Jerry has always possessed an unwavering drive to find solutions that meet the needs of those around him, and he finds joy in the success of others.

He has studied and taught soil science and agronomy at CFAES. He has also served as interim director and director of the CFAES School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), interim associate chair for the CFAES Department of Animal Sciences, interim associate director for CFAES’ Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and interim associate dean for research and graduate education at CFAES. Few others can boast an association with so many departments and specialties within the college.

During Jerry’s time as director of SENR, he stressed that citizenship was critical to the long-term success of the SENR community, emphasizing that how people do things is just as important as what they do. Because of this mindset, SENR currently has a culture of respect, tolerance, and curiosity that allows the multidisciplinary community to succeed.

Jerry’s involvement on boards and societies is as numerous and impressive as the variety of roles he’s held throughout his career. He has been involved with the Soil Science Society of America’s Clay Minerals Society; the Ohio Association of Professional Soil Scientists; the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission; and the American Battlefield Trust for Preservation of Historic Battlefields from the American Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the War of 1812.

In his own words, Jerry’s most significant contributions to education, preservation, and regulation have been “advancements in land conservation and management through 20 years of work with the Ohio Soil Survey Program, research and teaching on the restoration of lands and waters impacted by mining, and the training of many students who have engaged in successful careers with industry and with various conservation organizations and regulatory agencies.”

Jerry’s legacy is one that will continue through the works of the many students, faculty, and staff who have served under his leadership.