Kurt Knebusch

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Organic farming and gardening; sustainable agriculture; natural resources/ecology; forestry; wildlife; Wooster campus news.
  1. Satellite photo of Great Lakes with algal blooms

    Workshop to Spotlight Whole-system Solutions to Nutrient Runoff, Water Issues

    Editor: Registration for the workshop is full, but media members are welcome to attend. Please contact Andy Ward, 614-292-9354, ward.2@osu.edu, in advance to make arrangements. COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A first-ever workshop in Ohio is bringing together farmers, scientists and other stakeholders to discuss whole-system solutions to the Midwest’s nutrient runoff and water problems. Organizers say the Sept. 14-16 program, called Healthy Soils for Healthy Waters, will focus on state-of-the-art best management practices for reducing fertilizer runoff into the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. The two basins include all of Ohio and most of the Midwest. “By synthesizing the wealth of knowledge that exists across these regions, we’ll be able to identify what it will take to...
  2. Picture of solar panels and sunrise

    Sept. 9: How to Continue Ohio’s Clean Energy Progress

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Environmental Professionals Network hosts its next monthly breakfast program, “Challenges and Opportunities: Achieving Ohio’s Clean Energy Potential,” from 7:15-9:30 a.m. on Sept. 9 at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, on Ohio State University’s Columbus campus. David Hanselmann, network coordinator and a lecturer in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, said the program will focus on how Ohio can continue its green energy progress following the recent approval of Senate Bill 310, which puts a two-year freeze on the state’s renewable energy standards. The network is a service of SENR, in turn part of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental...
  3. Suzanne Gray and students wading in water.

    For Students at Ohio State Wetland, New Meaning to Swamped by Classes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Some returning Ohio State University students are finding their classroom all wet, by design. In fact, you might see them in waders. Five Ohio State courses are meeting at, and in, the Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park during autumn semester 2014, part of a plan to increasingly use its 52 acres of marsh and mud, frogs and geese, fish and water for teaching. The university’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, manages the wetland complex, which lies near the north edge of Ohio State’s Columbus campus. Taking classes at the facility “is a real experiential learning process for the students,” said Suzanne Gray, assistant professor...
  4. Image of forest at dawn

    Program to Look at Future of Ohio’s Forests

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The next monthly breakfast program of the Environmental Professionals Network will feature a panel discussion on threats to -- and hope for -- Ohio’s nearly 8 million acres of forest. “Pests and Invasives, Fragmentation, Changing Markets: Do Ohio’s Forests Need Foresters or Magicians?” goes from 7:15-9:30 a.m. Aug. 12 at Ohio State University’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, in Columbus. “Forests cover about 30 percent of Ohio and are important environmentally, economically and socially. But issues keep emerging that threaten the benefits from woodlands that all Ohioans appreciate every day,” said the network’s coordinator, David Hanselmann, a lecturer in Ohio State’s School of...
  5. Image of feral swine in field

    Pigs Gone Wild Have Come to Ohio

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Another Ohio invasive species isn’t a tiny matter. In fact it can weigh up to 200 pounds. Feral swine -- also called feral pigs and feral hogs -- have planted their hooves in the state, mainly in the southeastern corner, said Marne Titchenell, wildlife specialist in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “They’re highly adaptable and very destructive,” said Titchenell, a co-author of the recently published Ohio State University Extension fact sheet “Feral Swine in Ohio: Managing Damage and Conflicts.” OSU Extension is the college’s statewide outreach arm. Feral swine can eat and trample crops, can root up lawns and forest plants, and, by their wallowing, can make soils erode...
  6. Image of green field and blue water

    Panel to Discuss Manure Storage Options, Benefits to Farms and Water

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- Manure storage options and farmers who have direct experience using them will take the stage at this year’s Manure Science Review. Co-hosted by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the event will hold a panel discussion by several Ohio farmers on their plans and practices for storing manure. The farmers will share their experiences with the audience, who should gain new ideas for improving their own operations, said Mark Duncan, a panel organizer and nutrient management specialist with the Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District. “Most livestock farmers know they need some form of manure storage for the general health of their livestock and to provide a degree of fertility for their crops,” he...
  7. Image of subsurface band applicator in field

    New Poultry Litter Applicator Can Cut Nutrient Runoff, Protect Water Quality

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- Researchers will demonstrate a prototype farm implement that slashes nutrient runoff and bacterial contamination from poultry litter at this year’s Manure Science Review. Co-hosted by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the event is Aug. 14 in northeast Ohio. Farmers traditionally dispose of poultry litter -- a mixture of mostly manure and bedding -- by spreading it on their fields as fertilizer, a benefit to crops. But the new device goes deeper. It buries the material in a series of parallel bands a few inches below the soil surface, not on top of it, said Tom Way, part of a team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service who developed and tested the implement...
  8. Image of manure spreader spreading manure

    Manure Event to Show New Ways to Boost Both Crops and Water Quality

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- Manure has two shades of green, so to speak. The green of greater farm crop yields. And the green of a cleaner environment. Organizers of the Aug. 14 Manure Science Review say farmers can see both at the same time and that the event will show how to do it. “Manure is an excellent product for improving soil quality and increasing crop yields when handled correctly,” said Glen Arnold, field specialist in manure nutrient management systems with Ohio State University Extension. “As new manure application equipment becomes available, manure application methods change and farmers can better utilize the nutrients in manure,” he said. “The Manure Science Review is a great place to learn this cutting-edge information.” OSU Extension is...
  9. Image of grasslands and woods

    Plant Power: Ohio Naturalist, Author to Speak on Protecting Ecosystems

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passenger pigeon’s extinction. So it’s an especially apt time to look at the state of conservation in Ohio, said David Hanselmann, lecturer in Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. Hanselmann heads the Environmental Professionals Network, which on July 8 will host “Plants Make the World Go ’Round: Why We Must Protect Our Native Ecosystems,” a public breakfast program featuring the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Jim McCormac. The network is a service of the school, which in turn is part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. McCormac works for ODNR’s Division of Wildlife, where he specializes in...
  10. Pastured chicken image

    Event to Feature New Organic Farming Research

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- The new Farm Bill has given new life to organic farming research, said the head of an Ohio State University program devoted to that work, and farmers can see some fruits of that growth at an upcoming free event. Ohio State’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research (OFFER) program will hold a public field day featuring new findings and projects from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 17 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s (OARDC) Badger farms in northeast Ohio. OFFER and OARDC are both part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). OARDC is the college’s research arm. “With the passage of the new Farm Bill, several key federal programs supporting organic farming and...
  11. Broad Street Bridge

    Program to Feature Scioto River Restoration

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Scioto River will take center stage -- and serve as the backdrop -- for June’s Environmental Professionals Network breakfast program. Set for 7:15-9:45 a.m. June 10 on the amphitheater stage at Columbus’s John W. Galbreath Bicentennial Park, the program will feature three speakers presenting “Main Street Dam Removal: Restoring the Scioto River in the Heart of Downtown Columbus.” The park is at 233 Civic Center Drive. The network is a service of Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “The stage provides a million-dollar view of our beautiful riverfront and skyline, and proximity for a walking tour of the Scioto River...
  12. Forest image

    Hello, My Name Is Scarlet Oak

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, part of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), is holding a workshop on tree identification in two locations in June and July. Taught by forestry experts in the college, “Name That Tree” aims to help homeowners and landowners know the types of trees on their property, from oaks to maples and beyond. Organizers say the knowledge can lead to better care of trees since each species has different needs. The program, the same at both locations, includes instruction on using a dichotomous key, practice inside with samples and practice outside with trees. Both locations are heavily wooded. A dichotomous key, also called a single-access key, helps a user pinpoint a...
  13. Chainsaw image

    Got Dead Ash Trees? Two Workshops Slated on Chainsaw Safety

    MANSFIELD, Ohio -- As the emerald ash borer marches across Ohio, it leaves millions of dead ash trees -- and a cleanup challenge for workers and homeowners. That’s why the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, part of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES,) is co-sponsoring two upcoming workshops on chainsaw safety. “Some Ohio counties have been through the ash tree die-off already, and some are just beginning to feel the pain,” said Kathy Smith, CFAES forestry specialist and director of the stewards program. “But they all have a common need to bring down trees in the safest way possible.” The emerald ash borer, an invasive insect, has already killed tens of millions of ash trees in Ohio, elsewhere in the...
  14. Heirloom rose image

    See 1,000-Plus Heirloom Roses Blooming at Open House (with Slideshow)

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- Things will be coming up roses next month in Wooster. The Garden of Roses of Legend and Romance, part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s (OARDC) Secrest Arboretum, will hold its annual open house and rose sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 7. About 1,500 heirloom rose plants, representing some 500 varieties, grow in the three-acre garden. Most will be in peak bloom at the time. OARDC -- the research arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences -- is at 1680 Madison Ave. Admission to the event, which will also have music and self-guided tours, is free and open to the public. ... var cpo = []; cpo["_object"] ="cp_widget_c4371b95-bd1c-4440-bb62-be1123386d77"; cpo["_fid"] = "...
  15. Luis Rodriguez Saona

    A Deeper Look Into Food Safety, Quality: Ohio State Scientist Wins Research Award

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- Ohio State University scientist Luis Rodríguez-Saona, a national and international expert on using infrared spectroscopy to analyze the safety and quality of foods, has received the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s (OARDC) 2014 Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award. The award honors outstanding achievements by an OARDC faculty member at the rank of assistant or associate professor. OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Rodríguez-Saona is an associate professor in the college’s Department of Food Science and Technology. “His research accomplishments have produced significant improvements in rapid detection of quality traits and...
  16. Timothy Hackmann

    When Cow Rumen Microbes Eat Too Many Carbs: Ohio State Ph.D. Grad's Research Honored

    WOOSTER, Ohio — Timothy J. Hackmann, who in 2013 received his Ph.D. through Ohio State University’s Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Nutrition, has received the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s (OARDC) William E. Krauss Director’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Research. The award honors the best published paper by an OARDC-supported doctoral student. OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Hackmann wrote “Quantifying the Responses of Mixed Rumen Microbes to Excess Carbohydrate,” which appeared in April 2013 in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, published by the American Society for Microbiology. His study has implications for improving...
  17. OARDC poster competition

    OARDC Honors Grad Student, Staff Research

    WOOSTER, Ohio — The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) has announced the winners of its annual research poster competition, which took place at the center’s 2014 annual research conference April 24 in Wooster. OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The competition recognized outstanding posters -- displays detailing research projects -- by OARDC-supported Ph.D. and master’s degree students, postdoctoral researchers, and research assistants and associates. Ph.D. Students First place: Cindy Barrera Martínez, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, “Effect of bio-based fillers on Hevea and guayule natural rubber mechanical properties...
  18. Spring peeper

    Discover Woodland Wildlife at Ohio State Mansfield May 9

    MANSFIELD, Ohio -- The Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, run by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), will hold a “Wildlife in Your Woods” workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 9 in Room 100, Ovalwood Hall, on the university’s Mansfield campus, 1760 University Drive. Birds, mammals and amphibians -- frogs, toads and salamanders -- will be the focus. Among the topics will be improving habitat to attract more wildlife, removing invasive species to increase biodiversity and monitoring wildlife with trail cameras. The workshop also will include a walk to explore a woodland and vernal pool. Vernal pools are temporary, springtime pools of water that provide crucial breeding sites for woodland amphibians. “Vernal...
  19. Great blue heron at wetland

    Olentangy Wetland to Host Earth Day Cleanup

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State University’s Wilma H. Shiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, 352 W. Dodridge St. in Columbus, will host a volunteer cleanup of the Olentangy River from 10 a.m. to noon April 19. The event is an early celebration of Earth Day. The park is part of Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, in turn part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the community to contribute to the ongoing restoration efforts at the wetland, to learn about the facility, and to spend a morning reconnecting with the natural environment,” said the park’s manager, Lynn McCready. Activities will include planting trees, removing invasive honeysuckle shrubs, and...
  20. Trees

    Tree School Set for Ohio State Mansfield

    MANSFIELD, Ohio — The Ohio Woodland Stewards Program will hold its 2014 Tree School from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. May 3 in Ovalwood Hall on Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus, 1760 University Drive. The event is for anyone interested in learning more about trees, said Marne Titchenell, one of the instructors and a wildlife specialist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Gardeners, landscapers, woodland owners, wildlife enthusiasts and Christmas tree growers, among others, are welcome to attend, she said. The instructors will be from CFAES’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension, and from the Ohio Forestry Association and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife....
  21. Doctor in lab

    May 1: How Are Human, Animal and Environmental Health Connected?

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Links between human, animal and environmental health -- factors in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, for example -- are the focus of May’s monthly breakfast program of the Environmental Professionals Network. “One Health, Conservation Medicine, Ecosystem Health -- Protecting People and Planet” goes from 7:15-9:45 a.m. May 1 at Ohio State University’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus. The network is a service of Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Lonnie King, D.V.M., dean of Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, will keynote the program, sharing details on the college’...
  22. Kudzu closeup

    'Plant That Ate the South' Is Here: Poster Tells Public to Watch Out for Kudzu

    Kudzu, the “plant that ate the South,” is now in Ohio. And experts with Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences want people to know it. Specialists with the college's outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension, have created and are distributing a new identification poster featuring the climbing, entwining, engulfing invader. “Kudzu is in scattered spots in Ohio. One of the reasons for the poster is to get a better idea of where and how much of a problem it is,” said Kathy Smith, director of OSU Extension's Ohio Woodland Stewards Program. “We’re hoping to raise awareness of kudzu specifically and of invasive species in general." She said she hopes the poster...
  23. xxx

    Ohio State Study: What Happens to a River When a Dam Comes Down?

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Tear down a dam and a river will change. But just how much? And what will it do to what lives in the river? To find out, scientists in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are looking no farther than their own backyard. Mazeika Sullivan and Kristin Jaeger, assistant professors in the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, are studying the effects of dam removal at two former dams in Columbus: the Fifth Avenue dam on the Olentangy River, which flows through Ohio State’s campus, and the Main Street dam on the Scioto River some five miles south downtown. “There’s a growing trend toward using dam removal to restore rivers, but studies documenting both short- and longer-term river...
  24. Jack Hanna

    Jack Hanna to Headline Environmental Event at Ohio State

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Zookeeper turned TV star Jack Hanna will meet some friends for breakfast next week -- among them nearly 700 students from Ohio State University. Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and host of the nationally syndicated Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, headlines the next monthly breakfast program of the Environmental Professionals Network from 8:15 to 10:15 a.m. on April 10 at Ohio State. He’ll talk about Earth Day, April 22, and about myActions.org, a new social media effort promoting sustainability. The event takes place in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in the university’s Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St., Columbus. “Ohio State is nationally recognized as one of the greenest universities in the U.S.,”...
  25. Red tomatoes

    Register by April 3 for Organic Farming Program’s Spring Meeting

    WOOSTER, Ohio -- Ohio State University’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research (OFFER) program holds its 2014 spring symposium, “Partnering for Growth and Success in Organic Agriculture,” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 7 in Fisher Auditorium at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster. OFFER and OARDC are both part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). OARDC is the college’s research arm. The symposium, which is for anyone interested in organic food and farming, especially growers and scientists, will feature current research projects on organic crop production by scientists with Ohio State and Purdue University. Admission is free, open to the...

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