Holiday Service: CFAES Students Give Back to the Community

Member of the Shades of Animal Sciences club at The Wilds in November.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sometimes, the best way to get is to give.

Students in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are engaged in a variety of service and volunteerism activities throughout the year as part of their comprehensive educational experience.

And while the time around the holidays is usually busy with final exams, end-of-semester projects and traveling back home, many students find the time to give back to the community even during this hectic time.

“Volunteering allows me to take my mind off school work and focus on creating a better community and place in the world that will benefit many people after me,” said April Boehnen, who is majoring in animal sciences and minoring in forest, fisheries and wildlife as well as in agricultural communications. 

During November, Boehnen joined five other students and a faculty adviser on a trip to The Wilds, a wildlife conservation and safari park in Cumberland, Ohio. Boehnen and her fellow students are members of Shades of Animal Sciences, one of the many student clubs and organizations in the college.

“We carried and spread fermented food compost waste into a currently barren field,” Boehnen said. “In the spring, they will be planting trees in the areas where we spread the fertilizer.

“Personally, I loved the experience. I hope to have a career in wildlife conservation, so being able to work on a project that will create a new habitat area for wildlife holds a special meaning for me.”

Other student organizations have been busy during November and December, taking part in a variety of service activities. For example, Buckeyes Against Hunger created a cardboard city to raise awareness about homelessness, while the Poultry Science Club donated a 24-pound turkey left over from its Thanksgiving sale to a local shelter. 

Another organization, The Ohio Student Service Society, organized a drive to raise money and purchase gifts for Operation Christmas Child. The group reported getting enough presents to pack 92 boxes.

“I think volunteering is a great opportunity, especially having the ability to go back to see how the work we accomplished has impacted the area in the future,” Boehnen said. “Having the chance to volunteer while at Ohio State and with friends and other club members, creates a memory that will be shared for a long time.”

Find out more about CFAES student clubs and organizations at


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CFAES News Team

April Boehnen