OARDC to End Operations at Coshocton County Facility


WOOSTER, Ohio — The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center has finished its grant-funded research projects at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed in Coshocton County and will end its operations there effective Dec. 31.

OARDC has been operating the facility under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which closed its own operations there in December 2011 due to federal budget cuts.

OARDC is the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences of The Ohio State University. Studies at the Coshocton County facility have focused on water movement from farm fields, no-tillage farming, beef cattle production and forestry. Research on those topics will continue at other locations.

OARDC’s staff at the site have either found new jobs with Ohio State or have retired, said Ken Scaife, the center’s assistant to the director for field operations.

The 1,047-acre facility has three owners, Scaife said:

  • The federal government owns 617 acres and is in the process of selling that portion through the General Services Administration. Most of the facility’s buildings are on that land.
  • Coshocton County owns 420 acres, which are leased to Ohio State through March 31, 2016.
  • Ohio State owns 10 acres and for now will retain its ownership.  

USDA established the facility in 1935 to search for better farming methods on sloping land and to conduct unique studies of hydrology, or water movement, Scaife said.

In 1973, scientists from OARDC joined with USDA researchers to study soil-water relationships in the site’s watersheds.  

OARDC’s other locations — its main campus in Wooster, its facilities and staff on Ohio State’s main campus in Columbus, and seven remaining outlying research stations around the state — are not affected by the closing.

CFAES News Team
For more information, contact: 

Steve Slack, OARDC Director (through Dec. 31)

Dave Benfield, Associate Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Director of the Wooster Campus, CFAES (after Dec. 31)

Ken Scaife