CFAES Monthly : August 2019

  1. First Dean’s Charity Steer Show a wrap: ‘Appreciative of the unbelievable support’

    The first-ever Dean’s Charity Steer Show—hosted by CFAES Dean Cathann A. Kress and featuring 13 teams of celebrities, 4-H members, and the 4-H members’ bovine charges—raised $146,000 (and counting) for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. The charity, among its services, provides housing for families of children being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. The show took place July 30 in Columbus at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair.

    “I am so appreciative of the unbelievable support we received in our first year of doing this,” Dean Kress said. “It was wonderful to see us come together to celebrate agriculture and children, both our 4-H youth as well as youth who benefit from the wonderful Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.”

    Read more and check out some photos.

  2. New CFAES task force offers help to struggling farmers

    A new CFAES task force is offering help to farmers and their families dealing with the impacts of Ohio’s farming crisis, a crisis fueled by too much rain, low commodity prices, and reduced international demand. Called the Rural and Farm Stress Task Force, the effort involves experts from OSU Extension and Ohio State’s College of Social Work. The aim is to connect farmers and their families with mental-health and other specialists within OSU Extension or the farmers’ communities, no matter where a farmer lives in the state.

    Task force members say the hope is to reassure and empower farmers. Dee Jepsen, task force co-chair and OSU Extension state safety leader, said farmers are “resilient, or they wouldn’t be doing the job they’re doing.”

    Read more.

  3. Top 25 list of majors with lowest unemployment rates includes 4 in agriculture

    Agricultural economics has the second-lowest unemployment rate, 0.74%, among all college majors, according to a June 2019 report by the website 24/7 Wall St. Also on the report’s top 25 list of majors with the lowest unemployment rates were miscellaneous agriculture (ranked 9th, with a rate of 1.35%), soil science (12th, 1.4%), and animal sciences (14th, 1.52%).

    All of this continues to bode well for CFAES students. The college’s most recent career outcome data shows that 92.1% of its graduates were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation. Those graduates got jobs with some 349 different companies, about three-quarters of which were in Ohio.

    Read some of those CFAES graduates’ stories.

  4. Study finds gut, immune system benefits to kids growing up around animals

    Getting up close—and a little dirty—with farm animals just might help us fend off illness, say scientists who have further demonstrated the benefits of early exposure to a wide variety of environmental bacteria.

    A recent study co-led by Zhongtang Yu, professor of microbiology in CFAES’ Department of Animal Sciences, reported that bacteria and other microbes from rural Amish babies were far more diverse—in a beneficial way—than what was found in urban babies’ intestines. And, in a first-of-its-kind experiment, the researchers found evidence of how a healthier gut microbiome might lead to more robust development of the respiratory immune system.

    Read more in our recent CFAES Story.

  5. Recent awards and achievements

    highest honor from aps

    Larry Madden, Distinguished Professor of Plant Protection in CFAES’ Department of Plant Pathology and an international authority on plant disease epidemiology, has received the Award of Distinction from the American Phytopathological Society (APS). The award is the highest honor bestowed by APS, the world’s largest professional organization for plant pathologists. APS said the award is presented only on rare occasions to persons who have made truly exceptional contributions to plant pathology. Only 15 other individuals have received the award in APS’ 111-year history. Madden was given the award on Aug. 4 at the APS annual meeting in Cleveland. Read more.

    Farm to School grant

    A Whole Community Inc., a Wooster-based nonprofit organization whose collaborators include the Wayne County office of OSU Extension and faculty and students from the Wooster campus, has received a $99,214 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Grant Program. The grant project, whose collaborators also include Northwestern Local Schools and Wooster City Schools, aims to increase local produce on the schools’ menus and create a flourishing farm to school culture in the schools and community. Read the USDA’s press release about the grant program and a list of all the awardees (scroll to Page 41 for more on the Whole Community project).

    PAAR facility honor

    The University Laboratory Safety Committee at Ohio State has selected CFAES’ Plant and Animal Agrosecurity Research Facility (PAAR) to receive a 2019 Excellence in Safety Award in the group award category. The award program recognizes students, staff, and groups making considerable contributions to improving lab safety at Ohio State. The winning PAAR team members included an administrative group—Juliette Hanson, Kaitlynn Starr, Alden Sewell, and Willie Coblentz—and a research group—Chang-Won Lee, John Ngunjiri, and Michael Abundo. Together, the team developed high-level safety plans and standard operating procedures to achieve USDA certification to operate as a select agent facility. PAAR, a highly secure biocontainment building located on the Wooster campus, is one of only three Biosafety Level-3 Ag (BSL-3 Ag) facilities in the United States. Read more.

    fruit book award

    Gary Gao, small-fruit specialist with OSU Extension and The Ohio State University South Centers, received the 2019 Outstanding Book Award from the American Society for Horticultural Science in the organization’s annual Outstanding Educational Award competition. The award was for the Midwest Home Fruit Production GuideOSU Extension bulletin 940. Gao was the editor and a co-author of the book. Co-authors also included Ron Becker, Mike Ellis, Steve Prochaska, Celeste Welty, and Roger Williams. Now in its third version, the book has sold more than 5,000 copies in 32 states.