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CFAES Monthly : October 2019
Ohio State launches ‘Time and Change’ campaign
On Oct. 4, Ohio State launched the public phase of Time and Change: The Ohio State Campaign, the most ambitious, inclusive community-building and fundraising endeavor in the university’s 150-year history. The campaign is striving to engage 1 million supporters, an unprecedented level in higher education; has a financial goal of $4.5 billion, the largest in Ohio State’s history; and has three core areas of focus: student success; discovery; and healthy, vibrant communities. CFAES' goal as part of the campaign is to raise $225 million in private support focusing on the college’s campaign priorities of workforce development, translating research, and the Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory.
“As we celebrate Ohio State’s sesquicentennial, it is fitting to launch a campaign focused on the essence of what it means to be a Buckeye: our unwavering focus on people, their potential, our community, and our collective impact around the world,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “Together, we will continue to invest in the future and ignite hope—inspiring new generations and delivering innovations that serve the greater good.”
CFAES offers students access to mental health help
As part of Ohio State’s new mental health initiatives, CFAES now has its own mental health counselor. David Wirt, pictured, who’s a Buckeye himself (BS, psychology), is an “embedded counselor” with the college, meaning he's directly assigned to CFAES for its students. Ohio State’s embedded counselors are meant to provide more mental health resources for students, with the hopes that the students can access the embedded counselors sooner and more readily than they can the therapists on the university’s Counseling and Consultation Service general staff.
“The biggest reasons students will talk to me are anxiety and depression,” Wirt said. “But students also have many other issues like relationship concerns and stress.”
BioHio Research Park to become part of CFAES
The BioHio Board of Directors in late August decided to transition the work of the BioHio Research Park, an Ohio State affiliate located on the CFAES Wooster campus, to be under the auspices of CFAES. Envisioned and created in 2010, the park's goals were and still are to facilitate the movement of discoveries from CFAES into the commercial sector; to advance, encourage, and promote the industrial, economic, commercial, and civic development of the Wooster area; and to serve as a research park for the benefit of Ohio State, Wooster, and Wayne County.
“The original goals of BioHio are still relevant and part of the CFAES mission,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. But the park’s separate legal status from the university “was not providing the benefits originally envisioned,” she said. The transition will occur over the next few months.
Promoting pawpaws’ production potential
CFAES is working to help Ohioans grow more of a little-known (until now) native fruit. The fruit is the pawpaw—whose flavor one CFAES webpage describes as “sunny, electric, and downright tropical”—while the effort by CFAES’ OSU Extension outreach arm is called Marketing and Orchard Resource Efficiency (MORE) Ohio Pawpaw. It’s a statewide, grant-funded initiative aimed at helping growers grow and sell more high-quality pawpaw fruit.
OSU Extension Horticulture Specialist Brad Bergefurd is leading the MORE Ohio Pawpaw project together with Matt Davies, assistant professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, who's shown here with a pawpaw tree. Said Bergefurd, “We want to provide unbiased research-based information so farmers can make the best management decisions and maybe cash in on this crop.”
Awards and recognitions
FSR Hall of Fame
Suzanne Steel, assistant director of OSU Extension Publishing and a CFAES alumna, was recently inducted into the Farm Science Review Hall of Fame. In her previous position as assistant director of CFAES’ marketing and communications unit, a unit she worked in for 23 years, Steel helped promote CFAES’ annual Farm Science Review trade show through her contacts with local, state, and national media.
FSR Manager Nick Zachrich said such marketing efforts are “extremely important to a large public event such as FSR.”
Ohio State Alumni Award
Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) and a CFAES alumnus, received The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s 2019 Alumni Medalist Award on Sept. 20 for his revolutionary contributions to understanding Earth’s most basic, life-giving resources.
Having earned his PhD in agronomy in 1968, Lal was nominated for the highest honor presented to an Ohio State graduate for his work in two areas of global concern: managing soil to minimize the risks of degradation so as to sustain food production, and restoring the health of degraded and damaged soil.
The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) recently awarded the following grants to projects involving CFAES faculty and staff:
- $199,971 to Imed Dami, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, for “Towards Resilient and Sustainable Grape Production in the North Central Region with Renewable Mulching Systems”
- $14,813 to Alejandra Jimenez Madrid and Melanie Lewis Ivey, both of the Department of Plant Pathology, for “Evaluation of Biological Control Agents as a Sustainable Disease Management Strategy for Fire Blight Control in Apples in Ohio”
- $161,632 to Hannah Scott, Business Development, The Ohio State University South Centers, for “Sustainable Production and Marketing Using the Cooperative Model for a Student-Managed School Farm Cooperative”
- $81,316 to Christie Welch, Business Development, The Ohio State University South Centers, for “Professional Development for Ohio Farmers Market Managers and OSU Extension Educators on Creating a Culture of Data Collection for Sustainability Planning for Markets and Farmers”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has awarded a team of CFAES researchers $482,000 to help boost—through research and education—maple syrup production in Ohio and two other states. Principal investigators on the project include Sayeed Mehmood, associate professor, SENR; Gabe Karns, assistant professor, SENR; Kathy Smith, program director, Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, OSU Extension; and Les Ober, agriculture and natural resources program coordinator, Geauga County office of OSU Extension.