2023 CFAES Alumni Award Recipients

2023 CFAES Alumni Award Recipients

We are pleased to present our 2023 CFAES Alumni Award Recipients.

Young Professional Achievement Award

Bailey Harsh
BS 2013
Animal Sciences

In addition to earning her BS in animal sciences from Ohio State, Harsh earned her MS and PhD in animal sciences from Oklahoma State University and the University of Illinois, respectively. Harsh is an assistant professor of meat science at the University of Illinois, where she researches processes to improve the efficiency of beef production using nutrition, meat quality, and environmental and economic data for immediate industry application. As a mentor for graduate students and a professor for undergraduate students, Harsh trains the next generation of leaders and innovators in animal agriculture. Over the course of her PhD and three years as a faculty member, she has interacted with nearly 675 students in the classroom; published 22 peer-reviewed journal articles; trained nearly 1,000 producers, food processors, and food distributors through extension programs; written a book chapter on branded beef programs; and delivered research talks at prestigious science conferences. Her accomplishments earned her the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit and the University of Illinois List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students from 2019 through 2022. Harsh’s great foundational understanding in meat sciences, capacity to relate industry-relevant aspects, and most importantly superb teacher achievements of university students makes her an exemplary recipient of the Young Professional Achievement Award.

International Alumni Award

Chris Burke
PhD 2003
Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Science

Burke is a leader in the dairy field of reproductive physiology and has globally advanced this discipline in New Zealand, the United States, and beyond. By investigating better ways for farmers to achieve their performance goals, Burke has built his repertoire with the production community. When he came to Ohio State, he and his supervisor, Jock MacMillan, were the world authorities on the early development of a device that revolutionized the synchronization of ovulation in dairy and beef cattle. This device, defined by the acronym “CIDR,” was manufactured in New Zealand and not used in North American animal health at that time. His experience with the device was instrumental in the discovery and technological development of research programs in CFAES. Burke currently serves as senior scientist at DairyNZ, the primary research and extension arm for the progressive New Zealand dairy industry. His current work explores developing early-in-life cattle fertility traits that can be implemented by animal evaluation to accelerate gain in genetic fertility, predicting and mitigating the impact of climate change on dairy cow performance and welfare in a pasture-based and seasonal system, and designing future dairy farm systems that remain profitable while alleviating labor challenges and achieving consumer expectations for animal welfare.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Jim Chambers
BS 1989
Agribusiness and Applied Economics

Chambers developed his passion for agriculture growing up as a seventh-generation farmer on the oldest family farm in Ohio. Over the past 30-plus years of his career, Chambers has held leadership roles at Monsanto, AgraQuest, Valent BioSciences, John Deere, Bayer, Observant, and Iteris, developing deep knowledge in a broad range of agricultural disciplines. Chambers currently is the senior vice president and general manager worldwide of the Agriculture Division at Trimble, where he focuses on helping farmers around the world optimize yields, quality, and profit through innovative, user-friendly agricultural technology solutions. With over 30 years of experience in agriculture and a decade working in the forefront of digital agriculture and precision farm management, Chambers has expertise in applying innovations in equipment technology, weather, soil, and crop modeling to agricultural challenges facing today’s farming communities. Chambers has extensive global experience and has led commercial activities in over 92 countries. He has operated in roles including sales, marketing, and business management. Most recently, Chambers led the development and launch of the Trimble Technology Labs at Ohio State. With their grand opening in October 2023, located on both the Columbus campus and Ohio State ATI in Wooster, these labs will enhance teaching, research, and outreach activities in food and agricultural engineering, construction management, and natural resources.

Brad Moffitt
BS 1983
Agricultural Education and Animal Sciences

Over the 40-plus years of Moffitt’s career, he served as a leader in agricultural education and the corn and wheat industries. During his career in agricultural education, he implemented and established science-based agricultural curriculum at two high schools as an educator and a principal. As an administrator with the Ohio Department of Education, Moffitt had several accomplishments that furthered agricultural education. He worked with David Estrop (Springfield City Schools) and Sen. Chris Widener to set the foundation for The Global Impact STEM Academy. This school, which serves grades 7–12 and graduates 100 students per year, is an exemplary model of a successful charter school with an agricultural focus. Moffitt also worked to develop the first set of content standards for high school agricultural education. After his time in education, Moffitt served with the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. There, he led international trade teams and improved the infrastructure for retail to offer higher ethanol blends. In 2012, no station in the state of Ohio offered E15/Unleaded88. Now there are 90 locations and more coming. Moffitt’s long and diverse career makes him a superb CFAES graduate and well-deserved recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Meritorious Service Award

Keith Smith
Former director, Ohio State University Extension

Smith served as director for OSU Extension for 23 years. During his time of service, Smith was a strong leader who brought the best out in others and remained flexible and adaptable to ensure that OSU Extension was the best it could be. Under his leadership, OSU Extension maintained a presence in every Ohio county and pushed its critical programs to provide quality service to its patrons. This included a 4-H program that was second to none in the United States in its size and quality, more articles in the Journal of Extension, and more awards presented to county staff in their national meetings than any other Extension program across the country for many of the years during his leadership. Other contributions from Smith’s tenure include the establishment of the annual Ohio 4-H Foundation Celebration of Youth, development of the OSU Leadership Center, and the expansion of programs and content offered by OSU Extension to meet all Ohioans’ needs. Remarkably, many of these accomplishments occurred when there were significant Extension state line-item budget allocation reductions. In 1998, Smith was named associate vice president for agricultural administration, and his duties were extended beyond CFAES to the university at large. Being the team player he is, Smith embraced agency partnerships, stakeholder feedback, and the elimination of academic silos. Smith is also a recipient of Extension’s National Distinguished Service Award; a member of the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame; and president of his temple, which serves 50,000-plus members of Ohio with a regular biweekly volunteer force of 650 individuals.