CFAES Award Recipients from OSU Extension

CFAES Award Recipients from OSU Extension

Distinguished Early Career Extension Faculty Award

Ashley Leach

Ashley earned her Ph.D. in entomology at Cornell University in 2019, where she studied the multifaceted impacts of IPM programming in vegetable cropping systems. She was awarded an AFRI postdoctoral fellowship to examine the impacts of pesticide programming on pollination services in watermelon production. Dr. Leach began her position at Ohio State as an assistant professor in January 2022. Her research program incorporates pest biology and ecology to design evidence-based pest management approaches for Ohio’s diverse specialty crop industries. Her research aims to support arthropod-mediated ecosystem services to improve agricultural vitality. Her Extension program creates resources for Ohio specialty crop growers to improve current pest management practices. She regularly collaborates across the college with the goal of creating robust tools for stakeholders.

Distinguished Extension Faculty Award

Peggy Kirk Hall

Peggy is the director of Ohio State’s Agricultural and Resource Law Program and a member of OSU Extension’s Farm Office team, providing research and outreach on legal issues affecting Ohio agriculture. She is a research partner with the National Agricultural Law Center, and has taught agribusiness law in CFAES for 25 years. Hall has served as president of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) and chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Agricultural Law Committee. She has received AALA’s Excellence in Agricultural Law Award and its Distinguished Service Award; and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents honored Hall with its Ohio Distinguished Service Award. Hall holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in natural resource policy from Ohio State and a Juris Doctor from the University of Wyoming College of Law, where she was on the Land and Water Law Review editorial board.

Distinguished Early Career Extension Professional Award

Audrey Dimmerling

Audrey is the OSU Extension educator for 4-H youth development in Columbiana County. She received her master’s degree in early childhood education from Concordia, St Paul, and her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Bowling Green State University. She is a Stark County 4-H alumna, and is currently serving her 26th year as a volunteer in her home 4-H club. Audrey enjoys working to meet the needs of her community through a variety of school programs, community partnerships, and within the growing 4-H community clubs of Columbiana County. Her dedication to her community has strengthened relationships and created new opportunities. Audrey is extremely proud of the growth she has seen among the 4-H youth, as they are attending a variety of new opportunities, sharing their leadership abilities, and developing lifelong skills. When Audrey is not working, she enjoys spending time with her four children on the family farm and traveling with her husband.

Distinguished Extension Professional Award

Todd Steiner

Todd has been with Ohio State and CFAES for 35 years. Working as the leader of the Enology program since 2001, he also serves as the state enologist and outreach specialist to the Ohio commercial wine industry. Todd has moved to a full Extension appointment under OSU Extension and the Ohio Grape Industries Committee. His Extension responsibilities include co-organizing the annual Ohio Grape and Wine Conference, the annual Ohio Wine Competition, organizing workshops, webinars, performing winery site visits, and presenting at both in-state and out-of-state meetings. Recently, Todd has developed several large programmatic Extension efforts in addition to writing the Wine Production Guide to support a rapidly growing Ohio wine industry. Todd has been asked to judge in numerous regional, national, and international wine competitions, and he has served several terms on the board of directors for the American Society of Enology and Viticulture – Eastern Section (ASEV-ES). Todd has been awarded the 2022 ASEV-ES Distinguished Service Award in addition to being selected as a 2022 Wine Industry Leader by Wine Business Monthly. Recently, Todd was selected for the prestigious Monteith Trophy by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association.

Distinguished Multi-disciplinary Team Extension Award

East Palestine Response Team – Plant Tissue Analysis Group

Jeff Hattey, Devin Peterson, Heather Raymond, Haley Shoemaker, Matt Teegarden

Following the East Palestine train derailment, the impacted communities, agricultural producers, and those who rely on the products they provide were faced with uncertainty and questions surrounding the viability of the local food supply. While the needs of the producers became clear over the course of conversations, meetings, and roundtables, the answers required countless hours of carefully considering appropriate protocols, procedures, and analytical measures. This team’s partnership with ODA and the CFAES departments represented effectively served the comm unities surrounding East Palestine by placing timely, relevant, and much-needed data into the hands of local producers. This data allowed many to continue selling their grain and marketing livestock; and most importantly, it gave producers the confidence to engage in informed, non-biased conversations with their consumers.

Spirit of the Land-Grant Award

East Palestine Response Team

• Eric Barrett • Jeff Hattey • Matt Teegarden
• Michael Bisesi • Dee Jepsen • Adam Ward
• Sam Custer • Devin Peterson • Karen Chou
• Maurice Eastridge • Heather Raymond  
• Jason Hartschuh • Haley Shoemaker  

In response to the East Palestine tr ain derailment, CFAES and OSU Extension staff, scientists and researchers, and other experts were brought together to address residents’ needs by utilizing recommendations from CFAES and collaborating with local, state, and national agencies to share expertise for a greater impact in responding to the needs of residents and stakeholders in the area. They facilitated temporary livestock housing, provided fact-based information sheets, validated processes, served as a trusted scientific source, reviewed remediation plans, established sampling protocols, provided mental health support and resources, and evaluated economic and environmental impacts.