Many of us remain under self-quarantine or some level of restriction while the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and disconnected.
However, we are not helpless. We can be part of the solution right now.
Please consider making a difference to support our students, community outreach, and related research. The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences has prioritized several opportunities that can have an immediate impact:
- Support CFAES students during this crisis, a time of need that could define the rest of their lives. Help students now.
- Partner with CFAES faculty from the Food Animal Health Research program in the study of animal disease and its connection to COVID-19. Act now.
- Help OSU Extension, which is currently responding to the pandemic with experts who offer healthy living, financial, and employment advice and assistance in Ohio’s 88 counties as well as educators who provide online youth development activities through Ohio 4-H. Give now.
Join us and help the CFAES community in a time of great need. To learn how to donate or get involved, contact Emily Winnenberg Kruse at 614-247-7606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Emergency Funds
The college is focusing on student support. The pandemic threatens CFAES students on multiple levels. It threatens their health and well-being. It has crushed the economy, resulting in job loss for them and their families, as well as uncertainty about future career options. It has disenfranchised them from CFAES’ and Ohio State’s resources and from the campus community—Faculty, staff, their classmates and friends. COVID-19 takes a toll on their learning, their emotions, and their future.
The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Student Support Fund (#316943) provides funds to support CFAES students financially, emotionally, or academically on a case-by-case basis. Recipients and award amounts shall be determined by the dean or his/her designee and when appropriate.
Support for the student community will be needed for years to come. Additional options to consider include the following funds that support our students:
School of Environment and Natural Resources Student Support Fund (#316944) provides funds to support SENR students financially, emotionally, or academically on a case-by-case basis. Recipients and award amounts shall be determined by the school's director or his/her designee and when appropriate.
ATI Student Emergency Aid Fund (#316927) supports ATI students in financial emergency situations on a case-by-case basis. Recipients and award amounts shall be determined by the director of ATI or his/her designee and when appropriate in consultation with Student Financial Aid. Funds shall not be used as regular annual scholarship awards.
Make an impact through FAHRP
Through the study of animal disease, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences is developing solutions to the COVID-19 questions of testing, treatments, vaccines, and other therapeutics. Finding these solutions requires a vast array of highly-specialized lab equipment, expertise, and expensive techniques such as animal models.
The Food Animal Health Research Program (#308144) fund supports this critical research that is currently fueling the fight against this pandemic, which poses a dire threat to human health and global economic stability.
The Food Animal Health Research Program (FAHRP) faculty have more than 30 years of research experience in the diagnosis, prevention, therapeutics, and study of disease progression of coronaviruses like COVID-19.
Their expertise is recognized worldwide. FAHRP’s laboratory is designated as a reference coronavirus laboratory by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), which is responsible for improving global animal health, and the World Health Organization.
Coronaviruses infect wide varieties of animal species, including food-producing animals such as swine, cattle, poultry, and humans. Coronaviruses often cross species barriers and cause severe diseases in humans and animals.
One possible animal model is swine, which has a respiratory system that closely mimics humans. Pigs are susceptible to coronavirus. However, additional funding is needed now to conduct antibody tests using pig models. This would allow use of convalescent serum to treat COVID-19 patients, vaccines, and therapeutics.
Addressing the critical research and treatment needs for this disease in specialized labs requires additional monetary support.
Help OSU Extension
A gift to the Ohio State University Extension Fund (#316964) supports programming that is already responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by helping Ohio families and communities directly and by coordinating assistance for the crisis’ pervasive, lengthy aftermath.
As the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension partners with all Ohioans—operating right where people live and work to strengthen their own lives and communities in all 88 counties.
Through Extension, the college provides practical advice, sensible solutions, and realistic down-to-earth answers in real time based on sound research and best practices.
An Extension hallmark is working with people, discovering and responding to current issues as they are happening. Several aspects of all six priorities on which Extension currently focuses—health and wellness, workforce development, thriving across the life span, sustainable food systems, engaged Ohioans/vibrant communities, and environmental quality—will endure significant impact from COVID-19.
While Extension is legislatively mandated, it is not legislatively funded at the county level. Local government funds and other county-based revenue generation (ex. sales and property taxes) will be significantly reduced as a result of COVID-19. This work needs help to continue.
Funding can support county-based Extension educators who then can help families make decisions about how to best use reduced income for housing, food, health care, and other basic needs; or deal with no income for a period of time. This would include how to appropriately handle stimulus money to support basic household expenses such as food/medical needs, utilities, shelter, and transportation.
County educators, Extension field specialists, and CFAES department specialists will be able to help businesses get back on their feet via navigating small business loans, possibly reworking their business model, and implementing new ways to interact with customers. Development of the current and future workforce is critical during this epidemic and beyond. Our professionals working with business, industry, and the future workforce (Ohio 4-H youth) are convening conversations on the economic impact of COVID-19 and providing critical resources for suffering businesses, while continuing to prepare for a strong workforce post-COVID-19.
Extension can help communities determine best practices to recover responsibly from the crisis: reopening companies, schools, and local attractions; handling business regression and loss; and assisting with other opportunities previously not anticipated. This requires funding of Extension personnel and resources.
In addition, Extension professionals in county offices and throughout the state, as well as those with Extension appointments in CFAES departments, will likely need additional specialized training to help our clientele deal with some impacts of COVID-19. This includes mental health first aid; stress management skills for youth; family management skills during and after times of crisis; helping families and businesses navigate new financial processes; and educating Extension staff and clientele about new proper agricultural production safety and security practices. Assistance for livestock, field crop and produce growers will be needed as well.