CFAES Connect: Campaign Launch and Fallfest 2019 Wrapup

  1. Campaign Receives a Homecoming Kickoff

    Dean Cathann Kress, Wendell Wiley, John Prusa, Pat Brundige, Todd Kranz, Susan Turner, Dan Wampler. Not pictured: Dale Leppo.

    Time and Change: The Ohio State Campaign, the university's historic comprehensive effort in fundraising and volunteerism, kicked off to the public during Homecoming last week, with a goal of raising $4.5 billion and engaging 1 million supporters.

    This coincided with the start of celebrations for the 150th anniversary of both Ohio State and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

    Our college has a goal of raising $225 million in private support focusing on new Time and Change funds created to embody the college’s campaign priorities of workforce development, translating research, and Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory.

    Special thanks to the CFAES Campaign Advisory Committee for their leadership. Pictured in the photo at the top of the page are Dean Cathann Kress, Wendell Wiley, John Prusa, Pat Brundige, Todd Kranz, Susan Turner, and Dan Wampler. Dale Leppo (not pictured) also serves on the committee.

    Join us. To learn how to donate or get involved, visit or contact Emily Winnenberg Kruse at 614-247-7606 or

    Learn more here about the campaign kickoff. Also, please watch this video from last week.


  2. Fallfest 2019

    Carmen Ohio

    Nearly 400 CFAES alumni and friends filled the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center last Saturday for Fallfest, our annual Homecoming pregame.

    Our guests mingled with friends old and new, munched on Mexican- and Italian-inspired tailgate fare, and listened to live rock music while engaging in some family activities and celebrating alumni anniversaries.

    Hope to see you there next year! In the meantime, visit for more images in our photo gallery.

    Fallfest activities


    Go Bucks. We're number one!Spirit squad visits the tailgate



  3. Introducing One of The Ohio State University’s Best Kept Secrets

    Participants in a leadership development program

          Alice Hutzel-Bateson, MA, Communications-Marketing Coordinator

    For more than 22 years, The Ohio State University has operated an earnings center under the CFAES umbrella, partially funding that center through the Ohio State University Extension Community Development program.  Located on the Ohio State Marion campus, Alber Enterprise Center has customized training programs for hundreds of Ohio employers during those 22 years; in fact, since 2012, the Center has delivered 300 programs to 100 employers (from 20+ counties in Ohio) and thousands of their employees. This value-added service to the broader communities sets The Ohio State University above other land-grant universities, according to anecdotal comments we hear at national conferences. 

    Through a small team (5 full-time staff + one student employee) and a group of vetted industry experts, Alber Enterprise Center provides customized organization development programs for small to mid-size organizations. Ohio small businesses (in general, 500 or fewer employees) employed 2.2 million people, or 46% of the private workforce, in 2015 (source: U.S. Census Bureau).  A good portion of those small businesses are located in rural communities – making this work very relevant to the Extension mission.

    Our clients often share how the Center has helped move their organization toward greater success. Recently, our director, Myra Wilson, received an email from a retired Human Resources director of a long-time client, stating how much he appreciated “…the professionalism, partnership and valued support provided by you…and the entire Alber team over the past 20 years. The collaborative training accomplishments are too numerous to mention. All helped our manufacturing company sustain and improve our competitiveness.”

    What makes Alber Enterprise Center distinctive is that we listen to employers; we assist them in uncovering their challenges and deliver creative solutions that impact their bottom lines, which, in turn, boosts the economy. And because we’re about building lasting relationships and making long-term impact, we continue our services to the company after the training, to support their efforts to change behaviors.

    University departments, colleges and units are welcome to contact the Center to discuss staff/team development when the need arises. Recently, Ashley Gorden, director of student enrollment at Ohio State Marion, contacted Alber Enterprise Center and, in partnership with Shellie Shirk, who oversees Academic Advising, has scheduled a development workshop for the combined staff of 12 using the CliftonStrengths® assessment and follow-up program.

    Client comments are really the best way to tell the Center’s story.  The human resources manager of a Marion manufacturing company spoke of his gratitude for the Center’s services. "The leadership development we went through with the Alber Enterprise

    Center really opened our eyes on how to better lead our organization to success and why effective leadership is critical to the talent within our organization." 

    Elder Care Certificate

    One of the Center’s recent accomplishments is the development of the Elder Care Certificate program. after years of talking with people in the long-term services and supports industry about the critical challenges the industry faces, including a shortage of qualified employees. Another factor is that Ohio’s aging population is expected to increase from about 1.7 million today to over 2.7 million in 2032.

    According to a recent report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation called Bridging the Soft Skills Gap, those skills include teamwork & collaboration; problem solving & critical thinking; organizational skills; interpersonal communication; leadership; work ethic & persistence; creativity; and relationship skills. To fill that soft skills gap, Alber Enterprise Center launched the non-credit Elder Care Certificate program with the topics of the basics of health and aging; personal effectiveness (work ethic and ethical behaviors); communication and quality care; working in teams; and personal leadership. This course is specifically aimed at upgrading these skills of the non-clinical staff, including activities coordinators, environmental services, maintenance, custodians, food service, van drivers, and others.  It would also benefit anyone who is working with elders for the first time.  We piloted the program with great success and many accolades, not only from the participants but also the sponsoring organizations.

    For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Ohio Department of Education approved the Elder Care Certificate program for 4 points within the industry-recognized credential program for graduating seniors who may be interested in health care careers.

    While the Center serves external clients throughout the state, perhaps your team has a need for a customized program to take you to the next level.  Our focus is on collaboration to uncover those areas for improvement, develop a solution that’s just the right fit, deliver that solution and follow up with your team for meaningful, long-term change.  Please contact us if you’d like to start a conversation. or 740-725-6325. Go Bucks!

  4. Benfield Retires

    David Benfield

    Congratulations to Dr. David Benfield, who is retiring after four decades of making breakthrough discoveries in animal disease prevention, overseeing major campus facilities renovations, and creating hands-on research opportunities for undergraduates.

    David will retire Dec. 31 as associate vice president of agricultural administration in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and director of the college’s Wooster Campus, a role in which he has served since 2016.  He came to The Ohio State University in 2002 as associate director of OARDC and a professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program in the College of Veterinary Medicine following more than 20 years at South Dakota State University. 

    Renowned for his contributions to swine disease research, David isolated the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus in the early 1990s and helped develop the first vaccine and diagnostic tests for what continues to cost the swine industry nearly a billion dollars annually . His research on PRRS has resulted in nine U.S. patents and several foreign patents. 

    He and his wife Melnee have been loyal and generous benefactors of the college, establishing endowment funds in support of Secrest Arboretum as well as a new fund providing undergraduate research scholarships for undergraduate student researchers.

    Those wishing to celebrate his retirement and follow his commitment to undergraduate research can give to the Benfield Scholarship Endowment Fund (#483505) online at The fund has been established to provide scholarships for any Ohio State students who are participating or planning to participate in research projects on the Wooster Campus. 

    “Please join me in thanking Dr. Benfield for his dedicated and distinguished service to CFAES, Ohio State, and the field of animal sciences and wish him all the best in his retirement,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean, CFAES.


  5. Events Calendar

    CFAES Alumni Society Fall Service Project - Saturday, October 19th 9:00-12noon - Columbus, Ohio 

    Alums have the opportunity to help FLOW with the clean-up of Carmack Woods, an overgrown area of west campus near the public parking lots.

    Dining with Diabetes - Tuesday, October 15th 5:30-7:00pm - Columbus, Ohio 

    Dining with Diabetes is a cooking and nutrition education program for people with diabetes or at-risk for diabetes and their family members.  In a series of 4 classes, participants learn skills to manage diabetes, make and sample delicious food, and receive diabetes-friendly recipes.

    Harvest Day at Waterman - Friday, October 18th 1:00-3:00pm - Columbus, Ohio 

    Join in on all of the fall festivities at Waterman to support the Bucks for Charity organization of your choice! 

    Hidden Gems of Secrest - Wednesday, October 23rd 1:00-3:00pm - Wooster, Ohio

    Put on your walking shoes and join us for a guided adventure to the outer reaches of Secrest Arboretum. Paul will introduce you to the far corners and hidden treasures most visitors overlook. Golf carts will take us to the back forty, so space is limited. Register now; this is a tour you won't want to miss!

    One Day Insect University - Wednesday, October 30th 9:00am-4:00pm - Columbus, Ohio 

    Join fellow entomology enthusiasts for a daylong exploration of the world of insects. The One Day Insect University will be held at the 4-H Center. Participants will learn about pollinators, insects in the garden and landscape, and the role citizen/community science plays in what we know about insects.

    EPN Breakfast: The Future of Conservation Funding - Tuesday, November 19th 7:30am-1:00pm - Columbus, Ohio

    Join this EPN Breakfast Program to learn from Kendra Wecker (the Chief of Ohio’s Division of Wildlife) and Naomi Edelson (Senior Director for Wildlife Partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation; national expert on state-based conservation funding strategies), as we discuss a variety of strategies aimed at enhancing the future of wildlife conservation in Ohio.

  6. Alumni in the News

    Chris Henney

    Our alumni are out in the world making great things happen.  If you see an alum in the news, let us know!

    Here are some recent newsmakers from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences:


    Michael Anadell AS Animal Science 2018 OCF Young Cattlemen's Conference Provides Industry Learning Experience 

    Tayler Ardrey BSAGR Animal Science 2012 OCF Young Cattlemen's Conference Provides Industry Learning Experience 

    Kurt Bohlen AS Dairy Science-ATI 2004 Mental Health Takes Forefront with Ohio Programs 

    Frank Burkett II BS Agricultural Mechanization & Systems 1997 Ohio Department of Agriculture creates #gotyourback Campaign to Address Mental Health Among Farmers  

    Karlie Canfield AS Agriscience Education 2017, BSAGR Agricultural Education 2017 Agriculture Education Program to be Implemented at Huntington

    Cora Carter MS Agricultural Education 2018 Making Connections: New Extension Educator Focuses on New Technology, Emerging Crops Karlie Canfield

    Dr. Gitta Coaker PhD Horticulture and Crop Science 2003 Can Science Save Citrus? Farmers, Researchers Try to Hold Off Deadly Disease Long Enough to Find a Cure

    Leah Curtis BS Agricultural Communications 2007 Legal with Leah: Ohio's Gas Tax

    Sam Custer BS Agricultural Education 1981, MS Agricultural Education 1984 Day 1 Crop Tour Recap I-71 Leg

    Sam Custer BS Agricultural Education 1981, MS Agricultural Education 1984 Family-owned Meat Producer Expanding 

    Doug Dawson ASC Livestock Production & Management Beef & Sheep 1979 Ohioan Among Finalists for America's Pig Farmer of the Year 

    Jordan Fledderjohann BSAGR Agribusiness & Applied Economics 2016 A Loss for Ohio Agriculture After Fledderjohann Killed in Automobile Accident  Dr. Tony Forshey

    Dr. Tony Forshey BS Animal Science 1977 Viral Disease Limits All American Quarter Horse Congress Participation

    Christine Gelley AS Horticulture Science 2011, BSAGR Sustainable Plant Systems 2013 Some Farmers Planting Grasses that Can Handle Rain

    Rose Hartschuh BS Agricultural Education 2008 Hartschuh, Harrison Take Roles with Ohio Farm Bureau

    Chris Henney BS Agricultural Education 1998 OABA Seeking Emerging Leaders for Eighth Launch Class 

    Todd Hesterman BS Agronomy 1985 The Worst Planting Season Has Lasting Ripple Effects

    Roger High BS Animal Science 1985, MS Agricultural Education 1993 Sheep Expert to Speak at Ag Breakfast

    Roy Hoffman BS Agriculture Education 1960 Roy Hoffman

    Bart Johnson BS Agricultural Economics 1989 Day 1 Crop Tour Recap I-71 Leg

    Nathan Louiso BS Agribusiness & Applied Economics 2000 Axis and Meristem Team Up on Crop Inputs 

    Dr. Paul Mechling II BS Animal Science 1971 ODNR Division of Forestry Announces 2019 Ohio Tree Farm Tour 

    Kayla Miller MS Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering 2017 New Agripower Institute Class Announced 

    Glen Newcomer ASC Livestock Production & Management - Beef & Sheep 1981 Challenges Continue in Northwest Ohio   Glen Newcomer

    Sarah Noggle BS Agricultural Education 1999 OSU Extension Offering September Programs

    Dr. Jacqueline Nolting BS Dairy & Poultry Science 2005, PhD Agricultural Education 2018 Glitter Snot and Virus Swapping: Hands-on Biosecurity Practice

    Joel Penhorwood BSAGR Agricultural Communications 2016 Penhorwood Signs Off and Moooves On 

    John Poulson BS Animal Science 1981, MS Agricultural Education 1987 Poulson Honored with OSU Alumni Award

    Cy Prettyman BS Animal Science 1990 Prettyman Takes on New Role with Farm Bureau

    Samuel Reed BSENR Environmental Science 2017 Alumni Voice:Unsustainable Comfort 

    Eric Richer BS Agricultural Education 1999 OSU Extension Offering September Programs

    Dr. Scott Shearer BS Agricultural Engineering 1981, MS Agricultural Engineering 1983, PhD Agricultural Engineering 1986 How AI and Unmanned Aerial Systems Could Change the Future of Crop Scouting

    Dusty Sonnenberg BS Agricultural Education 1995 Day 1 Crop Tour Recap I-75 Leg

    Garrett Stanfield BSAGR Animal Science 2019 OCF Young Cattlemen's Conference Provides Industry Learning Experience    

    Eric Tanner AAPPSCI Greenhouse and Nursery Management 2017 New Horticulture Leader: Marlington Ready for Big Mum Sale John Torres

    John Torres BS Agribusiness & Applied Economics 2005 New Maryland Farm Bureau Director Focused on the People 

    Darby Walton BSAGR Agribusiness and Applied Economics 2016 OCF Young Cattlemen's Conference Provides Industry Learning Experience 

    Harold Watters BS Natural Resources Development 1976, MS Agronomy 1983 Day 1 Crop Tour Recap I-75 Leg 

    Meghann Winters AS Agricultural Communications 2019, BSAGR Agricultural Communications 2019 B1G Flavor: Ohio State Unveils in-stadium Bacon Vending Machine

    Nick Zachrich BS Agricultural Education 2007, MS Agriculture & Extension Education 2017 Farm Science Review to Offer Career Fair