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.