CFAES Connect: November 2015

  1. McPheron Named Interim Provost, Hendrick Named Acting Dean

    The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences begins temporary leadership changes when its vice president for agricultural administration and dean, Dr. Bruce A. McPheron, becomes interim executive vice president and provost of The Ohio State University on Dec. 2.

    Senior Associate Dean and Professor Ronald L. Hendrick will serve as acting vice president of agricultural administration and college dean in place of Dr. McPheron while the university conducts as national search for a permanent replacement for Joseph Steinmetz. 

    In addition, Terry Niblack, Chair of the Department of Plant Pathology, has been named acting senior associate dean, pending approval of the Ohio State Board of Trustees. 

    Congratulations and best of luck to all three in their interim leadership roles.

    Read more here.

  2. Buckeyes Converge on Battle Creek, Mi. for CFAES Alumni Reception

    Mingling in a 16th-floor banquet room overlooking downtown Battle Creek, Mich., dozens of alumni and friends of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences enjoyed a reception at the McCamly Plaza Hotel by the Kellogg property.

    Inside the high-rise, guests enjoyed two hours of heavy hors-d'oeuvres and compelling conversation about the college. They had an opportunity to reconnect with alumni and friends of the university, learn college updates from Dr. Bruce A. McPheron, vice president for agricultural administration & dean, and hear from Dr. Bobby Moser, retired vice president for agricultural administration & dean emeritus. Dr. Moser is current W.K. Kellogg Foundation board chair.

    Winning an alumni raffle of two football tickets was Emery Okos (B.S. Horticulture, 1969; M.S. Nutrition, 1973) of the greater Battle Creek area.


  3. Spotlight Fund: The Dr. Mark Bennett Memorial Scholarship Fund

    Consider a gift to the Dr. Mark Bennett Memorial Scholarship Fund (#482871), a pending endowment with the purpose of providing scholarships to undergraduate students enrolled in CFAES who are studying in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science with demonstrated interest in fruit and vegetable production.

    The fund is named for a longtime horticulture and crop science professor, Dr. Mark Bennett, 60, who died in June after a two-year battle with brain cancer.

    For more information about this fund, contact Jen Heller at 614-292-0473.

  4. Have You Heard About the President's Club Football Seating Policy?

    The next few months will be important for those interested in purchasing Ohio State football home season tickets or improving their current seats because of changes in the Ohio Stadium seating policy.

    The opportunity to purchase football tickets and game-day parking passes is among the benefits of donating to the college by joining President’s Club.  

    Please be advised that cumulative annual gifts must meet or exceed $3,000 by Dec. 31 in order to qualify for President’s Club recognition the following calendar year. Eligible gifts include any for academics, health sciences or the arts.

    For details, contact the CFAES Advancement Office at 614-292-0473 or  

  5. CFAES Alumni Awards Save the Date - March 5, 2016

    Each year the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences sponsors an annual awards program to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions through their careers.

    The college will be honoring them at a luncheon on Saturday, March 5, 2016.  More details will be provided regarding the 2016 recipients, event and registration.

    In the meantime, please save the date and plan to attend.


  6. Bright spots in CFAES enrollment report

    The annual enrollment report for CFAES has been released. The following information summarizes the college’s undergraduate and graduate student enrollment data for Autumn Semester 2015. 

    Undergraduate enrollment trends

    • Agriculture enrollment: 1,833 students; decreased by 8 students, or -0.4 percent.
    • Environment and Natural Resources enrollment: 657 students; increased by 1 student, or 0.2 percent.
    • Combined enrollment: 2,490 in Agriculture and Environment and Natural Resources; declined by -0.3 percent.
    • ATI enrollment increased by 7.0 percent from 702 in 2014 to 751 in 2015.
    • Total undergraduate enrollment for 2015 is 3,403, including 162 from regional (not ATI) campuses.
    • Minority enrollment in Agriculture increased from 183 to 193 students, or 5.5 percent.
    • Minority enrollment in Environment and Natural Resources increased from 56 to 67 students, or 19.6 percent.
    • Minority enrollment at the regional campuses and ATI decreased from 43 to 42 students. or -2.3 percent.
    • The number of new first-year students who directly enrolled in Agriculture on the Columbus campus for Autumn Semester 2015 increased from 139 to 169 students (21.6 percent). Transfer students from outside of Ohio State remained the same as the previous year — 81 students in 2014 and 2015. Transition students from ATI in Autumn Semester 2015 increased 21.3 percent from 75 in 2014 to 91 in 2015 (with 4 additional in ENR).
    • The number of new first-year students who directly enrolled in Environment and Natural Resources on the Columbus campus increased from 46 students in 2014 to 48 students in 2015, or 4.3 percent. Transfer students decreased from 34 in 2014 to 30 in 2015, or -11.8 percent.
    • During the 2014-2015 academic year (Autumn 2014 through Summer 2015), 516 undergraduate students graduated in Agriculture, and 152 graduated in Environment and Natural Resources.

    Graduate enrollment trends

    • Agriculture enrollment: 476 students; increased 12 students, or 3.3 percent.
    • Environment and Natural Resources enrollment increased by 4 students, or 4.4 percent (does not include students enrolled in the Environmental Science graduate program major).
    • Combined enrollment: 571 students in Agriculture and Environment and Natural Resources; increased 3.5 percent. 

    ATI enrollment trends

    • Ohio State ATI’s 7 percent increase was the largest among all the Ohio State regional campuses and marked ATI’s third straight year of increasing enrollment.
    • ATI’s Autumn Semester headcount is 751, up from last autumn’s 702. Growth in both the number of new students and returning students accounted for the increase.
    • The trend toward greater enrollment in the associate of science degree programs continues, with 38.3 percent of students enrolled in associate of applied science programs and 60.9 percent enrolled in associate of science programs. 
    • Programs showing enrollment growth include agricultural business (AS), agriscience education (AS), biochemical sciences (AS) and livestock science (AS).


  7. Undisputed: ATI Dairy Cattle Judging Team is national champ

    The Ohio State ATI Dairy Cattle Judging Team won the Lely International Post-Secondary Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo on Sept. 28 in Madison, Wisconsin. The contest is considered the national contest for two-year, certificate and other non-four-year colleges (post-secondary).

    The team won by 64 points and was high in oral reasons. Tanner Topp was high individual, Kaleb Kliner was third high individual, Hannah Dye was fourth high individual, and John Paulin was 14th high individual. Don Hange is coach of the team.

    Read the World Dairy Expo’s press release about the contest here.

    Read about the team’s previous win, at the Pennsylvania All-American Dairy Show, in last month’s issue.

    ... and then wins yet again

    And in late-breaking news, the team just earned another first-place finish, this one at the North American International Livestock Exposition on Nov. 8 in Louisville, Kentucky. The team was first by 67 points.

    Specific team and individual placings were (points in parentheses):

    • Ayrshire breed: Tanner Topp, first (146); Kaleb Kliner, second (140); Hannah Dye, third (139); John Paulin, 10th (130); the team was first.
    • Brown Swiss breed: Hannah Dye, fifth (136); Kaleb Kliner, 10th (131); the team was fourth.
    • Guernsey breed: Tanner Topp, first (148); Hannah Dye, second (148); the team was second.
    • Holstein breed: Hannah Dye, first (144); Tanner Topp, fourth (138); Kaleb Kliner, fifth (138); the team was first.
    • Jersey breed: Tanner Topp, first (148); Kaleb Kliner, third (146); Hannah Dye, sixth (143); the team was first.
    • Oral reasons: Tanner Topp, first (233); Hannah Dye, third (229); Kaleb Kliner, fifth (216); the team was first by 30 points.
    • Contest: Hannah Dye, first (710); Tanner Topp, second (709); Kaleb Kliner, fourth (682); the team was first by 67 points.

    “As I look back on the 2015 judging year, I cannot remember any year where a team (at the two-year college level) participated in four judging contests and was first place in each contest and high in oral reasons,” said ATI’s Royce Thornton, coordinator of dairy programs and division chair of Agricultural and Engineering Technologies.

    “The ATI Dairy Cattle Judging Team competed in the NACTA contest, the Pennsylvania All-American contest, World Dairy Expo and the North American International Livestock Exposition,” Thornton said. “Eight different students competed on the four winning teams.

    “Please congratulate all of the dairy students and Coach Hange, who admirably filled in for me.”


  8. CFAES Student Elected National FFA Officer

    Sydney Snider, a CFAES agricultural communication major from Moscow, Ohio, is the new eastern region vice president for FFA. She’ll serve on the 2015-16 National FFA Officer team, along with students from Arkansas, Tennessee, Iowa, Georgia and Utah.

    Snider and her new teammates were elected during the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo Oct. 31 in Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.

    Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as national FFA officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary, and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern and western regions of the country.

    National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public, and others.

    The team will lead personal growth and leadership training conferences for FFA members throughout the country and will help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.

    The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


  9. Ohio State Student Wins National Black Farmers Scholarship

    Zaid Hightower, an Ohio State student from Cleveland who is majoring in psychology (College of Arts and Sciences) and minoring in agriculture, has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the National Black Farmers Association Scholarship program.

    Established in May 2015, the scholarship program is funded by the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC.

    “Empowering young people with access to knowledge is transformational,” said Lesley Slavitt, head of civic engagement—external affairs, FCA US LLC. “Supporting entry to higher education will ensure that these future leaders galvanize the tools, skills and passion necessary to make meaningful change in the world and provide access to food security for generations.”

    Scholarship recipients were selected based upon several criteria, including academic performance, demonstrated leadership and participation in agricultural and community activities, and career goals and objectives.

    Hightower, among his activities, is an undergraduate student associate specializing in urban gardening with Ohio State’s Buckeye Civic Engagement Connection.

    In all, the scholarship program recently awarded more than $87,000 in scholarships to 19 students to support the development of a new generation of African American farmers. The FCA Foundation also announced it would fund up to $100,000 for a second year of the program.

    “The plight of the black farmers and the loss of black-owned farms have been a major issue for well over 100 years,” said John Boyd Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association. “In 1910, nearly 1 million black farm families owned over 15 million acres of land. Today, less than 45,000 black farm families own 3 million acres. The NBFA Scholarship program will begin to address black land loss.”

    Information about how to apply for the 2016 NBFA scholarship program will be available in early May at

    About the National Black Farmers Association

    The National Black Farmers Association is a non-profit organization representing African American farmers and their families in the U.S. As an association, it serves tens of thousands of members nationwide. NBFA’s education and advocacy efforts have been focused on civil rights, land retention, access to public and private loans, education and agricultural training, and rural economic development for black and other small farmers.


  10. CFAES Career Expos draw large crowds

    Students and employers met this fall on the Columbus and Wooster campuses to attend Career Expos hosted by CFAES’s Academic Programs office. Employer and student participation was as follows:

    Construction Career Expo, Sept. 29

    • 55 companies represented.
    • 147 students attended.

    Ohio State ATI Career Expo, Sept. 30

    • 38 companies represented.
    • 245 students attended — an increase of 143 percent over last year.

    CFAES Career Expo, Oct. 1

    • 76 companies represented.
    • 408 students attended.

    Over the course of three days, 169 companies and 800 students attended this year’s Career Expos. Student participation increased by 18 percent over last year.

    Next on the schedule are the Environmental and Sustainability Career Expo on Jan. 22 and the winter CFAES Career Expo on Feb. 24, both in Columbus.

    Details can be found here.

  11. Watch Cardinal Peter Turkson discuss Global Sustainability with President Drake and Dean McPheron

    Watch here as Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, shares reflections on Pope Francis' Encyclical on Ecology followed by a discussion with CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron and Ohio State President Michael Drake.

    Respected around the world as a Scripture scholar, an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised in the developing world, and a spokesperson for protecting the environment as a matter of social justice, Turkson has long made news with his comments linking ecology and human life. He has become the face of climate change at the Vatican, having led the drafting process of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, presented at the April 28 Vatican conference on climate change and introduced the encyclical during a June 18 news conference.

    Turkson’s visit to Ohio State was sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of Energy and Environment, Humanities Institute, St. Thomas More Newman Center, Glenn College of Public Affairs, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, and additional partners and student organizations.