Yolanda Owens, Pathways and Partnerships Strategist for the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences at the Ohio State University, was the keynote speaker for the Ag Biotech Academy workshop dinner. Owens shared about OSU’s agricultural programs and her role at CFAES.
Agriculture is the top industry in Ohio, Owens noted, and 470,000 new workers are needed to fill future positions in agriculture over the next 10 years. “Pathways and partnerships” includes working with the extension office in each county, 4-H, community engagement, and other colleges. These efforts include engagement with the Waterman Agriculture and Natural Resources Laboratory Complex.
Waterman Director Dewey Mann shared about the exciting work happening at this site. “It’s not a farm; it’s a land laboratory.” The facility includes research in agronomic and soil sciences, horticulture, turf grass, animal science, and honey bees. The Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex, which will include research and production greenhouses, is under construction now. In addition, the Multispecies Animal Learning Center will provide a place for hands-on learning, public events, and Extension programming.
Other industry guests included Soledad Benitez-Ponce, OSU Assistant Professor, Phytobacteriology; BASF’s Chasitie Euler; and OSU Extension’s Dr. Bob Horton.