Prof. Harold Keener discusses OARDC's research on developing energy from biogas. Photo by Seth Teter

Farm research highlights AgriPOWER Institute


Buckeye Farm News

Ohio scientists are using a protein that makes jellyfish glow to illuminate bacteria inside a beetle that causes Stewart’s wilt in corn; they are developing Ohio-grown rubber from latex in dandelions; they are isolating genes that determine the shape of fruit; and they are working to convert gas from livestock and human waste to energy.

Those are a few of the emerging areas of research that OFBF’s AgriPOWER Institute explored during three days of leadership training at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster.

 “We’re the one real entity where the state of Ohio invests in the agricultural sector for research and development,” said OARDC Director Steve Slack.

With state funding flat, OARDC is leveraging public dollars to increase revenue from grants and other sources. In 2005, these sources represented a larger share of OARDC’s funding than state financial support for the first time, a trend that continues today. Of its $78 million budget, 53 percent comes from non-state sources.

“The state dollars really provide the infrastructure to drive the enterprise that you see,” Slack said, emphasizing that public funding provides a substantial return on investment.

Also during the training, the class was briefed on farm liability issues, agriculture as economic development and how farmers have responded to change in northeast Ohio.

The AgriPOWER Institute is an intensive yearlong training program that Farm Bureau created to develop advocates for the farming industry.

OFBF is looking for participants for the next AgriPOWER Institute. Through seven sessions, farmers and others in the agricultural industry can gain in-depth training on advocacy at the local, state and national levels. Dates for the upcoming institute have been determined to respect farmers’ busy calendars. For details and an application, visit


Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.

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