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Newly formed Ohio State advisory team
by David White
Last November Dr. Bruce McPheron, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, shared with friends of the college that it was embarking on a comprehensive facilities master planning process that will encompass the college’s physical infrastructure across all geographic locations and functions.
In his letter, Dr. McPheron shared that it is apparent that many of the college’s more than 300 buildings are in need of renovation, rebuilding and/or relocation, with many of the animal science-related buildings in acute need of attention.
As a result, a dedicated animal facilities redevelopment committee was appointed and charged with defining what a 21st century Ohio State animal sciences program should look like and what facilities and animal units are needed to establish a top-tier college and animal sciences program that is structurally modern, fiscally sustainable and future-focused.
This past spring, Ohio Farm Bureau’s state board of trustees approved the creation of an Ohio State advisory team “Advancing Agriculture and Envisioning the Future: Providing a Vision for Ohio State University and the College of Food, Agriculture & Environmental Sciences.” The OFBF board believes the mission of a land-grant university should be to help farmers and agriculture thrive, and that Farm Bureau should be a partner and teammate with Ohio State in this effort. Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ohio State advisory team met for the first time earlier this month. By touring the animal facilities located near Ohio State's Columbus campus, members got a first-hand look at what Dr. McPheron’s letter addressed.
During the meeting, advisory team members worked in small groups responding to the following questions:
- Considering the role of a land-grant university and what is best for Ohio, what do we want, need or expect from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences? (Learn more about the role of land-grant universities)
- How should Ohio State (1) evolve to fulfill a need for students with real world work experience/work force ready students and (2) provide research that is applicable to farmers and disseminated to farmers?
- How does Ohio agriculture become an integral part of and priority of each respective discovery theme: health and wellness, food production and security, and energy and environment.
How would you respond to each of these questions? Your input is welcome in the comment section below. You do not need to be an Ohio State University graduate to provide input.
David White is senior director of commodity relations for Ohio Farm Bureau.