Alumni Spotlight: Gary Bauer, ’73

Gary W. Bauer graduate from Ohio State in 1973 with a master’s degree in agricultural education. He is a retired Ohio State extension educator, a position which he held for 23 years and also spent 15 years teaching agricultural education. He also served as a Huron County Commissioner for 12 years. Bauer now is currently engaged in his family’s Christmas tree farm in Norwalk, Ohio.

Why did you select your major?
An animal science major seemed a good fit having grown up in a rural area and having worked on my grandparent’s general livestock and crops farm. Agriculture education provided an opportunity to stay in touch with my rural roots without a production enterprise and allowed me to impact youth in a positive way.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University? 
A spring field trip as an eighth grader to the Ohio Historical Museum which was located at 15thand High left a lasting impression of the long walk to the library imbedded in my memory.  Hopalong Cassidy helped with the decision, too.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path? 
Once in the agriculture education curriculum, it determined my career in education and since I was not bound by paradigms that limited programs to male participants and production agriculture I could develop a broad teaching curriculum which could include female students and such revolutionary concepts as teaching horticulture.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I participated in University 4-H, intramural softball, and served as Smith Hall dormitory treasurer for two years.  I also attended a great variety of sporting events.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
Some of my favorites included criminology with Dr. Dinitz; animal science with Dr. Tyznek; meat lab with Dr. Cahill; and swine production with Dr. Wilson. Criminology was one favorite because there was so much interesting material to learn.  Dr. Warmbrod taught me a lot about research methods.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education? 
Dr. Bender pushed me hard to obtain my Master’s Degree; Dr. Wolfe helped me secure my first teaching job; and Dr. Boucher was very influential in providing ideas and thoughts to expand my teaching experience.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State? 
My favorite memory is being locked inside Ohio Stadium with the person who later became my wife.  This happened during May Day activities in 1964.  It is a story best told in person.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State? 
My first job was teaching agriculture science at Sunbury Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, Ohio.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career? I have taught in the Big Walnut Local School System, Monroeville Local School System, Ohio State University Extension with associate professor status, and for Huron County as a county commissioner.

During your career, have you received any awards or honors?
Yes there have been awards and honors: NVATA Outstanding Young Teacher; Advisor to the Top FFA Chapter in Ohio 9 of 11 years (1967–77); Advisor to the National Winner BOAC Chapter Award; Honorary State FFA Degree; Honorary American FFA Degree; NACAA Achievement Award; Citizen of the Year presented by the Sandusky Register; 45 year 4-H Advisor; Regional Public Relations Chairman NACAA; State Public Relations Chairman OACAA. I have also had the opportunity to serve on the Bowling Green State University Firelands College Advisory Board, as a member and as president served ex officio status on the BGSU Board of Trustees. I have also served and am serving on numerous community oriented boards and committees.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?  
A favorite career highlight has been seeing students, 4-H members, and other young people with whom I have worked set goals, work diligently and achieve those goals. I have had numerous state and national FFA degree recipients plus state and national finalists and winners in a variety of areas.

What advice would you give to a current student? 
My advice would be to set your goals and get to work.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?  
The professors previously listed cultivated the ideas, methods, and information I needed to become an agriculture science teacher who stepped into the classroom with the confidence to not only  teach students but to help them become productive, successful citizens with leadership skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen career paths.

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