AEDE Chair Candidate Seminars

The search committee for the chair of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics announced the dates and times for the candidate seminars. They are:

Oct. 31    Dr. Gerald Shively
Nov. 5     Dr. Terry Hurley
Nov. 27   Dr. Sandra Hoffmann

All three seminars will be in Ag Admin 250A and will be from 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Dr. Craig Gundersen, also a candidate, had his seminar last week.

Click here for more information about the position.

CFAES Welcomes Lynette Arner

Lynette Arner has accepted the position of executive assistant to the vice president and dean. She joined CFAES on October 1.

Lynette comes to CFAES from the College of Wooster where she was the executive assistant to the president. In that position, she served as the president’s right-hand person by supporting the president in the day-to-day operations of the college’s six divisions and its varying constituencies. She coordinated all aspects of the president’s travel schedule along with logistics and appointments; collaborated with the advancement team on donor visits, presidential travel, and donor contact; and created reports and correspondence on behalf of the president. Prior to that she served as an administrative assistant to the dean of student’s office where she planned, executed, and supported various events and programming for the campus student body and assisted with the campus’ judicial board in setting up hearings, writing correspondence, and scheduling meetings. Lynette is completing her bachelor’s degree and will graduate in May from Malone University.

Lynette’s contact information is: and 614-292-6164.

CFAES Leadership Updates

Steve Neal

Steven Neal, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, has accepted the appointment of Associate Dean and Director of Academic Affairs.

Steve has served as interim Associate Dean since October 2017 and Assistant Dean since 2013. Prior to that, he served as the Associate Director of Academic Affairs for the Agricultural Technical Institute, where he supervised master scheduling, registration, financial aid, and academic discipline. He was responsible for implementation of the new curriculum as the university transitioned to the semester system.

Steve received his B.S. in Animal Science in 1982, and an M.S. in Animal Science, Quantitative Genetics in 1984, both from CFAES. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1987, also in Animal Science, Quantitative Genetics.

Larry Madden

Larry Madden has agreed to continue serving as interim chair for the Department of Plant Pathology as we continue the search for a permanent chair.

Larry is an international authority in plant disease epidemiology. He was hired at OSU in 1980, and was appointed the endowed professor of plant protection in 2008. He has served as interim or acting chair of the department three different times.

Larry has published over 240 scientific journal articles and two books. He is a former president of the American Phytopathological Society (APS), the largest professional organization of plant pathologists in the world. He has received many honors, including the Ruth Allen Award from APS, and the Jakob Eriksson Gold Medal from the International Society of Plant Pathology. He is an elected fellow of two scientific societies.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology/Botany from Penn State University and his master’s and Ph.D. in plant pathology also from Penn State University.


Pelotonia – A Personal Journey

Below is a testimonial from Benjamin Wenner, visiting assistant professor, Animal Sciences. He highlights his nine-year journey with Pelotonia. After his story, learn how to support Buckeye Team-CFAES Sustains Life as well as incentives for being a virtual rider.

My first year in Pelotonia started a bit differently than many of the people that I ride with every year now. Shooting the breeze with a couple friends, one of them asked me out of the blue if I wanted to do a 180-mile bike ride. Keeping in mind that I hadn’t biked more than 15 miles at a time in the past few years, the obvious answer was, “Sure, why not?” He proceeded to explain that there was a grassroots biking organization that rode to Athens and back to raise money for cancer research. As one of the worst kinds of ill-conceived bets, we goaded each other on to see who would crack first on this crazy endeavor. Little did I know we’d just signed up for one of my most life-changing experiences.

Neither one of us even owned a bike. He borrowed a 1980’s version from a friend, but I went all out and scoured Craigslist for weeks to settle on a 1970’s teal LeJeune Normandie in Newark, OH, for $125. My first real road bike was secured, just a couple months before I took the longest ride of my life through the Hocking Hills. I learned to ride on the road and signal to drivers, to change flat tires (old bikes seem to find those quickly), and to make friends with bike shops because something will always go wrong. Sure, we trained some, but ultimately it would prove not to be enough. Through the summer, I shared my story about riding for cancer research and learned just how many people around me had been affected by some sort of the disease. Stories about friends who had survived childhood cancer, colleagues who has lost family members, and even the cancer remission story for someone without whom I would never have followed my career path.

The first day of Pelotonia finally arrived, and I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, there were hundreds more people than I expected at the starting line, and I was struck with the realization of how much bigger Pelotonia was than a couple of guys beating a personal challenge and raising money for a “good cause”. What struck me more than anything else was the buzz all around us; these people were so excited to be here and to be a part of something bigger. The ride that year started through campus, went down near the medical center, and South out of Columbus on High Street. Growing up a Buckeye, I was used to seeing a lot of people lining the roads for events on campus; I didn’t think anything of it. But when we turned the corner and started seeing cancer patients and their families, I felt this rush of adrenaline I hadn’t known before. Here were these people cheering us on who didn’t know us but they knew (even better than I) what this event meant.  And the lines of people didn’t stop. Miles down the road there were still people camped out, holding signs or ringing bells. All of these people weren’t just cheering on one person, but a movement. Pelotonia provides funding for novel research, education, and clinical trials that would never be possible without that startup funding. More importantly, the event provides hope to the patients and their families, and the knowledge that a community is aware of their struggles against a faceless monster. And we care. The human element of compassion between people alone is so uplifting.

The ride was full of bumps for us. My crank fell off at mile 12 and we ran out of water a time or two. I remember when we passed the 40-mile mark and I commented that I’d never ridden farther than that. A woman nearby laughed and said, “Well, the rest of today will be interesting for you then.” We walked Starner Hill (and maybe a couple others) and a nasty thunderstorm left us drenched and nearly lost in Logan. Then we chanced upon another rider, out alone by herself. She was on the verge of quitting but we rode with her and shared our stories for what motivated us to keep riding. Completion of the ride was our only goal and the end felt like such a victory. At the end of a second hot and humid Ohio day, I had come to an important conclusion. Pelotonia isn’t just about fundraising but about the emotional experience of feeling like you can make a difference against something invisible but yet so horrible. As riders and fundraisers, we’re providing feedback to patients and their families that they’re not alone. We are all in this together, just like a peloton of riders shields each other from wind on the road and saves everyone a little energy along the way.

This year marks nine years for me riding in Pelotonia, and over $10,000 raised for cancer research. It seemed like a small effort when I started, but those $5 and $10 donations have added up to something amazing – over $160 million by over 8,300 riders! I am not a professional cyclist, but the wonderful thing about Pelotonia is that you don’t have to be good at biking or even enjoy biking to join this unique fundraising effort. In fact, you don’t even have to own a bike – you can be a volunteer or a virtual rider (fundraising but without the time commitment of riding) and your contributions are equally as important! You can donate to riders like myself who get daily encouragement on our training rides from the notifications when someone supports our efforts. Through Pelotonia, I’ve grown to love biking but what keeps me coming back every year are the new stories of survival, the fresh grief from the losses of friends, and the wonderful memories of the people around me. My friends know me as the one who’s not afraid to take on a crazy bet, because you never know where something as simple as a 180-mile challenge can take you.

Support Team Buckeye-CFAES Sustains Life

There are multiple ways to get involved and help fundraise for this important initiative. You can learn more about joining as a rider, a virtual rider, or as an event volunteer by visiting

To be a virtual rider, all you need to do is raise $100. Or, you can pay the $100 yourself. Registration instructions are below. You also can help support Team Buckeye–CFAES Sustains Life by making a donation to the team. Click here to donate to the team or an individual member of the team.

Pelotonia Registration Instructions

Incentives for Virtual Riders

Did you know that if you can’t ride in Pelotonia 18, you can be a virtual rider or volunteer with Team Buckeye? Virtual riders participate by raising funds ($100 or more) without boarding a bike. All Team Buckeye virtual riders, which includes Team Buckeye-CFAES Sustains Life, will receive a T-shirt, and those who raise $250+ by Friday, Aug. 3 will be entered to win two tickets to a Big Ten Ohio State football game (game announced at a later date), including admission to the President’s Pregame Huddle.

Leadership Update

Dr. Jeff LeJeune, professor and FAHRP program head, has accepted a new position with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, and will be leaving Ohio State in early September. Jeff has been a member of the Veterinary Preventive Medicine (VPM) faculty for over 17 years, building a highly successful research program and serving as food safety Extension specialist within the FAHRP group based on the CFAES Wooster campus. He has served as FAHRP program head for the past five years.

Jeff views the new position as an important career opportunity and the next step in his career progression. His intention is to continue to maintain a relationship with Ohio State and use this as an opportunity to help us identify new international collaborations and opportunities.

Dr. Gireesh Rajashekara, VPM professor, has agreed to serve as interim FAHRP program head while plans are made for Jeff’s permanent replacement. Gireesh has previously served as acting FAHRP program head, and his experience should ensure a smooth transition in FAHRP leadership.

CFAES Leadership Announcements

Gary Pierzynski
Gary Pierzynski joined CFAES today as the associate dean for research and graduate education. Dean Kress announced Gary’s appointment on March 30, 2018. Gary comes to us from Kansas State University where he is a University Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Agronomy. He is president-elect of the American Society of Agronomy and previously served as president of the Soil Science Society of America. He serves on the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

As associate dean for research and graduate education, Gary is the principal administrative officer of the CFAES research enterprise and will drive the future strategy for enhancing and expanding research and graduate education within the college, as well supporting undergraduate research.

Lori Bowman
Lori Bowman has accepted the position of special assistant to the vice president and dean. She will join CFAES on July 23. Lori comes to CFAES from The Ohio State University Graduate School where she serves as a human resources/fiscal officer. In this position, Lori is responsible for developing and overseeing a $28 million budget, managing all personnel activity, interpreting university policies and procedures, maintaining the business continuity plan, and contributing to university-wide projects like Workday. Prior to that, she was a human resources/financial manager for CFAES’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering as well as a financial aid counselor at Tiffin University. Lori received a master’s degree from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness and Applied Economics from CFAES.

As special assistant, Lori serves as a senior staff member planning and coordinating administrative, financial, and operational activities for the vice president and dean’s office. She will organize and prioritize critical issues and required information for the executive team to facilitate efficient decision making; manage college policy, standard operating procedures and guideline development; oversee administrative searches and appointments for college leadership positions;  and oversee administrative staff. She also will serve as a liaison to university offices; plan and coordinate cabinet, chair and leadership meetings; and manage and lead college-wide projects and initiatives.

2017 Faculty and Staff Holiday Appreciation Celebration

You are cordially invited to join Dean Cathann A. Kress, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Staff Advisory Council at the 2017 CFAES Faculty and Staff Holiday Appreciation Celebration.

Wooster Campus
Thursday, Dec. 14
3 to 4:30 p.m., light refreshments
The Arden Shisler Center, Ballroom

Columbus Campus
Tuesday, Dec. 19
3 to 4:30 p.m., light refreshments
Agricultural Administration Building, Auditorium

RSVP for your preferred location by Wednesday, Dec. 6.

Updates from the Dean

As I reflect on the things I am thankful for, one of those is our CFAES community. I have experienced the commitment and dedication of our faculty, staff and students. I want to reaffirm my commitment to our CFAES community, our mission areas, and all of the facets of our college. I will continue to support our faculty, staff and students as we celebrate our strengths and focus on our opportunities.

Although I was not a Buckeye on Nov. 28, since my time here, I have witnessed firsthand the pride and spirit of this community. Over the past year, the Ohio State community has joined together to grow, heal, advance and show the world our extraordinary Buckeye spirit. Together, we are Buckeye Strong. Please check out OnCampus Today for a special event that will recognize our strength and perseverance: Buckeye Strong: A Moment of Reflection.

Finally, there is concern about the implications that H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, could have for members of our university community as well as some of our stakeholders. I have been working with President Drake and the President’s Cabinet as we navigate this complex legislation and look for the best way possible to support the university community and our CFAES community. President Drake sent a letter to members of the Ohio Congressional Delegation about the legislation and its impact on our students. We are committed to keeping decision makers informed about the impact of this legislation.


Cathann A. Kress
Vice President, Agricultural Administration and Dean

CFAES IT Services Review – Update

In late August, we shared that the college was undergoing a CFAES IT Services Review. Below is an update on the planning process including decisions that have been made.

Since August, we developed and vetted several options for how we move ahead in addressing the recommendations. While some of you have not heard from us since the last update, the decision-making process included meeting several times with a small group of chairs/unit directors for feedback on the options and feedback from other units who partner with the Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) in various ways for Managed IT Services. Matt DeVore has also been an important partner in the process. After evaluating the options and carefully considering recommendations and feedback, the Dean has decided to move ahead with significant change in how CFAES approaches IT services. Managing IT and digital strategy has become increasingly complex and expensive. Centralizing Managed IT Services with OCIO will allow us to focus college IT staff on our unique IT needs. Our goal is to ensure a robust IT strategy and approach to management.

Below is a summary of plans for next steps with IT services:

  1. We have completed initial planning and will increase our partnership with OCIO to engage them more fully in strategic planning and management of our IT infrastructure and operations. We will kick off the expanded partnership as of Nov. 1 and work through a 60- to 90-day planning period. Expect an 18 to 24 month transition period, completed by 2020.
  2. This is not a reduction in CFAES IT Services employees, but it will involve change. That change  impacts our IT staff and those they currently serve. This impact has been an important concern in our planning.  There are rumors about layoffs that are not part of the plan. We anticipate individual IT responsibilities and expectations will change, and will work with each staff member and their supervisor on what that change will look like.
  3. Details are to be determined. The first phase is planning details of what the partnership will look like, HR changes, and a change management plan.
  4. Matt DeVore has agreed to lead transition, working closely with both OCIO and CFAES teams in a change management role.

We will update all CFAES faculty and staff as decisions are made and plans unfold.

External Review of International Programs

On Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 11 and 12 there was an external review of  international programs in CFAES and the International Programs in Agriculture office.  The three external reviewers were:

  • Dr. Tag Demment, Vice President, International Programs, The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
  • Mr. Michael McGirr, National Program Leader, Center for International Programs, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), United States Department of Agriculture
  • Dr. Rick Rudd, Community Viability Chair of Excellence, Professor and Department Head, Virginia Polytechnic University

While here, they met with groups of faculty and college leadership.

The purpose of this review is to identify strengths, issues, and opportunities to advance the strategic goals of the International Programs in Agriculture office and to better inform the overall internationalization strategy of the college. We hope that participants will share the value of international engagement to their own scholarship and to advancing CFAES’s overall teaching, research, and outreach missions.

The review team met at the end of their visit with Mark Erbaugh, Director of International Programs, and Dean Kress to debrief and will share a written report soon that will be used for the college’s strategic planning.

Terry Niblack Appointed Senior Associate Dean

A transition priority since my arrival has been to fully consider our CFAES Leadership Team and address open leadership positions. I just announced the launch of two national searches for the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education, and Associate Dean and Director, Academic Affairs. A few weeks ago, we announced the appointment of John Foltz, who will join us October 9 as the chair for Animal Sciences. Today, I am pleased to announce Terry Niblack has accepted the appointment of Senior Associate Dean effective October 1.

Terry has most recently served as interim Senior Associate Dean for CFAES. She received her BS and MS degrees from the University of Tennessee, and her PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Georgia. Following a two-year postdoc at Iowa State University, she joined the faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia as an Assistant Professor. She moved to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2001. In 2011, Terry joined CFAES in the Department of Plant Pathology to serve as Chair.

The Senior Associate Dean is primarily responsible for promoting and sustaining a culture that encourages professional development and advancement of faculty and staff, while embracing and promoting diversity and inclusion in their broadest meanings and supporting the development and implementation of the college’s strategic priorities and goals. Terry will work to enhance processes for faculty recruitment, onboarding, integration, retention, evaluation, and promotion; facilitate administrator searches and administrative appointments; and create and support workforce development and planning college-wide including professional development and career advancement opportunities for faculty and staff. Supervising the Directors of Human Resources and Equity & Inclusion, Terry will support all facets of human resources and equity and inclusion including serving as the college diversity advocate to help nurture cultural competency and an inclusive environment. She also will promote a climate of engagement and communication.

Terry brings considerable experience and a depth of understanding of CFAES, she has been an asset during our leadership transition, and I have great confidence in her leadership and direction. Please join me in thanking Terry for her service as interim and congratulating her on this appointment.

Cathann A. Kress, Ph.D.
Vice President of Agricultural Administration & Dean
The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
140 Ag Administration | 2120 Fyffe Road | Columbus, OH 43210
614-292-6164 Office

Twitter: @cathannkress


CFAES Integrated Water Quality Plan

At a recent CFAES leadership meeting and department chairs meeting, Dean Kress talked about next steps with our work as a college around water quality.

Before Dean Kress joined CFAES, discussions were already underway about coordinating our efforts with respect to water science beyond the work started under Field to Faucet. It is clear that we need a broader approach to water quality in CFAES (i.e., beyond lake Erie and across our disciplines) and a renewed effort to help find science-based solutions to water quality issues across the state. Dean Kress realizes there are numerous faculty already working on research related to water quality beyond Field to Faucet, and we want to do more. Moving ahead, we are going to reboot our collective CFAES response to water quality.

We want you to know we are talking about this and are looking to engage faculty and staff in the conversation.

Dean Kress’ plan is to convene a group to discuss a framework that might pull together CFAES water quality efforts into an integrated plan. We are looking forward to gathering input from key faculty, staff, and stakeholders on next steps. Please let your department chair know if you have thoughts on this topic. We need our best ideas on the table.

CFAES Staffing Update

Anne Johnson joins CFAES as the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Agricultural Administration and Dean, effective Monday, Feb. 6. She will fill the position Joan Lieb vacated when she moved to the Provost’s office. As Executive Assistant, Anne will be responsible for providing administrative support for the dean including the dean’s calendar, travel, responding to inquiries, correspondence, logistics, preparing materials for meetings, activities, and presentations.

Anne also will play a critical role in onboarding the new dean. She will work with the leadership team coordinating onboarding efforts ensuring the dean has a smooth transition to CFAES.

Anne joins CFAES from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center where she has served in a variety of administrative roles since 2012. Most recently, she served as Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Anne also brings over 20 years’ experience in the private sector both in Columbus and Memphis, Tennessee before coming to Ohio State.

ATI Director Search Update – Candidates Coming to Campus

We are excited to share an update on the Ohio State ATI Director search.

The search committee has completed a first round of confidential interviews and provided recommendations to Interim Dean Lonnie King. On-campus interviews are now scheduled with three candidates. There will be opportunities for various individuals and groups to interact with candidates while they are on the Wooster and Columbus campuses.

Candidates include:

  • Kristina Boone, Professor and Department Head, Department of Communications and Agricultural Education, Kansas State University
  • John Foltz, Professor and Special Assistant to the President for Agricultural Initiatives, University of Idaho
  • Thomas Mitchell, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University

Campus-wide opportunities to meet the candidates will include:

October 25 – 1 p.m. Seminar; 3:30 p.m. Reception
November 1 – 1 p.m. Seminar; 3:30 p.m. Reception
November 22 – 1 p.m. Seminar; 3:30 p.m. Reception

Seminars will be on the Wooster Campus – ATI, Skou Hall, Room 100 (video link to Columbus Campus – Kottman Hall, Room 202F).

Receptions will be held at ATI in Skou Student Lounge.

More information on the candidates and schedules will be available soon at

Again, we are looking forward to having the candidates on campus soon, showcasing what CFAES and Ohio State ATI have to offer, and your feedback on the candidates as you have a chance to interact with them and consider their strengths as our next Ohio State ATI Director. Please reach out to Graham Cochran, Interim Senior Administrative Officer, or Thom Janini, Interim ATI Director, if you have questions about next steps with the interview process.

Carol Aneli and Charles Goebel
Search Committee Co-chairs

CFAES Department of Animal Sciences Chair Search Getting Under Way

We are excited to announce that the search and screen committee for the Chair of the Department of Animal Sciences has been formed and will meet soon to begin its work. Committee members include:

Jeff Sharp, Professor & Director, SENR (Committee Chair)
Andy Niehaus, Associate Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Chanhee Lee, Assistant Professor, Animal Sciences
Clint Gasser, UG Student, Animal Sciences
Eric England, Assistant Professor, Animal Sciences
Julie Morris, Administrative Associate, Animal Sciences
Mike Bumgarner, President and CEO, United Producers
Pasha Lyvers-Peffer, Associate Professor Animal Sciences
Steve Moeller, Professor, Animal Sciences
ZT Yu, Professor, Animal Sciences