Chris Zoller, Tuscarawas County Agricultural and Natural Resources Educator, has been awarded the Steve D. Ruhl Outstanding Agricultural and Natural Resources County Extension Educator for 2021. This honor is presented annually to the agricultural educator who shows exemplary leadership and dedication to his work on behalf of OSU Extension.
Nominated by his peers, Chris’ work on addressing farm stressors and mental health were often cited as examples of his leadership. He has presented at numerous in-services on the topic of farm stress and worked closely with the Rural and Farm Stress task force to break down the stigma of mental health issues on the farm.
Since 2019, he has been part of the OSU ANR effort to secure funding for Ohio farmers and farm families. In this role he has been part of three successful grant writing teams, receiving over $375,000 from USDA NIFA grants funded through the Farm & Ranch Stress Assistive Network program.
Addressing rural and farm stress is only a portion of Chris’ contributions. He is one of the top Farm Management Specialists in the state authoring several factsheets and articles on the subject. Chris’s ability to conduct numerous on-farm research trials over the years is a direct result of his ability to connect with local clientele and be a respected member of the farming community.
Please join us in congratulating Chris on this well-deserved award!