Three Extension professionals named as field specialists, Farm Management at Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio–Bruce Clevenger, David Marrison, and Eric Richer have been hired as field specialists in farm management for Ohio State University Extension in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The three new specialists, who previously have served as OSU Extension county educators, will begin their new roles on Nov. 1, said Jacqueline Kirby Wilkins, associate dean, and director, OSU Extension.

“Farm management is an extremely important topic in the agriculture industry, and OSU Extension has determined that the best way to address this top priority is to install several professionals to coordinate their efforts across the state,” Wilkins said. “Bruce, David, and Eric are experts in this field, and each also has a specialized area of interest that will contribute to the industry as a whole and really help meet the needs of our clientele.”

“I am excited that these positions will be able to work in tandem with each other and with our other field specialists,” said Sam Custer, interim assistant director, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, OSU Extension. “Each of their experience in the industry and as county educators give them firsthand knowledge about the challenges of managing a farm business and the scope of the industry throughout the state.”

These new field specialists will also be key players in helping to implement the inaugural work of the college’s new Farm Financial Management Policy Institute, Custer said. The Institute is a joint effort of the CFAES departments of Extension and Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. Its main mission will be to find solutions to the most critical farm management and agricultural policy issues facing Ohio producers. More information about the Institute’s leadership and work will be available in the near future.

Clevenger said his goal is to help Ohio farmers increase profitability with improved farm business tools that help make the best-informed decisions on the farm.

“My primary focus will be teaching and developing outreach materials to meet the needs of Ohio producers and entrepreneurial ag businesses,” Clevenger said. “Farm management is as diverse as crop and animal sciences, so farm managers need modern tools that help their farm business be successful today and able to transition someday to the next generation.”

Prior to this role, Clevenger served as an OSU Extension educator in Defiance County for 28 years, focusing on agriculture and natural resources. He has also served part-time as an area leader for the past four years.

Marrison said his goal is to help Ohio farmers improve profitability and management regardless of farm size, location, or commodities raised and produced.

“I am excited to be transitioning into this role and help all Ohio farm families and agribusinesses to enhance their management, productivity, and profitability,” Marrison said. “This industry is multi-faceted, and I’m glad to be able to use my specialization in farm succession planning and tax management to enhance the efforts of our team across the state.”

Prior to this role, Marrison served as an OSU Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources since 1997. He has served in Coshocton County since 2018, and he was located in Ashtabula County prior to that.

Richer said his goal is to help farmers improve their financial performance and risk management to help meet the growing needs of their farms and today’s diverse consumers.

“Working in production agriculture comes with significant stressors, none more important than financial management,” Richer said. “I’m excited to work with current and beginning farmers in Ohio to improve their understanding of key farm financial management tools to better their farm today and for generations to come.”

Richer previously served as an OSU Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources for 10 years in Fulton County. Prior to that, he worked as an agricultural education instructor at Wauseon High School for 10 years.

Clevenger, Marrison, and Richer join other OSU Extension field specialists, who each have a particular subject matter focus and provide overall leadership for comprehensive teaching and applied research programs to address statewide issues. Field specialists work to expand existing partnerships, develop new relationships, and foster collaborations across the state, including with university researchers, to complement local Extension educators’ efforts.

Other topics addressed by Extension field specialists include beef cattle; community economics; agronomic systems; dairy management and precision livestock; food, nutrition, and wellness; energy development; manure nutrient management systems; agricultural and resource law; food safety; youth nutrition and wellness; family wellness; and organizational and community leadership development.

“Please join OSU Extension in welcoming these three exceptional Extension professionals to this new role,” said Wilkins. “We look forward to demonstrating how this unique collaboration will provide major assistance across the state to ag professionals who are managing a business.”

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