2019 has been a significant year for CFAES, as we have continued our work to support the land-grant vision—to be an asset for our state through our unwavering dedication to our mission—unchanging, fundamental, and of paramount importance.
For example, this year has been particularly challenging for Ohio growers and producers due to the historic, statewide rainfall this growing season. Our faculty and staff immediately responded by convening the Rural and Farm Stress Task Force to address concerns and offer the best science-based recommendations for and solutions to the issues our state’s producers are facing regarding weather impacts, tariffs, and low commodity prices.
Our college is also making a significant, long-term commitment to its future, and to Ohio’s future, by investing more than $100 million in its infrastructure. Already, 18 capital projects—in Columbus, Wooster, and other college locations throughout the state, including the work at Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory—have been started in the past year.
Furthermore, with over $41 million in research projects underway at CFAES, our faculty, staff, and students are getting increasingly better at translating our research so it can be used in ways that change practices, change the bottom line, and change the world. As just one example, we have about 140 researchers working on various issues related to water quality.
We’ve also successfully recruited 20 new faculty to join our work, and we have launched a new Strategic Partnerships Unit to facilitate our ability to be nimble in engaging and leveraging key partners—be they industry, other institutions, or nonprofits.
We will also soon launch the Knowledge Exchange—a network of researchers, educators, analysts, web developers, and communicators at land-grant universities nationwide—to bridge the gaps between academic research, public data, and the public. New staffing will include data scientists and a knowledge technologies team.
These efforts align with CFAES’ priorities in Time and Change: The Ohio State Campaign, a momentous fundraising initiative of Ohio State. Along with the college’s goal of raising $225 million in private support comes an emphasis on three campaign themes: capital investment at Waterman, discovery and translating research, and student success. I invite you to learn more on Page 11.
We continue to focus on work that is impactful and responsive to the needs of Ohioans, and to nurture and inspire generations of scientists and leaders. Join us. We sustain life.