Ag college dean updates panel on programs

Staff Writer

Cathann Kress, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, provided an update of the college’s programs earlier this month to a joint hearing of two agricultural committees of the state legislature.
-With a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the college is working to advance climate-smart agriculture with a focus on a robotic irrigation system that aligns nutrient application timing to a crop’s nutrient needs.
-The college has partnered with Wilberforce University to create an advanced golf course management program.
-The college’s new 4-H Pathways to the Future program is a workforce development and college and career readiness program to prepare 4-H members for college and careers with a curriculum tailored to high school students.
-The Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex is scheduled to open later this year at the Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory. The $35.8 million project will provide a platform for inter-disciplinary research in crop science, engineering, entomology, plant pathology, food science, computer science, and human nutrition.
-Ohio State is the lead university partner of a multi-million-dollar NASA-funded effort to develop a new generation of commercially- based human-occupied space stations. Ohio State research will support the Starlab commercial space station and the college will host and operate the ground-based control lab for agricultural research aboard the Starlab.
“And now, at the turn of this millennium, we are living in the fourth major revolution of agriculture. This one is digital – it’s precision agriculture, AI and drones. It’s a recognition of the vast complexity of our systems and that yield isn’t the only important outcome,” Dr. Kress told the committees. “It’s a balancing of natural resources – soil and water and ecosystem – and once again it has profound implications for sustaining life on our planet.”


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