OARDC organic farming program has new interim leader; ‘period of reinvention’ ahead

Doug Doohan (pictured), professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, has been named interim director of OARDC’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research program.

OFFER conducts studies and outreach on organic farming. About 40 OARDC scientists and OSU Extension specialists are affiliated with the program.

Doohan, who has been involved with the program since it started 18 years ago, is replacing former OFFER director Brian McSpadden Gardener, who left for a job in the private sector.

“Doug has an established research and outreach program in weed management and in food safety in fruits and vegetables,” said Dave Benfield, Ohio State’s associate vice president for agricultural administration and director of the college’s Wooster campus, which includes OARDC. “He’s well-qualified to lead our effort in organics.”

“It seems clear that OFFER will go through a period of reinvention over the next year,” Doohan said. “That’s going to require building stronger relationships with our various stakeholders and within the research community.”

“The door is open. We want to hear from farmers in the state.”—Doug Doohan

Science support for Ohio’s organic farmers

  • Doohan and OFFER are headquartered on OARDC’s Wooster campus, where the program manages about 70 acres of certified organic farmland.
  • In his new role, Doohan will serve as OFFER’s main contact point with Ohio’s organic farmers. He’ll work with OARDC scientists to develop new research grant proposals.
  • “The door is open,” Doohan said. “We want to hear from farmers in the state. We’ll need their help figuring out the future.”
  • To contact the source: Doug Doohan at doohan.1@osu.edu.

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(Photo by Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)