Ohio State’s ag college to recognize outstanding alumni March 1

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COLUMBUS — The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Alumni Society of The Ohio State University will honor several outstanding alumni during its annual Alumni Awards Luncheon March 1.

Two will be honored for meritorious service to the college: Jim Helt, of Mount Gilead, Ohio, and Robert Hothem, Centerville.

The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to five alumni: Kevin Adams (BS, MS, animal science/agricultural economics, 1984, 1986), Mandeville, La.; Ellen Bergfeld (BS, animal science 1990), Madison, Wis.; Herbert Floyd (BS, agronomy, 1950), Louisville, Colo.; John R. Miller (BS, MS, dairy science/food science and technology, 1969, 1973), Dublin, Ohio; Bob Ramseyer (BS, dairy technology, 1960), Millersburg, Ohio.

The International Alumni Award will be presented to Muhammad Sarwar, (Ph.D, ruminant nutrition, 1991), Faisalabad, Pakistan.

The Young Professional Award will go to five individuals: Marie Carity (BS, agricultural education, 2000;) Minster, Ohio; Matthew Pullins (BS, agribusiness and applied economics, 2000), Pittsburgh, Pa.; Allison Specht (BS, MS, agribusiness and applied economics, 2004, 2007), Denver, Colo.; Tom Stannard (BS, agricultural systems management, 2000), Wellington, Ohio; Anand Subramanian (PhD, food science and technology, 2009), Marysville, Ohio.

Meritorious Service Award

  • Jim Helt earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio State in agricultural education before starting his 47-year career in Extension.

    He spent six years as an extension agent — first in Hamilton County and then in Pickaway County. He moved up the Extension ranks with positions that included area agent for eight central Ohio counties, area Extension supervisor, associate state leader for 4-H, OSU Extension assistant director and state leader for 4-H Youth Development, and OSU development officer for OSU Extension and 4-H Foundation.

    Helt also spearheaded the campaign to build the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.

    His service was recognized by the National Association of Extension 4-H with the Distinguished Service Award and the American Spirit Award. He has also been inducted in the following halls of fame: Ohio State Fair, Ohio 4-H, and Ohio Agricultural.

  • Bob Hothem earned his bachelor’s in agricultural economics from Ohio State. He has been involved with OSU’s National Agricultural Marketing Association team as its industry adviser for 15 years.

    Hothem attended the national conference each year at his own expense.

    Hothem is most recently vice president of sales and business development at Riverside Acquisition Group. Previous to working with Riverside, Hothem served as vice president and director of sales for PPI International Sales Group.

    Bob and his wife, Elaine, live in Centerville, Ohio.

Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Ellen Bergfeld earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State in animal science, and went on to earn her master’s in animal science and reproductive physiology and doctorate in reproductive physiology from the University of Nebraska.

    After earning her degrees, she went to work as a Congressional Science Fellow for Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., leaving to serve as executive director of the American Society of Animal Science, and adjunct professor at the University of Illinois.

    In 2003, Bergfeld was named chief executive officer and executive vice president of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, and the Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies.

    She and her husband, Jason Brown, live in New Glarus, Wis.

  • While working as Chief of Development for Quaker Oats in France (1961-1964), Herbert D. Floyd was recruited by USAID to serve as an extension training officer in Madagascar. In 1969, he joined another USAID program in Morocco where he served as an extension agronomist and worked to improve wheat production. Then he took a position with the International Center for Improvement of Maize and Wheat as a research agronomist in Algeria, which led to a position for the organization in Mexico.

    Floyd received his bachelor’s in agronomy from Ohio State in 1950., then attended Ecole National d’Agriculture de Grignon in France where he received his Certificat de Stage en Biochimie in 1951. He earned his master’s in agricultural botany from Reading University in 1957.

    A graduate of London High School in London, Ohio, Floyd served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He also spent several years managing the nearly 1000 acre family farm in Madison County after graduating from OSU.

    Floyd and his wife Claire live in Louisville, Colo.

  • Raised on a livestock and grain farm in southwest Ohio, Kevin D. Adams earned his B.S. in animal science and M.S. in agricultural economics from Ohio State. Adams is resident and CEO of CGB Enterprises, a position he has held since 2003.

    After earning his master’s degree, Adams started his career at CGB. In 1994, he was named vice president of merchandising and operations for ZEN-NOH Grain Corporation, and then four years later was promoted to president and CEO of ZEN-NOH.

    Adams has served as director for ZEN-NOH Grain Corp and CGB Enterprises, as well as Patriot Renewable Fuels, an ethanol production facility. He is also past director and executive committee member for the National Grain & Feed Association and served as a commission member on the Louisiana Agricultural Commodities Commission.

    Adams and his wife, Melissa, live in Mandeville, Louisiana.

  • Robert J. Ramseyer is currently CEO of Holmes Cheese Company, which started production in 1941 under the leadership of his father. Upon graduation with his bachelor’s in dairy technology, Ramseyer started as an apprentice cheese maker, eventually increasing the workforce from 4 to 35 and the output from 1,000 to 70,000 pounds of cheese per day.

    He was an early adopter of the Clean-In-Place system, now an industry standard.

    A founding member of the Swiss Cheese Research Consortium, Ramseyer was instrumental in moving the consortium from Utah State University to Ohio State.

    He has served as president of the Ohio Swiss Cheese Association and is a member of the National Cheese Institute, a division of the International Dairy Foods Association.

    Robert and his wife, Jo Ann, live in Millersburg, Ohio.

  • John R. Miller earned his bachelor’s in dairy science and his master’s in food science from Ohio State. Upon graduating, Miller took a position at Eco Labs in Borden’s Equipment Engineering Division. After three years, he left to co-found Seiberling Associates, an engineering and technical consulting company that serves the food, dairy, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. Based in Dublin, Ohio, the company now has offices in Wisconsin and California.

    Seiberling has designed new dairy research and teaching pilot plants for Michigan State University, Cal-Poly, and Cornell University.

    A past member of the CFAES Alumni Society Board, he was the co-chair for the alumni committee to raise funds for the new Parker Food Science and Technology Building, and served on the W.A. Gould Food Industries Center board of directors, and the food science and technology external advisory board.

    John and his wife, Marilyn, live in Dublin, Ohio.

International Alumni Award

  • Muhammad Sarwar, TI, earned his bacherlor’s and master’s from the University of Agriculture, in Faisalabad, Pakistan, before coming to Ohio State for his PhD in dairy science. Currently dean of the University of Agriculture, Sarwar retains teaching and research responsibilities, in addition to his administrative duties.

    Named Distinguished National Professor in 2012, Sarwar was the first person in an agricultural or veterinary field to receive this honor. In 2007, he was awarded the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz, which is the fourth highest decoration given to any civilian based on their achievements.

    In 2006, the Pakistan Academy of Sciences named him Best Scientist in Agriculture and awarded him a Gold Medal. He has also received Best University Teacher (2004) and is a repeat recipient of the Research Productivity Award.

    Sarwar and his wife, Riffat Jamal, live in Pakistan.

Young Professional Achievement Award

  • After earning her degree in agricultural education from Ohio State, Marie Carity accepted a position with Miami East High School as the teacher of agriscience and agribusiness as well as their FFA adviser. The program she leads is a satellite of the Miami Valley Career Technology Center.

    Carity earned her master’s in educational leadership at the University of Dayton in 2006.

    Her recognitions include the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Teacher Award, Ohio’s Master Teacher Program, National Association of Ag Educators Region IV Outstanding Young Member Award, and Miami Soil and Water Conservation District Outstanding Teacher Award.

    Marie and her husband, Brent, live in Minster, Ohio and are the parents of two children.

  • Raised on a registered Holstein operation in Dover, Ohio, Allison Specht earned her bachelor’s in agribusiness and applied economics and her master’s in agricultural economics from Ohio State.

    While a graduate student, she spent two summers as an economic assistant intern with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, and after graduation, she worked as a legislative assistant for Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio. After leaving DeWine’s office, Specht worked at the American Farm Bureau Federation as director for congressional relations for nine months and then an economist for three years.

    In October 2010, she accepted a position as dairy economist for Leprino Foods, a company that supplies cheese and whey products to over 50 countries. She was promoted to senior dairy economist in 2013.

    A member of the Denver Association of Business Economists and the OSU Alumni Association, she has also served as secretary for the Rocky Mountain OSU Alumni Club. She lives in Denver.

  • Tom Stannard earned his degree in ag systems management from Ohio State, and soon started in a sales position at Wellington Implement, his family’s Case IH and Cub cadet dealership. He is currently sales manager and a member of the ownership team, and was instrumental in the construction of a state-of-the-art dealership facility.

    Involved in his community, Stannard chaired the successful 2012 Wellington Schools bond issue to build a new middle school, and serves on the advisory committee for Lorain County JVS’s Industrial Mechanics & Commercial Truck program.

    Tom and his wife, Carrie, live in Wellington, Ohio, with their two children.

Individuals interested in attending the awards reception, luncheon, and program should contact Amber Pasternak at 614-247-2745 or pasternak.6@osu.edu. Reservations are due by Feb. 14.

(Note: Several recipients did not include biographical information)

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