Ohio farmland. Source: OSU CFAES.

Agroecosystems Research at Ohio State

Sustainable food production is inextricably linked to the environmental stewardship at the heart Ohio State's land-grant mission. Research collaborations around food, land use and watershed health are of necessity partnerships among diverse academic disciplines as well as community stakeholders. Researchers including extension faculty are focusing on:

  • Sustainable food production and global food security including research and innovations for soil, pests, water, air, rural economies
  • Life cycle and other holistic analysis of food systems at various scales
  • Bioproducts and ecological engineering of agroecosystems

Research Centers and Initiatives

OARDCOhio Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC)
Research, development, and commercialization of agricultural products with particular focus on bioenergy, biobased products, environmental quality and sustainability, food security and production.

OBIC logoOhio BioProducts Innovation Center (OBIC)
Connects different parts of OSU with each other and with community partners to nurture business ecosystems and facilitate commercialization of new sustainable bioproduct technologies.

FICFood Innovation Center
Interdisciplinary research center consisting of more than 150 faculty members and 80 associate members from all 14 OSU colleges in teams that tackle issues including nutrition, food safety and food strategy and policy for hunger reduction.

AMP imageAgroecosystems Management Program
An interdisciplinary research effort based at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center looking into economic, ecological and social aspects of farms and communities.

CAPSCenter for Applied Plant Science (CAPS)
An interdisciplinary research center designed to bridge the gap between basic and applied research. The Center supports scientific teams from collaborative idea work to the grant process to commercialization.

center for farmland policy innovation imageCenter for Farmland Policy Innovation
Works with communities on policy demonstrations/models, writes locally tailored policy briefs to further viable local agricultural environments.

offer imageOrganic Food and Farming Education and Research Program
OARDC-based program dedicated to providing research and educational support for sustainable production, processing, and marketing of organic foods from the field to the table for farmers, gardeners, processors, retailers, and consumers.

FAHRP image eggsFood Animal Health Research Program
The program's research focus is on pathogenesis, epidemiology, prevention and control of animal disease to support the animal industries in economically producing safe, wholesome food in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

Social responsibility initiative imageSocial Responsibility Initiative
Interdisciplinary research group aiming to incorporate dialogue with stakeholders into research about pressing food, agricultural and environmental issues, from genetically modified foods and environmental quality to urban sprawl and the globalization of agriculture.

Grass rootsCarbon Management and Sequestration Center
The Center conducts research, teaching and extension activities that address basic and applied issues of carbon dynamics in relation to the accelerated greenhouse effect.

Tasseling cornClimate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project 
A five-year, multi-disciplinary project assessing the environmental, economic and social impacts of long-term climate variability on corn-based cropping systems. The project focuses on ways to encourage resilient decision-making, maintain yields and reduce environmental impacts.

Environmental Policy initiative imageEnvironmental Policy Initiative
This Initiative aims to stimulate and focus systematic collaboration in environmental policy, through research, graduate and undergraduate education, communication with the policy community, and interaction with the national and international community of scholars in environmental policy.

environmental communication, analysis, and research for policy working groupEnvironmental Communication, Analysis, and Research for Policy Working Group
Located within the School of Environment and Natural Resources, the ECARP is a multi-disciplinary research, development, and consultation center staffed by a core group of affiliated faculty members and graduate research associates representing the social, management, and natural sciences.

Human dimensions of the environment imageHuman Dimensions of the Environment Group
Human Dimensions of Environment (HDE) is an interdisciplinary research group at The Ohio State University focused on promoting social-behavioral approaches to the environment through cross-university research, teaching and outreach collaborations.

Sugar creek kidSugar Creek Project
The Sugar Creek Project is an NSF-funded, community-based approach to watershed management that emphasizes local action and decision-making based on scientific data.The approach used is called the "Sugar Creek Method" and involves extensive benchmarking of headwater streams and water quality at a meaningful level to the local people.

Graduate Programs with a Focus on Agroecosystems

Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
Department of Entomology
School of Environment Natural Resources
Environmental Science Graduate Program
Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Department of Animal Sciences
Food and Animal Health Research Program
Department of Food Science and Technology
Department of Horticulture & Crop Science
Department of Plant Pathology

For a complete list of environmental graduate programs, please visit the Graduate Programs page.

Outreach/Community Resources at Ohio State

OSU ExtensionOhio State Extension
State-wide outreach arm of Ohio State and Ohio state government charged with interpreting knowledge and research developed by Extension and other faculty and staff at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio State main campus, and other land-grant universities so Ohioans can use the scientifically based information to better their lives, businesses and communities. websiteLocal Food
Local Food Systems helps build business ecosystems by mapping connections among individuals and their enterprises (large and small) in the food economy. This site is a project of Ohio State's Agroecosystems Management Program and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center as well as other collaborators in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.