WILBERFORCE — Central State University will advance its agricultural research and outreach initiatives through the creation of two new facilities designed to grow produce and provide research opportunities for students, faculty and the community.
On Friday, Nov. 3, the University held a groundbreaking ceremony for a state-of-the-art Botanical and Community Garden that will include a raised-bed facility where Central State faculty, staff, students and the community can grow fruits and vegetables. In addition, University officials announced the establishment of the CSU Demonstration and Agricultural Experiment Station, which will include an aquaponics facility, and other agricultural research and demonstration buildings. The experiment station will be located on 40 acres the University owns just east of the main entrance to campus.
“Facilities like these and many more to come position Central State University to meet the needs of Ohioans, especially those limited-resource families in our state,” said Dr. Alton B. Johnson, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering and Director of Land-Grant Programs.
The University, through its Cooperative Extension Service, is partnering with Cleveland-based Rid-All Green Partnership to utilize the company’s expertise in building and operating the aquaponics facility. The goal, through that facility, is to develop a community-based model that provides education in 4-H and youth development, agriculture and natural resources, community and economic development and family and consumer science.
As an 1890 Land-Grant University, Central State’s model of teaching, research and extension focuses on student development, cutting-edge research and providing critical knowledge to farmers and urban and rural communities. The University currently has extension agents in seven Ohio counties, including Greene County. Extension services focus on five key areas:
• Improving Agriculture, Plant Sciences and Economics
• Creating Youth Pathways to Success
• Developing Better Social and Economically Sustainable Communities
• Empowering Families and Communities
• Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program
Dr. Pedro L. Martinez, CSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said, “The demonstration centers will provide the practical experiences that develop the competencies our graduates need to meet the needs of the State of Ohio and our nation’s workforce.”
About Central State University
Central State University, located in Wilberforce, is a regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant University with a 130-year tradition of preparing students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research and service. The University, which has been named 2017 HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest, fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong liberal arts foundation and STEM-Ag curriculum leading to professional careers and advanced studies globally.