About the Host: Cathann A. Kress
Dr. Cathann A. Kress has served as vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University since May 2017. She is hosting the Dean’s Charity Steer Show to bring together our community to celebrate agriculture and children, both for our 4-H youth development programs as well as for youth who benefit from the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. All proceeds from the event will support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Every dollar raised means families can stay together only steps away from their hospitalized child during one of the most stressful times of their lives.
Dean Kress is responsible for Ohio State’s largest college, which consists of 11 academic units, almost 3,700 students, 429 faculty, 1,488 staff, and 11,179 acres throughout the state. CFAES also encompasses OSU Extension offices in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, 11 agricultural research stations, the Agricultural Technical Institute and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, both units of CFAES on our Wooster campus, in Wooster, Ohio. Kress is also a full professor in the Department of Agricultural Communications, Education, and Leadership.
Under her leadership, the college is investing more than $100 million to refresh its infrastructure. Renovations and new construction of facilities, hiring targeted faculty to work on critical state issues, revitalizing the Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus, and developing a new college strategic plan have all been priorities for Kress.
An Iowa native, Kress graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and her master’s and doctorate from the University of Iowa.
She previously served as vice president for Extension and Outreach at Iowa State University, senior policy analyst for military community and family policy in the Department of Defense, assistant director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, director of youth development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and an assistant professor at Miami University. She is a trustee of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and serves on the State of Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.
Ohio is the birthplace of 4-H, which began in Clark County, Ohio, in 1902. A.B. Graham, superintendent of the Springfield Township Schools at the time, organized a meeting with some 30 boys and girls in the basement of the county courthouse. Called the “Boys and Girls Agricultural Club,” Graham’s goal was to teach about harvesting corn, planting a garden, testing soil samples, tying knots in rope, and identifying weeds and insects.
From those humble beginnings the “out of school education” concept spread nationally through the Cooperative Extension Service. The 4-H program has since spread to all 50 U.S. states and internationally to more than 80 countries around the world. The youth development program is offered to youth ages 5–19 and has grown from its original focus on rural communities to reaching youth in the suburbs, cities, and small towns all over America. Members are welcome regardless of cultural, economic and social backgrounds.
Ohio 4-H youth get involved through special educational opportunities at school, in after-school programs, camps, and/or at neighborhood or youth centers. 4-H is about having fun through experiential learning and it gives youth a chance to pursue their own interests—from photography to computers, from building rockets to raising sheep. In 4-H, youth make new friends, develop life skills, learn to be leaders, and assist in shaping their communities.
About Our Partners
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio
For more than three decades, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (RMHC) has been keeping families close at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. From its beginnings as a grassroots movement established by a partnership between volunteers and local McDonald’s Owner/Operators, the charity has served tens of thousands of families in their deepest times of need. Located directly across the street from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House is open 365 days a year and is a home-away-from-home for families with seriously ill children receiving treatment in area hospitals. The House offers comfortable bedrooms with private baths, continuing care suites for recovering transplant patients, fully equipped kitchens and dining areas, play rooms, laundry facilities, a meditation room, exercise room, and informal gathering areas. Currently, the House can accommodate 137 families every night, making it the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. In addition, RMHC of Central Ohio operates the Ronald McDonald Family Room at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, and partners with Nationwide Children’s to operate the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Central Ohio. To learn more, visit rmhc-centralohio.org/.
Ohio Cattlemen’s Association
The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is a non-profit membership organization that represents the business interests and way of life important to farm families that raise cattle. It serves as the voice and issues manager for all of Ohio’s beef cattle business including cattle breeders, producers and feeders. It is the beef industry’s grassroots policy development organization and is an affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The association services nearly 60 county affiliates and communicates through various publications and social media. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association strives to maintain profitability and growth of Ohio’s beef industry, while providing consumers with safe and wholesome beef.
Telhio Credit Union
From its 1934 beginnings as a credit union for Columbus Telephone Company employees, Telhio Credit Union has been a strong and stable financial institution in central Ohio. It is a not-for-profit, full-service financial institution cooperative, meaning that its members are owners and receive high-quality financial services to meet all of their needs. Telhio services members from the 11-county area of Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware, Union, Pickaway, Licking, Madison, Hamilton, Warren, Butler, and Preble. Serving Central Ohio for more than 75 years, Telhio members are usually able to obtain higher returns on deposit accounts and lower rates on loans and other services than other financial institutions.