July 31, 2017 at 8:34 am

President Nellis Visits Food Studies, Plant Biology Learning Gardens

Duane Nellis, Ruthie Nellis, Theresa Moran, Art Trese, Dawn Bikowski

From left, President M. Duane Nellis, Ruthie Nellis, Theresa Moran, Art Trese, Dawn Bikowski

As part of the new president’s initiative to learn more about Ohio University and the Athens community, President M. Duane Nellis and his wife, Ruthie, toured the Plant Biology Learning Gardens with Food Studies theme students and faculty on June 29.

Mentioning his deep interest in Appalachia’s agricultural history, the president and Mrs. Nellis also reminisced about the small garden they had cultivated together when Dr. Nellis was a graduate student at Oregon State. Walking among the rows of student-grown produce destined for the bi-weekly Food Studies market, the president and first lady learned more about how sustainable agriculture works at OHIO from Dr. Art Trese, Associate Professor of Environmental & Plant Biology, and students involved in the program.

Dr. Theresa Moran, Food Studies Theme Director, talked about how Food Studies engages students in the Athens food system along with encouraging all students to learn more about where their food comes from. President Nellis also visited the experimental chenopodium plot where Dr. Paul Patton, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Food Studies, is investigating the plant’s potential to provide a nutritious crop resistant to climate change.

Commenting on the Food Studies interdisciplinary menu of courses, activities and internships, President Nellis noted that the experiential learning that Food Studies promotes helps students develop critical skills that will enrich them throughout their lives.

Mrs. Nellis mentioned that having just planted a small garden at their new home, her tomatoes were not as far along as the ones in the Plant Biology Learning Garden—so students quickly harvested some ripe specimens for the president and her to enjoy at home.

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