WOOSTER, Ohio — Jim Renacci, who will represent Ohio's 16th District in the U.S. House of Representatives beginning in January 2011, toured the Wooster campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Nov. 17 to learn more about educational and economic development assets in the north-central and northeast Ohio counties that span the district.
The tour included stops at the Molecular and Cellular Imaging Center (MCIC), which conducts state-of-the-art biotechnology research to improve crops and fight plant pests and diseases; quasar energy group's biodigester facility, a public-private partnership that generates clean energy from organic waste; and the Bioenergy and Bioproducts Research Laboratory, where scientists use crop residue, biofuel byproducts and algae, among other things, to create new sources of renewable energy and industrial products.
"I'm your representative. So I need to know as much as I can so I can represent you the best," Renacci said as he heard from administrators and researchers. "I'll start with the global picture and come back down to the basics. I look forward to working with you."
The largest university agricultural biosciences research center in the nation, OARDC is involved in a variety of projects and partnerships with the private sector that seek to commercialize new discoveries, ultimately leading to new enterprises and jobs. In addition to improved crop varieties, biofuels, bioenergy and bioproducts, other areas of focus include food safety, disease-fighting foods and environmental remediation.
"We very much appreciate Representative-elect Renacci taking an afternoon out of his already busy schedule to visit with us about the importance of our programs," said OARDC Director Steve Slack. "He clearly likes to work with facts and figures in determining his approach to issues; an approach that we both applaud and support. We look forward to working with him as he assumes his important responsibilities to represent Ohio in our next Congress."
OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.