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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Floriculture Visiting Chair Promotes University Presence in Industry

September 28, 2006

WOOSTER, Ohio -- With floriculture production in Ohio a growing $180 million industry and ranked 6th in the nation, it takes the commitment and expertise of the Ohio State University Floriculture Program to keep the university at the top of floriculture Extension, education, and research. The D.C. Kiplinger Chair in Floriculture helps make this happen.


Established in 1977 to honor Ohio State's Department of Horticulture and Crop Science faculty member D.C. "Kip" Kiplinger and his 40-year leadership and contributions to the floriculture industry, the D.C. Kiplinger Chair strives to promote Ohio State floriculture research, perpetuate departmental programs and advance the national impact of university research and education.

"The endowed chair was established to recognize Kip's instruction, research and Extension efforts, which created a solid foundation on which Ohio State's current floriculture faculty continue to build," said Michelle Jones, an Ohio State floriculturist and molecular biologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and the chair of the D.C. Kiplinger Advisory Committee. "The floriculture industry has a big investment in the endowment as the D.C. Kiplinger Chair helps boost interest in the floriculture industry and interest in promoting the industry."

The D.C. Kiplinger Chair is currently vacant, left open when former chair Anthony "Tony" Stead fulfilled his term in 2005. The D.C. Kiplinger Advisory Committee is currently seeking proposals to fill the position.

The D.C. Kiplinger Chair is a six-month or one-year term that is generally filled by a visiting faculty member, who conducts floriculture research in either Wooster, Ohio, on the OARDC campus, or in Columbus, Ohio, on the campus of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. For additional information on the D.C. Kiplinger Chair and how to apply for the position, log on to Proposal deadline is Jan. 15.

As a D.C. Kiplinger Chair, Stead, a senior lecturer in plant biology at Royal Holloway, University of London, developed a petunia DNA microarray -- technology now being used for gene discovery to improve crop improvement on the molecular level. The D.C. Kiplinger Petunia Microarray has furthered the understanding of how genes related to senescence -- the last stage of development that results in death -- can be controlled. By delaying senescence, the overall quality of floriculture crops can be improved.

Jones said that the contributions of the D.C. Kiplinger Chair are beneficial to floriculture production and essential to the research Ohio State provides to the industry.

The Ohio State University Floriculture Program is one of the few in the nation that provides producers, breeders and consumers the research, education and technical skills to improve cultivation and management and the plant performance of ornamental and flowering plants. The team is made up of faculty from the departments of Entomology; Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Horticulture and Crop Science; and Plant Pathology. The diverse background and expertise of team members allows them to conduct research and create educational programs that better address the interdisciplinary needs of the floriculture industry.


Candace Pollock
Michelle Jones