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News Releases Archive (Prior to 2011)

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


OARDC To Mark Tornado Anniversary Sept. 16 with Community Recognition, New Building Dedication: Public Invited

September 1, 2011

WOOSTER, Ohio -- The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) will raise the banners of renewal and resurgence up high on Sept. 16, as it commemorates the one-year anniversary of a tornado that destroyed part of the campus with a day full of recognition ceremonies and the unveiling of a one-of-a-kind research facility in the state.

The public is invited to all of the events, which run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They include:

  • 9-10 a.m.: "September 16 Tornado: Aftermath and Renewal," Shisler Conference Center Ballroom. Remarks by Rep. Ron Amstutz, 3rd District, Ohio; Bobby Moser, dean of Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; and Steve Slack, director of OARDC.
  • 11 a.m.-noon: Dedication of the Plant and Animal Agrosecurity Research (PAAR) Facility, corner of Williams Road and Ferguson Drive. PAAR is the only facility in Ohio and one of only two nationally with capacity for both plant and animal research classified as Biosafety Level 3-Agriculture (learn more at
  • Noon-6 p.m.: Tours of the PAAR Facility, corner of Williams Road and Ferguson Drive. For security purposes, no backpacks, large purses or cameras are allowed inside PAAR; use of cellphone cameras is also prohibited inside the facility.
  • Noon-1 p.m.: Light lunch, across from the Facilities Services Building on Williams Road.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.: "Secrest Arboretum Renewal and Donor Recognition," John Streeter Garden Amphitheater, Secrest Arboretum. Remarks by Moser, Slack and Ken Cochran, program director, Secrest Arboretum.
  • 2:30 p.m.: Self-guided tours of Secrest Arboretum.

"This past year has been stressful for all of us, but in the recovery and renewal process I have been most impressed by the resilience of those affected and how they have directed their passions toward moving their science forward for the betterment of Ohioans and the nation," Slack said. "The overwhelming response and support of the university, state, and the extended local and regional community have been very gratifying. Our daylong celebration is one way for us to say thank you to everyone."

On Sept. 16, 2010, an EF-2 tornado, with winds of up to 135 mph, tore through the OARDC campus, damaging or destroying several buildings and storage facilities, shattering a number of greenhouses, erasing more than 1,500 large trees at Secrest Arboretum and throughout the campus, and destroying numerous research plants that set back scientific projects for months or even years.

OARDC is located at 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, Ohio. Directions and a map of the campus are available at

The largest university agricultural biosciences research facility in the U.S., OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.


Mauricio Espinoza
Steve Slack