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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


OARDC's Jackson Ag Research Station Has New Manager

March 26, 2008

Editor: You can download a high-resolution photo of Wells at; or contact Mauricio Espinoza at (330) 621-6541 or

WOOSTER, Ohio — Kenny J. Wells has been appointed manager of the Jackson Agricultural Research Station in southeastern Ohio, part of Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

With a background in beef cattle integrated resource management, Wells joins OARDC after serving as Extension beef academic specialist at Michigan State University.

“I am extremely pleased to have Kenny Wells join OARDC,” said Ken Scaife, assistant to the OARDC director for field operations. “His education and experience in beef cattle research in Ohio, Michigan and Washington state are extensive. I look forward to working with Kenny and the Jackson Research Station Advisory Committee to enhance OARDC’s research programs in the coming years.”

One of nine OARDC outlying research facilities throughout the state, the 502-acre, 40-year-old Jackson station is located in the rolling hills and lowlands along Little Salt Creek in Jackson County. The station plays a key role in supporting beef cattle production research and evaluation of forage production systems, thus contributing to the viability of Ohio’s beef industry.

Wells takes the helm May 1.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with Ohio State researchers and area Extension personnel in conducting research and demonstration projects that benefit Ohio cattle producers,” Wells said. “I feel that OARDC’s Jackson station has the potential to be a leader in forage and cow-calf production systems research. With high input costs for all segments of the beef industry, now is an ideal time to emphasize the importance of efficient forage production and use.”

The Jackson Agricultural Research Station is home to a 26-acre, six-paddock grazing cell that has different legumes mixed in with orchardgrass in each paddock. A study is underway to investigate the forage animal relationship and the economic viability of management-intensive, extended-grazing systems. OARDC scientists are trying to slash the winter feeding period to 75 days — reducing the need for mechanically harvested forage and lowering feed costs.

A native of Cumberland, also in southeastern Ohio, Wells holds a master’s degree in animal sciences from Washington State University and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Ohio State.

OARDC’s outlying agricultural research stations are vital to the success of the state’s ongoing agricultural research. Staffed with a resident manager and trained personnel, each station provides facilities for scientists to conduct field experiments specific to Ohio’s numerous agri-climatic conditions, crops and production systems. The stations also serve an important outreach role, providing an opportunity for producers to see research in action under conditions similar to those experienced on their own farms.

OARDC ( is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.


Mauricio Espinoza
Ken Scaife