John Foltz

Ohio State appoints new animal sciences chair

John Foltz heads to Ohio State University from University of Idaho.

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, & Environmental Sciences (CFAES) announced the appointment of John Foltz as chair of the department of animal sciences.

Foltz will join CFAES for a four-year appointment starting Oct. 9.

“I am extremely excited to return to my alma mater to head an important department in CFAES," Foltz said. “Livestock and companion animals play an extremely important role in both Ohio and American agriculture. I look forward to working closely with the faculty, staff, students and stakeholders to bring their vision to fruition.”

Foltz comes to CFAES from the University of Idaho, where he serves as special assistant to the president for agricultural initiatives and leads two livestock-focused projects.

Prior to that, he served as dean of the University of Idaho College of Agricultural & Life Sciences with oversight for the college’s teaching, research and extension missions across Idaho. That included 360 faculty and staff statewide, 1,200 students, 10 research and extension centers, 42 county extension offices and a budget of nearly $80 million.

Foltz also served as associate dean and director of academic programs in the college and professor in the department of agricultural economics and rural sociology. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from The Ohio State University. Upon graduation, he worked for six years as a district manager for Ralston Purina in Ohio and Pennsylvania, marketing livestock feed and animal health products. Subsequently, he received his doctorate in agricultural economics from Purdue University.

“John brings particular expertise in administrative leadership with experience in finance, communications, fund-raising and strategic planning, as well as an understanding of animal sciences, facilities development and the livestock industry,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. “John will lead the development of strategic plans, including both faculty and facility development.”

In addition to strategic planning, as chair, Foltz will provide leadership for the department, which provides animal science research, education and outreach in Ohio and aims to discover and communicate knowledge about animals and their products, including their role and impact on society and the environment.

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