Dan Jaynes and Charlie Shafer were inducted into the International Drainage Hall of Fame.

Two inducted into International Drainage Hall of Fame

By Vinayak Shedekar, Elizabeth Schwab, Chip Tuson

Dr. Dan Jaynes, former Retired Research Soil Scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, and Charlie Schafer, President and Owner of Agri Drain Corporation, were inducted into the 2022 class of the International Drainage Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The award ceremony was held in conjunction with the 11th International Drainage Symposium in Des Moines and was hosted by The Ohio State University’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE).   

Jaynes graduated from Penn State University (Ph.D., Agronomy), University of Wisconsin (M.S., Soil Science), and Monmouth College (B.A., Physics). His scholarly contributions include understanding soil hydraulic properties; nutrient and pesticide fate and leaching; soil and crop yield variability; artificial drainage; simulation model use, development, and improvement; and water management practices that affect nitrate leaching. His research work has had practical applications, impacting water management practice adoption and policy decisions. Jaynes is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in his field, and has been invited to serve on journal and editorial boards and to participate in USEPA Science Advisory Board meetings and regional task forces.

Schafer graduated from Ellsworth Community College, studying Farm Operations/Management. His work has been important to the success of subsurface drainage innovations, leading to multiple patents for water control structures and contributing to NRCS Conservation Practice Standards for Drainage Water Management, Denitrifying Bioreactors, and Saturated Buffers. His work and service on numerous government and nonprofit advisory groups and committees has helped to advance the science of drainage and increase the prominence of conservation drainage practices. Schafer is widely regarded as a visionary and a leader in his field. His involvement in the drainage industry and in public service has encompassed research and practice, and he has helped translate scientific knowledge to practitioners to encourage adoption of innovative practices. 

The International Drainage Hall of Fame Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the development and use of drainage in agricultural production. The award was established in 1979 at The Ohio State University in honor of the late Professor Virgil Overholt, who dedicated 42 years to education and research on agricultural drainage in Ohio. The award is administered by the International Program for Water Management in Agriculture at The Ohio State University, Columbus. Since 1979, 27 outstanding individuals have been inducted into the Drainage Hall of Fame for their noteworthy contributions to the advancement of agricultural drainage in the areas of teaching, Extension education, research, technology development, consulting, contractor training, implementation and practice, and/or leadership.

Three prior Drainage Hall of Fame awardees, R. Wayne Skaggs (1984), Chandra Madramootoo (2014), and Robert Evans (2015), were also present at the ceremony and helped present the awards to this year’s recipients. Scott Shearer, Professor and Chair of the FABE Department, presented the awardees with letters of recognition. Vinayak Shedekar, interim director of the International Program for Water Management in Agriculture, presented a brief history of the Drainage Hall of Fame and drainage research and education at The Ohio State University. 

Dr. Vinayak Shedekar is a Research Scientist in the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and can be reached at shedekar.1@osu.edu

This column is provided by the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, International Program for Water Management in Agriculture, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. 

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