Laura Lindsey grew up in rural Ohio, the daughter of a middle school science teacher. It was her mother who first encouraged her to conduct experiments in areas like corn production and soil science for the science fair. It caught on.
Lindsey, Ph.D., is now Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. She works with statewide corn, soy and wheat growers through the OSU extension office, helping to bridge up-to-date science and current farming methods.
Summers take her out into the field for outreach activities and educational workshops with farmers. These focus on practical matters for Ohio growers, such as how to increase soybean yield even as the area faces more sporadic rainfall and higher temperatures than ever before.
“A lot of our research focuses on things that improve the farmers’ profitability,” said Lindsey. “I get excited about all of it. I think soybeans are fascinating.”
One major recent project her group has undertaken: a revamping of the Ohio Agronomy Guide, its first in a decade. The Guide was first published in 1966, and this newest 15th edition will continue its history of helping growers understand the latest production trends and recommendations. The Guide is available for free on Lindsey’s extension website, Step Up Soy.
Lindsey remains in close touch with the farmers she meets, who have her email and cell number and know they can call her anytime with questions or ideas.
In Lindsey’s experience, Ohio farmers truly appreciate the OSU extension network and the access it provides to world-class researchers and grower resources like the Ohio Agronomy Guide. And really, it’s a two-way street.
“I think Extension and farmers have a pretty good both give-and-take relationship here. We learn a lot from farmers as well” said Lindsey. “We do on-farm research. Farmers are really helpful letting us have access to their fields and equipment. They give us a lot of ideas of things to look at.”