by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer
Cedarville University has designated approximately 10 acres of land north of the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course as a research farm that Dr. Robert Paris, associate professor of biology, will use to conduct research on soybeans.
Paris has spent 10 years working in agriculture research, which includes genetic improvement of soybeans with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Paris will use the land to evaluate the yields of different soybean varieties to determine which ones are best suited for southwest Ohio farmland.
“I want Cedarville and the agricultural community to share common ground,” explained Paris. “I also envision Cedarville being able to contribute to the advancement of local agriculture through genetic improvement and other technologies. The goal is to move past just understanding each other, but to develop a strong partnership that would carry us into the future together.”
— Robert Paris
This farming season was the plot’s preliminary test. Only one variety of soybean was planted to test the productivity of the field. Paris expects that within three years, verified data will be reported.
Cedarville agriculture and biology students will be involved in all aspects, from planting to collecting data and harvesting to learning how agricultural research is done. Local farmer Steve Reese volunteered to plant the soybeans, while other farmers have expressed interest in the project and offered their help as well.
“We see this plot as a way for the university to contribute to the broader community,” said Paris. “It was through the help of Reese that the plots got planted. I will also be depending on local farmers for help with harvest and movement of the grain to market. This is truly a joint effort between Cedarville University and the local farmers.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.