JEFFERSON — A new agricultural educator took the helm of the OSU Extension Monday.
Andrew Holden, a graduate of The Ohio State University where he studied agro business and applied economics, is a Pierpont native and a 2015 graduate of Pymatuning Valley High School. He replaces David Marrison, who stepped down this year as Ashtabula County Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension Educator to accept an OSU Extension position in Coshocton County.
Holden, who was raised in Pierpont on his family's dairy farm, which he said has existed for more than four generations, introduced himself to the Ashtabula County Commissioners Tuesday morning during a work session meeting.
"I really enjoy it here and that's the reason I came back after college," Holden said. "I was working on a farm and when this opportunity came up I thought it was the perfect chance to help people in Ashtabula County, which is what I want to do. To continue with agriculture and to help the people of the county with agriculture is just something I'm really passionate about."
County Commissioner J.P. Ducro said there was a "really deep pool" of candidates after Marrison's departure and he was excited Holden came out on top.
"It's always a win when a young professional comes back and wants to work in Ashtabula County," Ducro said.
Marrison served as the agricultural educator since 1997 and he moved to Coshocton County six weeks ago to fill the position there. The agricultural educator position is one that has existed since 1917 in Ashtabula County, and Marrison said its mission is to improve the lives of farms, family and youth through scientific research.
"We basically provide education by taking research that is from the university level, or from our farm research here locally, and then helping to improve businesses that are here in the county," Marrison said.