Ceremonial Seeds Sown in ‘Growing the Cure’ Program

Ohio State’s efforts to develop cancer-fighting foods were bolstered at the University’s 50th annual Farm Science Review by five Ohio- and Indiana-based farmer cooperatives that presented a check for more than $103,000 as a kick-off donation from a Growing the Cure™ initiative.

Presenting the check to Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee were representatives from the Heritage Cooperative, United Landmark, Town & Country, Trupointe and Jack Jennings cooperatives, which earlier this year founded Growing the Cure™ to provide awareness and support for collaborative food-based cancer-prevention research at the OSUCCC – James and Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Most of the money was corporately given by the cooperatives that created and support the campaign. Each cooperative’s contribution is based on the amount of seed purchased by its customers, who are also welcome to donate to the cause.

The Farm Science Review is sponsored by the CFAES along with Resident Instruction Programs, OSU Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Held Sept. 18-20 at Ohio State’s 2,100-acre Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio, the Review featured hundreds of demonstration plots, several million dollars worth of farm machinery, and displays from Ohio State colleges and departments. The displays focused on farm health and safety, farm management, financial and economic information, the environment, home and community development, and cancer prevention.

On hand at the Growing the Cure™ check presentation were Steven Clinton, MD, PhD, professor of Medical Oncology and leader of the Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program (MCCP) at the OSUCCC – James, and Steven Schwartz, PhD, professor of Food Science and Technology and a member of the MCCP program. Clinton and Schwartz provided insight about food-based research in the fight against cancer, as did Bobby Moser, PhD, then-dean of the CFAES. All three were instrumental in developing Ohio State’s nationally known Crops to the Clinic program, a collaborative venture to investigate anticancer properties of such foods as tomatoes, soy, black raspberries, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

The festivities also were attended by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and USDA Rural Development Leader Tony Logan. The event was hosted by Dale Minyo of Ohio Ag Net, which provides farm news and information to Ohio producers through radio stations, a website and daily email reports.

After the check presentation, cooperative executives and Ohio State leaders tossed wheat seeds to ceremoniously inaugurate Growing the Cure™ and sampled several of the cancer-preventive foods being developed and tested at Ohio State, including a black raspberry confection, soy bread and soy pretzels.

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