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Ohio Department of Agriculture | Divisions and Programs

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Assistant Director

Tim Derickson
Amusement Ride Safety / Enforcement
Animal Health

Tony M. Forshey, DVM
Chief Financial Officer

Cathy Dodson

Mark Bruce
Deputy Director

Janelle Mead
Deputy Director

Jared Parko
Deputy Director

John Schlichter
Facilities and Operations

Robert E. Kibler, CCM
Food Safety

Terri Gerhardt
Human Resources

Traci Orahood
Information Technology

Steve Swayne

Dr. Beverly Byrum
Legislative Liaison
Legislative Liaison

George McNab
Livestock Environmental Permitting
Meat Inspection
Plant Health

Matt Beal
Soil & Water Conservation

Kirk Hines
Weights & Measures

Fran Elson-Houston
Matt Beal

Matt Beal is the chief of the Division of Plant Health, which is responsible for overseeing the following consumer and public protection regulations: label statements on feed and fertilizers; nursery stock; financial stability of grain elevators; pesticides; pesticide applicators; pesticide use complaints; and work with the federal government to control invasive pest species. He has served at ODA since 1985 as pesticide control specialist, pesticide control supervisor, agriculture inspection administrator, and assistant chief. In 2010 he was appointed to acting chief, and in 2011 promoted to chief of the division. Prior to joining ODA, he was employed by Torco Pest Control.

Recent efforts include working with The Ohio State University Extension to consolidate private applicator pesticide-use categories; protecting farmers by overseeing the grain indemnity fund in grain insolvency cases; creating an emergency response plan to the Asian Longhorned Beetle; and continuing work with the US Environmental Protection Agency to find an answer to the state's growing bed bug problem.

Gary Hill

Gary Hill serves the department as chief of two divisions - Enforcement and Amusement Ride Safety. He started his ODA career in 2000 as an enforcement agent, accepted a position as assistant chief, and was appointed Enforcement chief in 2006. In this capacity, he works with other department divisions to uphold compliance with Ohio agricultural laws and regulations. Hill has also served as chief of Amusement Ride Safety since 2008, where he oversees the safety and regulation of all Ohio amusement rides.

Prior to joining ODA, he worked at the Columbus Police Department until his retirement in 1995, serving as uniformed patrol, a member of the SWAT team for more than 10 years, and an abuse investigator on the Juvenile Bureau for more than five years. Hill also worked as a White Collar Crime Unit investigator in the Intelligence Bureau, focusing on embezzlement, fraud, gambling, and organized crime cases. Hill was also employed at the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation as a contract consultant.

Terri Gerhardt

Terri Gerhardt is the Chief of the Division of Food Safety at the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Her leadership helps assure that consumers are provided food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements and cosmetics that are safe, unadulterated and honestly presented.

Gerhardt began her career at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where she worked for 13 years as a Dairy Economist. She started her career with the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2000 as a Food Safety Supervisor. She was promoted to Food Safety Administrator, then Food Safety Assistant Chief, before being appointed Chief of the division in 2015.

Gerhardt is a Registered Sanitarian with the State of Ohio and a commissioned officer with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She serves on the board for the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference and for the North Central Association of Food and Drug Officials, and is a member of the National Association of Food and Drug Officials.

She earned her bachelor�s degree in Dairy Science and her master�s degree in Agricultural Economics, both from The Ohio State University.

Janelle Mead

Mead's responsibilities include overseeing the department's legislative, communication and marketing efforts, and shaping department policy. She also works on promoting agribusiness opportunities in the state.

Mead, who joined the department in 2011 and most recently served as chief of the Markets division, has also worked for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. She has also previously worked in communications for the Ohio State Alumni Association and Mycogen Seeds.

She is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned a degree in agricultural communications.

Fran Elson-Houston

Fran Elson-Houston is the chief deputy state sealer for the Division of Weights & Measures, and is responsible for overseeing fair weighing and measuring standards in Ohio. Elson-Houston has been employed with ODA�s Division of Weights & Measures since 2000, when she served as administrative assistant to the chief. She was appointed chief of the division in 2008. Prior to joining ODA, she was a grant writer/administrator for the Ohio Department of Development and a Licensure Specialist for the Ohio Respiratory Care Board.

She is a member of the National Conference on Weights & Measures (NCWM) where she currently serves as chair of the Central Weights & Measures Association and serves on the National Weights & Measures Credentialing Committee. She has also served as past chair of the NCWM Retail Motor Fuel Dispenser Workgroup, past chair of the Professional Development Committee for the Central Weights & Measures Association, and is a current member of the International Society of Weights & Measures and the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Elson-Houston holds a Business Administration degree and is also a Certified Business Analyst for the State of Ohio. She also currently serves on the Quality Assurance Technical Advisory Board at Columbus State Community College.

Tim S. Derickson

Tim Derickson serves as Assistant Director for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Derickson oversees ODA�s daily operations, including management of more than 450 employees and more than 15 divisions and offices.

Derickson most recently served as executive director of the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. From 2009 � 2016, Derickson served Butler County�s 53rd District as state representative. One of his many accomplishments in the legislature was sponsorship of HB 89 in March 2011 that established Ohio Agriculture Week, an annual week of recognition dedicated to the state�s largest industry.

Growing up, Derickson worked full-time on his family�s dairy farm in Hanover Township, Butler County, while attending Talawanda High School, Clark State Community College and Miami University. A successful entrepreneur, he managed employer health plans including the Butler County health insurance plan. He and his family later founded Colonial Woods, followed by the development of Indian Ridge Golf Club on the family farm.

Mark Bruce

Mark Bruce was appointed communications director in August 2016, where he serves as the primary spokesperson for the department. He is also responsible for coordinating media and public outreach efforts, monitoring agency-related news stories, and managing the department�s social media outreach.

Prior to his current appointment, he worked as communications director for the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program. He is also a former public information officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and former weekend anchor and general news reporter for stations WHIO-TV in Dayton and WRCB-TV in Tennessee. He is the recipient of several news reporting awards, including the 2011 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for breaking news coverage, and the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Awards for continuing coverage in 2010 and best feature reporting in 2004 and 2005.

Bruce is a graduate of Ohio University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism. He and his family live on and help operate their family�s third-generation, 1,100 acre corn, soybean and cattle farm in Licking County.

Roger Tedrick

Roger Tedrick was appointed chief of the Dairy Division in 2011. He is responsible for the daily operations of the division, which oversees dairy producers, processors, haulers, weigher, sampler, and testers within the state.

A registered sanitarian, Tedrick joined the Dairy Division in 1999 as plant section head. He was named assistant chief in 2008, and appointed as acting chief in 2010. Prior to employment at the department, he was field supervisor for Milk Marketing Inc./DFA. Tedrick is the president of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Alumni Society, and is a member of Council I of the National Conference of Interstate Milk Shipments, the Ohio Association of Food Protection, and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Tony M. Forshey, DVM

Dr. Tony Forshey is chief of the Division of Animal Health, which is charged with protecting and promoting the health of Ohio's livestock and poultry industries. Dr. Forshey serves as the state veterinarian and oversees operations for the division.

Dr. Forshey practiced veterinary medicine for 27 years with an interest in swine production. He served on several major swine health manufacturer advisory boards including Elanco Animal Health, Pfizer Animal Health, Newport Laboratories and Schering Plough. He has served as an Adjunct Associate Professor at The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine for the past 10 years. Dr. Forshey serves as the vice-chair of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board; co-chair, the Swine Update Program, Department of Preventive Medicine, OSU; chair, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association Swine Sub-Committee to the Ohio Department of Agriculture; chair, the equine and the aquaculture task forces for the department; and an ex-officio member of the Ohio Livestock Coalition and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation boards of directors. He is a member of the Ohio Swine Health Advisory Board; the steering committee of The Ohio Pork Industry Center; the American Veterinary Medical Association; the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association; the United States Animal Health Association and the National Institute of Animal Agriculture boards of directors; the Ohio Pork Producer Council (OPPC) Producer Education Committee; the OPPC Swine Health and Research Committee; the Ohio Livestock Export Council; and the OSU Extension 4-H Animal Sciences Strategic Advisory Committee.

His honors and awards include: the National Institute for Animal Agriculture's Chairman's Award (2012); the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association's Veterinarian of the Year Award (2010); Ohio Pork Producers Council Service Award for Outstanding Service to the Ohio Swine Industry (1998); the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association's Meritorious Award for service to the Ohio Swine Industry(1997); the Outstanding Alumnus Award, Shenandoah High School, Sarahsville, Ohio (1996); Who's Who in American Society and Business Citation (1992); and the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine (1987).

Dr. Forshey served as interim director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture from Nov. 15, 2011 to Feb. 15, 2012.

Dr. Beverly Byrum

Dr. Beverly Byrum is Director of Laboratories for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, with oversight of the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) and the Consumer Protection Lab. These two labs work in conjunction to maintain a safe food supply and protect public health. The ADDL is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians and is a member of the National Animal Health Lab Network. Sections of Consumer Protection Laboratory are accredited according to ISO 17025 standards. In addition, the Consumer Protection Laboratory is a cooperative agreement lab for microbiology and chemistry with the FDA Food Emergency Response Network and the FSIS Food Emergency Response Network. It also houses the official equine drug testing lab for the Ohio State Racing Commission.

Dr. Byrum is an adjunct faculty member with the Ohio State University Department of Preventive Medicine. She currently is Chair of the AAVLD Accreditation Committee. Prior to working the veterinary diagnostics, Dr. Byrum worked as research microbiologist in the medical nutritional industry.

Steve Swayne

Steve Swayne was appointed Chief Information Officer for the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2011. He leads and oversees the delivery of the agency's information technology strategy, enterprise architecture, enterprise application development, infrastructure management, and computing technologies to all of the divisions and programs in the department.

Prior to joining the department, Swayne completed a 29-year career in law enforcement and law enforcement training that spanned several departments and positions. The career began as a Deputy Sheriff in Southeastern Ohio and concluded as the Assistant Chief of the Office of Law Enforcement at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. At ODNR he served as project manager for the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System and as the project manager for the Field Based Reporting initiative.

Swayne possesses several industry certifications and maintains membership in the Central Ohio Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association and in the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists. He represents the department on the Cyber Security Working Group of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security Advisory Council and the Central Ohio InfraGard in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

David T. Daniels

Director David T. Daniels was formally appointed Ohio Agriculture Director by Governor John R. Kasich on February 15, 2012.

He is a native of Greenfield, Ohio, where he was born and raised, and where he and his father managed Daniels Brothers farm.

Director Daniels brings the perspective of a family farmer, small businessman and local government official to the department. During his career of public service he fought against unnecessary red tape and regulations and to foster a healthy business climate to create new opportunities for jobs.

Following four successful terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, he was elected to the Ohio Senate in 2010 to serve the families of the 17th Ohio Senate District, which includes Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Pike, Ross, Vinton and portions of Lawrence and Pickaway counties. Prior to being elected to the Ohio General Assembly, he served four years on the Greenfield City Council and eight as Mayor. He also served as a Highland County Commissioner for six years.

Food and agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Ohio, adding more than $105 billion to the economy each year. In addition to providing leadership for the agricultural industry, the director of agriculture administers numerous regulatory, food safety, and consumer protection programs for the benefit of all Ohioans.

Director Daniels lives in Greenfield with his wife Karen. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

Denise Franz King

King is responsible for overseeing and promoting the department�s farmland preservation program. She brings more than 20 years of experience with natural resources management and conservation policy to the department.

King, who most recently served as a deputy superintendent with the Ohio Department of Commerce, has previously worked as a government relations program director for The Nature Conservancy, as chief of the division of Recycling and Litter Prevention and as chief of policy for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

She is currently a Washington Township trustee and has previously served on Dublin City Council and as vice-mayor of Dublin.

Traci Orahood

Orahood is responsible for the department�s human resources management and oversees employee and labor relations. She most recently served as a fiscal and human resources manager with the Office of the Governor, and has previously worked for the Ohio Office of Budget and Management and the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.

Orahood is a graduate of Franklin University where she earned a bachelor�s degree in Human Resources Management and a master�s degree in Business Administration.

Erin Dillon

As legislative liaison, Dillon acts as advocate on behalf of the department to the Ohio General Assembly and U.S. Congress, and works with consumer groups and industry representatives to assist in the research and development of legislative changes.

Dillon most recently worked as the deputy director of communications and community education at the Office of the Ohio Treasury and previously served as an aide in the Ohio House of Representatives.

George McNab

As legislative liaison, McNab acts as advocate on behalf of the department to the Ohio General Assembly and U.S. Congress, and works with consumer groups and industry representatives to assist in the research and development of legislative changes.

Prior to his appointment, McNab worked as an aide in the Ohio Senate.

Dustin Calhoun

Dustin Calhoun serves as chief legal counsel. He is responsible for advising the director on legal and ethical matters impacting the various divisions of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and for managing the department�s in-house legal section.

Prior to being appointed chief counsel for the department, Calhoun was the chief legal counsel for the Ohio Department of Youth Services and also served as an associate assistant attorney general in Ohio. Calhoun�s other professional experience includes assistant attorney general for the Virgin Islands Department of Justice. He is a former attorney with Wyatt, Tarrant, and Combs LLP.

Calhoun received a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and political science at Ball State University, and a Juris Doctor from Capital University Law School.

Sereana Howard Dresbach, Ph.D.

Dr. Sereana Howard Dresbach serves as Deputy Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture, since October 2012 under Director David Daniels and Governor John Kasich. She oversees the areas of Meat Inspection, Dairy Inspection, Food Safety, Animal Disease Diagnostic Labs, and Consumer Protection Lab. Her background in research, teaching and outreach has provided a solid foundation to ensure regulatory programs operate to serve farmers, consumers and agriculture professionals.

Prior to service at ODA, Dr. Dresbach spent over twenty years at The Ohio State University. She served at various times in the Wexner Medical Center, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and College of Human Ecology. Dr. Dresbach has written and produced numerous publications and programs (200+), secured extensive research and program funds (over $7 million), including grants from W.K. Kellogg Foundation, USDA and several entities in the medical community. In 2012, her work was selected as an outreach and engagement award winner at The Ohio State University. Her scholarly presentations are regularly selected for presentation and publication on transfer of information, quantifying knowledge change and diffusion process.

Her background includes stints with the University of Wyoming, National Park Service, US Forest Service, the YMCA, as well as other state federal agencies as clients for consultation on research design and implementation.

Dr. Dresbach earned her bachelor�s degrees from Iowa State University, graduate degrees from the University of Wyoming and The Ohio State University.

John Schlichter

John Schlichter oversees the divisions of Plant Health, Livestock Environmental Permitting, Weights and Measures and Amusement Ride Safety.

He brings 35 years of agribusiness experience to the department, as a part of Schlichter Farms and Bluegrass Farms of Ohio, Inc. Schlichter was also a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, serving the 85th district for six years, and previously served as a Fayette County Commissioner for four years.

Robert E. Kibler

Kibler has been with the Ohio Department of Agriculture since 2011 as the Facilities and Operations Chief. Prior to his appointment at the department, he served 17 years at the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, designing and constructing air terminals, runways, parking garages, retail/restaurants, and major heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and electrical modifications and replacements.

Kibler also served and retired after 20 years in the Ohio Air National Guard as a non-commissioned officer serving as a Structural Specialist constructing military projects worldwide. He is a nationally accredited American National Standards Institute Certified Construction Manager, of which there are only approximately 3,500 worldwide.

Cathy Dodson

Dodson was appointed in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer, in which she oversees the department�s $53.5 million budget. Prior to her appointment, she served the department as General Accounting Supervisor from 2000 to 2013. Dodson started with the department in 1985 and has 28 years of business management experience in the areas of payables, purchasing, budgeting, federal grants, inventory, records and payroll.

Jared Parko

Jared Parko serves as deputy director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. His responsibilities include overseeing laboratory operations, animal health, dairy, food safety, and meat inspection.

Parko previously worked as the laboratory operations manager at Food Safety Net Services in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to his employment at FSNS he worked for the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine where he researched and validated solutions to food safety and security issues. He also worked on projects testing samples from dairy cows as well as manatees, dolphins, sea otters, and sea lions. Prior to that, he was employed by the Tillamook County Creamery Association where he worked to help producers isolate mastitis causing microorganisms, test milk components prior to processing and identify possible sources of contamination.

Parko has a master's degree in food safety from Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and a bachelor�s degree in microbiology from Michigan State University.

Kirk Hines

Kirk Hines is the chief of the Ohio Department of Agriculture�s Division of Soil and Water Conservation. Hines, a professional engineer, oversees efforts to assists Ohio�s 88 SWCDs with technical and administrative oversight in implementing soil and water conservation and agricultural pollution abatement programs.

Hines was selected as chief of the new division in December 2015 when the soil and water program moved from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to ODA. He began his tenure with ODNR�s Division of Soil and Water Resources as a field engineer in Chillicothe in April 2000. He was promoted and transferred to Columbus as the division�s engineering administrator in October of 2001. In 2014, Hines was named deputy chief of the division, a post he served until his recent appointment. Prior to his service in state government, he started his career at the Fairfield County SWCD.

Hines graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor�s degree in engineering. He helps his father and brother with a 1,050 acre family grain cropping and beef cattle farm in Fairfield County. He resides on the farm with his wife, Shelly, twin daughters, Kaitlyn and Kassidy, and son, Kaden.