Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently appointed Elizabeth Harsh, executive director of the Ohio Beef Council and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, to a term as an Ohio State University Board trustee ending May 13, 2029.
Elizabeth Harsh directs all activities of the Ohio Cattlemen's Association and Ohio Beef Council. She graduated from OSU in 1983 and competed on OSU's general livestock judging team. (Photo courtesy of OSU)
“I look forward to this exciting and challenging opportunity to help contribute to the continued success of The Ohio State University,” Harsh says. “Ohio State has always held such a special place in my life, with my family and my career, and I welcome this new role with great anticipation.”
The board of trustees has full fiduciary authority for both the university’s academic and health sciences organizations, and oversees academic programs, budgets, general administration, and employment of faculty and staff.
Harsh, of Radnor, Ohio, graduated from the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in animal sciences. In college, she competed on OSU’s general livestock judging team.
“We are delighted to hear of Elizabeth’s appointment to the board of trustees,” says Cathann A. Kress, OSU vice president for agricultural administration and CFAES dean. “As a graduate of CFAES and strong advocate for Ohio agriculture, she will represent Ohio’s premier land-grant institution well, and be a strong voice for all Ohioans. Elizabeth has a keen understanding of our state; the importance of education and scientific research; and is a proponent of public-private partnerships.”
Harsh serves on Kress’ Vice President’s Advisory Council and, through the cattlemen’s association and the beef council, has partnered with CFAES to co-host events. She was instrumental in the success of the inaugural Dean’s Charity Steer Show, which benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.
She joins Brent Porteus (B.S., 1978, agricultural economics) as a CFAES alum on the board of trustees.
“It is great news to learn of Elizabeth’s appointment, as the strengths that she has demonstrated as a leader in the agricultural community deepen the understanding on the OSU board of our land-grant mission, and the importance of our land-grant responsibility and opportunity across Ohio,” Porteus says. “Both her professional and personal experiences enhance her understanding of access across rural, suburban and urban communities, and the role of our land-grant in our business, economic and community vitality.”
Since 1992, Harsh has served as executive director of both the beef council and cattlemen’s association. In her role, she directs all activities and supervises all staff for those organizations. Also, she is responsible for their compliance with the Beef Checkoff Act and Order, and for all of the organizations’ financial statements.
The Ohio Beef Council works to connect the beef community — including Ohio’s nearly 17,000 cattle farm families — with consumers to increase beef demand. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is a nonprofit membership organization that serves as the voice of Ohio’s cattle industry.
Harsh and her husband, Tim, live on a grain and cattle farm in Delaware County, where they have a small herd of registered cattle and raise 3,500 acres of corn, soybeans and hay. They have two grown children.