Agriculture returns to Rio

Staff Report

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — On Tuesday at Bob Evans Farm, The University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College announced a new degree coming this fall: Associates in Meat Science.

Focusing on beef cattle, small ruminant production, and the end products, students will have significant hands-on experience with livestock and meat science as well as learn valuable business management skills. Graduates will have a competitive advantage in seeking jobs in the agriculture industry.

The program is in collaboration with The Ohio State University and will utilize the OSU Agricultural Research Station and Extension Office in Jackson, Ohio, for the first year. In the Fall of ‘23 classes will move to a permanent structure located on the farm at the main Rio campus.

“We are thrilled to have this partnership with Ohio State which allowed us to get this program going faster,” Rio President Ryan Smith said. “This is phase one. We want to see what our students would like to learn and what the local industry needs. We will build it out from there. There’s a lot of different things we can do and we’re excited to get started.”

Classes will be taught at Rio main campus, center locations, and the Research Station. Ohio State faculty will teach agricultural and animal science courses; Rio Grande will focus on general education and business courses. Students will also have the full support of Rio’s Student Success Coaches and academic advisors.

“I’m very excited about this new opportunity and collaboration between Ohio State and Rio Grande Community College,” said Lyda G. Garcia, Associate Professor of Meat Science and Extension Meat Specialist at Ohio State. “In the Rio Grande area and surrounding counties, the prominent species of production livestock is cattle. And, meat science is the final step of a food animal’s life.”

Rio has had a long relationship with Bob Evans Farm. Sixty years ago, Rio sold a portion of its land restaurateur, Bob Evans. The Farm was the start of the Bob Evans legacy, and still houses the original Bob Evans Restaurant and the homestead. In 2017, a portion of this very same land was donated back to Rio by the Bob Evans Corp. Bob Evans’ children, Steve Evans and Debbie Donskov, were in attendance and shared how proud their father would be to see agriculture and education back at Rio.

Students interested in applying for the program can visit,

Information provided by University of Rio Grande.

Staff Report