Curtis Young
Curtis Young

BY JIM LANGHAM

DHI Media Correspondent

news@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT — Curtis Young has worn many titles since he left his native area in a semi-agricultural Pittsburgh suburb. Young described the area where he grew up as one that had shared suburban and urban lifestyles during the Great Depression. Some of those qualities, he said, were still evident in the area where he was raised.

One fascination that always stuck with Young was that of studying and understanding insects. As a result, he received an undergraduate degree in biology at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania and then furthered his education by earning both a masters and PHD in entomology at Ohio State University.

These days, Young has combined the value of education in his various degrees to assist in his position as OSU Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Educator for Van Wert County. Young has been in the local county since 2011.

“When I was in undergraduate school, I worked for a nursery landscaping company,” said Young. “I saw insects and plants they feed on and became interested in the interaction between the two.

“I moved to Ohio in 1982. I met my wife, Linda, at Ohio State,” continued Young. “We have three daughters. I taught at Ohio Northern for four years. Linda is a full professor in the biology department there. She is into plants and I am into insects that feed on those plants.”

In 1992, Young started working for OSU Extension out of the district office in Findlay. From there, he moved into 19 counties in northwest Ohio, research crop production, assisting with insects and helping out with the Farm Focus Program in Van Wert. During that time, he helped county agents in entomology. He developed various programs in pest management and farm stored grain pest management.

Next, Young moved on to Allen County where he served as the county educator. There, he assisted with the Metropark System and started an Ohio certified volunteer naturalist program. During that time, he also taught at Ohio State University in Lima, where he taught biology courses.

These days in Van Wert County, Young spends time bringing research education that was generated at Ohio State University Agriculture Extension.

“We are making programs that benefit educational agriculture issues,” noted Young. “The big issue right now is that of fertilizer as it pertains to our streams and runoff. I am continuing to manager master gardener.

“The big thing is to answer all questions that are important to Van Wert County,” added Young. “We do a multitude of identifications of insects and plants. We conduct an agronomy day and deal with such areas as land rent, weed management and insect management.”