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Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Overholt International Drainage Hall of Fame Inducts Two Drainage Experts

Sep. 21, 2022

The Ohio State University’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) recently hosted the 2022 International Drainage Hall of Fame awards ceremony, inducting two new members to this elite group of drainage experts. The event was held on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, in conjunction with the 11th International Drainage Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa and was organized by the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). 

The International Drainage Hall of Fame Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the development and use of drainage in agricultural production. The award was established in 1979 at Ohio State in honor of the late Professor Virgil Overholt, who dedicated 42 years to education and research on agricultural drainage in Ohio. The award is administered by the International Program for Water Management in Agriculture at Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio. Since 1979, 27 outstanding individuals have been inducted into the Drainage Hall of Fame for their noteworthy contributions to the advancement of agricultural drainage in the areas of teaching, Extension education, research, technology development, consulting, contractor training, implementation and practice, and/or leadership.

Two individuals were inducted into the 2022 class of the International Drainage Hall of Fame for their outstanding contributions to the field: Dr. Dan Jaynes, former research soil scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, and past SWCS member and JSWC author, and Charlie Schafer, president and owner of Agri Drain Corporation, and SWCS Corporate Partner. View photos from this year’s awards ceremony.

Dr. Dan JaynesDr. Dan Jaynes graduated from Penn State University (PhD, agronomy), University of Wisconsin (MS, soil science), and Monmouth College (BA, physics). His scholarly contributions include understanding soil hydraulic properties; nutrient and pesticide fate and leaching; soil and crop yield variability; artificial drainage; simulation model use, development, and improvement; and water management practices that affect nitrate leaching. His research work has had practical applications, impacting water management practice adoption and policy decisions. Dr. Jaynes is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in his field and has been invited to serve on journal and editorial boards and to participate in US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board meetings and regional task forces.

Charlie SchaferCharlie Schafer graduated from Ellsworth Community College with a concentration in farm operations/management. His work has been important to the success of subsurface drainage innovations, leading to multiple patents for water control structures and contributing to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Practice Standards for Drainage Water Management, Denitrifying Bioreactors, and Saturated Buffers. His work and service on numerous government and nonprofit advisory groups and committees has helped to advance the science of drainage and increase the prominence of conservation drainage practices. Mr. Schafer is widely regarded as a visionary and a leader in his field. His involvement in the drainage industry and in public service has encompassed research and practice, and he has helped translate scientific knowledge to practitioners to encourage adoption of innovative practices.