The two newest Ohio State Board of Trustees appointees have one glaring similarity – they both come from farming pasts.
Stacie Seger, the new undergraduate student trustee on the Board and a third-year in agricultural communication, has been appointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich for a two-year term, while Brent Porteus, a managing partner of a family-owned farming and agricultural business, Blair Porteus and Sons, was appointed by Kasich to a nine-year term.
Seger, though, said it’s just a coincidence the two have similar backgrounds.
“I don’t think there’s any additional promotion (of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences),” Seger said. “We both support the agriculture industry and the agriculture college, but there’s a lot more to our appointment than just our background.”
OSU President E. Gordon Gee said it was all of Seger’s experiences that earned her the position.
“Stacie Seger is a dedicated student ambassador and significant leader in student government with a strong affinity for international studies and the global experience,” Gee said in a university press release. “I wholly welcome the valuable perspective this future agricultural business leader will bring to the board.”
Meanwhile, Porteus, an OSU alumnus, was president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation from 2008-2011, holding leadership positions prior to that and representing the organization on trade missions to Cuba and Hong Kong. He was also appointed as a Nationwide Insurance board member in 2011, according to a university press release.
Porteus has held leadership positions for the Ohio Corn Growers Association, Ohio Corn Marketing Program and the National Corn Growers Association in the past as well, according to the release.
These experiences, Seger said, especially come into play since OSU is a land-grant university founded “for students like myself coming from an agricultural background. Ohio as a state is one of, agriculture is one of our leading industries.”
Seger thinks having that past made her unique compared to other applicants.
“I think I really stood out from other candidates because I may have a little different story coming from an agriculture background,” Seger said.
But Seger won’t just be bringing along that part of her past – she has also studied abroad in Brazil, Ireland and Ecuador and been involved in student government and advancement activities for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
As such, she will be putting her efforts into representing all undergraduate students.
“I am going to be dedicated to really providing that on-campus and student perspective with the issues that are really pertinent to students,” Seger said. “I hope to continue to work with students from all different levels and all different backgrounds.”
Seger is also an intern at the Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal.
At the Board’s upcoming June 5-7 meeting at the Longaberger Alumni House, Seger will be part of the Academic Affairs and Student Life committee and the Audit and Compliance committee.
To become the undergraduate student trustee, an OSU student must be an Ohio resident in good academic standing and not on disciplinary probation. The position is entirely voluntary, meaning there is no monetary compensation. After submitting an application, candidates go through several rounds of interviews conducted by fellow students, OSU faculty and staff members, Board members and officials from Kasich’s office. Kasich then makes the final decision.
Porteus did not respond to requests for comment.