Meet Marrison – Leadership Coshocton County Class of 2021

| November 3, 2020

David L. Marrison,
Associate Professor,
Agricultural & Natural Resources Extension Educator,
OSU Extension,
Ashtabula County

David Marrison grew up in Ashtabula County, near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. He was raised on a 50-head dairy farm that began with Holsteins but grew to include Jersey cattle after David and his sister’s 4-H projects which helped to grow the herd. After graduation from Pymatuning Valley High School in Andover, David attended The Ohio State University, majoring in agricultural education and agricultural economics with a career goal to become an agricultural educator in the high school setting. His career in agriculture had an interesting start as an intern at Disney’s Epcot Center, working as a horticulturalist in “The Land.” A life-long learner, David then sought his master’s from Purdue University, petitioning the college to graduate in only two semesters. He then worked at North Montgomery High School in Indiana for five years; teaching Ag Science; running two greenhouses; FFA Advisor; boy’s swim and dive Coach and girls’ volleyball coach.

In 1997, the Ashtabula County Extension Agent retired, and David was called to “go back home.” With his background in dairy farming and horticulture, he was well-suited for the position. David worked in Ashtabula County as the extension agent for 21 years before moving to Coshocton County to accept the position of agriculture and natural resources educator.

As extension educator, David works with local farmers to improve business and farming practices through education and research. He describes his position as “part reactionary to a problem that arises today; and part proactive- conducting trainings while knowing the needs of the community.”  For example, he helps to educate farmers on such topics on pesticide use; hosts an agronomy school; farm management; business planning; estate planning and farm succession planning. His position is funded with federal, state and local dollars to remain an “unbiased source” of information for the community he serves.

David is a member of Fresno Bible Church, but currently is not involved with many groups outside of work-related organizations. He serves as National Program Recognition Chair for the National Association of County Agricultural Agents and is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Prior to moving to Coshocton County, he served on many boards, such as Ashtabula County Children Service Board of Directors; William Searcy Foundation Board and co-leader of the Ohio Agriculture Manager Team. He also returns to Ashtabula County regularly to check on his elderly mother, who still resides on the family farm. While no longer a dairy operation, his uncle farms hay, corn and soybean since the passing of David’s father in 2010.

David decided to participate in Leadership Coshocton County after seeing the benefits of a sister program, Leadership Ashtabula County. Recognizing he is an outsider to the community; David wants to learn about the community and leadership as well as meet other community members. He is also wanting to learn where his skills would be a “good fit” in the community and ways to get involved.

As a newcomer to Coshocton, David views the community as “entrenched in rich tradition.” In his lifetime, he has seen a lot of different communities but appreciates the “genuine hard-working farmers” he encounters daily. They are “very welcoming” to him and he states, “Everyone has a slice of heaven in their backyard.”

To make the county stronger, David recognizes that “being steeped in traditions can sometimes blind you from new opportunities.” In his role, he teaches producers to “analyze bottlenecks and ask, how do you benchmark against what others are doing?” David wonders how the community can take the “rich traditions that are here and enhance them? How can you see the same picture with different eyes?”

David would recommend Leadership Coshocton for others, stating it “gives you a chance to learn more about your community; no matter how long you live somewhere, there is always something new.” It is an opportunity for “people to come together, build each other up; strengthen each other and in turn, strengthen the community. We need more positives and positive energy.”

Finally, David shared “life experiences prepare you for your next challenge.” After his first wife passed away from multiple myeloma cancer in 2015, he met and married Emily Buxton Adams three years later, “blending” their families- his two adult daughters with Emily’s teen children.

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

Article contributed to The Beacon.

Comments are closed.