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South Centers

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Direct Marketing Team Members

Meet Our Team

The OSU Direct Marketing team is made up of many individuals across the state of Ohio.  The team consists of educators, experts, farmers, and organizational partners.

Eric Barrett-


Brooke Beam-


Brad Bergefurd Brad Bergefurd- The Ohio State University Extension Educator of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the OSU Extensoin Scioto County & OSU South Centers.

Mr. Bergefurd's  teaching and field research centers on specialty crop diagnostics and management, season extension techniques (high tunnel, plasticulture, row covers), integrated pest management (IPM), micro-irrigation management and direct marketing and his applied research focuses on plasticulture production, hops production and marketing, strawberry season extension, tomato micro-fertigation and physiological disorders of tomato at Piketon and on-farm research plots around Ohio and in West Africa. His current research is funded partially by the Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research & Development Program (OVSFRDP), USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, USDA North Central IPM and North Central Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE). Bergefurd lectures throughout the country and internationally on integrated pest management, plasticulture technologies, hops production, strawberry crop management, crop fertility, direct marketing and wholesale produce auction management. He is a member of the American Society for Horticultural Science and the Food Distribution Research Society and serves as an Academia Educational Advisor for the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association, the Ohio Department of Agriculture OHIO PROUD program, Ohio Hop Growers Guild,  Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association Small Grains committee , and NC SARE Research & Education Technical Committee member. Bergefurd holds degrees in Horticulture Science and Agricultural & Extension Education from the Ohio State University.

Contact Information:  740.289.2071 Ext. 136



Melissa Carter, SBDC Counselor-Adams, Brown, Lawerence, and Scioto Counties

Mrs. Carter focuses on helping any small business with web based marketing and social media presence.  She has been an employee of the Ohio State University South Centers Business Development Network since 2006.        

Melissa has a Master’s of Business Administration and Bachelor's in Agribusiness from The Ohio State University, and has certifications from the SBA for Export and Trade Counseling and the University of Toledo for a Certified Business Advisor.  Melissa was raised on a family farm in Ross County and has an strong interest in agriculture as well as helping small businesses succeed in Southern Ohio.  Melissa, her husband Tristen, and daughter Gracie live in Ross County where they are active in the 4-H program.

Contact Information:  740.289.2071 Ext. 222 



Margaret Fitzpatrick- an Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator for OSU Extension, Cuyahoga County. 

Before working with OSU, she was the Director of Agricultural Empowerment for Refugee Response at the Ohio City Farm in Cleveland. She earned her B.S. in biology at John Carroll University with an environmental studies concentration, and M.S. in community-based food systems from Michigan State University in 2010.  Maggie completed post-graduate internships on farms in Ohio and Vermont and she has worked on farms in Ireland.







Charissa GardnerCharissa Gardner, The Ohio State University-Program Coordinator of Horticulture and Direct Marketing

Ms. Gardner is a graduate from Peebles High School.  She obtained her Bachelors Degree in Arts and English Humanities from Shawnee State University.  Charissa began her career at OSU South Centers in 2011.  She is the Program Coordinator to Horticulture and Direct Marketing. 

For Horticulture she serves as the news/event publications coordinator, website and social media manager, listserv manager, event coordinator, Co-Editor of the Hops Bulletin, and serves as the assistant to the Program Leader, Brad Bergefurd.   

For Direct Marketing she serves as the news and event publications coordinator, website and social media manager, listserv manager, event coordinator, and serves as the assistant to the Program Leader, Christie Welch.

Charissa is an editor of the OSU South Centers website.  Charissa is currently a member of the OSU Staff Advisory Council and Chi Epsilon Sigma.

Contact Information:  740.289.2071 Ext. 132




Peggy Hall-is an Associate Professor and Field Specialist in Agricultural and Resource Law at The Ohio State University.  She directs OSU Extension’s Agricultural & Resource Law research and outreach program and teaches Agribusiness Law in the College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences at OSU.  Hall is a partner in the national Agricultural & Food Law Consortium, a multi-institutional agricultural law research initiative directed by the National Agricultural Law Center.  She has served as President of the American Agricultural Law Association and Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Agricultural Law Committee.  Hall holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from The Ohio State University and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming College of Law, where she served on the Land and Water Law Review.  Hall and her family own and operate a grain farm in central Ohio.







Jacqueline Kowalski-


Rob Leeds-


no-captionAmanda Osborne- Amanda joined OSU Extension-Cuyahoga County as the Community Development Educator in September of 2015. Amanda has worked in community food systems for the last five years, gaining experience in both Washington, D.C. and Cleveland, Ohio. She received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Geography from Ohio University, and received her Master’s in Urban Geography from The George Washington University.

Amanda is passionate about addressing poverty and food insecurity in her community while building stronger local food systems. She has experience with geospatial analysis, food access issues, food waste and recovery, direct marketing, farmers’ markets, and market management and promotion. Amanda has helped farmers’ markets and farm stands in Northeast Ohio to increase their capacity, recruit vendors, apply for funding, navigate SNAP authorization, increase their sales, and conduct community outreach.

Amanda has also helped to develop and expand programs that address food insecurity while benefitting small to mid-sized farms. Since 2015, Amanda has managed and expanded the Produce Perks SNAP incentive program in Northeast Ohio that doubles SNAP purchase at farmers’ markets for free with state and national partners, including but not limited to, Wholesome Wave, Countryside Conservancy, Produce Perks Midwest, and 40+ community led farmers’ markets. She has also helped to implement Cuyahoga County’s fruit and vegetable prescription program, known as Produce Prescription (PRx), in partnership with the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods at Case Western Reserve University and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health which helps to connect low-income families experiencing diet related illness to farmers’ markets.

Amanda serves on the Ohio Food Policy Network (OFPN) and the Ohio Nutrition Incentive Network (OH-NIN). She is also a member of the Greater Cleveland Beekeepers Association (GCBA).

no-captionHallie Williams- Hallie joined Seneca County as the Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension Educator in October of 2018. 

Hallie was born and raised in Pemberville, Ohio where she actively participated in 4-H and FFA, raising livestock and participating in junior leadership activities. Her 4-H livestock judging experiences allowed for college scholarship opportunities in Kansas and on to Oklahoma State University where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and met her husband Kyle.

Hallie has worked in various sectors of agriculture ranging from local foods and community development to livestock production and nutrition education. The Williamses chose to move back to Northwest Ohio in 2017 to assist with Hallie’s family farm and an 80-acre grain and beef operation of their own. She completed her Master’s degree in Agricultural Education with a Certificate in Non-Profit Management in 2017.

As a fifth generation Ohio family farmer, Hallie deeply cares about agriculture and its importance to communities and hopes to provide resources and support to a thriving Seneca County.



Christie Welch Christie Welch- The Ohio State University Direct Marketing Program Specialist

Ms. Welch serves as the Direct Agricultural Marketing Specialist for OSU Extension where she leads a team to provide information and education on direct agricultural marketing to Ohio’s farmers and producers.  Ms. Welch has a strong interest in the economic development of rural Ohio and is especially interested in family farms and agribusinesses within this region.

She and her husband are the third generation on their diversified family farm.  They currently produce small fruits which they direct market from the farm.  She was actively involved in the Chillicothe Farmers’ Market where she served on the board for 8 years.

Contact Information:  740.289.2071 Ext. 234