Colby Gregg, a doctoral candidate in agricultural communication, education, and leadership at The Ohio State University, was recently recognized by the Cultivating Change Foundation as the 2022 Cultivator of Change Award recipient. This award was presented at the 2022 Cultivating Change Summit held in Washington DC in early October.
The award recognizes an individual who has played a pivotal role in championing visibility and voice for the LGBTQ+ community within the agriculture industry, has shown a commitment to LGBTQ+ agriculturalists, and will use their talents to further the cause of celebrating agriculture and celebrating people.
“The award means the world to me. Three years ago, I attended my first Cultivating Change Summit and walked away in awe of the community that these queer agriculturalists have been able to foster,” said Gregg. “This was a space where people didn't have to choose between their queerness and their passion for ag - both were celebrated.”
“Colby is very deserving of the Cultivator of Change award as he continuously works to ensure all faculty, staff and students feel they have a place in the agriculture industry,” said Dr. Shannon Washburn, professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL). “Colby’s research, teaching, and service illuminate his dedication to helping LGBTQ+ agriculturalists be heard and seen, especially those within agricultural education.”
According to his nomination, Colby lives the Cultivating Change Foundation’s mission to value and elevate LGBTQ+ agriculturalists through advocacy, education and community. His research spans the tenets of advocacy and education through utilizing feminist and queer research methodologies bucking the norms of the system, refusing to maintain a passive voice regarding “normality” and sharing the experiences of LGBTQ+ agriculturalists.
Outside of the classroom, both as a student and educator, Colby has served on a number of panels or presented workshops for the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE), the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agricultural (NACTA) Conference and Owl Pellets: Tips for Ag Teachers Podcast.
In addition to being surprised with the Cultivator of Change award at the Summit, Gregg presented two research posters. The posters, which were coauthored with Dr. Amanda Bowling, an assistant professor of agriscience education at Ohio State, were “Homophobias and other prejudices exhibited by midwestern school-based agricultural education teachers” and “A phenomenological analysis of unique stressors facing LGBTQ+ school based ag-ed teachers.”
"In light of the recent attack on the Queer community in Colorado Springs, please consider donating to relief services for the victims or to your local LGBTQ+ Nonprofit," said Gregg. "Also, please consider giving blood if you can, but do remember that those assigned male at birth are heterosexistly regulated in the times that they can and cannot give blood."
Gregg is a 2022 graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned a master of science in agricultural communication, education, and leadership with a minor in nonprofit studies. He also earned a bachelor of science in agricultural education and minor in entomology from Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining the graduate program at Ohio State, he taught high school agriculture and was an adjunct faculty member in Illinois.
The Cultivating Change Summit was created to bring together agriculture LGBTQ+ employees, human resources and diversity and inclusion professionals, employee resources group leaders, executives and organizational leaders, allies and others who are working toward an equitable industry environment for LGBTQ+ agriculturalists everywhere.
Students in the ACEL graduate program at Ohio State may specialize in agricultural communication, agricultural education, community and extension education, international development, or leadership. The agricultural communication, education, and leadership graduate program offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science, Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. The Doctor of Philosophy degree prepares students for careers as administrators, specialists, university faculty and researchers.