A past high school agriculture teacher, Dr. Osborne earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Virginia Tech and the Ph.D. degree from The Ohio State University, all in agricultural education. Prior to joining the University of Florida in 1997, Dr. Osborne was a faculty member in agricultural education for 15 years at the University of Illinois, where he taught undergraduate and graduate students in agricultural education and delivered professional development programs for agriscience teachers. He is especially excited about the approach taken by the Challenge 2050 Project leadership team in addressing the global challenges that lie ahead, particularly in the area of food security. He believes that helping students discover bold new ways of thinking about and responding to these challenges will foster the emergence of innovative solutions at a grand scale.
Dr. Osborne served as the Chair of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at UF from January 1997 through June 2016, at which time he returned to the faculty. He teaches graduate seminars on thesis/dissertation research proposal development and strategies for success as a university faculty member. Dr. Osborne is also developing a new graduate course for beginning agriscience teachers. His research interests include student motivation and career aspirations, teaching methods, and personal resilience in teachers and leaders. His extension/outreach programs primarily focus on strategies for enhancing agriscience teacher effectiveness in classroom and laboratory environments.
He has authored or co-authored more than 300 refereed and invited articles, papers, and presentations and five books, including the sixth edition of the Handbook on Agricultural Education. He has served as Editor of The Agricultural Education Magazine, a national journal for agriscience teachers in the public schools, President of the American Association for Agricultural Education (2004-05), and President of The National Council for Agricultural Education (2005).
Dr. Osborne coordinated the development of the 2007-2010 National Research Agenda for Agricultural Education and Communication – the first national research agenda in the discipline. This special project was funded by the American Association for Agricultural Education, USDA, and The National Council for Agricultural Education. In 2007 he was recognized as a Fellow of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) and received that society’s Outstanding Agricultural Educator award. He was also selected as the AAAE 2010 Distinguished Lecturer.
Other recognitions include outstanding alumnus awards from Ohio State and Virginia Tech, the Distinguished Leadership Award presented by Gamma Sigma Delta, the Blue and Gold Award presented by the Florida FFA Association, and the Outstanding Service Citation presented by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. Dr. Osborne enjoys facilitating strategic planning sessions and has led nearly 30 groups through this planning process in recent years.