Nov 17, 2023

Honoring the late Professor Mark Sulc

Mark Sulc (right) pictured with Mark Loux at the “Mark & Mark Retirement Party”

Professor Mark Sulc was an extension state specialist for forage production at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Sulc was born on September 29, 1957, in Hagerstown, MD, but spent most of his childhood in Brazil, where his parents were missionaries. He moved back to the states and attended Iowa State University, where he earned his bachelor’s and master's degrees from the Department of Agronomy. He later got his PhD in Madison, WI, before starting his 30-year career at Ohio State in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, from where he retired at the end of October 2022. He passed away on September 16, 2023, after a two-year battle with glioblastoma.

Sulc is recognized nationally and internationally for his research on topics including the development of predictive equations for alfalfa quality, integrated crop-livestock systems, field evaluation of potato-leaf hopper resistance in alfalfa, and most recently, field evaluations of low-lignin varieties of alfalfa.

Although his research and extension efforts are notable, perhaps his greatest contribution was through his mentorship. Numerous people have mentioned Sulc’s careful guidance, attention to detail, and time spent giving thoughtful advice.

His service went beyond Ohio State, Sulc and his wife, Sally Sulc, welcomed, supported and ministered to international students, especially Brazilians, mainly through the International Friendships, Inc. (IFI), a national organization partnering with local churches, universities and volunteers to provide hospitality and friendship to international students. For many generations of Brazilian students and scholars at Ohio State, the Sulcs are family. Sulc will be greatly missed and his loving memory and teachings will continue to be honored beyond borders.