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.
Dr. Osborne served as the Chair of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida from January 1997 through June 2016, at which time he returned to the faculty. Dr. Osborne teaches graduate seminars on thesis/dissertation proposal development and strategies for success as a university faculty member. His research and extension programs focus on strengthening personal resilience in teachers, extension agents, leaders, and students. He was a member of the initial development team for LEAD IFAS, the faculty-staff leadership development program for UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and coordinated that program for 10 years.
Dr. Osborne has authored or co-authored nearly 400 refereed and invited articles, papers, posters, and presentations, as well as 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 for 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 has also received that society's Outstanding Agricultural Educator award. He was selected as the AAAE Distinguished Lecturer in 2010. Dr. Osborne was inducted into the Florida FFA Hall of Fame in 2018.
Other recognitions include outstanding alumnus awards from Ohio State and Virginia Tech, the Distinguished Leadership Award presented by the UF Chapter of 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 over 50 groups through this planning process in recent years.