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Fall 2017 • Volume 63 • Number 2

10 16 28 54

Managing the Field Faith Restored Masters of the Green Growing Community

agricultural communications and journalism - agribusiness - animal sciences and industry - agricultural economics - agronomy - agricultural education - agricultural technology management - bakery science and management - feed science and management - food science and industry - milling science and management - horticulture - park management and conservation - wildlife and outdoor enterprise management - agricultural communications and journalism - agribusiness - animal sciences and industry - agricultural economics - agronomy - agricultural education - agricultural technology management - bakery science and management - feed science and management - food science and industry - milling science and management - horticulture - park management and conservation - wildlife and outdoor enterprise management - agricultural communications and journalism - agribusiness - animal sciences and industry - agricultural economics - agronomy - agricultural education - agricultural technology management - bakery science

One Purple Many Paths

agricultural communications and journalism - agribusiness - animal sciences and industry - agricultural economics - agronomy - agricultural education - agricultural technology management - bakery science and management - feed science and management - food science and industry - milling science and management - horticulture - park management and conservation wildlife and outdoor enterprise management - agricultural communications and journalism - agribusiness - animal sciences and industry - agricultural economics - agronomy - agricultural education - agricultural technology management - bakery science and management - feed science and management - food science and industry - milling science and management - horticulture - park management and conservation - wildlife and outdoor enterprise management - agricultural communications and journalism - agribusiness - animal sciences and industry - agricultural economics - agronomy - agricultural education - agricultural technology management - bakery science

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Contents Editorial


16 28 Masters of the Green Students work and play at the No. 1 golf course in Kansas.

6 Please, No Meat  College of Agriculture student opens A up about life as a vegetarian.


10 Managing the Field

30 Blazing the Trail A student’s family history led him to K-State.

32 A Heart for the Hills The Konza remains a scenic landmark of Manhattan.

 student applies agricultural lessons to A managing the K-State baseball team.

14 Meeting in the Middle Students from around the world choose to study abroad at K-State.

20 Wildcats in Waters A tale from the walls of Waters 119.

Caring for Nature

26 Nature’s Calling 2

A K-State alumna works her dream job. Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Photo Story

36 Sweet Science

B akery Science Club students gather Tuesday nights in preparation for weekly bake sales.

16 Faith Restored College of Agriculture students help those impacted by the Starbuck fire.


Working in Agriculture

38 Business Savvy

T wo alumni discuss owning and operating their own businesses in the industry.

40 Super Success  K-State horticulture alumna makes it in the A national spotlight.



College Closeups

42 Art of the Vine A local winery grows grapes and helps students grow their careers.

44 It’s A Family Thing Some undergraduates make their way back to K-State as faculty.

Beyond the Classroom

58 Binding Biodegradables K-State professors create biodegradable tape.

60 Foodie Fun This new K-State club is all about food.

62 The Next Chapter

48 Pathway to Purple

What to consider when thinking about graduate school.

K-State is home-away-from-home for out-of-state students.

64 Grading Agricultural Policy

50 Compassionate Cats

A K-State professor grades the Trump administration’s agriculture policy.

K-State greek life gives back to both the local and agricultural community.

52 Running on Empty K-State works to initiate change as students struggle with food insecurity.

54 Growing Community


Agriculturist Insights

66 College of Agriculture News 71 Meet the Staff

College of Agriculture students foster community as resident assistants.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


College of Agriculture

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Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Front (L-R): Madison Blevins, Amanda Sales, Shaylee Arpin, Celine Beggs, Beth Cooper, Madison Ogle, Ashley Tercero, Lisa Moser. Back (L-R): Braidyn Rucker, Hannah Schlapp, Brooke Haas, Sarah Krehbiel, Kaitlyn Alanis, Karli Pryor, Hannah Johlman, Shakyra Everett.

Letter from the Editors Flipping through past issues of the Kansas State Agriculturist, you will notice a slow evolution: the additions of various sections and components throughout the years; the progression of design elements; and the gradual improvement in overall quality. We are proud to present the third consecutive issue of a 72-page magazine, and as with each previous issue, we believe that our magazine presents its own special qualities. This semester we began with strong goals, and we believe that we achieved each of them, growing as communicators and individuals in the process. We re-vamped the layout of the magazine, including a new accent color, the addition of three-page spreads and different types of stories. We are proud of the teamwork that this volume represents and we are humbled by the opportunity to carry on this K-State tradition. As you begin reading, you will find out what life is like for a vegetarian agriculturist, and why she identifies as such. We remind you of the qualities in our K-State family through the eyes international students and through the eyes of a young alumnus who was greatly impacted by the wildfires that swept through Kansas in early March. We even tell you the story of a room in Waters known by all College of Agriculture students from a different perspective.

In our Caring for Nature section, we share the stories of students and alumni from the Kansas Flint Hills to the Tennessee Smoky Mountains who are each passionate about caring for the earth. Four Working in Agriculture features showcase alumni who have each flourished in their fields of study and now own their own businesses, even including tips for students who are considering taking their own careers in such a direction. Our Beyond the Classroom section showcases students who are not in school to merely learn, but also broaden their horizons and become better individuals in the process who can initiate change and help build communities. Lastly, in our College Closeups section, you’ll learn about graduate school, ag policy in the Trump administration and a new club on campus devoted to food. On behalf of the entire staff, we wish to thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to open our magazine, and explore our writing, photography and designs. We hope that you learn something new about the students and alumni that make up our beloved K-State family and we hope that you enjoy the ride.

Celine, Hannah and Amanda

Colophon: Volume 63, Number 2, of the Kansas State Agriculturist was produced by the Spring 2017 agricultural student magazine class and printed by Jostens. This 72-page magazine, plus covers, was created using Mac computers. Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator were used in layout and design. All images were obtained by the Agriculturist staff unless otherwise noted, and all pages were designed by the staff. Advertisements were designed by the Agriculturist staff or came from original artwork. Pat Hackenberg, of the IGP Institute, provided technical advice and assistance during production. Inquiries about this issue should be addressed to Lisa Moser, Kansas State University, Department of Communications and Agricultural Education, 301 Umberger Hall, Manhattan, Kansas 66506.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Editorial An inside look on what it is like being a non-meat eater in the agricultural industry. Story by Kaitlyn Alanis


do not eat meat; it’s a texture thing. This makes me a vegetarian by definition, but a picky eater by description. Perhaps if I claimed to be a picky eater instead of vegetarian I would not have to answer the all too common question, “How can you be a vegetarian in the agricultural industry?” From 4-H to FFA and to the Kansas State University College of Agriculture as an agricultural communications and journalism student, I am quite confident I have heard that question more times than I have been asked, “Why did you choose K-State?” And the former is not an easy question to answer. Growing up, my diet consisted of macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, iceberg lettuce covered in ranch dressing and spaghetti without the meatballs. I liked chicken nuggets, too; especially the ones shaped like dinosaurs.


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

I cannot remember why I stopped eating chicken nuggets, but my parents tell me one day in about third or fourth grade they noticed I started picking at the meat. This continued until about

I still support all aspects of the agricultural industry, and I do not advocate for people to become a vegetarian.

Kaitlyn Alanis agricultural communications and journalism student

fifth grade when I eventually only ate the “crust” of any type of chicken nugget, and I refused to eat the meat, even if that meant I would not get dessert. I never even tried a hamburger; however, I have tried beef, thanks to the sneakiness of my parents. I will never forget the night my mom snuck a piece of ground beef in my cheese quesadilla. I was in fourth

grade, thought it was gross and pledged to never eat a piece of red meat again. With chicken nuggets and red meat out of the question, my parents made me eat grilled chicken at least a few nights a week while in elementary school. I vividly remember hating the texture of meat regardless of how it was cooked. Now, that is my go-to answer. I am a vegetarian because I do not like the texture. The last bite of white meat I tried was just before I started junior high, as this was the time my parents finally accepted the facts. “You are so not a vegetarian,” my dad says. “You are just a picky eater.”

The Partial Truth Not eating meat because of the texture is not a lie. In fact, I do not like a lot of food because of the texture: mashed potatoes, ricotta cheese and onions, just to name a few.

But I would be lying if I say this is the only reason I have not tried meat since before seventh grade. To be quite honest, I think the main reason I will not eat meat is because I can still hear my inner child reciting my favorite line, “fish are friends, not food,” from “Finding Nemo.” I wish I could tell people this without being looked down on as an advocate for agriculture, but that simply has not been the case, especially in this industry. I find it important to note I still support all aspects of the agricultural industry, including animal production, and I do not advocate for people to become a vegetarian. I grew up raising goats and rabbits for meat production, and I still support youth agricultural programs with every part of who I am. That being said, I myself cannot fathom the idea of trying a hamburger or eating my spaghetti with meatballs. “That’s just because you haven’t tried my barbecue. If you did, you would stop being a vegetarian.” I hear lines similar to this a lot, and maybe that is true, but I wish I could pass on the meat entree during a meal without it being frowned upon.

competition banquet. I was a senior in high school, prepared to receive a scholarship for my rabbitbreeding project. Knowing I would not eat the steak, I looked to my dad who was standing behind me to see what style of doneness I should ask for so it would not go to waste. “If you do not know what type of steak you like, I don’t think you are ready for college,” the agriculturist, who also happened to be a scholarship donor, told me. While I wish I would have had the courage to explain I am a vegetarian, I knew in the agricultural realm it would not have been accepted well. It rarely ever is. Today, I dread when meals are served at an agriculture-related event. Do I be honest about my eating habits and face the drilling of questions and the shock of those at my table? Do I quietly ask for a vegetarian plate and hope nobody notices? This is what I typically do, and it never fails that I am asked how and why I could be

Vegetarian in Agriculture “How would you like your steak cooked?” Me — a vegetarian, or rather a picky eater — had no idea how to answer this question while in the buffet line at my FFA project

a vegetarian as someone who is involved in agriculture.

It’s More Than Meat Agriculture is so much more than livestock production. According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the top five agricultural products grown or raised in Kansas are cattle, wheat, corn, sorghum and soybeans. Four of the five are not animal production. And as a California native, I know California’s top-five valued commodities are dairy products, almonds, grapes, cattle and lettuce, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Again, only one of the five is animal production in the state where I grew up. Still, I understand the United States Department of Agriculture estimates animal product revenues exceed over $100 billion in sales per year in the U.S. and I see that animal agriculture accounts for more than half of U.S. agricultural products. In the end though, I encourage agriculturists to remember when I order a baked potato at a steakhouse, eat too many rolls before my salad and pass on the steak, I am still supporting agriculture. From the potatoes grown in Idaho, to the wheat grown in Kansas, to the lettuce grown in California, I am proud to support and advocate for all segments of the agricultural industry, and I urge agriculturists to not judge others by what they choose to eat or not eat. K

Here I am learning about beef, marbling and meat cuts in the Certified Angus Beef’s meat lab on January 3.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


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Managingthe From raising cattle to managing sports equipment, Jackson Fike knows a thing or two about stain removal. Story by Kaitlyn Alanis


Agriculturist • Fall 2017


rass stains on the knees; dirt, dust and mud soiled on the pants; the smell of hard work lingering on the clothes — it’s the proof of blood, sweat and tears. Agriculturists like Jackson Fike, Kansas State University student majoring in agribusiness, are no strangers to dirty laundry. Jackson grew up working with cattle, cleaning cattle pens, mowing the grass and driving tractors. Fortunately for Jackson, he says his mom, Karol Fike, associate professor in animal sciences and industry, did most of his laundry. “I was lucky enough to have an amazing mother to do my laundry for me up until about my senior year of high school,” Jackson says. For Jackson, learning to do his own laundry senior year proved to be a skill that would come into play daily. In June 2016, Jackson started his part-time student job as an equipment manager for the K-State football team. At the end of the season, he accepted a position as equipment manager for the baseball team. The job includes traveling with the team, about six loads of laundry each night and organizing and carrying equipment. Washing his jeans changed to washing the team’s baseball pants, but not much else changed, Jackson says. “To be honest there is not that much difference in smell,” Jackson says. “I’d like to think the combination of getting cattle crap out of clothes and working with grass stains and dirt stains allows me to get out about any stain there is.”

Lessons From Mom Jackson says his mom may teach animal science and may have taught him how to do laundry, but he learned much more than that from her and he will always be grateful. While Jackson says he will never take a class from his mom and that he would not want to, he says it is nice to have family on campus. Karol says the most important thing for her is to keep a healthy balance of checking in with Jackson while still letting him grow and learn as an individual. “I have to recognize that he needs his life and independence, so I try to not interfere too much with what he has going,” Karol says. “But it’s inevitable that he and I are going to know a lot of the same people and run into each other.” Karol says it is great that she gets to see Jackson continue to grow and apply the skills and knowledge he learned at home to his life as an equipment manager.

More Than Stain Removal As a sports equipment manager, Jackson says he values the agriculture background he grew up with not just because of the stain-removing strategies he picked up, but because of the hard work and values he learned from raising cattle on the farm. “One of the most important things I learned raising cattle and working around agriculture was always leave things better than the way you found them,” Jackson says. “That is one ideal my family takes pride in as well as K-State. Respecting other people without expecting respect back is the right thing to do in my mind, and that’s what I try and live by.”

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Jackson says the other most important trait he learned while growing up on a farm is his hard work ethic. “My parents and family always taught me to give the best effort possible at everything you do, no matter if that’s trying to show the grand champion steer or sweeping the floor,” Jackson says. “You make everything as good as you can. That’s the most important value I learned from working with cattle that I try to carry into everything I do.”

From Cattle to Sports For Jackson, he says the traits he learned while raising cattle can be directly related to his job as an equipment manager. “With K-State baseball it’s cleaning the field and making it better for the guys the next day,” Jackson says. “It’s doing the little things like sweeping some leaves in the dugout or picking up a small piece of trash on your way out of the yard at night.” As Jackson spends many hours washing laundry, shagging baseballs and organizing

equipment, he says hard work and time management are equally as important in his role as an equipment manager. “From classes to working 35 hours a week, you have to figure time in there for studying, reading assignments and more studying,” Jackson says. “It for sure hasn’t been easy by any measure, but I’d like to think I put in just as much time

One of the most important things I learned raising cattle and working around agriculture was always leave things better than the way you found them.

Jackson Fike agribusiness student

to this sport as the players do, if not more. If they can be a part of the team and still be successful in school, then I surely can as well.”

Karol Fike keeps a healthy balance between checking in on her son and letting him learn as an individual.


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Karol says she appreciates that Jackson knows not every job will be glamorous all the time, but that he knows the importance of doing what needs to be done and seeing all of his jobs through the finish line.

Eyes on Home Plate With passions in both sports and agriculture, Jackson knows he will have a big decision to make when it comes to his career plans. “I know it’s great for him to have a lot of opportunities, and I think exposing himself to what those opportunities are is a great thing to do, especially as a freshman in college,” Karol says. “Then he can start sorting out what’s the best choice for himself, so I think he’s in the process of doing that now.” Jackson says his current career goal is to work for the Kansas City Royals, but he thinks his stainremoving skills might just attract him a wife first. “Not going to brag, but there’s not a stain I can’t get out,” Jackson says. “I’d like to think it’ll make me a good husband one day.” K

Jackson Fike’s background showing cattle taught him many valuable lessons he carries through to managing the baseball team.

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Students from around the world attend K-State and fall in love with the purple family they gain. Story by Kaitlyn Alanis


he thermostat reads 115 degrees in January and the sun is shining. There is no need to worry about salting the ground for ice or searching for your missing glove. It’s summer for Mardi O’Brien, international student from Australia majoring in animal sciences and industry. O’Brien’s Australian summer was cut short when she hopped on a plane and traveled approximately 8,600 miles to study abroad in Manhattan, Kansas, where summer was nothing more than a distant memory or hopeful dream. The grounds were covered in a layer of melting ice thanks to the pink rock salt. “It was so much to soak in,” O’Brien says. “Everything is different and there is so much to see and do and learn.” She was not the only one who would be immersed in a new culture while attending Kansas State University. The city is alive and people are everywhere in Wuhan, China, with a population of over 5 million people. Wuhan Polytechnic University is


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

lively with students everywhere and their public transportation is highly developed. It’s a busy life in China, home of Xinyue Li, international student majoring in grain science, but a life she had grown accustomed to. When compared to Wuhan Polytechnic University, life at K-State can feel a little lonely for Li, but she is thankful for the people in the K-State family who make Manhattan, Kansas, a little homier. “The life here is totally different from that in China,” Li says. “The sky is always blue, people are friendly and will greet you even though you don’t know them.” Li and O’Brien are just two of approximately 170 international students who call the K-State College of Agriculture home.

A New Normal For international students, starting a new semester at K-State does not just mean new classes. It means adjusting to many new ways of life. One of the biggest adjustments for O’Brien was the change in

weather, mostly because of the ice storm she experienced early upon her arrival. “Back home we cannot even fathom the earth can even get that cold,” O’Brien says. “It gets so, so cold here. The only way I can describe it is if you take a cold shower, step into a deep freeze and then have a fan blowing wind at you. And I still don’t think that describes how cold it gets here.” Quite the contrary, back in Australia, O’Brien says, one of the biggest worries for agriculturists is how to help their livestock deal with heat stress. “Here I haven’t heard that is much of a worry, but I have learned so much in my animal science classes,” O’Brien says. “Beef science, ruminant nutrition, meat science and reproduction are just brilliant. I am loving all these new units.” While weather may not have been as big of a concern for Li, she did have other changes to adjust to such as transportation, the education system and the language barrier.

“Communication has been the hardest part,” Li says. “And I think ‘do it yourself’ is a style in America. Gas stations, fast-food restaurants, markets and many things are selfservice, so I was a little confused the first time I went to McDonald’s.”

Global Recognition The first week of classes proved to O’Brien why K-State is spoken of so highly around the world. O’Brien says the curriculum at K-State is mind-boggling, oftentimes leaving her in a state of awe. “You don’t get a degree here if you’re not busting your butt, I can already tell,” O’Brien says. “The professors and the people are brilliant, and sometimes I am in awe after hearing them speak that I can’t even think to ask questions because I am just still trying to soak it all in.” The education system is much different than what Li is used to,

but she says she wishes China could learn from K-State’s methods. “Students’ learning style is different from that in China,” Li says. From study materials available online for students to K-State’s 50-minute lectures compared to Wuhan Polytechnic University’s

The professors and the people are brilliant, and sometimes I am in awe after hearing them speak that I can’t even think to ask questions because I am just still trying to soak it all in.

Mardi O’Brien animal sciences and industry student 90-minute lectures, Li says it makes for an engaging environment. “American students are active in study,” Li says. “I think the educational mode is what we Chinese should learn.”

Purple Family For both Li and O’Brien, spending their spring semester at K-State is more than just a way to learn about American agriculture. It is also a way to learn about a new culture and gain appreciation for others in the industry. “Here, the people are very nice,” Li says. “They make studying abroad much easier. They help me and they open doors and say ‘hi.’ And they wear lots of purple.” While purple is not O’Brien’s favorite color, she says it has grown on her immensely during her time at K-State. “It means something special here,” O’Brien says. “I already know once I have to leave K-State I am going to be so sad because this is the first time where every night I go to bed I think ‘This was just another brilliant day.’” K

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


When wildfires struck Clark County, K-State agricultural students stepped up.


n Monday, March 6, fires began to break out along the Oklahoma-Kansas border. It took over a week for all the fires to be extinguished. Seven lives were claimed, over 1 million square acres were burned, and thousands of cattle died by the flames across Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. The Starbuck fire, fueled by grass, brush and intensely strong winds, turned most of Clark County, Kansas, to ash. This is the story of one young alumnus impacted by the fire and how Kansas State University students aided in the recovery.

Clark County When the fires hit, Ransom Gardiner, a 2016 graduate of animal sciences and industry, was at his family’s beef cattle operation near Ashland, Kansas. “I was less than a half mile from my family’s house when I got a calm call from my dad to load up the horses because the fire was close, but there was no huge rush,” Gardiner says. Before he could get to the house, the area was engulfed in 60-foot flames. Gardiner turned his pickup around – fast. He didn’t know his parents were at the house and caught in the flames as the fire came through.


photo by Kendra Frasier Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Story by Hannah Johlman “I didn’t know that Mom was safe for a little while, and neither of us heard from my dad for another 30 minutes,” he says. “After what seemed like hours, my mom and I drove around the back way to our house. From afar it looked okay, but as I got closer to it, I could see that it was on fire.” The family’s dogs were still inside. “We ran into the burning house multiple times and finally found them, but they had already died of smoke inhalation,” Gardiner says. With their home burning in the background, the family allowed for a moment of grief, but the work had just begun. “Dad found a fire in our barn so we fought that and saved the barn. Then we started driving around, seeing what we could do to help,” Gardiner says. “By midnight, I was pretty much numb to everything. We were fighting some fires until maybe 4 a.m.” In the days following, the Gardiner family worked long hours trying to save the animals they could, putting down the ones they couldn’t. Although losing their home and all their possessions may sound awful, Gardiner says it has given him a new perspective. “After the fire hit, it was almost like I didn’t care about all that stuff anymore,” he says. “I just wanted to play fetch one more time.”

His initial reaction was of complete heartbreak, not only for their dogs and personal losses, but also for all the cattle, the many other homes and the numerous acres of pasture lost across all of Clark County. Now, Gardiner says that his faith in humanity has been restored. “The outpouring of love, prayers, hay, fence, labor, milk replacer and other donations that we received has been incredible,” he says. “And looking back, it really did seem like God saved a lot of people from dying in the fire that day.” News of the wildfires spread across social media, and before the last flame was extinguished, stories of loss, triumph and small glimmers of hope went viral, inspiring many students from the K-State College of Agriculture.

$20,000 T-shirts “The fires were on Monday and Tuesday, and we had chapter on Wednesday,” says Sydney Bigger, an animal science student and philanthropy chairwoman of Sigma Alpha. “We talked about what people had done for other disasters and when there was the big snow storm in 2013, Sigma Alpha sold T-shirts.” An initial goal of selling 150 T-shirts, with proceeds going to the Kansas Livestock Foundation, soon turned to 500 T-shirts, which became $10,000, and then $20,000. The sale was planned to last only two weeks, but then it went viral. “High Plains Journal ran an ad the day our campaign was supposed to close, so we had to extend it,” Bigger says. “It was on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s website; it was all over.” Sigma Alpha raised $20,111.14 and sold 1,594 T-shirts. Bigger says

that many buyers made donations on top of the $18 per T-shirt cost, and T-shirts were sent as far as New York and California. “We didn’t expect it to have the reach that we did, sharing it on social media. But K-State has kids from across the country, and when they share it, people on both the east and west coast see it.”

Fencing for a Cause Members of Collegiate Cattlemen’s Club picked up fencing tools and went to help ranchers of Clark County. Brandt Skinner, animal science student and Collegiate Cattlemen’s president, says that in just one day he gathered a group of students willing to help, adding that, for spur-of-the moment plans, it couldn’t have gone better. “I sent out an email and people said, ‘Yes, let’s do it.’ We got some fencing supplies together and drove our personal vehicles.” Skinner says. As their caravan reached the burn area, Skinner and Bigger, who were in the same vehicle, said that the burn area was a sobering sight. “We kept driving and I remember thinking, ‘Man, this is bad,’” Skinner says. “About 15 minutes later we’re still driving in the burn area, and

you started to see the magnitude of how large it really was. Then we drove by houses and structures. It makes you appreciate the old barns that you always cuss. It was humbling to drive through there.” Conversation in the vehicle halted as everyone took it in; black ground and dead cattle as far as the eyes could see. For the next three days, the group helped haul and stack hay and helped build fence for ranchers. “We helped a guy who lost 90 percent of his cow herd,” Bigger says. “He lost his house, all of his outbuildings and wanted us to help him fix fence around one little wheat pasture to put the rest of his cows on; then he sent us to his neighbors to help them build fence. They’re so concerned that their neighbors are okay, and they are so thankful they didn’t lose anything more than they did. It was really humbling.” Skinner is proud of the members who pitched in to build fence for the weekend. “It was really cool to see them be so happy and proud to help,” Skinner says. “I don’t think there’s anything that develops club members more than selflessness, sacrifice and public help.” K

The Collegiate Cattlemen’s Club after a long weekend of helping families.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


CLUBS RESTORING FAITH Collegiate Cattlewomen

For three days, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., members of Collegiate Cattlewomen stood outside Orscheln Farm and Home, collecting supplies to take to Ashland for fire relief. “There was a lot of discussion within our club and we looked at what other organizations were doing. We decided as a club, we should set up somewhere and collect supplies,” says Emily Elfers, animal science student. Orscheln’s arranged a discount for people who purchased supplies for the drive, and Elfers says that they also received cash donations. “There were a lot of people who didn’t know what was going on with the fires; they hadn’t heard anything about it so we educated people, and they were more than willing to donate things to us,” Elfers says. With the cash donations, the group decided to purchase milk replacer to send down to Ashland, in addition to fence posts, gloves and hats. “It was a spur of the moment thing I put together the night before we were out there,” Elfers says. “There was a lot of participation from our girls, and it was good to see people who actually cared to be there, and people who really cared to help.”


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Alpha Gamma Rho

As Jackson Wingert, an agricultural economics student, was traveling back to Manhattan from spring break, he received a call from Jacob Bergland, an agricultural technology management student, both members of Alpha Gamma Rho, and the two discussed how AGR could help. Current members of AGR personally donated $1,500, with the AGR house donating an additional $1,500. One member’s family donated over 200 hedge posts. “Two of our guys’ dad owns Woodard Mercantile in Maize and he sold us supplies at cost, so we got more stuff and some protein tubs from him, and then he donated a pallet of protein tubs as well,” Wingert says. “So we got the hedge posts, t-posts, a roll of barbwire and then 32 protein tubs.” Six AGR members delivered supplies to Ashland on April 2.

Agricultural Technology Management Club Tyler Blythe, agricultural technology management student, immediately thought about how he could help as he saw the news of the fire spreading. “My mom pointed out I had built quite a bit of fence over the years,” he says. “I knew that was the best idea and ran with it.” Blythe contacted a family near Rosston, Oklahoma, who had not lost cattle, but did lose most of their fences. He recruited three additional members, plus his girlfriend and the crew spent spring break fencing. “We worked taking wire down and pulling posts,” he says. “The fire cleared the sage brush, making it a bit easier to take down, but the sand made everything harder. Living in the Flint Hills, we aren’t used to sand.”

Alpha of Clovia Abigail Horn, an agricultural economics student, says that Clovia’s supply drive started with a hair-brained idea. “A few of us were home for spring break and wanted to do something, so a lot of us brought supplies back to Manhattan.” The house collected pliers, syringes, needles, feed buckets and milk replacer and took the supplies to Ashland. While none of the girls in Clovia were directly affected by the fires, Horn says that doesn’t matter. “You stick up for your ag family,” she says. “What Sigma Alpha did was awesome. I even had people back home buy shirts. I don’t know how much we’re helping in the grand scheme of things, but everyone is pitching in what they can, and that’s what matters.”

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Room 119’s perspective on being the student hub for the Kansas State University College of Agriculture. Story by Shaylee Arpin


h look, they’re back again! The future students are here! Everybody get ready, the new students are coming! I am excited every day at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. because the prospective students arrive and I welcome them with my open door and purple decorations. I may look calm and official, but trust me, I am just as excited and nervous as every new student who walks in to visit. Of course, every morning when Sandy Klein, associate dean of the College of Agriculture opens the locks, walks in and flips on the lights, I brighten up a little and get ready to start the day. This is the quiet before the storm.

they are not the only students to visit me. Before visits start and the College of Agriculture Ambassadors arrive to guide prospective student tours, work must be done. On a Monday morning, only one student worker can be found typing away

on the computer or answering phone calls. Only one student that is, until the Ag Ambassadors arrive. They start trickling in one by one, preparing to guide visits and tours with prospective students. They cluster up like a group of kittens,

Established in 1913 My name is Waters Hall Room 119 and I am the go-to place for all things College of Agriculture. Five undergraduate students rotate in and out throughout the week, each having their own specific job, but


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

College of Agriculture Ambassadors Karly Frederick, Brittany Hilfiker and Lindy Bilberry, along with College of Agriculture assistant deans plan an Ag Ambassador meeting.

trying to stay warm and chatter away the short wait. I love to hear about their weekends, what tests they are studying for and what the ‘cool’ spots around town are. You know, I have been here since they built Waters Hall in 1913, so their news and conversations about what is new in agriculture keeps me young. I’ve seen every trend from 50s poodle skirts to big 80s hair to skinny jeans of today. Every time I see new students and hear them talk about my school, it’s like the first snow every year — magical.

Welcome One, Welcome All As prospective students slowly wander inside, a hush falls over the group so Klein may speak first. The students write down some information and while they wait for their visit to start, I get to hear all about the visiting students, the most exciting part of the tour for me. I love hearing each story — where the student is from, what grade they are in, why they chose to visit Kansas State University. Each student tells me just snippets about them, but I’m OK with that, because I get to hear something fresh.

Each week brings in more prospective students and some days are busier than others. In the

Every time I get to see new students and hear them talk about my school, it’s like the first snow every year – magical.

Waters 119 College of Agriculture Office

fall, over 200 students may visit in a week. Once winter and the spring semester roll around, the number of students visiting usually drops to less than 100. My favorite time is October, when I get to see so many new, excited faces. As the visitors slowly leave, the office quiets again; not to fear though, I always see more students as the day goes by. More student workers join, Ag Ambassadors pass through on their way to class and current students stop just to see what is coming up.

College of Agriculture Ambassadors, Karly Frederick and Chance Hunley, collaborate on an agricultural economics project. These two are part of my regulars along with many other Ag Ambassadors.

Sweet Visits I can tell when an animal sciences and industry student walks in. I always have to give a little “eh, eww,” because, well they tend to leave a little leftover manure on my carpet. Nonetheless, everyone is always welcome, regardless of their footwear. The deans tell me I cannot play favorites with majors so I try to stay neutral, but every now and then, I will get regulars. You know, the students who stop by on a day-today basis. They like to keep up on the up-and-up and stimulate good conversations. They are my favorites. When I get lonely, I try to provide a little sugary incentive for students to visit me. Some days I have cake, others I have cookies, but most days you can find that I have candy for whoever wants to stop by. Well, thanks for listening to me ramble. The next time you are in Waters, be sure to pop your head in! Maybe gain some new knowledge about the College of Agriculture and don’t forget grab a piece of candy. You never know when you will need the extra energy, these students seem to always need it! K

As a part of welcoming student to the College of Agriculture, visiting students receive a voucher for one free scoop of K-State’s famous Call Hall ice cream. The ice cream is made from the milk produced on the K-State dairy.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


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Agriculturist • Fall 2017


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Agriculturist • Fall 2017

In this section

Nature’s Calling Masters of the Green Blazing the Trail A Heart for the Hills

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Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Lisa Nagurny, K-State alumna, spends her days working for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Story by Madison Blevins


isa Nagurny, once a Kansas State University student, now lives her childhood dream of working for a national park. Growing up in Manhattan, Kansas, her entire childhood, Nagurny was destined to become a Wildcat. When college finally came, she pursued her destiny and immediately jumped into the major of park management and conservation. Nagurny’s mentor and greatest inspiration at K-State was Ted Cable, professor in the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources. “Through his classes as well as mentoring outside of class, and as my major professor for my master’s, he has been a huge help in shaping me for a career with the national parks. I still stay in touch with him and he continues to be a wonderful mentor,” she says. While working for the national park, Nagurny has noticed that half of the workers have master’s degrees, but it is not a necessity.


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Lisa Nagurny

“Lisa was a good student, but what set her apart was her dedication to her dream for working for the national park service,” Cable says. While working toward her degree at K-State, Nagurny attended a program at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is split between both Tennessee and North Carolina. In this program she learned all about the park, which drew in 11.3 million visitors last year, making it the most visited national park in the country. Shortly after the program ended, she was offered a full-time position in Tennessee.

At the Park Nagurny’s voice radiates with excitement talking about this national park. Full of knowledge and facts, she explains that the park is known as the salamander capitol of the world. She uses this example: “If someone put all of the salamanders on one side of the forest, and the 1,600 bears that are on the land on the other side, the salamanders would outweigh them immensely.” Starting out as a student eventually turned to days filled with visitors and national park programs for this girl. Her days are never the same. Sometimes she can be found

Childhood Dream Nagurny’s love for national parks first started when she was a child. Taking family trips every summer to the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado created memories for her that she still cherishes to this very day. “When I was about 3 years old, we went to a campfire program led by a ranger at our campground. After the program, I went up to my mom and said, ‘Mom, I’m going to do that when I grow up,’” she says. According to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website, this park preserves a rich cultural tapestry of Southern Appalachian history. The mountains have had a long human history spanning thousands of years from the prehistoric Paleo Indians to early European settlement in the 1800s to loggers and Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees in the 20th century.

When I was about 3 years old, we went to a campfire program led by a ranger at our campground. After the program, I went up to my mom and said, ‘Mom, I’m going to do that when I grow up.’”

Lisa Nagurny park management and conservation alumna either managing the visitor’s center, making sure people are working the front desk, and other days she is teaching programs to visitors about the history and knowledge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “My ancestors actually used to go to a farm in the Smoky Mountains, so when you go to Great Smoky Mountains National Park there is the Cable Mill and the Betsy Mill Cabin. Where Lisa works, she gets to interpret the Cable history and interpret my heritage,

which is crazy to know that one of my students is somewhere that my ancestors were from,” Cable says. Nagurny’s excited voice showed through when she spoke about her favorite annual event, synchronizing fireflies. According to the website, synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns. Last year, more than 20,000 people applied for the 1,800 tickets available.

Follow Your Dream Lisa Nagurny sat in the same desks and walked the same halls as most students in the College of Agriculture. She now lives her childhood dream every day. “It doesn’t feel like work when you love what you are doing,” she says. “While that class PowerPoint may be long, sit through it and follow your dreams.” Nagurny does not know what will be next in her future. She loves the Smoky Mountains and knows that she wants to be there for the near future, but is also trying to keep an open mind after that to do what is best for her family. “If we decide staying here would be best for us and we’re still enjoying it great; if not, we can always see if something else might be better. I’m still so new to my position that I’m just trying to really get to know the park and its resources and make the most of it,” she says. K

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Kansas State University College of Agriculture students work and play on the top golf course in Kansas. Story by Madison Blevins


olling hills of lush, green and immaculately trimmed turf with a sprinkle of purple here and there in support of the Kansas State Wildcats — this is Colbert Hills, home of the Kansas State University golf teams and a select few K-State horticulture students. Derek Price, fourth-year horticulture student specializing in golf course management, and Daniele McFadden, third-year horticulture student specializing in sports turf operations management, take pride in knowing their jobs at Colbert Hills contribute to its ranking as the No. 1 golf course in the state. Price is now on his third season working for Colbert Hills. He previously worked for other golf courses, and he says that his favorite task at the course is irrigation work. “For some reason, I love digging holes,” Price says.


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Workers usually don’t look forward to bunker days. A bunker is an area of ground, often hollow, filled with sand to create obstacles for the golfers. The workers are responsible for cleaning out these sandy areas on bunker days, which Price says is hard to maintain. With construction occurring next to Colbert Hills, a lot of mud gets into the bunkers and must be cleaned out regularly. Rain also presents erosion issues in these bunkers, then the workers are responsible for reconstructing and reshaping them. “My dream job is to be a superintendent of grounds and maintenance at my own course, getting into the role of where my boss is now,” Price says. He wants to supervise the maintenance crews that handle everything involving the course grounds. “In school, you learn how to cut the grass, care for the grass and take business classes, but it truly doesn’t come together until

you work at a course and see it all functioning as one,” he says.

Green Dream While most students who work at Colbert Hills plan to work for a golf course after college, McFadden dreams of a different career. McFadden studies horticulture with a sports turf emphasis. She has been working at Colbert Hills for approximately one year. “I dream of becoming head of turf for a major league baseball team one day,” McFadden says. While still being fairly new to the job, McFadden first worked in the pro shop and now is caring for the greens. She explains that all horticulture students have to be involved with two internships before they can receive their degree. Colbert Hills is her first internship, and she hopes to intern with the Atlanta Braves or Philadelphia Phillies next season taking care of their fields.

“I always heard about Colbert Hills being the No. 1 golf course in Kansas, and I couldn’t think of a better place to begin working,” she says. Many people cannot imagine golfing on a cold Kansas winter day, but a lot of dedicated Colbert Hills members still make a showing in bitter weather. March to November is the peak season for golfers; however, K-State golfers spend their downtime practicing the Colbert Hills greens even though they practice regularly most days. The K-State golf teams can use any part of the facility and usually practice on an area of the course that was maintained to higher standards for their needs. No K-State golf meets are held at Colbert Hills, only practices. “The home field advantage doesn’t really play in golf, so they usually play anywhere,” Price says.

Jack Rickabaugh spends time at Colbert Hills as a member of the K-State golf team.

Playing the Greens It takes time and commitment to work and care for the Colbert Hills

I always heard about Colbert Hills being the No. 1 golf course in Kansas, and I couldn’t think of a better place to begin working.

Daniele McFadden horticulture student

greens. Another student, however, devotes a different kind of time and commitment while doing something he loves — playing golf. Jack Rickabaugh, fourth-year agribusiness student, has been on the K-State golf team for two years.

“When I was younger, I played with friends a few times and fell in love. I started playing competitively when I was only 13 years old,” Rickabaugh says. He explains that while it may be difficult to manage both school and travel during golf season, it is not a problem if he uses his time wisely. Coming from an agriculture background, he knew that he could learn more about the business side of operations through his major while still competing in the sport he loves. “My favorite part about Colbert Hills is the view from number seven. The top tee box is very elevated, and you can see for miles to the west. The sunsets are pretty special. I also love that it’s our course, and the K-State logo is all over the place. It makes you feel at home.” K

Daniele McFadden and Derek Price know the ins and outs of Colbert Hills as student employees at the golf course.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


An agricultural technology management student’s unique combination of fire, family and friends help to shape his future. Story by Beth Cooper


he letter F can be terrifying. It traditionally represents failure, but for agricultural technology management student Ben Lampereur, the letter F holds a deeper meaning. For Lampereur, F is what has had some of the biggest impacts on his life: fire, family and friends.

Fire Lampereur has many hobbies ranging from woodworking to photography, but one hobby in particular has become a passion of his. “I worked at a land trust in high school where I was introduced to controlled burning. I have always loved volunteering for land trusts and other nature preserves, and I can continue my work in this area through wildland firefighting and controlled burning,” Lampereur says. He took the experience that volunteering at the land trust has


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

provided him and taken steps to further his wildland firefighting opportunities. “I’m technically a certified wildland firefighter. You are certified once you have so many classes done. Once you pass, you

Everyone jokingly calls me MacGyver at home because I like to fix things and tinker.

Ben Lampereur agricultural technology management student

get your Red Card, which means you are essentially able to go out in the fires. My paperwork is all in, but I’m just waiting for the card itself,” Lampereur says. According to the National Park Service, in order to get an Incident

Qualification Card, or Red Card, one must go through different tests and classes such as a work capacity test that involves hiking distances with weighted packs under a certain amount of time. There are also different classes to learn types of incidents and the teams that handle them. Lampereur not only assists with burnings in Kansas, but is also on call for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest back home in Wisconsin. Although he has had experience from helping with the Randall Range burnings, volunteering at the Konza burn will be Lampereur’s first time with a burn at this scale. “Grass is kind of a new thing; I’ve done controlled burns back home when I worked for a land trust this summer, but it’s a little different down here than it is up there with just the amount of grass burning,” Lampereur says.

Family While wildland firefighting is a new hobby, Lampereur’s have always been interested in technology and machinery. It was his family history that sparked his initial interest. “At my grandpa’s farm, I’d go out there and help him out, tinkering with things. They were all the last generation to grow up on the farm, they had a lot of stories to tell me,” Lampereur says. These stories from his grandparents not only gave him an interest in technology and equipment, but also gave Lampereur his goal for the future. “I’ve wanted to be the generation that moved back; it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed and I’m pretty passionate about it,” Lampereur says. The Grafton, Wisconsin, native comes from a long history in

agriculture and wants to continue that legacy in his family. “It’s been going pretty far back, I have pictures from the 1900s family working on the family farm and things. We just had the centennial farm for my grandparents, so we’ve been doing it a long time. We traced our roots back to Belgium, and everyone has been a farmer since a long ways back, so I wanted to get back to that,” Lampereur says.

Friends From fires to family, Lampereur’s other drive comes from his friends. “Everyone jokingly calls me MacGyver at home because I like to fix things and tinker,” Lampereur says. That particular hobby is what led to Lampereur choosing his major, agricultural technology management.

“When I learned that there was a way that I could work with learning about technology and equipment and how it’s designed, and different things like that in the ag industry I got pretty excited,” Lampereur says. His dedication to school and his hobbies has not gone unnoticed by his friends. Fellow agricultural technology management student and president of the agricultural technology management club, Ross Niehues has seen this firsthand. Niehus says that Lampereur, “is willing to put in the long hours each and every day and he is always willing to help out however possible in order for club events to be successful. A large cup of hot black coffee also goes a long way for Ben.” K

Ben Lamereur assists in controlled burns at the Konza Prairie, which is a research station with a tallgrass prairie ecosystem. The prairie is burned every spring along with much of the grass in the Flint Hills surrounding Manhattan.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


A place where students can remember what a cloud looks like and get a breath of fresh air. Story by Brooke Haas


he rolling hills, the sun gleaming down on the tall, flowing grass of the prairie, the streams quietly bubbling in the background as people hike the trails of the never ending hills of Konza Prairie. For many students at Kansas State University, visiting the Konza Prairie is a great way to get in touch with nature. Whether it’s for hiking, exploring, picture-taking or breathing the fresh air, it is a popular spot for students and visitors alike.


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Respect for Konza The Konza Prairie is home to many wildlife species that inhabit the area, from bison to collared lizards and eastern wood rats. Many native birds can be seen flying high in the sky enjoying the beautiful view of the prairie. As someone who has a love and passion for the outdoors, Kristina Keehn, fourth-year student studying park management and conservation and natural resource and environmental science, says she wants the public and students

to remember while using the trails at Konza Prairie that it is also a place to go and enjoy the views. “The Konza is a tenant of the Manhattan community and provides an escape for the weary students needing to remember what a cloud looks like,” Keehn says.

Konza Beauty The Konza Prairie was a mystery before coming to K-State for firstyear student and Kansas native Brandon Entz, an agricultural economics major. Luckily, a group

of friends decided to go on a beautiful day, and begin adventures that would leave him with lasting memories. Although he loves Manhattan, Entz says the Konza Prairie reminds him of home in Peabody, Kansas. “The rolling pastures and the whole Flint Hills view, it gets me out of Manhattan,” Entz says, “I need fresh air without being in the city so I like going out there.” The Konza Prairie is more than just beauty, there’s a science there that the public can learn and appreciate. Entz is specializing in agronomy; therefore, he especially enjoys the educational aspect of the prairie as well. For third-year landscape horticulture student, Cait Carlson, the Konza Prairie was nothing new to her experience at K-State because of previous adventures at the prairie habitat with her 4-H group from Falun, Kansas. Visiting the Konza Prairie for Keehn says it makes her feel peaceful, mentally relaxed and is a great way to burn carbs. Keehn has always enjoyed the outdoors

and hiking, so when she ventured to K-State, the first thing she did was look up places to hike at and stumbled upon the Konza Prairie.

The Konza is a tenant of the Manhattan community and provides an escape for the weary students needing to remember what a cloud looks like.

Kristina Keehn park management and conservation student

Konza Memories The Konza Prairie provides memories, whether it is enjoying alone time taking in the peaceful scenery or with a fun outing with friends. Keehn says she has too many memories to choose from that would be her absolute favorite, but has a few that she is fond of.

From hiking with her friends, and stomping through the underbrush along the creek during her dendrology class, “Yes, we had an off trail permit,” Keehn says. Of all the memories, there is one she will never forget. “If I had to pick one as my favorite, I would have to say when my boyfriend proposed at the top of the giant hill. That would be pretty hard to beat,” Keehn says. Konza Prairie offers three trails: the Nature trail, which is 2.5 miles, Kings Creek Loop, which is 4.4 miles and Goodwin Hill Loop, which is 6 miles. The many trails had Entz and his friends lost for hours. Entz will remember the times he went out there with his friends all throughout college because of the pictures he has from each trip. Entz says, “There were 10 of us, we went out there and followed the trails and got lost. It was a threehour experience, where we just had fun.” K

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


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Fall 2017 • Agriculturist



Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Shellenberger Hall is a gathering place for Bakery Science Club students on Tuesday nights. The students prepare cookies for the Wednesday bake sales, which features a variety of bread, brownies and cookies each week.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Two K-State alumni find the difference between industry work and owning a business. Story by Hannah Schlapp


aid time off, flexible hours and no boss to attend to are all luxuries some may think of when it comes to owning a business. While it may seem like the business owner gets to do all of the entertaining parts of the job, often that is not the case. Owning a business requires hard work and passion for the job. In most cases, the business owner’s passion keeps him or her going, not the 15-hour days. For two K-State alumni, going out into the industry and working for a few years after college helped them realize their passion for running their own businesses and meeting customer needs.

Getting Creative Allegro Creative, a business that develops well-crafted brands through imagery and storytelling, was Shannon Kreuger’s idea. She knew she wanted to have her own flexibility when it came to her career, but it took some time for her dream to come to fruition. When Krueger was a freshman in college, she spent two days in the optometry major. She realized she didn’t want to go into the medical field and quickly switched to agricultural communications and journalism. During her time at K-State, she took public relations


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

writing, editing and the Kansas State Agriculturist magazine class, all of which she says helped her in future endeavors. Once she graduated from K-State in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in agricultural economics, she obtained her master’s degree in mass communications in 2006. While Krueger was studying for her master’s, she was also working side jobs in marketing and communications. After graduation she worked a few different jobs with freelancing on the side then realized she wanted to freelance and work for herself. “Freelancing was not something I could have ever succeeded at right out of college. It was the connections and building skills in my jobs that helped me get to where I am today,” she says. When she was able to start Allegro Creative in 2011, she focused on her passions of graphic design, communications and photography, all of which help her clients develop a well-crafted brand they can be proud of. In its sixth year, Allegro Creative is doing better than ever. “One of my favorite parts about having my own business is being able to set my own schedule and

pick the types of clients I want to work with. If I want to focus on a particular area to work with, I can,” she says. Her business allows her to wear many different hats. She works with businesses that range from a small business in Wamego, Kansas, to a swine company in Nebraska. Her clients are normally agriculturerelated or small rural businesses. She says with Allegro Creative, no two days are ever the same. “As much as I’d love to have a concrete schedule and rituals, that just doesn’t happen,” she says. Her days involve a lot of time spent answering emails and phone calls. Before she starts a project, coordination and planning have to be done. She says that it’s a lot of setting the stage before you can do the actual work. “While I love that I’m not in the 8 to 5 job anymore, I’m glad I was able to be in the work force and meet the people I did, and learn what I have learned along the way,” she says. Since starting Allegro Creative, Krueger says she has realized there’s a lot of hard work that goes into to keeping it running smoothly and getting everything to work in her favor. This seems to be a repetitive theme for most business

owners, especially after coming from working in the industry.

From Industry to Owner Working in private industry for several years made Mark Lofing realize he wanted to start his own company. After graduating from K-State in 1995 with a major in animal sciences and industry and a minor in agronomy, Lofing worked in differing capacities before becoming a district sales manager with Midwest Seed Genetics. There, Lofing was able to start his own territory from scratch and build up a client base. Next, he transitioned into the seed company Channel, where he worked his way up to business development lead. During this time, Lofing saw the need farmers had for accurate and timely information and knew he would be able to give farmers that information through his own company. Lofing had been traveling frequently for business, but wanted to be home with his family. In August 2010, he started Blue Sky Crop Consulting and has since branched out to multiple other companies that had a complementary fit. With the help of eight fulltime employees, Lofing runs and operates Blue Sky Crop Consulting, Tri-County Seeds, Powercat Crop

Mark Lofing is a jack of all trades and operates various agricultural businesses.

Protection, Universal Seeds and MSA Kansas Holdings. With owning multiple companies comes the long hours and being a jack of all trades. His days are always changing, depending on the company he’s working on and the season. In the summer, Lofing is scouting. In the spring, he could be working on chemical pricing for one farmer and a fertilizer quote for another. Lofing says that hard work is one of the most important aspects for running your own business, or businesses in his case. “We put in a lot of hours as business owners to make everything click. It’s very difficult and can be incredibly challenging,” Lofing says. Since starting his own businesses, he says it’s been an enjoyable experience watching them grow and getting to work with new or the same people on a daily basis. Lofing adds that it’s also rewarding to help farmers make their farms more profitable and see their relationships grow in the process. Lofing says, “The agriculture industry is still a relationship business. We have a good relationship with all of our clients. It’s been a blessing every day of our lives.” K

How to be business savvy: Always continue to learn regardless of your profession as the environment never stops changing. Try things on a small scale to prove concept before making sweeping changes. Good people are hard to find. But it’s worth it when you do. Customers are the most important piece of any business.Without them, you don’t have a business. Find your tribe.Build a network of like-minded professionals who can provide support, mentorship, inspiration, motivation and friendship, and be prepared to return the favor to your peers. Being self-employed can sometimes bring a great deal of solitude, so having a network to lean on — even if it’s just a virtual one — can provide a great creative outlet to help keep you moving forward. Be a sponge.Soak up all the knowledge you can from podcasts, books, blogs and communities on social media to propel your business to success. No matter what industry you’re in, there are infinite resources available to help solve problems, spark new ideas and make simple changes to elevate your business to the next level. Listen to audio books and podcasts to help make drive time productive and contemplative.

Shannon Krueger of Allegro Creative assists agricultural and rural companies.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


A K-State alumna’s floral shop in Houston, Texas, set up the floral arrangements for the 51st Super Bowl. Story by Hannah Schlapp


he Super Bowl is one of the most widely known, publicized events that takes place in the country. Whether someone is watching it, playing in it or helping work it, it’s an exciting experience. For Joanne Rush, the owner of Thriving Botanicals, a Houston, Texas, plant design and maintenance company that deals with all living arrangements, getting asked to do the floral arrangements for the 51st coverage of the Super Bowl was an opportunity of a lifetime. Rush, a 2010 graduate in horticulture with an emphasis in landscape design, had the opportunity to help with the Super Bowl flowers by pure luck she says. “We have a website that shows our services and photos of our work. The lady who set everything up through ESPN found us by Google searching plant rentals in Houston. I am so thankful to have our website,” Rush says.

Getting the Confirmation Rush says once everything was finalized, it was an intense experience from that point


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on. Once she knew what the expectations were and the type of arrangements they were looking for, she went to her wholesaler and found the plants she wanted to design with. She then set up a mock scene and took pictures to send to confirm it was what ESPN wanted.

You want to do so well and you want it to turn out just how you had imagined, so I was very excited when it all came together.

Joanne Rush horticulture alumna

After Rush got confirmation, the next step was finding pots for the plants. She hand-painted all the pots for her floral arrangements, so they could match the ESPN desk used on set. Finally, the day before the Super Bowl, it was time to assemble the arrangements.

“When it came time to put everything together, I put myself into my office, turned on the music and just started designing,” Rush says. Rush says she’s particular about what goes where in an arrangement, and of course, while working on the Super Bowl flowers, she had to make sure they looked perfect for national television.

Super Bowl Ready The potted plants were ready for delivery the next day, the day of the Super Bowl. Much like the day before, it was stressful. Rush says it took three trucks to get all of the floral arrangements to the stadium and driving them there safely was nerve-racking. Once Rush, her husband Ryan, and two of their friends who offered to help had arrived downtown, they then had to take them to ESPN’s set and set everything up. “You want to do so well and you want it to turn out just how you had imagined, so I was very excited when it all came together,” Rush says.

Rush’s part was only one of many to make the day work out smoothly. In order to get ESPN’s announcers’ desks looking Super Bowl ready, there’s a lot of time and effort put in. “There are over 100 people who put on this event, so it was really neat to see all of the different puzzle pieces come together in the end,” Rush says.

Bowl to Business Rush’s floral experience can be credited to both her work experience and her time at K-State. She says that between the classes

at K-State and the professors she has met, they have helped her in more ways than she could imagine. “I have so much to offer after graduating from K-State. I am so happy I was able to go to school for this,” Rush says. Much like Rush’s mentality for the Super Bowl, her business goal, presenting each customer with a perfect product, reflects the same. “One of my favorite parts about working in the industry is providing a product to people that brings happiness. It doesn’t make their life easier, nor is it anything they need, but when I bring the product in, it

brings a huge smile to their faces,” Rush says. Thriving Botanicals, has been open since August 15, 2016. Since then, she has developed many loyal customers through offering plant rentals, interior and exterior plant maintenance, special arrangements for parties. Rush says that much like any business, it is important to sell yourself and plant workshops.  Rush says, “I’m not afraid to put myself out there. I don’t really get nervous anymore because I’ve learned you have to open doors for yourself, you can’t wait for it to happen to you.” K

Joanna Rush had the opportunity of a lifetime to design the living floral arrangements for the Super Bowl in 2017.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Liquid Art Winery is helping K-State students grow their future careers.


erched on top of a hill on the outskirts of Manhattan, Kansas, sits the Liquid Art Winery and Estate. Liquid Art’s 7,000 grapevines are stretched over the estate vineyard of 10 acres. While Liquid Art’s tasting room has only been open since July 2016, the vineyard was established in 2014 when owners David and Danielle Tegtmeier decided to quit their jobs in Colorado and move back to Kansas to pursue their dream.

Where it all Began The Tegtmeiers first met at Kansas State University in fall of 2007 during their freshman year of college. David was studying in the College of Agriculture, while Danielle was pursuing a degree in business marketing. Since K-State does not have a vintner degree, David took as many classes as possible here before transferring to Fresno State University in 2009. He graduated in the fall of 2011 with degrees in enology and viticulture, the chemistry of making wine and the cultivation of


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

grapes. Eventually, Danielle moved out to California to join David. After noticing similarities between Manhattan’s topography and Bordeaux, France, which is known for having the best ground for winemaking in the world, David and Danielle decided to return to Manhattan. The Tegtmeiers say

A big thing for us is giving students opportunities and work experience. Recommendations from employers really helped me out, and I wanted to do the same for reliable, hard-working students.

David Tegtmeier owner of Liquid Art

it was a challenge to turn their property, previously a hunting ground, into the Liquid Art Winery and Estate.

Story by Karli Pryor “We had about 40 buildingsized piles of brush that we had cleared off the property before we were able to start planting and producing,” David says.

Growing with Students Once the business was operational, the Tegtmeiers needed help to keep up with their businesses growth. Since their literal and figurative roots were planted into Manhattan and K-State, the Tegtmeiers felt it was appropriate to look for K-State students to employ. Liquid Art employs K-State students both in and out of the College of Agriculture. They are also seeking to add more students to both the team at Liquid Art, and their extension company, HiberVine, which is a vineyard technology, development and management company. “We have over a dozen K-State students working for us. Their majors range from horticulture and milling science majors to hospitality and entrepreneurship majors,” says Tegtmeier.

One such student is Landon Cook, fourth-year grain science and industry student. “Liquid Art is flexible in scheduling work around your classes,” Cook says. “This job is not for everyone though. You need to have a great work ethic and be able to do some hard work.” Depending on majors and career goals, Liquid Art places students in a position either in the vineyard or the tasting room. Cook plans to attend the American Brewers Guild post graduation — a decision that was largely based off his time at Liquid Art. “I have been interested in fermentation sciences since my sophomore year of college,” Cook says, “by having this job at Liquid Art I am able to get hands-on experience. I believe this experience has taught me more than any book has.” With reward comes a lot of hard work and Cook’s time at Liquid Art has been no stroll through the vineyard. “I have to wear many hats at my job. One day we may be out in the vineyard and in the winery the next day,” he says. “Vineyard work consists

of building the trellis, maintaining the trellis, pruning vines, training vines to the trellis system, mowing, landscaping around the winery, and harvesting.” There are many jobs to be done around the vineyard from bottling to pouring drinks in the tasting room. Cook says there is always work to be done, adding that 60 percent of the time spent in the winery is cleaning. The Tegtmeiers hope to grow their company, and with that, they hope to continue to provide K-State students with the experience and education they need to further their careers.

“A big thing for us is giving students opportunities and work experience,” says Tegtmeier. “Recommendations from employers really helped me out, and I wanted to do the same for reliable, hard-working students.” K

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Students come and go from year to year, but some students find their way back to the university to teach. Story by Ashley Tercero


ome is where the heart is, not only for students, but professors as well at Kansas State University. Greg Aldrich, research associate professor and pet food program coordinator in the Department of Grain Science and Industry; Kelly Getty, associate professor in the Department Animal Sciences and Industry with a focus in the Food Science Institute; and Megan Rolf, assistant professor in animal science, found their home at K-State during their undergraduate studies. Each professor furthered his or her education at different universities after they graduated from K-State, but they all found their way back to Manhattan to teach and do research K-State.

“I worked with cattlemen and some professors that allowed me to find my way through college,” says Aldrich. After graduating he worked in the cattle feed industry for a few years and then went back to school and began working with pet food. “Once I went from the cattle industry to the pet food industry

Working on research and teaching at K-State is proving to be a great experience and I am so glad I came back.

Megan Rolf animal sciences and industry professor

City to Farm Though Aldrich grew up in the city he connected to agriculture through his grandparents who were farmers, and when he came to K-State Aldrich began working at the Beef Unit.


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I’ve never gone back, it is just extraordinarily dynamic and something new every day,” he says.

He then went on to obtain his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. At K-State he works with students on research of pet foods ranging from the food itself to the messaging to consumers. “The K-State Family has taught me so much and I am glad to be able to contribute to it now,” says Aldrich.

A Family Tradition Getty has a bit of a different story. She comes from a family of K-Staters. “My grandfather attended courses here in Manhattan that were six-week programs. He did them twice and earned a degree that he was so proud of,” she says. Getty’s parents both graduated from K-State. Getty came to her own K-State orientation before her freshman year knowing she wanted to be involved in agriculture. After orientation and being offered many different curriculums she went home to her mom, who had been her 4-H cooking leader, and

Kelly Getty, Megan Rolf and Greg Aldrich, faculty in the College of Agriculture, found their way back to K-State after attending as students.

they looked it over and she came to K-State and majored in food science. “I never changed my major the whole time I was at K-State,” she says. She had found her home in the College of Agriculture. After graduation Getty worked in the food science industry at Pizza Hut in Pennsylvania for a few years and, almost as if it were fate, she ran into a past professor in an airport who encouraged her to go to graduate school. She completed her master’s degree at Penn State and then went on to Clemson University to complete her Ph.D. When the opportunity came to work at K-State again, she came. She teaches food science courses of all levels and works closely with the food development team, where each year they travel and compete against other universities to develop new food products. “To help teach a program that has influenced my life has been an amazing experience,” Getty says.

Finding a Research Path From a young age Rolf was involved in agriculture and her family raised limousin cattle. When Rolf was nine, she entered a speech contest at the national show. “I contacted Dr. Linda Martin and she sent me information on the horned polled locus and from there I was hooked on genetics,” she says. That experience led to a desire to study beef cattle genetics. During her undergraduate career she was involved in the Honors Program and worked with Dan Moser, an associate professor at the time, on an undergraduate project. She received a job at the College of Veterinary Medicine where she worked in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. While working there she interacted and learned from many graduate students. “While working on my honors project I decided that I wanted to go to grad school to study genetics,” Rolf says.

Rolf completed her master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. Her first job was as an associate professor at Oklahoma State University. When the opportunity came to teach and continue her research at K-State, she returned to Manhattan. Today she teaches the genetics course in the fall and continues working on research throughout the year. “Working on research and teaching at K-State is proving to be a great experience and I am so glad I came back,” Rolf says.

Passion for Purple K-Staters talk a lot about the concept of being a family. All three teachers believe that this is why K-State is different and special. Everyone has a passion for K-State that can be seen every day on campus. “People really care about you and your success,” Getty says. K

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


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For out-of-state students K-State becomes a home away from home.


amily, agriculture, purple-three words that are often associated with Kansas State University’s College of Agriculture, the place that many students call home. For some out-of-state students, these words could not be more true. Abigail Horn, Leah Geiss, Coffman Liggett and Abbey Larson became a part of the K-State family after leaving their home state to attend college. A Colorado native and fourthyear student in agricultural economics, Horn knew the university would be her home for the next four years when she was led around campus during a visit. Along with an exceptional agricultural economics program, the College of Agriculture students and faculty were welcoming. “I have gotten really close to a lot of people out here,” Horn says. “It never felt like I wasn’t welcome here and it was for sure because of the people.

Family For most students, college is the first time they experience living on their own, paying bills


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and providing for themselves, but for many out-of-state students that experience is accentuated. In-state students frequently spend weekends making a trip home or visiting friends at other universities

Everyone really takes an interest in you as a person. They really want to see you succeed and be the best you can be.

Leah Geiss agricultural communications and journalism student

while trips for out-of-state students may mean long driving hours and is not always feasible while school is in session. As was the case for second-year student majoring in agricultural communications and journalism, Leah Geiss. Geiss enjoyed the smalltown feel K-State provided on her multiple trips to Manhattan, Kansas. Originally from Minnesota, Geiss

Story by Shaylee Arpin knew she would attend an out-ofstate college to study agriculture. “I am really close with my parents,” Geiss says. “It was a struggle at first, to learn how to be on my own, go grocery shopping for myself and do all the things that adults do.” Out-of-state students find ways to stay connected with family and friends, but even with phone calls and video chats, students find themselves a little homesick occasionally. One way some out-ofstate students cope with missing home is by relying on others. Some in-state students offer a ride and a place to stay at their family homes in other Kansas towns and provide out-of-state students the opportunity to learn more about Kansas agriculture. Other out-of-state students get a sense of home through attending college with familiar faces.

Agriculture Coming to Kansas as a livestock judger, Coffman Liggett began his college experience at Hutchinson Community College. After pursuing an associate’s degree, Coffman

transferred to K-State and is now fourth-year student majoring in animal sciences and industry. Originally from Virginia, Liggett found comfort in attending a new university with friends from his Hutchinson livestock judging team. “It was nice to see some familiar faces when I first arrived at K-State,” Liggett says. “I added lots of other friends to that original group as I got to know more people. I grew up in agriculture and knew I wanted to stay engaged with livestock.” It is not uncommon for siblings to have similar interests but for Geiss and her brother, their college of choice was one and the same. Both making the decision to attend K-State because of the high reputation for the College of Agriculture instead of stay in Minnesota. In the past few years, two have come to rely on each other. “It has definitely helped to have my brother here,” Geiss says. “He is always here to fall back on, but when I moved here, he and my parents told me I couldn’t rely on him too much. I try not to live in his shadow and I try to do my own things, but I definitely love him being here and having his support.”

Purple According to the K-State Office of the Registar, enrollment for Fall 2016 in the College of Agriculture was 2,305 students. 713 students are from out-of-state. Even with the numerous students on campus, K-State has a small-town, community feel. After an Ag Experience Day and visit to the bakery science program in the Grain Sciences and Industry department, Abbey Larson, secondyear student, found her home and her new major. Of course, she said

it helped that her favorite color has always been purple. “My first day at K-State, I was so ready to go home,” Larson says. “I was so homesick, but then I got to my Grain Science 101 class. Everyone sat down and started talking to me. I am still really good friends with those people. It was them talking to me that first day of class, that made me more comfortable being at K-State. It doesn’t feel like there are actually 25,000 people on campus. It feels small because you recognize everyone.” All four out-of-state students mentioned staying involved with the numerous clubs and activities K-State offers. Whether joining a club based in the College of Agriculture or something different, a sea of purple is likely to welcome new students. “There is definitely a family atmosphere here that everyone talks about,” Geiss says. “Everyone really takes an interest in you as a person. They really want to see you succeed and be the best you can be.” Not only are professors and faculty at K-State to help students succeed, but fellow students are there to help as well. Regularly, students can be found in libraries or empty classrooms across campus for study groups. “Once you get here, you’ll find your people and you’ll find them right away,” Horn says. “I promise it won’t be hard. These are the people you are going to be around forever between classes and in the industry. Whatever it may be, go find someone that is like you. They are not hard to find.” K

Abigail Horn represents her home state with the Colorado flag. Horn plans to attend law school after graduation.

Leah Geiss is originally from Minnesota. Geiss says getting involved in campus activities helped her feel at home in Manhattan, Kansas.

Coffman Liggett, animal science student, grew up in Virginina. Growing up, Coffman knew wanted to work with animals.

Bakery science student Abbey Larson enjoys participating in the Bakery Science Club.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


College of Agriculture students give back to the community through Greek organizations. Story by Brooke Haas


other Teresa once said it is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving. This philosophy is demonstrated by people all over the world daily, including at Kansas State University. Philanthropies are often the backbone of any club or organization at K-State, especially fraternities and sororities. From cupcakes to date nights, the creative philanthropies of K-State have raised $29,000 in the last academic year for various causes. Delta Upsilon, Clovia, and Alpha Gamma Rho are a few of the many examples of fraternities and sororities that are giving back through the Greek community. These College of Agriculture students are making a difference locally and globally through their groups.

Going Global Delta Upsilon has 115 members and is heavily involved within the College of Agriculture. The house gives back to the college by purchasing steaks for their annual steak dinner from the KSU Meat Lab and baking products for their DU Pancakefest from the Milling Science Club. The proceeds from those events are donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan. Beyond steak and pancakes, DU’s main philanthropy event is the Miss K-State Competition, which was held on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.


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“This event enables organizations to represent themselves and showcase one of their outstanding, well-rounded members who signify talent, confidence, class and excellence,” says Eric Blythe, third-year animal sciences and industry student.

Our philanthropies are to help with cancer research. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.

Allison Schulz animal sciences and industry student The proceeds from this event are given to DU’s international philanthropy, the Global Service Initiative. Blythe says they are extremely proud to have developed this international program. “The Global Service Initiative prepares men for success in a new global environment along with developing global awareness through working in a variety of different community projects across Jamaica,” Blythe says. DU’s local community service projects include Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, Green Apple Bikes, Red Cross and Big Brothers Big Sisters. From all of DU’s

philanthropy events, they raised a total of $14,700.

Cupcakes for a Cure Living with 60 other girls in a tight-knit ag-based house, fourthyear animal science production management student Allison Schulz, says Clovia was originally founded by 4-H members. Clovia is a cooperative scholarship house and maintains close ties to organizations such as 4-H and the National FFA Organization. Clovia is an all-female leadership and scholarship based house. Schulz says most girls living in the house are receiving a degree within the College of Agriculture. Clovia’s community service aims to help 4-H members. Each member is required to serve four hours of community service per semester. Additionally, the organization maintains two main philanthropies. “Our philanthropies are to help with cancer research,” Schulz says. “All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.” In the fall, they host an ice cream social in the house on a Wednesday night toward the beginning of the school year. “It is kind of a welcome back to school and philanthropy in one. We get Call Hall ice cream and invite people to come and enjoy the ice cream, music and conversation,” Schulz says.

Clovia’s only requirement to attend the ice cream social is a $2 donation. Their second philanthropy, based off a member’s mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer, is called Cupcakes for Karen. Schulz says they have continued this philanthropy, but are now calling it Cupcakes for a Cure. “Cupcakes for a Cure is a weeklong event where we bake and sell cupcakes on campus, usually in Bosco Plaza. We have a cupcake bar on a Wednesday night where we open up the house and invite people to come,” Schulz says.

A Strong Ag Community Jackson Wingert, an agricultural economics fourth-year student, is one of 83 active Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity members at K-State.

“All members share the common bond of agriculture through our upbringing, and for 90 percent of us, our studies as well,” Wingert says. “Our fraternity is in the business of making better men, and through them, a broader and better agriculture industry.” Possibly the most familiar philanthropy of AGR’s is Sell-A-Fella, which supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Sell-A-Fella began in the early 2000’s at the fraternity when a brother of AGR, Dave Sewell, lost his life to cystic fibrosis. In February, AGR’s date night auction raised over $5,500 for this foundation and $9,000 alone in the year 2016. Since Sewell’s passing, AGR has been passionate to support a cure. “With these funds, we will be the headline sponsor of the Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis on

K-State’s campus on April 29, 2017,” Wingert says.

Giving Back Along with their philanthropy events, members of the AGR have to perform over 1,200 hours of community service within the city of Manhattan. Those can include Adopt-A-Highway to helping with recycling after home football games. Wingert says they have a strong presence in the Greek community overall, but adds that when the fraternity has any opportunity to help the agriculture community, they do so. Wingert says, “We strive every day to do better and be better as men.” K

Eric Blythe participates in the various The men of Alpha Gamma Rho host events such as Sell-A-Fella for Delta Upsilon service projects. their community service projects.

Allison Schulz of Clovia helps with events benefitting the cancer society.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Struggles with food insecurity, initiating change. It’s the Kansas State University way. Story by Madison Ogle


magine you are 1 of 25 students in the Introduction to Leadership Studies course at Kansas State University. Each person has just completed a class survey about food insecurity. After each student completed the survey, you give your answers to another classmate. Next, the instructor asks the first question from the survey and for you to respond based on the survey answers on the sheet that was given to you. The instructor asks the question, “In the last 6 months, how often have you had to go without a meal because of financials?” If someone stands up, it means that the original surveyed student answered “more than once” on his or her survey. “There were kids standing up, speaking for other individuals in the class. I was like, oh yeah, we’re all in college right now. We all look fine and healthy, but there are individuals who are struggling with this,” says Emily Zwick, second-year student in agricultural economics. To get a sense of the food insecurity impact, in the 2014


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Climate Survey at K-State it was reported that 39% of student respondents said they faced “difficulty affording food.” “College is a time in life where there is not a lot of free time to work and the cost of attending college is incredibly expensive. For people with limited resources, food security is a very big threat,” says Shannon Washburn, assistant dean in academic programs for the College of Agriculture. As a growing population, these statistics represent one of the largest issues facing the K-State community today based on the K-State Climate Survey. Food insecurity exists at K-State and affects many students; however, at the university there are several efforts being done to address the issue of food insecurity.

Fighting the Stigma Being food insecure is much more than the stigma associated with it. “It’s viewed by society at large, as people who are overly

dependent on governmental programs whether intentionally or unintentionally taking advantage of the programs,” Washburn says. Food insecurity “is a householdlevel economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate foods,” based on the definition from the USDA Economic Research Service. Recently, in the U.S. population of over 350 million people, the USDA Economic Research Service conducted a survey in 2015. The survey calculated that 31.6 million people lived in food-insecure households. On a local level, according to a 2102 survey result provided by the Kansas Food Bank, there are 13,240 people in Riley County, Kansas, who identify as living in a food insecure household. “These people are often viewed as people not willing to work for themselves and that is inaccurate to what food insecurity means,” Washburn says. Food insecurity is the constant battle to overtake, which seems never ending; however, since 2014

in the U.S. food insecurity has dropped by 2 percent. After several decades living in a nation fighting food insecurity, the work of helping and educating has just begun. But work is being done to address the issue on a local level at K-State.

Initiating a Difference At the university, several projects exist to reduce food insecurity: HandsOn K-State; Introduction to Leadership 212; Cats 4 Cans; a campus pantry; and the Global Food Systems Leadership secondary major. “There is such a large group of students who see it as a need, not just the students who are food insecure. It’s everybody on campus,” Zwick says. HandsOn Kansas State, encourages leadership through work in service and volunteering. Specifically, according to the organization’s website, they provide events such as a “food distribution that will accommodate families and individuals who can drive through with vehicles and those walking without transportation.” HOKS “will continue to address the “hidden hunger” and financial stress many

students feel after paying tuition, books, and housing cost.” At the Staley School of Leadership Studies, a group of students recently conducted a survey that gave many student responses. In the study one student shared, “I am head of a six-member family and as an international grad student I’m limited to work 20 hours a week. Some agencies are unable to help. Sometimes agencies say it was my choice to come here and it’s my responsibility to cover all costs of my family. Hopefully one day, they’ll review

The cost of attending college is incredibly expensive. For people with limited resources, food security is a very big threat.

Shannon Washburn College of Agriculture assistant dean their policies and do a better job for the academic community and its international members.”

The collaborative work of Introduction to Leadership 212 and The Flint Hills Breadbasket has created an additional resource for people of the community to use. In Fall 2013, a total of 15,978 pounds of food and $1,635 was donated to the Flint Hills Breadbasket, according to the Kansas State University website. The program continues to run each semester at K-State. The campus pantry is still in the works. “Currently we are waiting for our space migration plan right now, just looking for a space on campus to become available. We already have donors coming through willing to donate food, fridges, freezer and more,” says Zwick. Actively there is a small campus pantry located in the Office of Student Life. “The real challenge is two things — a space issue and making sure it’s staffed by someone to keep it stocked, but not getting abused,” Washburn says. Multiple organizations and programs at the university are putting their best efforts forward when it comes to the rising issue of food insecurity, but who knows where the next steps will lead. Washburn says, “there is more work to be done, but if more people would do a little we could make a bigger difference.” K

The small food pantry located in the Office of Student Life is just the beginning of food security for all K-State students.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


College of Agriculture students foster community in their classes and as resident assistants. Story by Beth Cooper


or students in the College of Agriculture, hard work is normal. Long days working and studying create predictable routines. But for some College of Agriculture students, those routines are not as simple as they have learned to balance their academic and social lives with the added responsibilities of being resident assistants (RAs) in different residence halls and at oncampus apartments. According to the Kansas State University Department of Housing and Dining, their position requires that they remain full-time students with at least a 2.5 GPA, help form community, enforce policy and remain a good example for their residents.

Being a RA People can be fickle, and when a position places someone in charge of a group of people, every day can be unpredictable, so for


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RAs, consistency of knowing that nothing will be consistent is always true. Ultimately though, these students find their job rewarding. “The most influential moments are times where I see my residents or former residents showing growth and making a positive impact around them,” says Jacob Wilson, a fourth-year bakery science and industry student. Wilson has been a RA in Marlatt Hall for two years and lived in Moore Hall as a resident before that. “I realized pretty early on in my time at K-State that I wanted to become an RA, but I wasn’t exactly sure why,” Wilson says. “A lot of my strengths, such as includer, positivity and individualization are centered around people, which is perfect for the RA role.” Across campus in the Derby community, Tyler Clements, a third-year park management and conservation student, experienced

his first year of being a RA in Moore Hall. “I’ve enjoyed watching residents find their own way at K-State and what that means for them,” Clements says.

Building Community The mission statement of the Department of Housing and Dining Services says, “We will support students by engaging in collaborative relationships that encourage scholarship, community and self-discovery. By creating intentional environments of quality and care, we will enable students, faculty and staff to achieve excellence.” While this is what Housing and Dining strives to achieve in their oncampus living environment, these ideas of engaging, scholarship, community, quality and care can be found within the College of Agriculture as well. For some this

is what drives students toward becoming a RA. “Last year, I lived off campus. It did not take long for me to feel kind of disconnected from my friends and people on campus,” says Chantelle Simon, a fourth-year agricultural communications and journalism student. “I did not have a community. I also knew that as an RA, I could potentially make a positive impact on someone’s life, and that was humbling.” Programs like agricultural communications and journalism echo those ideas with their tight-knit community formed during classes. “I have had to fight for time with my friends,” Simon says. “I spend so much time with my residents that I sometimes forget that I have friends outside of the building. This semester I have tried to commit to spending more time with friends outside of the dorms.” Community is an important aspect of life at K-State, regardless of the type, the family feeling is always present. Wilson has seen a wide range of communities in his time at K-State and has seen how different groups form and function. “Each year presents new excitements and challenges,” Wilson says. “I have witnessed communities crop up in my classes and labs. Some of my favorite classroom memories come from students bonding together during labs and in tough classes.”

time, struggling with something, etc., I empathize with them,” Simon says. “I do not want to see them upset, and it is hard because sometimes there is nothing I can do. I deeply care for my residents, and I just want them to be happy and successful.” In addition to empathizing when residents are going through tough times, RAs face challenges when they put the pressure on themselves as well. “Most of my most difficult moments have involved feelings of inadequacy,” Wilson says. “It can be tough when you feel like you are letting others down. It has been important to remember to focus on keeping myself healthy first, so that I can still be able to help those around me.” Although the role is challenging and stressful, these RAs find the moments that make it all worthwhile. One of Simon’s most rewarding moments came from a night where her residents shared

their stories and opened up about the good and the bad times to each other. “People were crying and reassuring one another,” Simon says. “It was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever been a part of. After most everyone had shared, there was a giant group hug. I was so blown away by their openness and was proud that they were so supportive of one another. It was a super validating moment.” K

A lot of my strengths, such as includer, positivity and individualization are centered around people, which is perfect for the RA role.

Jacob Wilson bakery science and industry student

What Makes the Job Rewarding Every position has aspects that make the role both rewarding and difficult. Being an RA comes with its own unique challenges, especially when residents are navigating their way through difficulties. “Any time that my residents are hurting, going through a rough

Jacob Wilson, Chantelle Simon and Tyler Clements balance school work and social life while adding life as a resident assistant to their list of activities.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist



Agriculturist • Fall 2017

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Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Two Kansas State professors create new biodegradable adhesive tape.


icture this. You have just finished painting and are cleaning up the mess of painting tape, and you think to yourself how cool it would be if your wad of tape could be biodegradable. This issue is one that two Kansas State University professors, Susan Sun, university distinguished professor in grain science and industry and Donghai Wang, professor in biological and agricultural engineering, have been researching together with their graduate students. The two scientists have conducted research resulting in a patented biodegradable resin, meaning it has the ability to be decomposed by bacteria and other living organisms, for adhesives and coatings. “Tape has a lot of applications, after seeing how much painting


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

tape is wasted — we thought that the biodegradable tape would be much more effective and better for the environment,” Susan Sun says. Waste reduction is something that anybody can do to help save the environment Sun says, adding

After seeing how much painting tape is wasted – we thought that the biodegradable tape would be much more effective and better for the environment.

Susan Sun grain science and industry distinguished professor that their research is helping farmers who are looking for

Story by Madison Ogle

alternative ways to add value to their commodities.

Alternative Plant Uses The biodegradable resin developed by the K-State professors is made from soybean, corn and other plant oils. Common resins are made from petroleum-based products and are less sustainable. The project started receiving funding in 2009 provided by the Kansas Soybean Commission. “We found that during the chemical reaction, that the elastomers (polymers having both viscosity and elasticity) became sticky,” she says. “We noticed that backbone polymer chains hold the sticky part in place, but when you want to remove it you can just peel it off.”

Patented Into Future “The adhesive from soybean oil is good for painter’s tape, labels, packing tapes, stationary notes and many other uses,” Sun says. In 2012, USDA NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture) granted the researchers the availability to explore another non-food type of oil seeds. With additional research, chemistry showed that camelina oil is not just an adhesive similar to soybean, but the resin can be applied as hardwood coating. “By adjusting the ratio of backbone polymers and sticky groups, we were able to develop various coatings,” Sun says. The

coating could be applied to “wood surfaces, slick magazine pages, bags of potato chips and many other surfaces.” The new cost-saving patent is “unique because it can stick to surfaces longer compared with the initial formula derived from hydrolyzed soybean oil, it has a longer shelf life and is more waterresistant,” she says. The biodegradable resin patent was issued to Kansas State University Research Foundation. The patented resin was primarily funded by Kansas Soybean Commission and the United Soybean Board.

Susan Sun (right), grain science and industry distinguished professor, was a lead developer for the biodegradable resin.

“For the future, our goal is to increase the tapes adhesive strength for it to be used as structure tapes; like construction and automobiles,” Sun says. “In addition, we plan to make the resin stronger and more durable for coating; like hardwood flooring.” People just need to remember, “Research takes time. Don’t give up. You just need to be patient with what you are doing,” Sun says, and “passion for research is an important character of a scientist,” Wang says. K

The biodegradable resin up close.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Spoon University is a club where food junkies can express their passion for food. Story by Brooke Haas


club that started from scratch on Kansas State University’s campus, is now making its way to the plate. Spoon U provides a positive outlook about food for the younger generation with a mission to “make food make sense.” Spoon U targets college students who may not know how to cook or are cooking with limited resources. There are 270 college Spoon U chapters with a total of 10,969 members. Spoon U reaches out to students or anyone interested in journalism, marketing and social media. There are numerous things about which to write, tweet and share. From writing and posting recipes to drinks, to how to, to lifestyles, this worldwide organization is allowed on college campuses and encourages students to become involved. Spoon U gives national


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

exposure to work created by college clubs.

Mix it All Together Topanga McBride, editorial director for K-State’s Spoon U club and third-year student in agricultural communications and journalism, describes the club as a mix between the Food Network and BuzzFeed. “It is a resource about food, like Food Network, but it has the voice and young people focus of BuzzFeed,” McBride says. McBride oversees the content production for Spoon U at K-State. She approves local pitches, edits and publishes articles, and communicates with Spoon U headquarters on behalf of the K-State chapter. McBride says everyone can relate to food, which is the main end product of agriculture.

“Spoon University is writing about food, so by extension, it is writing about agriculture,” McBride says. Joining Spoon U was an easy decision for McBride. She was excited to share her knowledge of agriculture with a new audience. “When it comes to agriculture advocacy, we in agriculture are always struggling to figure out how to actually reach the consumers to tell our story and how to tell our story in a way that will matter,” she says. “Spoon U makes that easy.”

Agvocating Food As social media manager for Spoon U, Tarra Rotstein, secondyear agribusiness student, oversees and creates content for the chapter’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Rotstein says she loves to include her agriculture knowledge in everything she posts for Spoon U. She says she enjoys posting about things from food safety to a consumer’s supply chain, or even simply explaining what is happening in the food industry. When Rostein joined Spoon U, she says it was a great outlet for her to “agvocate” for agriculture. Since the club is all about food, she says it relates directly to agriculture.

Consumers now are more concerned about the food they eat and where it comes from. “This makes Spoon University the perfect way to distribute content about agriculture and the food industry to younger consumers,” Rotstein says. Third-year food science student, Kayla Daniel, serves as treasurer for Spoon U.

Daniel says her favorite part about Spoon U is that it is strictly about food. “We write about it, take photos of it and during meetings, occasionally, we eat it,” Daniel says. Because of her passion for food science, Daniel says Spoon U was the perfect fit for her. Daniel says, “Since I am a food science major, I am always on the lookout for food- centered groups on campus, and this one really fit what I was looking for.” K

It is a resource about food, like Food Network, but it has the voice and young people focus of BuzzFeed.

Topanga McBride agricultural communications and journalism student

Spoon University is a national organization that brings foodie blogs to college students at various universities. Topanga McBride, Tarra Rostein and Kayla Daniel serve as officers for the Kansas State University chapter of Spoon University.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Everything students need to know about graduate school.


hen applying for graduate school, there are many things to consider such as what to study, where to study and how to pay for it. Graduate adviser Travis O’Quinn and graduate students Ashley Lorence and Kelly Vierck answer students’ questions and offer advice.

Graduate School 101 The first thing to consider is why. “I liked the family environment and decided to stay and continue my education,” Lorence says. Lorence, a graduate student in agronomy, also earned an undergraduate degree from Kansas State University. “I like teaching and want to eventually become a professor and teach,” Vierck says. Vierck is studying meat science for her graduate research and got her undergraduate degree in food science from Oklahoma State University. “Sometimes you have to wait for funding, to see if the professor can take a graduate student on,” Lorence says.


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Lorence spoke to a few professors about what was available before she decided what to study. O’Quinn, graduate adviser for Vierck, says, “When the students come to me, they understand what they are going to study with me.” Lorence wanted to work with wheat, narrowing her options down to Kansas and Oklahoma. She decided on K-State because she did her undergraduate research with Dorivar Ruiz Diaz and his Ph.D. student Cristie Edwards.

Talk to current grad students in that program because what they are doing in their life is what (prospective graduate student’s) life is going to look like.

Travis O’Quinn graduate student adviser

Story by Sarah Krehbiel “I had a good working connection with Dorivar and Cristie and didn’t want to move again,” Lorence says. O’Quinn does not help students decide where to study, but he helps them find the right fit if needed. “Grad school has a limited number of spots; I do help students find the right place for them.” After deciding where to go, students must figure out how to pay for graduate school.

Paying for Graduate School A graduate student can either be a graduate research assistant or a graduate teaching assistant. Tuition for graduate research assistants is paid through the department. “Some students are funded through grants, their tuition is covered that way,” Lorence says. Graduate teaching assistants teach classes, which can involve leading an introductory level class or coaching a judging team. “As a graduate teaching assistant, the department covers my tuition. The rest of it is paid for by Free Application for Student Aid and student loans,” Vierck says.

The office of Federal Student Aid provides grants, loans and workstudy funds to students attending college or career school. Students should also consider the “salary for grad students at other schools and cost of living,” Lorence says.

Important Things to Consider “One of the things I think you need is exposure to research because grad school is research,” Vierck says. “You also need to pick a field that you are really interested in. When you have a subject that you are passionate about it will make it easier.” Another thing to consider is “the environment you want to be in,” Lorence says.

She adds that students need to decide if they are looking for an agricultural commodity that is not in Kansas. In that case, they will need to look at other schools. “Pick an adviser you can have a good working relationship with,” O’Quinn says. He adds it is important to make sure the major will match the student’s chosen field. “Talk to current grad students in that program because what they are doing in their life is what (prospective graduate student’s) life is going to look like,” O’Quinn says.

Last Minute Advice

She advises students to contact the faculty member a year or more ahead to be sure he or she has funding. Vierck encourages students to read papers written by the instructor to see if the research area will hold your interest. “Make sure to have fun because when you are bogged down on research projects it gets monotonous,” Lorence says. “Make sure to have a social life.” Being a graduate student is your first job, O’Quinn says. He adds, “It takes more hours and work, and students fail to realize that until they are already there.” K

“I would contact the person you are interested in working with for grad school,” Vierck says.

Graduate students have the opportunity to choose a graduate research assistant route or a graduate teaching assistant route and work with a professor in their respective departments. Top left: Kelly Vierck, graduate student in meat science. Bottom left: O’Quinn and Vierck show off lab equipment. Top center: Travis O’Quinn, graduate adviser. Bottom center: Ashley Lorence, graduate student in agronomy. Far right: Lorence works in the field.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Farm Bill: AThe conditions in which the 2018 Farm Bill will be debated are just about right, Flinchbaugh says. “I would much rather debate a farm bill when incomes are low in farm country than when they’re high,” Flinchbaugh says. “And that gets more and more true every cycle because there are so few of us left.”

Trade: FTwenty-five percent of American agricultural produts find homes outside of the U.S. “I am firmly convinced that Trump is an old-fashioned protectionist,” Flinchbaugh says. “If he walked in here tonight, I would tell him, ‘Which 25 percent of America’s farmers are you going to put out of business with your trade policy that won’t work?’”

Story by Kaitlyn Alanis

K-State professor Barry Flinchbaugh grades Trump’s agriculture policy.


arry Flinchbaugh, professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University, presented a lecture titled “Ag Policy in the Trump Administration” for the Food for Thought Upson Lectures Series’ 14th lecture. Chance Hunley, agricultural communications and journalism student and president of Food for Thought, says they selected Flinchbaugh because of his agricultural policy expertise. “With a new administration, there can be a lot of uncertainty among the farm and agricultural community,” Hunley says. “We thought it was a great opportunity to spread the message to a college audience of people who haven’t hit the workforce yet. Even to


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

experts, ag policy is going to look uncertain, but we are in a good position to establish longstanding, beneficial ag policy for the next generation.” Flinchbaugh says politics is a “mixed bag” under the Trump administration and predicting policy has never been as difficult as it is during this presidency. “I’m going to look at four big issues and I’m going to do what I’ve done now for 50 years: hand out grades,” Flinchbaugh says.

Immigration: C Flinchbaugh says agriculture needs a permanent, legal and immigrant workforce. “You have to milk those cows every day,” Flinchbaugh says. “A seasonal workforce doesn’t work. That is so simple, I can even teach that to KU students.”

Deregulation: AFlinchbaugh says the rules and regulations under Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration will put value-based marketing at risk. “We’ll revert back to one-sizefits-all buying principle that will hurt meat demands,” Flinchbaugh says. “So that’s just two major regulations that are important to agriculture that the president has agreed to eliminate.” K

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College of Agriculture


Meat Animal Evaluation Team Wins Nationals Kansas State University’s Meat Animal Evaluation team’s national contest was held at Kansas State and the team says they set out to defend their national champion title from the 2015 season. “For three days we evaluated live animals and judged carcasses, we judge the fat thickness of animals and then had to give reasons for the ways we placed classes,” says Lauren Ivey, fourth-year student in animal sciences and industry. The college hosted teams from all over the country. After the long, mentally trying contest according to Ivey, Kansas State took home their second consecutive national championship led by their coaches, Travis O’Quinn and Chris Mullinix and assistant coaches Lauren Prill and Austin Langemeier. Along with the title, team member Chase Gleason took home the honor of

high individual in the contest and Shelby Teague and Brook Jensen placed among the top five individuals. “It was months of preparation for the national contest and when it finally came, I was so nervous,” Ivey says. But after the first day we felt pretty strong on how we did. All our hard work paid off.”

Agriculture Students Finalists in K-State Voice Adam Johnson, fourth-year student majoring in bakery science and Braidyn Rucker, fourth-year student majoring in agricultural communications and journalism and animal sciences and industry, were chosen as two of the nine finalists for the Kansas State University’s Voice competition on April 1, 2017. The voice competition is held each year to search for the best singing talent across campus. Students submit a recording from which the top 15 students are chosen to audition in front of three coaches. Resembling “The Voice” on television, each judge can pick three students to join their team. “When she (coach Patricia Thompson) turned around for me, I was surprised because I didn’t think anyone would turn around for me,” Johnson says. Auditioning with the song “Never Alone” by Lady Antebellum, Rucker says she felt overwhelmed knowing that she was chosen from so many students as one of


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Story by Ashley Tercero

Story by Shaylee Arpin

the top nine. Previously, Rucker sang in the K-State Idol competition and was chosen as second runner-up. Outside of their passion for singing, the two share a passion for segments of the agriculture industry. Rucker and Johnson’s respective sectors of the industry are connected from grain to product, while Rucker works with a local cooperative helping farmers to harvest the best grains, and Johnson uses the end products to create food concoctions.

Mr. Ag Named During Ag Fest On April 11, 2017 in Weber 123, seven men from the College of Agriculture compted in the Mr. Ag competition, part of the Ag Council’s annual Ag Fest. Matthew Anguiano, Anthony Hecht, Trent Johnson, Shane Newton, Trenton Smedley, Gideon Butler-Smith and Ethan Sylvester were all competing for the title. The competition consisted of four rounds: a K-State game day attire round, a formal attire round, a talent round and a round of questions for each contestant. A panel of judges scored the contestants individually in each round to choose the 2017 Mr. Ag. The College of Agriculture’s student council also took to Twitter, getting followers to vote for their favorite contestant. In the end, Johnson was named the 2017 Mr. Ag. “The competition was a lot of fun and all the guys were there to win,” says Johnson. “But we were still able

Story by Karli Pryor to joke with each other and keep the competition a fun event for Ag Fest.” The Mr. Ag competition was just one of several events put on during Ag Fest. Other events included a dodgeball tournament, a corn hole tournament and banquet.

K-State Dairy Challenge Team Places Second On March 30, 2017, the Kansas State University Dairy Challenge team placed second at the Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge in Visalia, California. The team consisted of four members: Jocelyn Flowers, Stephanie Geven, Audrey Schmitz and Michael Rottinghaus. Each member has a background in the dairy industry and says they wish to continue in the industry after they graduate from K-State. The team attends two main competitions: the regional competition, held in Wisconsin, and the national competition held in California. The team started practicing in January at the beginning of the spring semester, and since practiced once a week. Different areas of competition includes: nutrition, management, calves, milk quality, reproduction and analyzing herd records.

Story by Brooke Haas

Throughout the semester, Johnson says the team went to different farms and applied what he taught them. “The Dairy Challenge is training students how to be a consultant on the farm. We spend time in the classroom going through the different areas of dairy,” says Johnson. “We would go on farms and evaluate the records for the dairy and their facilities, cow comfort, health, reproduction and milk quality,” Johnson says.

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


College of Agriculture


Silver Key Selects Agriculture Students In the spring of 2017, the Silver Key sophomore honorary society selected 40 new members, and of those members, six were students from the College of Agriculture. While their majors vary, their passion for community service was what connected them. “Service was a large part of my high school experiences,” says Maci Rockers, food science and industry student. “I believe that Silver Key will let me outreach to an even greater number of people.” Along with Rockers and Swearingen, Clara Wicoff and Taylor Nikkel, both agricultural economics students; Trenton Smedley, Bryn Swearingen and Margaret Roth, agribusiness students; and Delany Keeler, animal science student and biotechnology student, were also chosen to join Silver Key. To be eligible for Silver Key, students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average, be a 2016 high school graduate and in their freshman year at the university.

In the past projects have included: hosting children from the Boys and Girls Club at a K-State men’s basketball game, Sleep Out for the Homeless fundraiser benefiting the Manhattan Emergency Shelter, highway and neighborhood cleanup efforts, and afternoon visits to Stoneybrook, a senior living community in Manhattan.

Dean John Floros Receives Diversity Award Recipients of the Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award are individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity at Kansas State University or the Manhattan community as a whole. John D. Floros, dean of agriculture, exhibits of both of these qualities. “When Floros joined the College of Agriculture in 2012, he quickly realized the importance of the Diversity Program’s Office and its success,” said Steven Graham, assistant to the dean and director. Floros was awarded with the 2017 Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award on Feb 15, 2017. After receiving the honor, he spoke about the importance of diversity. This award is given in memory of Wallace Ray Kidd who, after serving in World War II and being honorably discharged, enrolled at K-State majoring in entomology and parasitology. He was the first black graduate from entomology and ways always willing to help minority students on campus.


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Story by Beth Cooper

Story by Madison Blevins

“Floros has supported the efforts of Dr. Zelia Wiley and her talented staff in recruiting, supporting and retaining the increasing number of diverse students in the college. Dr. Floros has met with the students from time to time and supported various trips to regional and national events. For all these reasons, the students felt that he very much deserved the Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award,” Graham says.

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College of Agriculture Kansas Farm Bureau Kansas 4-H Foundation

Managing the Field Faith Restored Masters of the Green Growing Community

Advertising Index ACJ/Ag Ed Department................................................... Page 4

Kansas Farm Bureau.................................................Back Cover

Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow............Page 23

Kansas Livestock Association......................................Page 13

Agricultural Economics Department.......................Page 22

Kansas Soybean Commission.....................................Page 35

Alpha Gamma Rho............................................................ Page 9

Kansas Wheat Alliance..................................................... Page 4

Animal Science and Industry......................................Page 19

Kansas Wheat Commission..........................................Page 35

ASI Family and Friends Reunion.................................Page 57

KSU Dairy Bar....................................................................Page 47

Beggs Construction........................................................Page 13

Liggett Livestock............................................................... Page 9

Center for Rural Engagement Management.........Page 35

Livestock Direct.................................................................. Page 8

Cody and Ashley Bornholdt.........................................Page 19

Main Street Pizza Café...................................................Page 65

College of Agriculture............................... Inside Front Cover

MANRRS................................................................................ Page 9

College of Agriculture Student Council.................... Page 4

MKC........................................................................................ Page 1

Crop Copter.......................................................................Page 46

Recology Waste Management & Composting......Page 65

FarmHouse Fraternity....................................................Page 34

Rucktought Welding and Fence.................................Page 57

Horticulture and Natural Resources.........................Page 69

Shannon Creek Event Barn..........................................Page 46

Jensen Bros Herefords...................................................Page 13

Staley School of Leadership Studies.........................Page 65

JJ’s Embroidery.................................................................Page 19

Top Rail Cattle Co.............................................................Page 57

K-Bar-S Farms....................................................................Page 57

Unruh Farms......................................................................Page 65

Kansas 4-H Foundation..............................Inside Back Cover

Vanderbilt’s........................................................................Page 56

Kansas Crop Improvement Association..................Page 19

Wrenn Bird Photography..............................................Page 23


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

Staff Editorial

Kaitlyn Alanis Los Banos, CA

Shaylee Arpin Madison Blevins Salina, KS Greeley, KS

Brooke Haas Downs, IL

Madison Ogle Hannah Schlapp Spring Hill, KS Oswego, IL


Beth Cooper Platte Woods, MO

Shakyra Everett Sarah Krehbiel Evanston, IL Inman, KS

Karli Pryor Dixon, CA

Braidyn Rucker Ashley Tercero Newton, KS San Martin, CA

Leadership Team

Celine Beggs

Hannah Johlman Associate Editor

Lead Graphic Designer

Bedford, IA

Sheridan, WY

Valley Falls, KS


Amanda Sales

Fall 2017 • Agriculturist


Page 26

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park drew in 11.3 million visitors last year. Page 38

Six tips from agricultural entrepreneurs on starting your own business. Page 42

Liquid Art Winery has over 7,000 grapevines across 10 acres. Page 50

Philanthropies of K-State have raised $29,000 in 2016 for various causes. Page 58

Two scientists have patented a biodegradable resin for adhesives and coatings.

Did You Miss It?


Agriculturist • Fall 2017

A TRUE LEADER TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR MORE THAN HIMSELF. Give kids the support they need and watch them face the world with compassion and understanding. 4-H empowers kids with the skills they need in life.

Visit to learn how Fall 2017 • Agriculturist you can help grow true leaders in Kansas.


Collegiate Farm Bureau opens doors for future ag leaders.

K-State’s Collegiate Farm Bureau program provides you the opportunity to enhance your leadership skills through hands-on experiences. To help you become one of tomorrow’s agriculture leaders. Build relationships. Connect with students who share your passion and commitment to agriculture.

KA NSAS FARM BUREAU Collegiate Farm Bureau

Interact with leaders and mentors in the agriculture industry. To learn more about K-State’s Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter, contact Edie Doane at | 785-587-6102 or Riley County Farm Bureau at | 785-565-0400.

Kansas State Agriculturist  

Fall 2017 - Volume 63 - Number 2

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