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College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University

Volume 18 Number 1 • Winter/Spring 2016

#stillwaterstrong Homecoming tragedy affects CASNR family

Flying High

Students gain experience at Eagle House

A Night at the Rodeo

CASNR hosts Cowboy Stampede

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Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources

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The AFR Youth Advisory Council participates in agriculture-based service projects throughout the year, assists in planning AFR Youth Program activities, and serves as mentors for Oklahoma youth.

www.IAFR.com | 405.218.5400

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Remembering our T

he Oklahoma State University family and Stillwater community were shocked and deeply saddened by the Homecoming parade tragedy Oct. 24, 2015. Our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones. Two of those killed were near and dear to the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. This issue of the Cowboy Journal is dedicated to a special couple: Marvin and Bonnie Stone. Natives of eastern Colorado, the Stones came to Stillwater in 1982 when Marvin joined the faculty as an assistant professor in what then was known as the agricultural engineering department. He enjoyed a truly distinguished career in research and teaching. He retired from OSU in 2006 as a Regents professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering. Bonnie served more than 33 years as a dedicated staff member at OSU. She made significant contributions in a variety of areas. She most

recently coordinated student information systems operations and training for the OSU Department of Institutional Research and Information Management. Marvin and Bonnie were true difference-makers, and their positive impacts were felt across the university and beyond. Marvin was known as an outstanding teacher on campus. He cared greatly for his students and was able to increase their knowledge and build their confidence. Marvin had a special gift for explaining difficult concepts in ways students could understand. He routinely helped students outside the classroom and made himself a partner in their learning. In terms of research, Marvin was knowledgeable and accomplished in many technical areas. He was a key member of the faculty team that developed the widely acclaimed GreenSeeker technology for variable-rate fertilizer application. He had an international reputation and led the U.S. delegation that met with representatives of many other countries to develop standards for electronic communications on agricultural and off-road equipment.

Marvin was a Fellow in and received several major awards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He received the OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching Award and Regents Distinguished Research Award. In 2005, he received the Eminent Faculty Award, OSU’s highest faculty recognition. Bonnie embodied “service” through helping countless students, faculty, academic advisers and administrators navigate various computer information systems. For many years, she was the guru and go-to person for assistance with “SIS,” the student information system used by every OSU student, adviser and professor. Bonnie went out of her way to assist others, including going to faculty members’ offices to answer questions or taking after-hours telephone calls when the grade submission deadline was near. Marvin and Bonnie Stone were a close team for more than 45 years and were usually seen together around Stillwater. They were upbeat and positive people who always had smiles on their faces. They loved their work, and they loved OSU. The Stones were humble and unassuming, and they consistently displayed concern and compassion for others. Although they had no children of their own, they touched the lives of hundreds of OSU students in significant and lasting ways. Marvin and Bonnie Stone will be greatly missed, but their incredible legacy will be remembered and treasured. The Stone family has directed memorial contributions to the Dr. Marvin Stone Endowed Scholarship at the OSU Foundation at www.osugiving.com. — an editorial by Ron Elliott, former BAE department head, at the request of CJ staff

By wearing kneeling cowboy stickers, the Cowboys honor those affected by the Homecoming parade tragedy. Photo by Bruce Waterfield.

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FROM THE EDITORS First and foremost, we are honored to dedicate this issue of the Cowboy Journal to those killed or injured in the Homecoming tragedy. This publication would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts of the largest staff Cowboy Journal has ever seen. We are pleased to have worked and grown with you this semester. We thank the following for their contributions to this issue: Dana Fisher, Audrey Denney, Todd Johnson, Agatha Adams, Bruce Waterfield, Kristin Knight, David Peters, Phillip Redwine, Megan Karlin, Holly Blakey, Kelsey Conley, Melissa Mourer, Kevin Meeks, Matt Wright, Dwayne Cartmell, Avery Culbertson, Angel Riggs and Traci Naile. Finally, thank you to not only the driving force behind this publication but also our mentor, crisis averter and all-around role model Shelly Peper Sitton. — the Editors


Ashtin Bechtold Tory Dwyer Taylor Roblyer


Shelly Peper Sitton, Ph.D.


Top Cowgirl

OSU honors CASNR student with NCAA nomination

Sweet as Sweis


Limousin World, Oklahoma Farm Bureau and QuadGraphics

Sweis Pita Bakery uses family recipe to bring Mediterranean flavor to Oklahoma


Madison Andersen, Kaylee Cowan, Dakota Davis-Keith, Caitlyn Garner, Taylor Gazda, Rosemary Giannini, Oliver Henderson, Abby Hendrickson, Ashley Judge, Ashton Lierle, Hana Newman, Karli Quinn, Shelby Rogers and Kaitlyn Ryan.

Twirling Dreams of Agriculture


Larriann Chambers

OSU Cowboy Marching Band feature twirler clings to her agricultural roots


Katie Rose Kaitlyn Sanson

Taking Flight


Lindsay King Raney Lovorn

CASNR students gain experience working at the Grey Snow Eagle House

Dwayne Cartmell, Ph.D. Avery Culbertson, Ph.D. Traci Naile, Ph.D. Angel Riggs, Ph.D.

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Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability or status as a veteran in any of its politics, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services. This publication is printed by QuadGraphics-Midland and issued two times a year by agricultural communications seniors in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. It has been prepared and distributed at no cost to the taxpayers of Oklahoma.


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Built from the Ground Up OSU Purebred Beef Center offers learning experiences for students

From Kitchen to Shelf How to commercialize your product with FAPC

Loyal and True Leaders

Students’ passion for OSU rooted in their love of CASNR

Defining Success

Students influence Oklahoma small businesses through the Small Business Development Center

Reflecting Excellence OSU professor Garey Fox wins national teaching award

Management Mastery

CASNR landscape management major offers career opportunities for students

Sleep Tight

Student research investigates chemical resistance in bed bugs

The Centennial is Coming

Collegiate 4-H, the oldest student organization on campus, will turn 100 years old

Growing HOPE

Oklahoma State Cowboys lend a hand in Africa through AgriCorps


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Agriculture’s Future meets America’s Brightest Orange

CASNR supports student involvement in Agriculture Future of America

Regent in Agriculture

Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents member sets a standard of excellence

Beyond Two Brilliant Minds

Two doctoral students set themselves apart as researchers

From Economist to Spy Novelist

New York Times best-selling author tells her own story

And They Call the Thing Rodeo

OSU Rodeo Team hosts second annual Cowboy Stampede

Destination: Land of Smiles An OSU MIAP student travels to Thailand for education, elephants and experience

Giving Value to a Day on the Lake

Agricultural economics faculty, students evaluate recreational value of Grand River Watershed

A Cultural Impact

International students add diversity to the Cowboy family

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58 62 64 70

Fall 2015 International Student Statistics

102 of 196 countries 52% 52% had students enrolled.


Top 5 Countries Enrolled India


Saudi Arabia

Protecting America’s Plates

OSU develops a food safety option for the food science major

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South Korea


165 65 in international students are enrolled en nro in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and A Natural Resources. N Of these, Of these e 132 are graduate students and 33 are undergraduate undergra te students.



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xperience is key when it comes to flying. When a bird learns to fly, it experiences many failed attempts before being successful. These flying experiences are facilitated in Perkins, Okla., at the Grey Snow Eagle House, which is owned and operated by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. “In 2006, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma opened the Grey Snow Eagle House to provide a home and rehabilitation center for injured birds,� said Megan Judkins, aviary assistant manager at the Grey Snow Eagle House. Since the development of the facility, the Iowa Tribe has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department to provide rehabilitation services, homes to non-releasable birds, education and research, Judkins said. The Eagle House now serves as a home to approximately 45 bald and golden eagles. According to the Iowa Tribe, most of the eagles are brought to the facility

This Golden Eagle is one of several birds at the Grey Snow Eagle House used for educational outreach. Outreach education presentations are available for schools, meetings or other events for teaching wildlife conservation. Photo by Ashton Lierle.

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CASNR students gain experience working at the Grey Snow Eagle House because they are injured and unable to survive in the wild. The eagles at the facility come from across Oklahoma as well as from Arkansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Colorado, Oregon and Wisconsin. “Most of the eagles at our facility have either been hit by a car, gunshot or electrocuted,” Judkins said. According to the Iowa Tribe, they would rather see the birds live in the wild, but when they are not able to be released, the Eagle House strives to provide them with the highest standard of living. An intensive care unit at the facility allows injured birds to be cared for as well as possible, Judkins said. “The ICU provides a quiet and peaceful place for the birds while they are healing,” Judkins said. “It also provides a place for our staff to carefully monitor the injured birds.” When an eagle is almost ready to be returned to the wild, the staff moves it to the rehabilitation flight cage to assess its

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flight strength and patterns, Judkins said. The eagle is returned to the wild when it can hunt effectively, she added. While the Grey Snow Eagle House is changing the lives of injured eagles, it also offers opportunities to Oklahoma State University students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The facility has six volunteers and 10 employees. Judkins said several student volunteers and employees are studying or have studied in CASNR. Judkins said the students involved at the Eagle House come from all different majors within OSU and CASNR. “Working at a facility like this can be beneficial to students from all different majors,” Judkins said. “Vet students, leadership majors, students wanting to go into law enforcement, you name it, and there is something for everyone to learn here.” Mallory Nailon, an animal science senior from Baytown, Texas, started volunteering in 2012 after hearing about the

Grey Snow Eagle House at an OSU event to showcase volunteer opportunities. “Being an animal science major, I thought volunteering at the Eagle House would be a great experience and résumé builder,” Nailon said. Sue Fairbanks, assistant professor in the OSU Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, said hands-on experience is incredibly important. “For students to be competitive for jobs after they graduate, they need experience,” Fairbanks said. “The Grey Snow Eagle House is a great place for students to gain that experience.” Keaton Garland, a wildlife ecology and management senior from Glenpool, Okla., said she learned about the Grey Snow Eagle House when Judkins spoke in one of her classes. “Last summer, I stayed in Stillwater and was needing something to do that could help me gain experience with animals, so I started volunteering,” Garland

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said. “In August, I was asked to start work- beneficial to them as the hands-on experience, Fairbanks said. ing at the facility as an employee.” “By networking with people in this For most of the students who work field of work, students can decide exactly at the Grey Snow Eagle House, gaining what career field they want to pursue,” experience is the most important thing for Fairbanks said. “The people the students them, Judkins said. They can learn a varimeet could also lead to a potential job or ety of things at the facility they may not internship opportunity.” ever experience in a classroom, she added. Nailon said “The volWorking at the Grey Snow working at the eagle unteers start by Eagle House has reinforced my house is preparing shadowing an employee to learn career goals and driven me to want her to begin her doctor of veterinary the ins and outs to help animals even more. medicine degree. of daily operaShe said she plans to tions,” Judkins — Mallory Nailon become a small-anisaid. “The volunGrey Snow Eagle House Volunteer mal veterinarian and teers eventually also work in wildlife rehabilitation. start doing tasks on their own when the “I would love the opportunity to employees feel they have the experience be able to help animals that have been necessary to work alone.” affected by oil spills or other things that Some of the tasks employees and have caused them to need rehabilitation,” volunteers complete on a daily basis are Nailon said. “Working at the Grey Snow cleaning the birdcages, preparing food for Eagle house has reinforced my career goals the birds, feeding the birds, and observing and driven me to want to help animals rehabilitation practices. even more.” The networking the students gain by Garland said she had no idea what she working at the Grey Snow House is just as

wanted to do as a career until she started working at the Grey Snow Eagle House. “I know now I definitely want to pursue a career in animal rehabilitation,” Garland said. “After I graduate, I am going to continue working at the Grey Snow Eagle House as a full-time employee.” For the students working at the Grey Snow Eagle House, every hour of experience they get is going to be beneficial for them, Judkins said. This facility is not only beneficial for the eagles but also for the volunteers and staff. The Grey Snow Eagle House can be credited for students being able to reach new heights. To learn more about the Grey Snow Eagle House and volunteer opportunities, visit bahkhoje.com/tour/grey-snow-eagle-house.

Ashton Lierle Fort Cobb, Okla.

Mallory Nailon cleans one of the eight bird cages at the Grey Snow Eagle House. Cleaning the cages every day provides a sanitary and healthy environment for the birds. Photo by Ashton Lierle.


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Boots and batons have been and continue to be a big part of Matti Diener’s life. Photo Illustrations by Lindsay King.

parkles and batons. Boots and spurs. Matti Diener is much more than the Cowboy Marching Band’s feature twirler. The agricultural communications junior is sticking to her agricultural roots while continuing to perform nationwide. As the daughter of a high school football coach, Diener watched countless twirling performances under the Friday night lights. When she was 8 years old, she begged her mom to let her start taking twirling lessons. “When I was 12, we moved to the Kansas City area, and I got a really great coach,” Diener said. “He took me to an elite level, and I traveled all over twirling and competing. I just fell in love with it, and I guess the rest is history.” In junior high, Diener attended a camp at Oklahoma State University and met Ally Akers, the OSU feature twirler before Diener. That camp experience with Akers convinced Diener she wanted to be a twirler in college, she said. “The problem with wanting to be the university twirler is it only opens up every fourth or fifth year and you have to be very lucky for it to hit at the right time,” said Marvin Diener, Diener’s father. “Ally twirled for a fifth year, and it made this whole opportunity possible. When that happened, there was no question. OSU went straight to the top of Matti’s list.” Diener had several twirling auditions at universities across the nation, and OSU happened to be the first. The committee knew this and offered her the position over the phone as Diener and her family left Stillwater for home, said Douglas Henderson, Cowboy Marching Band director. “I can remember back to her audition and how she completely blew us away,” Henderson said. “We sat way at the top of Boone Pickens Stadium to see how they could perform to somebody that far


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OSU Cowboy Marching Band feature twirler clings to her agricultural roots away. The entire committee agreed she was ciation championship where she placed in the top 10 in five twirling events and definitely the one.” was named the National and World Open Auditions consisted of a twirling Three-Baton Champion. performance in the stadium as well as “It was neat to represent Oklahoma a personal interview for each candidate State at nationals because there are twirlers immediately afterward, Henderson said. from all across the country,” Diener said. “I would be lying if I said I didn’t get “Even though I am from Kansas, I love nervous — I do,” Diener said. “The mingetting to represent OSU and the state ute we start our performance, the nerves of Oklahoma.” disappear. I love workI can remember back to If twirling ing with the Cowboy and competing Marching Band.” her audition and how she nationally was Game days start completely blew us away ... not enough at 7 a.m. and last long after the final whistle, The entire committee agreed for Diener, she earned the she said. With five she was definitely the one. Miss Heart of performances for each home game, she said, — Douglas Henderson Kansas crown it takes a tremendous Cowboy Marching Band Director in a preliminary pageant amount of dedication for Miss Kansas. She will compete in June and passion to twirl at the collegiate and 2016 for the state title. national level. “I am really excited for this next chap“My life revolves around twirling, and ter in my life to compete for Miss Kansas,” it is why I am at OSU,” Diener said. “I enjoy every moment of it, and every time I Diener said. “It is another chance for me to twirl again and give back to the comget to perform I feel so blessed. Twirling is munity that raised me.” a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it.” Aside from performing and competDiener is her own section in the band ing in twirling and pageants, Diener and choreographs all of her routines with also serves on the leadership team help from Akers, who serves as her coordifor the Cowboy Marching nator. Diener said Akers plays an integral role in each of her performances, helps her Band. Henderson said stay on schedule, and provides feedback on she helps band members learn the routines. “Ally is my constant support and helps calm down the nerves,” Diener said. “I am really grateful she is around. She keeps me focused and also is the first one to give me a pat on the back.” In addition to twirling for OSU, Diener competes in twirling competitions across the nation in the spring and summer months. She competed at the 2015 National Baton Twirling Asso-

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the drills, especially when new routines and choreography are introduced. “One thing I love about Matti is that she is so approachable,” he said. “Diener helps the members learn new drills or even dance moves and teaches them in a way they can easily understand and perform well. She is a great performer and an even better team member.” Twirling at OSU is more about performing than competing, as they are vastly different, said Lessie Diener, the twirler’s mother. She said her daughter developed this mentality from her years of showing horses with her local 4-H club in Kansas. “4-H is focused on service and putting your best forward,” Lessie Diener said. “This totally matched up with twirling. She even compared her first twirling competition to a horse show.” Often stereotyped as a city girl, Diener is far from it, Marvin Diener said. She grew up riding and showing horses in

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Gardner, Kan., a town most people would consider rural. “4-H really helped me know how to carry myself and develop a strong work ethic,” Diener said. “I love that everything came back together at Oklahoma State. Not only am I pursuing my dream of twirling, but 4-H and agriculture are going to be part of my life, too.” As a freshman, Diener was a business management major but she switched to agricultural communications with an agricultural economics minor as a sophomore. “Matti has always been around agriculture, but until she got to OSU, agriculture didn’t spark her interest as far as a major goes,” Lessie Diener said. “She truly found a love for agricultural communications, and we are thrilled for Matti.” With the intent of pursuing broadcasting, Diener is keeping an open mind about the opportunities available by getting a degree in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “This is a very established and credible diploma for her to have,” Marvin Diener said. “She will have more opportunities because of her degree, and I really expect her to do the very best with it.” As the feature twirler, Diener has connected with possible employers and industry leaders, which can be just as valuable as the education she is receiving, Marvin Diener said. “There is a real need for more people to communicate to the public what is going on in the agricultural industry,” Diener said. “There are a lot of things the general public does not know, and I hope to change that.” The first class she took as an agricultural communications major was a speech class where she truly found her voice and passion for agriculture, Diener said.

Matti Diener twirls competitively and was named the National and World Open Three-Baton Champion in 2015. Photo by Lindsay King.

“Matti had a voice before she ever entered my classroom,” said Avery Culbertson, OSU adjunct agricultural communications instructor. “She learned how to hone-in and build on her skills through the class, but she already had the solid foundation for what she wants to accomplish in agricultural communications.” Diener sought this major on her own accord and has been a remarkable addition to the department as a student, Culbertson said. She is every professor’s dream when it comes to having her in class and interacting with her, she added. “Being an agricultural communica-

Become a sponsor for CASNR’s


College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University

Lindsay King Oakland, Neb.


Volume 18 Number 1 • Winter/Spring 2016

#stillwaterstrong Homecoming tragedy affects CASNR family

Flying High

Students gain experience at Eagle House


A Night at the Rodeo

CASNR hosts Cowboy Stampede

For more information, email Shelly Sitton at shelly.sitton@okstate.edu.

tions major has opened so many doors as far as future career opportunities go,” Diener said. “It is crazy how the cards fell. I came here for twirling, not knowing what I wanted to do, and I narrowed my path and became an agricultural communications major. I am so grateful for how it all worked out.”

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W h at e v e r i s h a p p e n i n g i n y o u r l i f e ,

t h ere’s a go o d c hance your

col l ege ex p e ri e n ce h e l p e d yo u get to w h ere yo u are to day. W h en you reflect on that ti m e , yo u may b e ove rwh elmed by fo n d memo ries — meet in g your spouse, cel eb rat i n g a b i g fo o t b a l l win , pu llin g an all-n ig h ter to s t u dy o r laughing with p eop l e w h o b e c a me yo u r l i felo n g frien ds . To day’s O kla h o ma S t a te University stud ents a re h av i n g t h e s a me experien ces as t h ey pu rs u e brig h t o range futures. Vi s i t OS U g i vi n g.co m to l e a rn h ow yo u can be a par t o f t h eir jo u rn ey.

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Top Left: The beef center was located west of the current Animal Science Building before finding a new home in 1971 west of Stillwater, Okla. Top Right: Students and faculty worked with and cared for the college’s livestock. Bottom Left: The three-story multi-purpose livestock building, built in 1901, housed cattle, milking stalls, horses and equipment at Oklahoma A&M College. Bottom Right: Students studying animal science took classes in the first Animal Husbandry building at Oklahoma A&M College. Photos Courtesy of OSU Special Collections and University Archives.


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from the ground

OSU Purebred Beef Center offers learning experiences for students


ince its beginning in the early 1900s, the historic Purebred Beef Center, or PBC, at Oklahoma State University has offered animal science students unique educational experiences and opportunities while contributing to student success after graduation. Livestock barns were among the first buildings constructed at Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College to educate agricultural students on livestock form and function. In 1891, four tracts of land transferred to Oklahoma A&M created a land-grant university and a 200-acre agricultural experiment station. A multi-purpose barn built in 1892 stood as the first facility on the campus. “The college and agricultural experiment station wanted to create an agricultural center on the campus not only for academic purposes,” said Bob Kropp, professor emeritus of animal science, “but also to attract statewide gatherings of farmers, livestock competitions, judging contests and agricultural exhibits.” The Oklahoma Legislature approved a livestock-judging pavilion for students to study animal form and function in 1910. The beef center found a home in 1925 where the University Health Center stands today. In 1971, faculty chose to relocate to a larger location, Kropp said. Construction began for the new center, which has remained in the same location — three miles west of Stillwater on the north side of Oklahoma Highway 51 — to this day.

Members of 4-H and FFA from across “In the 1920s, Dr. Warren Blizzard the state also benefit from the beef center, and Dr. Albert Darlow decided OSU was Kropp said. going to have great purebred livestock and “From the outset, our goal was to great judging teams,” said Mark Johnson, supervisor of the OSU PBC. “They set the have the most outstanding purebred livestock of any land-grant university,” wheels in motion.” Johnson said. “The best quality and educaBlizzard was the head of the Oklahotional experiences for students, judging ma A&M animal husbandry department teams and purebred livestock were going in 1919. to be something we were famous for.” Darlow was an Oklahoma A&M aniThe PBC began with a primarily mal husbandry faculty member from 1919 Hereford and to 1943. In the Angus herd. Limspan of 20 years, Purebred cattle are bred ousin, Brangus, he led four naand raised at OSU to furnish Simmental and tional championship livestock students with examples of high- Polled Herefords added to judging teams. performing, genetically superior, were the herd in 1980, He became Johnson said. chairman of the modern-type cattle. Cattle raised animal husband— Bob Kropp at the PBC are ry department Professor Emeritus of Animal Science pictures of success in 1943 and in the show ring, he added. later became the dean of agriculture and “We’ve had a tremendous run,” Johnpresident of Oklahoma A&M. son said. “They began to establish a culture of Steers raised at the PBC won nationgood livestock,” Johnson said. “To this al titles for OSU at the Chicago North day, we have unparalleled purebred liveAmerican International show. Winning stock in the animal science department. It steers toured the United States via railcar is unbelievably good all the way through with a herdsman in the 1930s and 1940s, and has been for nearly 100 years.” he said. Market steers Ashburn Orange Teaching has been the mission of the and Royal Jupiter won national titles and PBC since the beginning, Kropp said. toured the nation. “Purebred cattle are bred and raised “We’ve had several champion and at OSU to furnish students with examples reserve champion pens of three at the of high-performing, genetically superior, National Western Stock Show in the past modern-type cattle,” Kropp said. 20 years,” Johnson said. Students use the facilities and animals The National Western in Denver is at the PBC through academic courses. COWBOY JOURNAL | 17

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a marketing tool for the Cowboy Classic a testament to having good people hired,” sale held in April, said Jeremy Leister, PBC Leister said. herd manager. The current herd, which is downsized Traveling to national livestock exhifrom past years, only has 250 cows because bitions with stock raised at the university of the recent drought, Leister said. shows the public OSU has a beef center The herd is prepared for fall exhiworth being bitions and the Cowboy proud of, Classic in the spring, he said. The PBC gave me an Leister said. “We try to plan for the opportunity to have a Student workCowboy Classic in terms of ers gain hands- worthwhile experience and the herd,” Leister said. “We on experience to be a qualified candidate take the most pride in the working with Cowboy Classic as a reprefor my first job. the cattle to sentation of the PBC.” prepare for upAlumni attend the — Cody Sankey Cowboy Classic each year as coming shows, 2004 OSU Animal Science Alumnus supporters of the PBC and he said. “No day is the same, depending on customers of the annual sale, Leister said. student help,” Leister said. “We typically The PBC is one of the last beef centers in have 10 to 15 student workers each year.” the nation to offer a sale like the Cowboy The beef center offers students the Classic, he said. possibility to gain higher positions and The PBC provides valuable learning valuable experience if they work hard and not offered in a classroom setting, said show dedication in daily tasks, Leister said. Cody Sankey, 2004 OSU animal science As a past student worker at the beef alumnus and former PBC student worker. center, Leister is proof hard work can earn “The PBC gave me an opportunity a student worker an opportunity at a high- to have a worthwhile experience and to er position. Upon graduation from OSU be a qualified candidate for my first job,” in 2011, Leister was hired as herd manager Sankey said. “After I graduated, I went to of the beef center. manage the purebred cow herd at Michi“The cow herd numbers have been gan State University.” really good since I’ve been here, which is The beef center is a successful recruit-

ing tool used to recruit students interested in the animal science department and OSU, Sankey said. “The PBC was probably the main reason I left my home state of Kansas and attended OSU,” Sankey said. Sankey said his decision to attend OSU was based on the department’s degrees and on the opportunity to work with high-quality cattle every day. He said the significance of the Purebred Beef Center is important to the institution from the standpoints of teaching and recruiting students. “The value of the cattle and what they can do is second to none,” Sankey said. The learning experiences and relationships developed from time spent at the PBC are priceless, he said. “If you’re going to teach about animal science and good animals, you need to have live examples on campus,” Johnson said. “Educating students and creating careers for our students is why we maintain these herds of purebred livestock.”

Hana Newman Burlington, Okla.



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The Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center has conducted Basic Training The Robert Kerr FoodCourtesy & Agriculture since M. 1999. Photo of FAPC.Products Center has held Basic Training since 1999. Photo Courtesy of Mnady Gross.


f you ever wished everyone could try your grandma’s secret recipe, a program at Oklahoma State University can create that opportunity. The Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center is home to helpful, value-added programs, but one distinct program is the Basic Training workshop, said Mandy Gross, FAPC communications services manager. This program is a daylong course to teach participants how to commercialize their homemade products with the help of FAPC. Basic Training occurs every other month and costs $175. It includes a


luncheon, speakers from the Oklahoma Health Department and the Made in Oklahoma program, and a trademark expert. The class enrolls up to 24 potential clients interested in learning more about commercializing their food products. “During the class, everything is laid out for the clients to show what it takes to start a business,” Gross said. Some workshop topics include the cost of doing business, food regulations and how to target customers, she said. “Usually only 10 percent of the Basic Training graduates will take their product any further,” she said. “Often, the entre-

preneurs do not understand what it takes to start a food business before attending the workshop.” Suan Grant of Suan’s Inc. attended Basic Training in February 2009. “I had a good product, but I didn’t know how to get it to market,” Grant said. “They knew how to get it to market. They were with me every step of the way and still are today.” If clients want to take their products to market after attending Basic Training, they meet with an FAPC food scientist and an FAPC business and marketing associate for scale-up, Gross said. COWBOY JOURNAL | 19

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A scale-up is the process of taking a recipe and making it in the test kitchen for the recipe to be converted into the appropriate units for large batches. Darren Scott, FAPC food scientist and sensory specialist, meets with clients at this point. Once clients decide to pursue commercialization of their products, the entrepreneurs discuss their products with Scott. The clients go to the test kitchen to make their products. “We make up a small batch that is typically made the same way it is made at home,” he said. “The key difference is we are taking weights of everything.” This way, the recipe can be converted into a large-scale batch for mass production, Scott said. Once ingredients have been weighed and measured, the client is taken to the industrial-sized kitchen to make a big batch of the product. “We really see here if the product changes in any drastic way or if there are any problems with a difference in taste,” Scott said. Frequently, clients will notice changes in taste or consistency first, Scott said. This provides a great time to address these

A co-packer is a contract packer that issues and see if anything can be done to markets and packages goods for other make the product as similar as possible to companies, she said. the original, he said. More than likely, clients will choose Erin Johnson, FAPC business and to use a co-packer for marketing client coorI had a good product, efficiency, she said. dinator, said changes are frequently needed but I didn’t know how to However, some clients may choose to build in the recipe before their own industrial the product is taken to get it to market. kitchen and start from mass production. — Suan Grant scratch, she said. “Often, the recipe Suan’s Inc. “Whether they use a will have extra water co-packer or begin their business on their to account for cooking it on a stove top own, we can help them make the best where the heat comes from the bottom,” decision for their business,” Johnson said. she said. “When the client uses our Grant said the availability of entresteam-jacketed kettles, that extra water can preneurship experts in FAPC makes this change the recipe.” program special. The main goal of the program is to “They are there if you have questions, help mix the culinary art with the necesand if they don’t have answers, they know sary science, Johnson said. who does,” Grant said. “They are an asset “Once we have finished in the to the state of Oklahoma.” kitchen, Erin will then take them aside to discuss a marketing and business strategy,” Scott said. Clients then decide whether they Rosemary Giannini want to produce and package their own San Andreas, Calif. product or if they want to use a co-packer, Johnson said.


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Taylor Dennis (left) and Kyle Hilbert dedicate their time to the university by serving as 2015-16 SGA president and vice president. Photo by Karli Quinn.

Students’ passion for OSU rooted in their love of CASNR


yle Hilbert and Taylor Dennis were an unlikely pair to represent the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Fate and a mutual friend brought together the pair who would become the president and vice president, respectively, of the Oklahoma State University Student Government Association for 2015-16. An agricultural economics senior from Depew, Okla., Hilbert grew up a fan of

the University of Oklahoma, but via Oklahoma FFA, he found his way to OSU. Dennis, an environmental science senior from Choctaw, Okla., started as a biology major in the OSU College of Arts and Sciences. At the end of her freshman year, she changed her major and decided to pursue her degree in CASNR. “After spending my first year at OSU and learning about all the degree plans they have to offer, I was attracted to en-

vironmental science, which landed me in CASNR,” Dennis said. The two students found each other through Alexis Wiebe, an agricultural economics senior, Hilbert said. Past SGA leaders thought the pair should pursue the top SGA positions, he said. “Friends told us we would be a good pair and we should consider running,” Hilbert said. “We were both totally blindsided by it. We hadn’t thought about it.” COWBOY JOURNAL | 21

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One of Kyle Hilbert’s duties as SGA president is to approve or veto all bills. Photo by Karli Quinn.

Kyle Hilbert and Taylor Dennis pursued office after influence from friends. Photo Courtesy of Kyle Hilbert.

The pair accepted the challenge to run for SGA president and vice president in the electronic, campuswide election. Hilbert and Dennis were not convinced to run for their offices purely by the faith of others, Dennis said. “We decided we actually did have good reasons to run other than just because our friends told us to,” Hilbert said. “We thought ‘We can help make OSU a better place, so let’s do it.’” Hilbert and Dennis were familiar with SGA because Hilbert served as a CASNR senator in Fall 2013 and Dennis served as the sustainability committee chair. Being students in CASNR has shaped Hilbert and Dennis and has influenced their role in SGA, Hilbert said. “Whenever a bill comes forward, I think of it through the lens of being involved in a student organization, which for me is under CASNR,” Hilbert said. “In that sense, CASNR influences just about everything. It has shaped me in being prepared for this position because nearly all my involvement was in the college.” Hilbert’s campus involvement has included serving as a CASNR Ambassador for the past three years as well as serving on the CASNR Student Council. He also served as an Oklahoma FFA officer. Dennis said she sees CASNR’s role differently than Hilbert. “SGA led me to CASNR, and CASNR definitely is an influence in my overall college experience,” Dennis said. Part of CASNR’s inspiration for both students comes from their mentors: Rob Terry, head of the OSU Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership, and Brian J. Carter, plant and soil sciences professor who serves as the director of CASNR’s environmental sciences interdisciplinary program. “It is very usual for me to drop in Dr. Terry’s office and sit and talk for 30-plus minutes,” Hilbert said. “He’ll give me advice about life and listen to what students are thinking about.” Terry has known Hilbert since the 21-year-old was in high school. Terry said he admires Hilbert’s ability to carry himself with ease, comparing Hilbert to a duck on water: On the surface, he always appears to be at ease, but he is hard at work below the surface. “His approach is ‘This is something

I get to do, not something I have to do,’” Terry said. Terry, who has taught agricultural education for nearly 30 years, said he appreciates Hilbert’s work ethic and attitude. “Kyle is easily in the top 1 percent of young people with whom I have worked,” Terry said, “and I have had the pleasure to work with some really outstanding people, great folks who have gone on to do wonderful things.” For 22-year-old Dennis, her first impression of CASNR came through Carter, her adviser, who also has served as her professor for multiple courses. “Before CASNR, I never had my adviser also as a professor,” Dennis said. “I admire Dr. Carter in so many ways and appreciate being able to drop by his office at any moment and he is willing to talk.” Carter said he admires Dennis’ leadership roles and looks to her as an influential student and peer to all. “The interdisciplinary nature of the undergraduate environmental science program within CASNR strengthens Taylor’s ability to quickly obtain opinions from a wide range of backgrounds from social to physical sciences,” Carter said. Dennis said she appreciates her college journey and her past experiences that led her to CASNR. “I had never seen this type of tightknit community before joining CASNR,” Dennis said. Thomas Coon, vice president, dean and director of the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, said he takes pride in how Hilbert and Dennis represent the college. “In a way, it is not a surprise to me at all that we would have two of our students in leadership at this university,” Coon said. “It is a real point of pride for us because that is not something we did. That is something Kyle and Taylor did. “We are very proud they chose to come to OSU and chose to be students in our college,” he said. “We are proud of what they are doing as leaders at OSU.”

Karli Quinn Elk Grove, Calif.


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Students influence Oklahoma small b

Dillon Rapp said his background in manufacturing stood out on his internship application at the NPDC and encouraged him to help other manufacturers. Photo by Raney Lovorn.

he New Product Development Center at Oklahoma State University has offered engineering services to Oklahoma manufacturers and small businesses since 2002. “The NPDC has a history of helping Oklahoma manufacturers through affordable engineering services,” said Dan Tilley, former NPDC associate director and professor of agricultural economics. “We provide quality engineering services in the price range for small businesses.” Made possible by a joint venture between the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, the NPDC assists Oklahoma manufacturers with bringing their concepts to market. In 2015, the NPDC began a new partnership with the network of Oklahoma Small Business Development Centers to serve small businesses with an influence in technology. “Small business development centers are not limited to manufacturing,” said Barbara Bonner, SBDC associate business adviser in Durant, Okla. “We will help any small business in the state.” The centers help businesses start, expand, or survive, especially through financial management and marketing, Bonner said. SBDCs work together with other resources like OSU and the NPDC to meet the specific needs of each business. “The SBDC model fits the needs of the NPDC and manufacturers,” Tilley said. “It gives us a network of people who have business and marketing expertise and can help companies be innovators.” In recent years, the NPDC shifted from working on large engineering projects to focusing on client interactions and student experiences in multiple disciplines, Tilley said. As more agricultural economics and business student employees were added, the NPDC began working more with manufacturers and small businesses beyond product development. Students employed by the NPDC


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oma small businesses through the Small Business Development Center and SBDC are biosystems and agricultural engineering, agricultural economics, business, agricultural communications and engineering majors. Engineers and OSU faculty mentor the students to ensure the center follows the best available practices and to help students engage in the projects, Tilley said. “Students are important to the program because they have creative ideas and capacities,” Tilley said. “The program is important to students because they need to experience the real world.” Dillon Rapp, a senior agricultural economics and accounting double major, has worked for the NPDC since January 2013. He attributes his passion for helping people better their lives and their finances to his work assisting clients with their businesses at the center. “My favorite part about working at the NPDC is being able to work with real-world clients and seeing how much of an impact our office can have on their businesses,” Rapp said. “I have been fortunate enough to develop many relationships lasting far beyond my time at OSU.” Students involved at the NPDC and SBDC often become part of the workforce benefiting rural Oklahoma, Tilley said. The center exemplifies all three branches of the land-grant model for extension, research and teaching, he added. Kay Watson, an extension agent with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, attested to the extension and engagement roles of the NPDC and the SBDC and their impact on her clients’ success. “SBDC provides engineering and business analysis services that small business owners can afford,” Watson said. “I see OSU as my biggest partner in helping manufacturers.”

Raney Lovorn Como, Texas

Clint Dodson (left) and Brad Lahman, built their business partnership in a year after meeting through the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance. Photo by Raney Lovorn.

Boxel Mfg. owner Brad Lahman had built showboxes for Sullivan’s Supply for more than 20 years in Atoka, Okla., when he decided to expand his manufacturing business with a new invention. Targeted at small cattle producers, the Boxel Can Feeder is a metal feed container with an auger designed to be filled with bulk feed and transported using bale spears or pallet forks. Lahman developed his idea and called Kay Watson, an extension agent with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, who introduced him to Clint Dodson of Platinum Machine in Durant, Okla. Dodson’s business specializes in powder coating, a technology that creates a tougher finish on metal than conventional paint. “Clint had the ability to make things more presentable and value-added,” Lahman said. “I had the idea, but I did not have the ability to bring it to culmination alone.” Lahman and Dodson started Boxel LLC as a joint business to produce and market their new products. Logistically, Dodson said, they are the perfect match.

“We had several attempts at prototyping this product, which all worked and were all feasible ideas,” Dodson said. “However, they were not refined to the point we would like for them to be.” Watson directed Boxel LLC to the NPDC services at OSU, where they received key design resources and business services from Dillon Rapp, an agricultural economics and accounting double major, including a business plan, financial projections and a capital budgeting decision tool spreadsheet. Lahman said Boxel LLC could not have accomplished the project alone. “In the design phase, I get worn down by the doubt that my product will work,” Lahman said. “OSU provided me with people who saw the viability of my product and the market it could succeed in.” The resources the NPDC and SBDC provided for Boxel LLC were valuable, Lahman said. The centers provided the company with access to business knowledge they would never have had access to otherwise, he said.


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Garey Fox conducts research on flow and sediment transport in streams. Photo by Todd Johnson.


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REFLECTING EXCELLENCE OSU professor Garey Fox wins national teaching award

rom a first-generation college student from a small Texas town to a nationally recognized water researcher and professor, Oklahoma State University biosystems and agricultural engineering professor Garey Fox serves the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in many roles. In addition to prestigious awards and accreditations, Fox has an unyielding passion to see students succeed, said Steve Damron, CASNR assistant dean. “His work with undergraduate students is the best example of his dedication,” Damron said. “He works continually with undergraduate research scholars, and that takes a lot of effort, but he feels strongly that effort is worthwhile.” As one of only 35 graduates from Godley High School in 1994, Fox said he was the first of his family to leave the farm and go to college. “I really had no idea what I wanted to do in school,” Fox said, “but I knew I was really good at math and science. I got some large FFA scholarships through Texas FFA that required me to go to a public school in Texas and major in something agriculture-related.” At that time, Texas A&M University had an agricultural engineering program. Fox chose the engineering path, and he said he found his passion for research during his undergraduate years. “I got connected with a faculty mem-

“His work with accreditation in his ber while I was there who asked me if I wanted to do research with him, and I was department is absolutely stellar,” Damron said. “He’s recognized nationally as an exlike, ‘Wow, they’ll pay you to do that?’” pert on assessment as it’s done in engineerFox said he enjoyed doing research as ing, and I think that’s quite remarkable.” an undergraduate student and decided to While he may be a earn his master’s degree on a U.S. EnvironmenEveryone knows if Dr. research expert, teaching and interacting tal Protection Agency Fox is teaching, it’s going with students are where graduate fellowship, to be a good class. Fox truly shines, said which he said is a Whitney Lisenbee, a prestigious national — Whitney Lisenbee BAE master’s student. fellowship for master’s BAE Master’s Student “Everyone knows if and doctoral students Dr. Fox is teaching it’s going to be a good in environmentally related fields of study. class,” she said. “He’s been my professor, After graduating from TAMU with a research mentor, Cowboy Waterworks master’s degree in agricultural engineering club adviser, senior design adviser and in 2000, Fox continued his studies as a overall role model for nearly six years. doctoral student in civil engineering at “Although he wears many hats, he is Colorado State University. still available for ‘life talks’ with his stuFox said he decided he wanted to go dents and wants us to succeed,” she added. into academia while he was obtaining his Fox said he wants to ensure when his doctoral degree. students graduate they are prepared for “It turned out to be the best thing what they are going to do outside of OSU. I’ve ever done,” he said. “My passion is “I challenge them every single day,” he being in the classroom, field or laboratory, said. “When I was in school, I had a lot of interacting with students, watching them professors who didn’t challenge me much. grow, and seeing their accomplishments. I don’t remember them, but I do rememIt’s a real pleasure.” ber the ones who cared about students and Fox joined the OSU BAE department challenged them.” in 2006 and continued his research and When Fox came to Stillwater, he teaching. The National Science Foundawanted to make OSU “the” water place, tion, U.S. Geological Survey, EPA and he said. One of the ways he has worked USDA have supported his research of toward this goal is by creating and imstream and aquifer interaction through plementing the annual Student Water competitive grant funds. COWBOY JOURNAL | 27

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Garey Fox (right) and his former doctoral student Erin Porter conduct a jet erosion test. Photo by Todd Johnson. Top Right: Garey Fox (right) accepts the USDA Excellence in Teaching award from Jay T. Akridge of Purdue University. Photo Courtesy of APLU. Bottom Right: Garey Fox (left) and John Fuchs sample a piezometer. Photo by Todd Johnson.

Conference, which is designed specifically for students to present their research and receive feedback. “Last year,” Fox said, “we had students from Hawaii, Washington, Connecticut, Iowa and across the U.S. who came to present their research. It’s become a nationally known conference.” Damron said Fox’s creation of the Student Water Conference is not only innovative but also ambitious. “When you consider all of Dr. Fox’s contributions outside the classroom and add that he’s an outstanding classroom teacher, you have a true contributor, not only to the discipline and its students but also to the college and the university,” Damron said. “Garey Fox is a force to be reckoned with in higher education,” he added.

Fox recently received the national USDA Excellence in Teaching award, which is given to two recipients among all land-grant institutions each year. “This national teaching award is a tremendous honor,” Fox said, “not only for me personally, but also for BAE and DASNR, as well. “I am thankful for the opportunity to go to work each day and do something I love,” he added. “This recognition should be shared with my family, who serve as my foundation and support, and my previous and current graduate and undergraduate students who make teaching and research so enjoyable.” Last year, Shida Heneberry, director of the OSU Master of International Agriculture program, received the same award. This marks the first time in history

any university has won this award in two consecutive years. However, Fox said he tried never to focus on the end goal. “The awards are great,” he said. “They are very nice recognitions, but they’re not something absolutely necessary for my career. My point has always been ‘Do you enjoy it every day?’ “I love my job,” he said. “I can only see myself in academia, where I can interact with students and contribute to their education.”

Tory Dwyer Dickson, Okla.


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CASNR landscape management major offers career opportunities for students hile most students take notes in class and read in the library, landscape management students plant trees and design landscaping plans. Landscape management is one of six majors offered in the Oklahoma State University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Previously known as landscape contracting, the landscape management major was renamed and altered by the program’s professional advisory committee to better appeal to prospective students, said Janet Cole, Regents professor and head of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. “Landscape management provides an opportunity for students to work with their hands, get creative with design, and learn plant science,” Cole said. The program is somewhat of a hybrid major because of its unique capability to combine horticulture and landscape architecture, Cole said. “Students learn specific skills they may need to use in their future careers,” she said. “They gain the ability to work in both outdoor and indoor landscaping.” The landscape management major offers students a chance to gain experience with clients and develop strong communication skills, said Scott Mendenhall, landscape management senior.

major gives each student a chance to get “Being successful in landscape involved, Mendenhall said. management means being knowledgeable “The department and faculty care in other disciplines related to landscape about us,” Mendenhall said. “They want management,” Mendenhall said. to improve the program and promote Completing a major in landscape student growth.” management requires students to finish Through various courses in the courses and gain experience in design, landscape management degree program, horticulture and business. students create models, design plans, “The major is small, with 20 students and learn horticulenrolled,” Cole said. Landscape management tural practices relat“It consisted of landscaping. about 40 students makes you push yourself to ed to“The hands on at its highest enrollbe good at a lot of things. designs and projment numbers.” ects students create During the past — Toby Coats in their classes are 10 years, enrollLandscape Management Senior amazing and comment has declined pletely magical,” Cole said. in horticultural majors internationally, Students enjoy classes and find value Cole said. in networking opportunities, said Toby This could be because today’s youth Coats, landscape management senior. spend more time indoors or they have “Landscape management makes you misconceptions that a horticulture-related push yourself to be good at a lot of things, career involves manual labor with low while also offering a lot of connections to income, Cole said. However, a need exists professionals in the landscape management for landscape management individuals field,” Coats said. who are experienced within the industry, The department urges students she added. to find internships and discover which “As people get older, they want somelandscape management areas they want to one who can design their outdoor spaces pursue, he said. and make their homes look nice because “After completing a summer internthey don’t want to get outside and do it ship and gaining experience with landany more,” Cole said. scaping, I became more confident working The small number of students toward my degree,” Mendenhall said. enrolled in the landscape management


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Students pursuing a landscape management degree have various options concerning future careers. Students can obtain careers related to indoor and outdoor landscaping, landscape design, and irrigation, Cole said. “The skills I have gained in the professional field led me to the dream of owning my own outdoor landscaping business,” Mendenhall said. “I want to manage my own clients’ landscaping needs.” Professionals in the landscape management field encourage current students to develop technical design and business skills during their time in the landscape management major. This includes working hard in subjects that may not be of the highest interest to students, said Abbie Wilkerson, 2004 OSU landscape contracting alumna who works in sales and design at Calvert’s Plant Interiors. Wilkerson said alumni can relate to what students learn today and describe their current careers as fulfilling. “I enjoy getting to do some work from my desk while still being able to go outside and work with plant sales,” Wilkerson said. Although being a business owner has challenges, an important aspect is developing strong relationships, said Jason Snider, 1997 OSU landscape contracting alumnus and owner of Snider Landscaping. “It is important not to put yourself in a box,” Snider said. “You must use all the skills or you force your business into a significant disadvantage. “You must keep in mind you are building yourself a team,” Snider said. “It’s important to put down the book and get out into the landscape management field.” Landscape management gives students the skills to start their own businesses while still attending classes and earning their degrees, Coats said. “I own a landscape management business and hope to add a retail nursery by 2017,” Coats said. “The landscape management major made it possible for me to reach my ultimate goal.”

Ashtin Bechtold Dixon, Calif.

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Scott Mendenhall completed an outdoor landscape design drawing for a class. Landscape management students create drawing plans in their coursework. Photo by Ashtin Bechtold.

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Student research investigates chemical resistance in bed bugs Derrian Hall examines a bed bug under a microscope in the Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Lab at OSU where she conducts her research. Photo by Ashton Lierle.


leep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite. This commonly quoted nursery rhyme now has a double meaning for Oklahoma State University senior Derrian Hall. Between personal experience and research, Hall has more than 200 hours invested in the nemesis of this little nursery rhyme. A senior double majoring in entomology and natural resource ecology and management, Hall began researching bed bugs and pesticide resistance for her capstone project in Spring 2015. Hall’s first interaction with bed bugs, however, was not investigatory — it was personal. “My first experience with bed bugs was an allergic reaction,” Hall said. “I woke up one morning with trouble breathing and small arch-shaped bites.” Hall rushed to an urgent care center where doctors told her she had a severe allergic reaction to the bites. The doctors could not tell her what she was bitten by, only that it was some sort of insect. After giving her allergy medication and an EpiPen®, the doctors sent Hall home. “I knew arches meant something to do with bed bugs because I was in Dr. [Bruce] Noden’s medical entomology class that semester,” Hall said. After further investigation, Hall and her roommate, Alliza Gryzbowski, discovered the bed bugs were coming from the attic space above their room and migrating down the wall onto the bed. “We had to create a collection of medically important insect species for Dr. Noden’s class, so when I discovered where the bugs were coming from, I collected a few and brought them to class,” Hall said. Noden confirmed the insects were bed bugs, and Hall notified the landlord. One month, seven pesticide treatments and a COWBOY JOURNAL | 33

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heat treatment finally rid the apartment of the infestation, Hall said. Ridding an apartment of bed bugs can take longer if the infestation is more severe, she said. Hall’s personal experience with bed bugs became a springboard for her current capstone research on pesticide resistance in bed bugs. She is the first undergraduate student to conduct research on bed bugs, said Richard Grantham, OSU Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Lab director. “Derrian had taken one of my classes before and heard about a project one of my previous students had done on DNA extraction in fire ants,” Grantham said. “So, when she was working on an idea for her capstone project, she came to me.” The idea for the research on bed bugs originally came several years ago from Hall’s adviser, Jack Dillwith, a biochemistry professor in the entomology and plant pathology department, Grantham said.

“Jack had applied for funding from a state program called the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, and the project didn’t get the funding needed to go on,” Grantham said. This incomplete research opening left Hall the perfect opportunity to fill a void in the department and conduct some research of her own, Grantham said. “It was great timing for us to dust off a project in our department that had been a great idea but was never completed,” Grantham added. Hall worked on her proposal for the project with Grantham. Then, she started preparations for the project in the Spring 2015 semester, and concluded the study in December 2015. Bed bug research is not a common topic of choice, even among entomology students, because of the lack of funding, Grantham said.

Top : A fifth instar bed bug at maturity under magnification. Bottom Left: Bed bug eggs and exoskeletons during an infestation. Bottom Right: Nymph bed bug after feeding under magnification. Photos Courtesy of Jaquelyn Lee and Richard Grantham.

Because bed bugs do not carry a disease, Dillwith said, little funding is available for research into these pests. “No disease transmission occurs with bed bugs, but they have a profound psychological effect on those who have dealt with them,” Dillwith said. Bed bugs have been around for centuries and have always been a problem worldwide, Dillwith said. In the 1940s and 1950s, the pesticide DDT essentially eliminated bed bugs in most areas of the United States, he added. “About 10 to 15 years ago, we started to see a resurgence of bed bugs,” Dillwith said. “That’s when we realized that bed bugs might have developed resistance to the pesticides.” With the advancement in technology, a new pesticide called a pyrethroid was developed to manage the resurgence of bed bugs, but resistance to this pesticide has

Infestations of bed bugs are difficult to treat, said Jacquelyn Lee, pesticide coordinator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Often found in crevices and creases of couches, mattresses and other pieces of furniture, bed bugs are structural pests and can survive in walls, attics and other dry, dark locations for up to three months with no food source. Bed bugs have five life stages called instars. During the first four instars, bed bugs are translucent and turn darker shades of brown until reaching maturity. Before each molting into the next instar, bed bugs must have a blood meal. At the fifth instar, bed bugs mature completely and begin reproduction. Their eggs are white to clear in color and look like specs of lint or dust to the naked eye.


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been discovered among bed bugs in other states, Dillwith said. “I started tracking bed bug cases sent in for identification to our lab in about 2004,” Grantham said. “It’s kind of a quiet problem, but a growing one.” Hall said her research will test DNA from bed bugs for a genetic marker which would indicate pesticide resistance. “Dr. Grantham has bed bug samples from about 2001 forward from all over Oklahoma that we are testing to compare to the control to see if there is resistance,” Hall said. When testing on the 68 samples is complete, any bed bugs with the resistance gene will be mapped across the state to show locations most likely to experience pesticide resistance in bed bugs, Hall said. “Researching the genetics has been the most interesting aspect of the whole experience for me,” Hall said. No one has tested to see if Oklahoma has pesticide-resistant bed bugs, which is the premise of Hall’s research, Grantham said. The study results could have an impact on how bed bugs are treated in Oklahoma, he added.

Jacquelyn Lee, pesticide coordinator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, said bed bugs are an expensive pest to treat because it may take more than one treatment to remove the infestation. “The most common method of treatment is insecticides because it is the least expensive,” Lee said. “However, if that doesn’t work you have to use heat treatment, which is very expensive to the general public.” Heat treatment is the most effective method of treatment and the only one known to be effective in killing every stage of the bed bug, Lee said. Killing the bed bugs at every stage is difficult but critical to removing the infestation, she said. If each stage of the pest is not treated then the possibility of re-infestation increases, Lee added. “From the perspective of the pest controllers, the problem of bed bugs is increasing and they get more calls than they can do jobs for,” Lee said. The integrated pest management plans pest controllers use for bed bug control would change if pesticide-resistant bed bugs were found in Oklahoma, Lee said.

Treating cases of infestation also would become much more expensive, she said. If that occurs, the problem of not affording treatment creates a problem of the infestation spreading, Lee said. “Prevention is the best thing a homeowner can do,” Lee said. “The key to prevention is sanitation and cleanliness.” Over time, if the problem increases, the bed bug infestation will take more time to resolve, while sanitation and elimination will be relied upon more heavily, Lee said. “I never took the whole ‘sleep tight – don’t let the bed bugs bite’ seriously until the whole infestation thing happened,” Hall said. In the end, Hall said she hopes her research may help everyone sleep tight.

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Sweis Pita Bakery uses family recipe to bring Mediterranean flavor to Oklahoma

Gyros (pronounced yee’ ros) are made of lamb or a combination of beef and lamb served on pita bread. Photo by Shelby Rogers.

he conveyor belt slowly rolls from the 560-degree oven as the round, flat bread falls onto the next belt to head for packaging. The room, heated from the oven, smells like flour, yeast and warm bread. A large mixer sits in the corner, and 50-pound bags of flour rest in a stack on the floor, ready to be used. Joel Sweis makes two types of pita bread in his family’s bakery. Prompted by their Mediterranean heritage, Sweis and his five older brothers came to Oklahoma City from Chicago in 1976 to start a family restaurant serving American and Mediterranean food. “When my brothers arrived in Oklahoma from Chicago, they realized there were no gyros, so they went back to Chicago to find a recipe to make them,” Sweis said. “Gyros are a Greek sandwich with pita bread and usually lamb or a combination of beef and lamb.” The pita bakery opened in 1979 and has remained in the family ever since. Sweis said making the flat and pita breads his bakery produces is simple because both products require few ingredients. “I am not really sure how far back it goes in my family of teaching the younger generation to make bread,” Sweis said. “All I know is that it was passed down through the Bible because people have been baking bread for more than 5,000 years. It is just salt, flour, water and yeast.” In European and Middle Eastern countries, Sweis said bread is a staple for meals and people buy bread for daily use. He said he was surprised no one in Oklahoma was making pita bread, but he realized bread has to have a longer shelf life in the United States because sometimes it may travel for a few days in a truck and then sit in the back of the store for additional days before it is put on the shelves. Sweis said pita bread gets hard quickly and he wanted to extend the shelf life of the pita bread by slowing the hardening. “I heard good things about Oklahoma State University helping small business owners like myself with their business plan, products and marketing,” Sweis said. Sweis said he started working with the OSU Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center last May. He knew he had to improve or get out of the business because he wasn’t making any progress, he said.


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“I couldn’t just keep chugging along,” Sweis said. “I knew I needed to make a change, and as a small-business owner, you have to do everything. OSU was the best option for help.” He went to FAPC to find an ingredient to allow the bread to be on the shelf for more than a day or two as well as remain soft, he said. “Joel uses a long-time family recipe, and those recipes usually don’t have mold inhibitors like grocery store products,” said Renee Nelson, milling and baking specialist at FAPC. Nelson said she gave Sweis many options for additives to help with the shelf life. She said he wanted something to keep the bread soft that did not add fat or oil to the recipe. “I chose calcium propionate for my recipe,” Sweis said. “It is less than 1 percent of the recipe. Each batch of pita bread has 100 pounds of flour and makes 1,000 pitas, so 1 percent isn’t much at all, but it makes all the difference.” Sweis’ new bread recipe will allow the product to last two weeks on the shelf without freezing. Sweis said he learned from Nelson how refrigeration will speed up staleness. To keep the pita bread fresh for more than two weeks, the pitas need to be frozen, he said. “FAPC helped me with more than just the formulation,” Sweis said. “I wasn’t confident about the quality of my bread, but now I am 100 percent sure it is a great product. FAPC helped me be confident with the bread recipe because I knew it would last longer, and then they helped improve marketing.” While Sweis was working with FAPC, he also met with Andrea Graves, business planning and marketing specialist at FAPC. She helps manage projects and finds specialists who are right for each specific job involved with the project. “I was excited to work with Sweis Pita Bakery,” Graves said. “I never would have guessed that we had pita bread in Oklahoma, and I like to see people succeed, especially small companies.” FAPC helped develop new, more appealing packaging for Sweis’ products, Graves said. The packaging had more directions for pita bread use and was eye-catching for the consumer. Although the design is complete, FAPC is still look-

Joel Sweis prepares dough to cook about 3,000 pitas in one day. Photo by Shelby Rogers.

ing for a place to print the packages, he said. Now, FAPC is building a website for the bakery. In addition to operating the bakery, the Sweis family provides bread to the international community and has three restaurants in Oklahoma City: Penn Square Mall, Quail Springs Mall and 201 S. Western Road. The University of Oklahoma campus also has a restaurant that serves Sweis pita bread. As the bakery moves forward, Sweis said he hopes to get his bread into grocery stores and onto the OSU campus. Sweis said he has seen the market moving toward Mediterranean food mostly because nutritionists are pushing the healthy value.

Bread, olives and cheese are staples to a Mediterranean table, Sweis said. The bakery can provide bread for this new growing trend, which is why he wants to get his bread into grocery stores. “I would absolutely recommend FAPC to others looking to grow their small business,” Sweis said. “I will always give credit to OSU and FAPC. Their help gave me the confidence to go places and be successful.”

Shelby Rogers Hamilton, Texas COWBOY JOURNAL | 37

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The Centennia

Collegiate 4-H, the ol

he first collegiate 4-H club established in the United States — the Oklahoma State University Collegiate 4-H Club — will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2016. “It started as a group of students, most of whom were rural youth who had been in 4-H,” said Charles Cox, retired state 4-H program leader. “It was called an after-dinner club, and students met to discuss rural issues and interact with early leaders in demonstration work from the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. It developed into the first student group on the OAMC campus.” The club, called Delta Sigma Alpha, originally was for agricultural extension scholarship recipients, according to the 1917 Redskin, the university’s yearbook. Most members were agricultural majors who eventually would return home to production agriculture or become demonstration cooperators with the new Cooperative Extension Service, Cox said.

“Every year, members do the tree In 1924, the group was reorganized decorating for a family through the and renamed the Oklahoma OAMC 4-H College of AgriculClub. In 1926, the name became I couldn’t ask for a better tural Sciences and Natural Resources the Collegiate 4-H organization to lead. Student Council,” Club. Today, the Cox said. “They club members strive — Mandy Schroeder have helped with to carry out its mot2015-16 OSU Collegiate 4-H President food drives, like the to — “Continuing Homecoming Harvest Carnival and Hunt to share. Sharing to continue.” for Hunger.” “The motto emphasizes the imporMembers volunteer to help 4-H clubs tance of citizenship and engagement all over Oklahoma through officer training through education and service,” Cox said. and other service projects. They also assist Ricki Schroeder, OSU agribusiness with the state 4-H Roundup and state 4-H and agricultural leadership double major judging contests. and 2014-15 OSU Collegiate 4-H Club Collegiate 4-H is a noncompetitive president, said one of the parts he enjoys environment. Unlike a traditional 4-H most about Collegiate 4-H is the commuclub, Cox said, members are motivated to nity service. The club tries to do a project to impact the community or state, he said. focus on service and socialization. “We try to look at 4-H as a commuThe club has volunteered in the comnity organization,” Ricki Schroeder said. munity with organizations like Mission of “We want to continue that. Even though Hope, the Humane Society of Stillwater and Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services. we are in college, we try to not just be on


Delta Sigma Alpha Club This is the first and only fraternity for agricultural extension scholarship winners. Its purpose is to bind the scholarship students to the club work and create a scholarship loan fund to help needy student members. — 1917 Oklahoma A&M Redskin Photo Courtesy of OSU Special Collections and University Archives.


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nial is Coming 4-H, the oldest student organization on campus, will turn 100 years old campus but across the Stillwater community and the state.” The club has approximately 20 members and meets every other Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the 4-H Youth Development Building, said Tracy Beck, 4-H youth development programs coordinator. Through the club, students make friends on campus with similar interests, Beck said. “4-H has allowed me to have connections with not only people at Oklahoma State but also with people across the country,” Ricki Schroeder said. OSU Collegiate 4-H members come from several states. The club has a large percentage of freshmen from a wide variety of majors, Beck said. “4-H did so much for me and made an incredible impact on my life,” said Jerry Kiefer, founder and financial professional/ retirement planning specialist at Cornerstone Planning Group LLC and OSU Collegiate 4-H president in 1990-91. “I saw Collegiate 4-H as an opportunity to give back to the organization I so loved as well as the community.” Many of the Collegiate 4-H members were involved in 4-H together in the past, Cox said. Familiarity of the 4-H program draws people to the club, he added. “Collegiate 4-H is the first club I joined when I got to campus, and it’s been a great three years,” said Mandy Schroeder, OSU agricultural leadership major and 2015-16 OSU Collegiate 4-H president. Sarah Maass, a past Collegiate 4-H president, said the organization gave her a transition period between traditional 4-H and the workforce. Maass continued her involvement with the 4-H program through her job as a 4-H youth development agent in Kansas. Kiefer said he stays involved through serving on the Oklahoma 4-H Founda-

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tion. The foundation raises more than $100,000 per year in scholarship money for 4-H members. Beck said members can apply for a $500 Collegiate 4-H scholarship each year, which is supported by an endowed fund in the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation. “We have some members who were super active in high school and some who weren’t quite as active,” Beck said. “They all can do things on campus to be involved and make a difference.” Kiefer said he considered Collegiate 4-H a stepping stone in life. “We would like for Collegiate 4-H to be a home for freshmen who need a place to connect,” Beck said. Past 4-H membership is not required to join Collegiate 4-H, Beck said.

“I couldn’t ask for a better organization to lead,” Mandy Schroeder said. “It has great members, and I’m honored to lead them into the centennial.” Collegiate 4-H is like a small family, Mandy Schroeder said. “It’s always important to have a heart for service, and you’ll be able to use that throughout your life,” Ricki Schroeder said. “Collegiate 4-H provides one way to continue a passion for service if you have it, or it provides a way to develop it.”

Abby Hendrickson Adair, Okla.

OSU Collegiate 4-H members volunteer to dress up as Chris Clover and greet visitors at various college and community events. Photo by Abby Hendrickson.

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Hannah McCollom works with a student in her classroom. Photo Courtesy of Hannah McCollom. Top: John Romo is carried through the streets of Adarkwa, Ghana, during his Chief ceremony. Photo Courtesy of AgriCorps. Right: Trent McKnight (left) and John Romo take a moment to show off their matching shirts. Photo courtesy of AgriCorps.


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OSU Cowboys lend a hand in Africa through AgriCorps wo Oklahoma State University alumni and one master’s student are helping developing nations better understand agriculture through an organization called AgriCorps. In 2012, OSU agricultural economics alumnus Trent McKnight created AgriCorps because of his interest in international agricultural education, which began when he visited Japan as the 2000-01 National FFA Association President. McKnight said his interest continued to grow as he attended The London School of Economics for graduate school and worked in Iraq and Liberia. “While in Liberia, I worked with 4-H Liberia,” McKnight said. “The organization was similar to 4-H in America but was in need of a significant amount of support to have a better program.” This led McKnight to start AgriCorps, a program that connects American volunteers to the demand for experiential, school-based agricultural education in developing countries, he said. Members of AgriCorps must have a college degree in agriculture, have 4-H or FFA experience, and have a background in production agriculture, McKnight said. AgriCorps members have three roles: agricultural education teacher, 4-H club leader and agricultural extension agent to both the youth and adult farming populations of their villages, he said. McKnight said AgriCorps strives to have three impacts: develop globally minded American agricultural professionals with experience living abroad, develop young leaders in developing countries who are committed to farming as a science and a business, and improve food security in developing countries. AgriCorps had two pilot programs in 2012 and 2013 working with 4-H Liberia

and each program lasted for one month, will never get lost in Ghana. All you have McKnight said. In July 2014, members of to do is ask, and someone will be willing the first full AgriCorps were trained and to help you.” ready to go to Liberia. Then, the Ebola However, moving to a developing virus struck Liberia and members had to country has not been without its diffibe placed in a new location, he said. culties, McCollom said, as the language McKnight said AgriCorps connected barrier with her students and people living with 4-H Ghana quickly and sent memin her village has been a challenge. They bers to the West African nation to serve for speak a local language called Twi, which 11 months. she said she is slowly learning. She also AgriCorps sent a second set of memsaid washing her clothes by hand, taking bers in August 2015. One of the members bucket showers, and seeing free-range is OSU agricultural communications animals has been an adjustment. alumna Hannah McCollom. “Not many people would go off to McCollom said her interest in workwork for an organization in a developing ing with youth in developing countries be- country,” McCollom said. “However, gan after a study-abroad AgriCorps is a great trip to Brazil. All you have to do is organization that “I remember meetprovides the support ask, and someone will ing the kids there who and tools necessary virtually had nothing,” to be successful.” be willing to help you. McCollom said. “They In addition to lived such simple lives, — Hannah McCollom McCollom, John and they did not want 2015 AgriCorps Member Romo, a student in anything. I kept thinking the OSU Master of how much they could benefit from a leadInternational Agriculture program, served ership organization such as 4-H or FFA.” as an AgriCorps member in 2014. A couple of months after returning to “My favorite part of serving in Ghana the United States, McCollom heard about was building relationships,” Romo said. AgriCorps, but she said she did not really “Spending time with my students led me think about participating at first. McCoto great stories.” llom said she started to consider joining Romo said while living in Adarkwa, AgriCorps closer to her graduation after Ghana, he taught 50 junior high students she saw an opening and decided to join and advised their 4-H club. They also because of the support of friends, family started a nursery for cocoa and palm trees and professors. and had a garden bed for carrots. While in Ghana, McCollom teaches Romo left such an impact on the vilagricultural education to approximately 50 lage of Adarkwa he was given the title of a junior high students. Nkosuohene, which is a type of sub-chief McCollom said her favorite part of in Akan chieftaincy, McKnight said. being in Ghana and serving as an AgriRomo said the elders in the comCorps member has been the people. munity approached him about halfway “The people here are extremely nice through his service and wanted to meet and welcoming,” McCollom said. “You with him. The elders told Romo they had COWBOY JOURNAL | 41

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Hannah McCollom teaches her students while building strong personal relationships. Photo Courtesy of Hannah McCollom. Right: John Romo works with students in Ghana. Photo Courtesy of AgriCorps.

never had someone from another country live and work alongside them as he did. They knew he could not stay in Ghana forever, but they wanted him to still be a part of their lives, Romo said. “The elders met with me a week prior to the sub-chief ceremony and told me about everything that would take place during the ceremony to make sure I was OK with it,” Romo said. “I told them ‘yes’ because it was part of their traditions and I respected their culture.” Romo said he spent the rest of the week mentally preparing for the subchief ceremony, which included powder and clay being poured all over his body, being carried throughout the town on the shoulders of the youth, and having a goat slaughtered at his feet with the blood from the goat then spread on his feet.

“Receiving this title was not something I expected, and it was not a goal of mine,” Romo said. “I was shocked, very emotional, and honored.” Romo said even though he no longer lives in Ghana, he still helps the village of Adarkwa promote its economic development. Back in the United States, he said he stays in contact with his students, chiefs and farmers and speaks to someone in Adarkwa about two to three times a week. He said he hopes to visit Adarkwa every couple of years. As long as appropriate funding sources can be found, McKnight hopes to expand AgriCorps into more countries in the future, he said. AgriCorps is always looking for qualified individuals to contribute to the AgriCorps mission, he said. The impacts of AgriCorps mostly will

be long term, McKnight said. However, he said the short-term impacts have been powerful and interesting, mentioning Romo being named a sub-chief. McKnight said he hopes one of the long-term impacts of AgriCorps will be the transfer of agricultural technology and methodology to adult farming populations in developing countries. “Through passion and agricultural education, countries can be transformed,” McKnight said.

Madison Andersen Limon, Colo.

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Agriculture’s Future meets America’s Brightest

Orange nvolvement in student organizations and societies can be a key component of what students do with their lives after college. Agriculture Future of America, a national leadership organization for college students and young professionals, helps its members pursue careers in agriculture and food, said Nancy Barcus, AFA chief operating officer. “We provide resources to further our participants’ personal and professional skills to make them more successful in their careers while connecting students to leaders in the industry,” Barcus said. AFA provides multiple leadership opportunities, such as the AFA Leaders Conference, the AFA Leader Institutes and AFA ONTAP, a Web-based discussion hosted a few times throughout the year, Barcus said. “We focus on building leaders for all of the agricultural industry,” Barcus said. “At the heart of it, we really focus on students’ ultimate career goals and commitment to agriculture more so than the names of their majors.” Keili Summey, an Oklahoma State University agricultural education senior and AFA campus ambassador, began her AFA experience by attending the AFA Leaders Conference in Fall 2014. The AFA Leaders Conference is a four-day annual event where students can network with professionals as well as with students from across the nation in the agricultural industry. The program is organized into four tracks designed to offer four different personal and professional development

CASNR supports student involvement in Agriculture Future of America

opportunities specific to where students are in their college careers. The sessions during the conference are facilitated by more than 150 nationally recognized leaders in agriculture, business, government and education, Barcus said. During the conference, AFA also hosts an opportunity fair to provide a unique environment for human resource executives to communicate with, advocate with, and mentor AFA students about various opportunities available within the agricultural industry, Barcus said. “There is a 3-to-1 student-to-profes-

sional ratio,” Summey said. “The professionals are usually the human resource representatives, presidents or CEOs of the different companies. It’s really people you want to get to know.” While the conference addresses professional development and agriculture in a broad spectrum, AFA also has four AFA Leader Institutes that focus on more specific topics in agriculture, Barcus said. The four institutes are the Food Institute, the Policy Institute, the Animal Institute and the Crop Science Institute. Conducted in various cities across the

Nicole Zein (left), Madison Andersen, Katie Rose and Erica Summerfield attended the 2015 AFA Leaders Conference. Photo by Larriann Chambers.


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Tori Summey participates in the opportunity fair during the 2015 AFA Leaders Conference. Photo by Larriann Chambers.

country, the institutes draw up to 100 students each. Attendees have the opportunity to become acquainted with different companies and their employees on a more personal level, Summey said. Barcus said AFA works closely with Amy Gazaway, OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources student development coordinator, to promote the various AFA programs to CASNR students at OSU. OSU is one of AFA’s collegiate partners. This means OSU has sponsored students to attend AFA Leaders Conference for several years and was recognized in 2012 as a 10-year partner, Gazaway said. Gazaway said she learned about AFA through students who attended the conference. When she heard about the experiences students were gaining and saw what they were getting from the program, she worked to have OSU sponsor students to attend, she said. Each year, CASNR sponsors 10 students to attend. Interested students can complete an application process to be considered for university, corporate or AFA sponsorships. However, anyone who has previously attended can sponsor themselves, Gazaway said. AFA is a great networking opportunity and CASNR tries to provide this op-

Jenna Maltbie (left) and Ricki Schroeder participate in a community-service activity during the 2015 AFA Leaders Conference. Photo by Larriann Chambers.

portunity to as many students as possible, Gazaway added. “We want to make sure we do everything we can as an institution to give our students that competitive advantage for career success,” Gazaway said. Being able to brush shoulders with CEOs, human resource executives and employees of companies gives students a unique opportunity to ask questions about what will be expected of them in their careers as well as learn more about what careers look like in a particular sector, Barcus said. AFA is also a big résumé builder, Summey said. Employers know students involved with AFA are passionate about agriculture, she added. “There are employers who, when they see AFA on a student’s résumé, give that student a little higher consideration,” Gazaway said. AFA offers networking experiences for students to meet with industry professionals as well as students from across the country, Summey said. “When you bring together highly motivated students, it creates an environment of meaningful discussion about agriculture’s opportunities and challenges as well as one that reinvigorates students’ excitement about their careers,” Barcus said.

Getting involved with AFA is a great way for students to get out of their comfort zones, Summey said. “Networking with other students from across the country also gives our students the opportunity to look at the agricultural industry from a different perspective other than Oklahoma agriculture,” Gazaway said. The connections students make with industry leaders and their peers within AFA are lasting, job-creating and learning opportunities that will be beneficial in the future, Barcus said. “Being involved with AFA has taught me agriculture is truly an open-armed community,” Summey said. “We are all in this together, and we are all promoting agriculture in a positive way. “AFA is a great organization to be involved in,” Summey said. “The contacts you make within AFA will take you places farther than you could ever imagine. If you are looking for a career in agriculture, AFA is where you need to be. With AFA, the possibilities are endless.”

Larriann Chambers Tushka, Okla.


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Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents member sets a standard of excellence rom harvesting fields in Logan young people, a key part of my early life,” County to donning the robes of Davis said. “The years of serving as a state an Oklahoma A&M Regent, Rick FFA officer were blessings. It allowed me Davis has spent a large portion of his life to meet so many different people across involved in agriculture and Oklahoma our state and to develop lifelong friendState University. ships that have meant so much.” Appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin to A 1983 graduate of OSU, Davis rethe Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents in ceived his Bachelor of Science in agricul2011, the OSU College of Agricultural tural economics. Sciences and Natural Resources alumnus He said he credits a big portion of his said his responsibilities go far beyond his professional success to the education he involvement with received at OSU the university. and the activities I always felt like my time Davis and his two in which he was … was time spent with likebrothers, Kenny involved. minded people who were like and Steve, manage “I always felt Davis Farms of like my time in a community of friends. Guthrie, a famithe college of ly-owned-and-op— Rick Davis agriculture was erated business. OSU Board of Regents time spent with “My parents like-minded raised my brothers and me on our farming people who were like a community of operation, and from my earliest memories, friends,” Davis said. “As students, we were it was always a team effort,” Davis said. encouraged to be active outside the class“We were taught at an early age that we all room, which was a very beneficial lesson had strengths and things we offered to the to learn and one that has benefited me and operation that made us both unique and other students who have gone through valuable to the family business.” CASNR throughout the years.” Davis has a long history of involveWhile pursuing his degree, Davis ment with agriculture, including serving as met his wife, Pam, who earned her OSU the 1979-80 Oklahoma FFA Secretary and degree in elementary education. Their son, the 1980-81 Oklahoma FFA President. Ben, graduated from OSU with a degree “FFA was for me, as it is for many in agribusiness. Their daughter, Emily,

played basketball at Oklahoma City University and has a degree in education. Davis was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity at OSU. He said some of his favorite memories were made with his FarmHouse “brothers.” “My fondest memory was my initiation into FarmHouse,” Davis said. “The members were like a band of brothers. That group of individuals has played a huge part in my life.” The entire Davis family has shown huge support for the university, Pam Davis said. Kenny and Steve Davis also graduated from OSU in agricultural economics before they pursued law degrees. Kenny Davis said despite their busy lives, they still manage to make the family farm run as successfully as possible. “While there are, of course, many challenges along the way,” Davis said, “the benefit of having such a close-knit group of ‘partners’ far outweighs any negatives that come with such a structure. “It’s hard for me to visualize my life without the blessings that have come as a result of raising my family side by side with my brothers’ families on the farm,” he added. As a regent, Davis said he enjoys overseeing the university he and his family love most. He said his job consists of working with leaders from OSU and its


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affiliate schools to create budgets, work on risk management, and plan for the future, while making the college experience valuable for every student. “I have the opportunity to work as a team with the other members of the board to provide the best quality education possible at the most affordable prices possible to the students at our institutions,” Davis said. “On a personal level, I must say it was a joy and very rewarding to have served as chairman of the board this past year. It was a unique opportunity I was thankful to experience.” Davis has shown leadership and dedication to the quality of education students receive at all A&M institutions, said Lou Watkins, Board of Regents member. “One thing I have noticed working with Rick is you can see the agricultural training he received through FFA,” Watkins said. “He presides over meetings in such a professional manner, and his parliamentary procedure is flawless. He is really an outstanding leader.” Davis said when he is not farming, he spends five hours a week working toward his Regent responsibilities. While serving as the chairman of the board last year, Davis said he dedicated at least 20 hours a week to his duties on the board. “Our single largest responsibility on the board is to staff OSU and its affiliate

Rick (left) and Pam Davis enjoy participating in OSU Homecoming activities and supporting the Cowboys. Photo by Ashley Judge. COWBOY JOURNAL | 47

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schools with the best administration and work force possible,” Davis said. “We are the policy makers, but we also try and stay out of the way of our institutions making their own decisions.” Even with all the Davis family does for OSU, nothing is more important to any of them than their family values, agricultural roots and faith, Davis said. This was instilled in him and his brothers at a young age, he added. Growing up on the family farm taught the Davis men responsibility and the value of hard work, Kenny Davis said. They have tried to instill these same core principles in their children because they believe them to be vital to success, he said. “The environment we grew up in was one in which we not only lived together but also worked together,” Kenny Davis said. “Personally, I have tried to continue that trend in my own family by getting my kids involved on the farm and also being active with them in their extracurricular activities such as sports and FFA.” Davis attributes many of the values and traits he holds in the highest regard to his upbringing on the farm. He said

his parents and their faith have been big contributors to his family’s way of life. “I do believe it is a result of my upbringing and the things in life that my parents tried to stress to my brothers and me that were important,” Davis said. “We were taught from an early age to try to live our lives in a manner that would please our heavenly Father.” Pam Davis said her husband tries to carry these values into what he accomplishes for OSU as a Regent. She said he focuses on making the OSU experience exceptional for every single student who sets foot on campus. “Rick is committed to God first and foremost,” Pam Davis said. “He’s committed to his family and very humble. His humility comes from knowing we do nothing on our own and we have a creator to thank for everything.” Watkins said she also sees Rick’s agricultural roots and values in the work he does for the board on a daily basis. She said even though he is fair to all the colleges within the A&M system, she can tell he has a strong love for production agriculture and farming.

“His passion and love is agriculture and that comes through,” Watkins said. “As we are becoming more and more aware, we need commitment like Rick’s in both the United States and throughout the world.” Even with everything Davis has achieved as a state FFA officer, an agribusinessman and now a Regent, his love and passion are based in the grass roots and upbringing he holds close. Because of these morals, Rick and Pam Davis love OSU and its family atmosphere so much, he said. “We are a part of the OSU family, and the people we have met here have changed our lives,” Pam Davis said. “The family feeling of this campus and the friends we have made here keep us rooted to this institution and everything it stands for.”

Ashley Judge San Luis Obispo, Calif.

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Two doctoral students set themselves apart as researchers

Alicia Hu (left) and Xiaolong Cao study biochemistry and molecular biology at OSU. Photo by Taylor Gazda.

x•traor•di•nar•y: adjective — beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established … remarkable. Extraordinary could be used as one of the words to describe biochemistry and molecular biology doctoral students Alicia Hu, 29, and Xiaolong Cao, 26. The two Chinese natives have accomplished much more in their doctoral studies than many scientists even hope to achieve in their lifetimes, said John Gustafson, head of the Oklahoma State

University Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The two students began their studies at OSU after graduating from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, China. While both students attended the same school in China, they did not know one another until they met in Stillwater. “I chose to come to Oklahoma State because of the professors and the research that they were doing,” Cao said.

While their résumés are filled with impressive research, the research is only a small portion of what they have accomplished while at OSU, Gustafson said. Between the two students, they have published at least 16 different articles. “Unbelievable,” Gustafson said. “That is the most I have ever heard of, with the exception of one person.” The time period in which it takes to complete one of these articles varies based on the topic of the research, Gustafson COWBOY JOURNAL | 49

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said. While some short papers can be written, revised and published within a few weeks, some take years before they are even available for the public to have access, he added. Not only does the actual writing of the article take time, but the research can take anywhere from months to years to conduct before the paper is written, Gustafson said. Cao said his current research focuses on the Manduca sexta, a tobacco horn worm, and the Anopheles gambiae, a mosquito that transfers malaria. He takes data collected from other researchers and electronically processes it through a computer to identify what the data sets can tell scientists about these particular organisms, Gustafson said. “I always say we are like misguided men with guided missiles, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Gustafson

said. “I say this because we have these giant data sets, but it’s almost uninterpretable unless you use computational means to make sense of them.” Studying insect immunity can help researchers better understand the immune response of many different insects or other organisms, which may further enable the control of insects causing agricultural loss or disease transfer, Cao said. While Cao looks at all of the gene’s proteins expressed by the organism, Hu said she analyzes proteins with a much different approach. Her studies determine the 3D structures of immune-related proteins through crystallographic approach to find the mechanisms of how they perform their functions in living organisms. “The ultimate goal is for drug design and discovery based on the protein structures,” Hu said.

What are your hobbies outside of research? I enjoy watching TV from drama to sports programs, listening to music, Chinese and American modern songs. I also like to sing songs. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? The South Pole. I want to see the penguins. They are so cute. Also, I am curious how they take up the challenge of freezing weather. What is your favorite animal? My favorite animal is a goldfish. I have one that’s been with me here for more than five years. Are you a member of any student organizations on campus? I was the culture coordinator and vice president for the Chinese Friendship Association at OSU to promote Chinese culture among campus. What is your favorite season? Spring, summer, autumn, winter? Why? Spring and autumn. It’s not too hot and not too cold. It’s a good time for outdoor activities.

Hu said she enjoys the creativity as well as the trial-and-error process involved in her research. “Designing the experiment by myself and having it work is my favorite part,” Hu said. “It’s a creative process.” Although the research of Cao and Hu is arguably beyond the comprehension of the average person, their research is making great strides in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology, Gustafson said. “I want to go on and do science research because I find it interesting to answer questions and find something new about how life works,” Cao said.

Taylor Gazda Athens, Ga.

What are your hobbies outside of research? I play badminton weekly. I am not good at dancing, but I did dance in the flash mob to promote the cultural night by the International Student Organization. That’s a very good and funny memory for me. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I want to travel to Tibet in China. It is the highest place in this world. Many young Chinese like to go there to see the traditional Tibetan culture. What is your favorite animal? My favorite animal is a dog. They are clever, and you can train them to understand your intention. Poor or rich, your dog is always with you, loyally. Are you a member of any student organizations on campus? I have been a member of the Chinese Friendship Association since I came to Stillwater in 2011. I won Outstanding President of the Year in Spring 2015.


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From Economist to ...

New York Times best-selling author tells her own story nder the pen name of Ally Carter, Sarah Fogleman published the first book in the Gallagher Girls series in 2006. Since then, Fogleman has enjoyed success as a New York Times best-selling author. Fogleman said she had the inspiration to write the Gallagher Girls series when she was watching television one night and the idea for a boarding school for teenage spies popped into her head. “It was an idea I knew I couldn’t possibly pass up,” Fogleman said. Even though she writes stories about spies, Fogleman grew up on a farm in Locust Grove, Okla., was a member of FFA, and earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University in 1997. Many people ask her if she wished she had studied creative writing or English instead of agricultural economics, she said, but she replies with “absolutely not.” Fogleman said she knew she wanted to be a writer even when she was studying agricultural economics. However, she knew jobs in agricultural economics would allow for a secure, stable living and would provide a sense of self-satisfaction. “I knew writing was something that,

if I wanted to do it, there was absolutely no reason I couldn’t do it, whether or not I had a degree,” Fogleman said. Joe Williams, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at OSU, was Fogleman’s academic adviser when she was an undergraduate student. He said Fogleman had tremendous ambition while at OSU. “She was an unbelievable student,” Williams said. “She was a positive, very capable, very dedicated, very enthusiastic and outstanding student leader.” Fogleman said her education in agricultural economics has helped her handle the business side of her writing career. She has to be a self-starter because no one tells her to get out of bed in the morning and meet her goals except her, she said. She stays motivated and dedicated because her farming background taught her how to work hard and complete a job, she added. “Something I think about all the time is when I was a kid and we had just baled a bunch of square bales of hay,” Fogleman said. “It was getting ready to rain. I remember my dad going out there and hauling in hay. It was a ton of work in a very, very short amount of time, but I remember him talking about it and saying ‘It had to be done.’ “When I have a big deadline, I think

about Dad and hauling in that hay and ‘It had to be done,’” she said. “Not to say farm kids are the only ones who grow up with that kind of example, but that was certainly the example I had growing up — the sense the work doesn’t stop just because you don’t feel like doing it.” Fogleman said CASNR students learn a refined sense of work ethic that prepares them for success in the workplace, whether agriculture is involved or not. “What I think employers are looking for from agricultural students is not that they grew up on a farm but that they have that sort of agricultural work ethic and mentality,” Fogleman said. “Any degree teaches you how to think, but to show that you have a learning aptitude is what most employers are after.” Williams said it is not an anomaly for students with farming and ranching backgrounds to have the same desire as Fogleman to achieve goals. “Young men and women who were raised in and had the opportunity to work in production agriculture learn first-hand that you’ve got to get busy and work hard to accomplish tasks,” Williams said. Fogleman said while she does not regret deciding to write full-time, writing can be a strange profession. COWBOY JOURNAL | 51

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“I’m not going to lie — it’s very strange,” Fogleman said. “There are parts of it that are incredibly glamorous, like when you go on book tour. Every now and then, you even get to go to Hollywood and have fancy meetings with movie stars. Mostly, though, the job is you sitting home alone in yoga pants that have bleach stains on them and talking to characters who aren’t there.” Despite the oddities of the job, Fogleman said she is extremely happy with making a career of writing books. She said she loves writing for younger teens because they are a fun age group to write for. “I hear from a lot of young readers who say things like ‘I never used to like reading until I read your books’ or ‘You made me want to be a spy, so I’m taking French this year and I’ve never had the courage to take a foreign language until I read your books,’” Fogleman said. “You get to, in an odd way, touch a lot of people’s lives because even though I’ll never meet a fraction of them, they go to school with my characters and my characters are like friends to them.” Courtney O’Connor, an OSU bio-

chemistry and molecular biology junior and a fan of Fogleman’s books for eight years, said she read “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You” as an extra-credit assignment when she was in sixth grade. She said reading the first book made her fall in love with the Gallagher Girls series. “The characters are just so cool,” O’Connor said. “I read them all again this summer, and I still love them as much as I did in sixth grade. “‘I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You’ was one of the reasons I fell in love with reading books,” she added. Fogleman said she is still writing books from her current location in Tulsa, Okla. She said she feels really lucky to be in a career she loves. “I get paid to do what 12-year-old me always wanted to do,” Fogleman said.

Taylor Roblyer El Reno, Okla.

Sarah Fogleman speaks at a CASNR panel. Photo by Taylor Roblyer.


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Partners in excellence For more than 50 years, Oklahoma State University members have partnered with Oklahoma FFA to guide the OSU FFA Interscholastics and support FFA’s 27,000+ members. Thanks for your continued support, OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources!

Dr. Robert Terry Jr. General Superintendent

Dr. Bruce Dunn Floriculture

Richie Roberts Assistant General Superintendent Freshman Agriscience Quiz Bowl

Dr. Ranjith Ramanathan Food Science and Technology

Kristi Bishop Scheduling/Locations Superintendent Dr. Shelly Sitton Agricultural Communications

Dr. Salim Hiziroglu Forestry Dr. Jason Warren Homesite Judging Land Judging

Dr. Shane Robinson Agricultural Education

Rusty Gosz Dr. Kris Hiney Horse Evaluation

Dr. Jon Ramsey Agricultural Issues Forum

Amy Gazaway Job Interview

Randy Bean Agricultural Technology Mechanical Systems

Dr. Mark Johnson Dr. Blake Bloomberg Rusty Gosz Livestock Evaluation

Dr. Brian Adam Agricultural Sales Wayne Stricklin Agriscience Fair Dr. Brian Arnall Agronomy Allen Miller Animal Science Quiz Bowl David Jones Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management Dustin McLemore Michael McGee Electricity

Dr. Dan Tilley Marketing Plan Dr. Gretchen Mafi Meats Evaluation and Technology Kelsey Lee Shannon Norris Milk Quality and Products Dr. David Hillcock Nursery/Landscape Kurt Murray Parliamentary Procedure Dr. Josh Payne Poultry Evaluation

Dr. Richard Grantham Entomology

Dr. Terry Bidwell Rangeland Judging

Dr. Marshall Baker Environmental and Natural Resources

James Wood Soil and Water

Dr. Notie Lansford Farm Business Management

Dr. Craig Gifford Veterinary Science


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Cody Hollingsworth has coached the OSU Rodeo Team since 2012. Photo by Lindsay King.

Adam Young, Dodge City Community College, competes in saddle bronc riding. Top Right: Baillie Wiseman, Western Oklahoma State College, competes in goat tying for a ninth-place finish. Bottom Right: Eryn Coy, Western Oklahoma State College, competes in barrel racing. Photos by Lindsay King.


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And They Call the Thing

OSU Rodeo Team hosts second annual Cowboy Stampede oots. Chaps. Cowboy hats. The Payne County Expo Center rodeo arena was filled with these items as well as the excitement of hundreds of fans in early October when the Oklahoma State University Rodeo Team hosted its second annual Cowboy Stampede. OSU is rich in rodeo history, said Cody Hollingsworth, OSU rodeo program and facilities coordinator, and the team jumped at the chance to begin hosting a college rodeo in 2014. “OSU rodeo has been around since 1946,” Hollingsworth said. “We were one of six schools that started the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.” Prior to the first Cowboy Stampede last year, the last rodeo hosted in Stillwater was in the mid-1980s. Part of the reason there was such a large gap was because once a school stops having a hometown rodeo getting it back is difficult, Hollingsworth said. “So many schools in our region want to host a rodeo, so we had to wait for an opportunity to start one back up in Stillwater,” he said. OSU competes in the Central Plains Region of the NIRA, which is the largest region in the United States with 18 member schools. “We decided to go after this to help continue to build the program,” Hollingsworth said. “It was important to bring

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rodeo back to Stillwater so the community generate to help students as far as practice, and the university could see what our scholarships and travel assistance goes.” program has to offer.” Improving the OSU program by havThe Cowboy Stampede has the ing the funds to offer small scholarships potential to serve as a major recruiting opand travel assistance allows the team to portunity to bring attract more talented new students to students, he said. Our goal is to make the OSU, Holling“Our goal is to Cowboy Stampede an annual sworth added. make the Cowboy “In college rodeo ... the community can Stampede an annual rodeo, junior rodeo,” Hollinglook forward to every year. colleges and sworth said. “We universities are want to make it — Cody Hollingsworth mixed together,” something the univerOSU Rodeo Program and Facilities Coordinator Hollingsworth sity and the commusaid. “This is a great opportunity for us to nity can look forward to every year.” bring in competing junior college students Having a rodeo in Stillwater is an and to put Oklahoma State on their radar advantage to the OSU students competin terms of continuing their education ing, said Lexi Bagnell, OSU Rodeo Team after their initial two years.” president and a design, housing and merBefore Hollingsworth began coaching chandising major. the team in 2012, the program operated as “They get to compete in front of a student organization. The OSU Rodeo Team is now a program within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The program is at an unprecedented height with support from the university, Hollingsworth said. “Everything has changed in terms of the support we are now getting,” he said. “It has helped us improve our facility and allows us to use funds we

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Jake Williams, Fort Hays State University, competes in saddle bronc riding. Photo by Lindsay King.

friends and family, and it’s a weekend they don’t have to travel,” Hollingsworth said. Though the weekend was an exciting time for the rodeo team, it also required a lot of time and hard work from members, Bagnell said. “As soon as everyone got back for the school year, we started planning the rodeo,” she said. “What a lot of people don’t realize is the team members are the ones who do everything behind the scenes. We have to focus on a lot of moving parts other than how we are going to compete.” The team focused on marketing the event throughout Stillwater, Bagnell said. “This year, we received more sponsorship from the community,” she said. “We did interviews with a local TV and radio station, which was fun and brought out a good crowd. We promoted the event on our website and our Facebook account, and OSU let us put signs up on campus.

“We didn’t change a lot from last year,” Bagnell said. “Having the first one under our belt helped with the whole planning process.” “Having a rodeo in Stillwater makes the weekend a little more comfortable for everyone on the team,” she said. “We’re able to go out and practice on the ground at the expo center. It’s just like having a home court advantage.” The rodeo team’s hard work paid off and the three-day event operated smoothly without any malfunctions, said Brittany Perron, OSU rodeo team member and animal science major. “We had a lot of help from the rodeo team, the OSU Horsemen’s Association and several other campus organizations,” Perron said. Volunteers and support from the university and community played a big role in the success of the stampede, she said.

“CASNR helped out a lot,” Perron said. “We also had some local food trucks come out each night to feed everybody.” Even though no OSU team members made the championship round on Saturday night, the weekend was still a success, Perron said. “Nobody on our team made the short go,” she said. “We were all pretty close. There were about five of us who were just two or three places out of the standings. “Everybody worked hard to make this a successful rodeo,” Perron said. “We’re all proud of how everything turned out and can’t wait for next year.”

Kaitlyn Ryan Snelling, Calif.


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OSU MIAP student travels to Thailand for education, elephants and experience mber Wells, a Guymon, Okla., native, discovered her love for international travel as an animal science undergraduate student at Oklahoma State University. Her love for travel, coupled with a passion for animals, led Wells down a path she did not anticipate. Last summer, Wells traveled to Thailand where she toured Bangkok, worked at an animal sanctuary, and taught English in a Thai community. After working with the World Vets organization in Nicaragua and learning about the Master of International Agriculture program during the animal science capstone course, Wells said she found herself considering the master’s degree program rather than veterinary school. The program offers students the flexibility to choose between a Master of Agriculture or Master of Science. Students design their coursework to match

Arrived in Bangkok, Thailand.

professional and personal goals, said Shida Henneberry, MIAP director. Students must participate in an international experience to receive their degrees, Henneberry said. The trips must be a minimum of four weeks, she added. “The international experience must be related to agriculture,” Henneberry said. “Ultimately, it’s up to the students where they go.” Choosing to plan her own trip, Wells contacted World Vets again. However, she was only offered opportunities to intern during the fall and spring semesters but not the summer, she said. Unable to work with World Vets, Wells said she looked for animal conservatories abroad, eventually finding Wildlife Friends of Thailand, located in Petchuburi, Thailand. “Since I’m receiving my Master of Science in International Agriculture, I had to do a project abroad that had a scientific element or design to it,” Wells said. “Be-

Surprised about how developed the city of Bangkok was.

Spent one week in Bangkok learning the Thai culture, including visiting markets and temples.

cause of that, I decided to look at protein deficiency in Asian elephants.” Knowing what Wells wanted to do while in Thailand, Henneberry encouraged her to apply for a Don and Cathy Humphreys Long-term Travel Grant. The grant requires recipients to spend a minimum of eight weeks abroad and show the time abroad would be used to improve food security or help with agricultural production, Henneberry said. Originally, Wells’ trip was not planned for eight weeks, but she extended it to meet the grant requirements, she said. To lengthen her trip, Wells chose to partner with Treetop Country, where she taught English to students and worked alongside residents in Thai communities. The extended trip and her research proposal earned Wells the $5,000 Humphreys Long-term Travel Grant. To begin her trip, Wells spent one week in Bangkok with her friend Aim Ku-

Met Khan Kluey, the elephant she cared for, and examined his daily protein intake.

Left Bangkok to travel to Petchuburi to work in the animal sanctuary.

Started working with other native Thai animals, including monkeys, pigs and turtles, after two weeks caring for elephants.


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Amber Wells made many stops, including a mountain temple in Wang Po Pao. Photo courtesy of Amber Wells.

suwan, a Thailand resident, who Wells met when Kusuwan was a foreign exchange student at her high school, Wells said. “Staying with Aim was a great way to learn about the Thai culture,” Wells said. “We went to the temples and sat down on the floor. She told me stories of Buddha that were painted on the temple walls. It was unique to have my own Thai guide.” The next leg of Wells’ travels was spent at the Wildlife Friends of Thailand animal sanctuary. Wells said she spent two weeks working with the elephants and two weeks working with other wildlife, including monkeys and turtles. While at the sanctuary, Wells investigated protein deficiency in an elephant, named Khan Kluey, who was trained to dance for customers at a shop in Thailand but was later rescued because he became too aggressive as he aged. “It was a theoretical project,” Wells said, “but I took basic nutritional equine

requirements for an average-sized male horse and scaled those numbers to the average weight of a male Asian elephant.” Since no nutritional guidelines for elephants exist, Wells had to base her estimates off the equine nutritional guidelines set by the OSU Department of Animal Science, Wells said. “I’ve always heard an elephant is like a giant horse,” Wells said. “They have similar digestive systems as a hindgut non-ruminant fermenter.” Wells said she monitored what Khan Kluey ate for three days, calculated the protein content for his meals, and compared those to the nutritional guides for horses to see if the elephant was lacking protein in his diet. Based on her scaled numbers, Wells concluded Khan Kluey was receiving two pounds of protein a day and the calculated amount of protein he should receive was 14.4 pounds per day.

Arrived in Wang Po Pao to teach Thai students with Treetop Country.

Wells proposed supplementation to the diet to help increase the protein intake but with limited resources for the sanctuary, the likelihood of the protein reaching 14.4 pounds per day was slim. Besides conducting research and working with the exotic animals, Wells said she also enjoyed making global connections with other volunteers at the animal sanctuary. “I liked getting to meet so many people from Australia and the United Kingdom,” Wells said. “It’s interesting to see different global perspectives and to experience a little bit of their cultures. Every morning I woke up to a cup of English tea for breakfast.” Wells spent the last three weeks of her trip in the village of Wang Po Pao, where she taught English in elementary schools with Treetop Country. Knowing their students were being taught by English foreigners, the village

Taught local Thai students concepts like in and out and up and down. She even taught a group of young monks “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”

Began her travel back to the United States.


g d weeks nts.

Helped local farmers plant marigolds and transplant rice while in Wang Po Pao.

Blessed by a monk who wished her good luck as she finished her studies. COWBOY JOURNAL | 59

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people were excited to have volunteers in the village and welcomed them with open arms, Wells said. “Any time I rode my bicycle around the village, I was very much accepted,” Wells said. “They would all stop and wave. I even had the opportunity to go into the rice paddies to help the residents and learn from them.” On her first day in Wang Po Pao, Wells was invited to join in a Celebration of Life. One of the elders in the village had died 100 days prior to her arrival, and the village people celebrated him being gone 100 days later, a tradition to help transition the dead to the afterlife, Wells said. Getting to work with elementary students was incredibly rewarding, Wells said. Teaching them basic concepts and learning their perceptions of the world was interesting, she added. “One thing I would have changed would have been the amount of time I spent with the students in Wang Po Pao,” Wells said. “I actually felt like I was making a difference in their lives and would have liked to stay longer.”

Amber Wells helps farmers and residents in Wang Po Pao plant rice and marigolds. Photo Courtesy of Amber Wells.

After seeing many students go through international experiences, Henneberry said she knows what impact the trips have on the students. “Students go into their international experiences thinking they will have an impact on the area and community,” Henneberry said, “but what happens

during the experience has a greater impact on the student.”

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The Next Generation Facility Central Rural Electric Cooperative has spent the last several years focused on becoming the “Next Generation Utility.” Part of that plan includes a new o˜c e facility that will meet the needs of a cooperative that has seen its membership and employee base grow signiÿcantly in the 50+ years since the current facility was constructed. The building is scheduled to be completed and ready for move-in by July 2016.

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Scan the QR code to the right with your smartphone or tablet device for more information about the building and to see the progress that’s been made.

www.crec.coop 12/2/15 9:46 AM

pending a day on the lake is an Oklahoma tradition in the summertime, but how does this recreation add to the value of a watershed? Max Melstrom, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University, and Tracy Boyer, OSU associate professor of agricultural economics, are conducting research to determine the value of lake recreation for the Grand River watershed. The impact on local economies and overall value of lake recreation often is overlooked because of difficulty in data collection, Melstrom said. “Trips to the lake are not a market commodity in the usual sense, so value of lake recreation is not as obvious as a barrel of oil,” Melstrom said. “Still, once you crunch the numbers, it is clear activities like swimming and boating are worth a lot to people.”

Since 1935, the Grand River Dam Authority, which serves as the public power utility for Oklahoma, has facilitated the use of the Grand River watershed in northeastern Oklahoma to produce energy, provide recreation, and conduct other aspects of lake management. Through a $150,000 grant, GRDA is funding Melstrom and Boyer’s research to measure the local economic impacts of recreation at GRDA’s northeast Oklahoma lakes, including Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, Lake Hudson, the W.R. Holway Reservoir and Lake Council Grove as well as the Elk River. A large aspect of the research is the collection of visitor data at the lakes. Oklahoma City University students trained with OSU agricultural economics faculty on data collection before beginning the research project. “OCU undergraduate students have

provided a lot of assistance in this study through their surveying and interviewing efforts,” Melstrom said. In addition to OCU students conducting surveys of visitors to the watershed, OCU faculty also will conduct the local economic impact analysis of spending by lake users, Melstrom said. These students have done the majority of data collection, Boyer said. OCU will receive $30,000 from the grant for its students’ data collection efforts. Melstrom said gathering the details and data needed for a study of this magnitude is difficult. “Collecting information about visitors is a logistical challenge for studies like this,” Melstrom said. “Analysis is the easy part, but we spend hours, days and weeks trying to collect data to answer simple research questions.” Data collection goes beyond learning


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Thousands of visitors flock to Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees yearly. Photo by Tracy Boyer.

Agricultural economics faculty, students evaluate recreational value of Grand River Watershed what visitors spend and goes into aspects of visitor behavior, such as a visitation frequency and the availability of similar lakes near a visitor’s home, Melstrom said. Susan Brand, an OSU agricultural economics master’s student, has supervised the OCU students collecting the data for this study. Brand said person-to-person conversation has yielded more information than other types of data collection. “The most challenging part was getting people’s responses,” Brand said. “Half of the population seemed to be willing and eager to help us collect data, while others were more reluctant to want to give up some of their time.” Boyer said solely measuring the spending on recreation can be misleading. “The dollar amount spent on each activity can be deceptive when calculating the true value of a place like Grand Lake,” Boyer said.

“For a visitor, the lake is quite literally worth more than just the dollars and cents they paid in gas and food for the trip,” Boyer said. “There are indirect impacts visitor spending can have on the community, including additional income to non-hospitality business owners.” Although studies have been conducted on multiple watersheds across the country, little has been done to determine true non-market value of watersheds in Oklahoma, Melstrom said. “Without considering every aspect of watershed use, a true economic value of a watershed cannot be attained,” he said. Much of the information collected is in relation to costs and benefits related to large events within the watershed’s communities. The project includes measuring the economic impact of the BASS Masters Classic fishing tournament in the Grand Lake area, Melstrom said.

“Direct impact accounts for all costs directly linked to the use of the watershed for recreational purposes, but indirect impact accounts for any additional costs it may bring the community, including business owners who must account for the costs recreation can bring,” Boyer said. Boyer and Melstrom said the goal of the study is to inform people about the value of different water uses. “We are focused on evaluating the non-market value of a watershed and its related activities,” Melstrom said. “I hope GRDA will use the information from this study to inform decision makers about recreation at the lake.”

Oliver Henderson Indianapolis COWBOY JOURNAL | 63

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a cultural

IMPACT International students add diversity to the Cowboy family

f the 76 land-grant universities in the United States, hundreds of international students choose Oklahoma State University. What encourages them to study in Stillwater, Okla.? “OSU is a very welcoming environment for international students,” said David Henneberry, associate vice president in the OSU Division of International Studies and Outreach. “The feedback international students get from their peers is that OSU is a good place to be.” The Division of International Studies and Outreach reviewed student surveys and learned the first time OSU students met and interacted with someone from a culture outside of the U.S. was often at OSU, Henneberry said.

“One of the main reasons we try to have international students on campus is because they add diversity and a unique dimension that otherwise would not be here,” Henneberry said. International students have the same admission process as other OSU students. However, international students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language, Henneberry said, and obtain a certain TOEFL score to be admitted into OSU. Agriculture plays a major role in adding to the population’s diversity at OSU, and in respect to international students, it is no different. “Agriculture is unique and special in regard to international students,”

Henneberry said, “because here in the United States we have figured out a lot of the problems associated with producing agricultural crops. When you look at how you increase production of wheat, corn, soybeans or livestock, we’ve faced most of the problems and found solutions.” International students come from countries where such advancements have not been made. OSU gives them the opportunity to learn techniques to help them improve productivity in their home countries, Henneberry said. “The students come here to get trained scientifically and take what they learned back to their countries,” Henneberry said. “Thus, they are better equipped to address their local problems.”

Fall 2015 International Student Statistics 102 of 196 countries 52% had students enrolled.


Top 5 Countries Enrolled India China Saudi Arabia South Korea


165 65 in international students are enrolled en nro in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and A Natural Resources. N Of these, Of these e 132 are graduate students and 33 are undergraduate undergra te students.

Iran 64 | WINTER/SPRING 2016

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Most of the international students in agricultural majors are at the graduate level, Henneberry said. This year, the agricultural economics department has 22 undergraduate Chinese students who are part of a joint program with China Agricultural University, said Mike Woods, agricultural economics department head and professor. “They are greatly enhancing and adding to our diversity,” Woods said. “We are enjoying them.” Ruoye Yang, an agricultural economics doctoral student from Beijing, China, earned her master’s at OSU after completing her undergraduate studies at China Agricultural University. “At OSU, you know more about agriculture and have professors who have strong academic ability,” Yang said. “That is why I chose this program.” Another reason international students choose OSU is the smooth transition into a new culture. “In international travel, if you control the first 48 hours and make sure that experience is good, it makes the entire school year better,” Henneberry said.

To control this window of time and create a positive arrival experience to the university, a group from the OSU Office of International Students and Scholars meets incoming students at the airport, provides bus transportation to Stillwater, and takes them directly to their housing, Henneberry said. “During arrival week, which is when everyone is coming to OSU, they have a table set up in the airport in Oklahoma City,” Henneberry said. “There is a big OSU banner, and the international students all know to look for that.” International students enjoy getting to mingle and learn new things about American culture, Henneberry said. One way the agricultural economics department encourages mingling is by hosting an international dinner, Yang said. Graduate students bring international dishes special to their countries, and faculty members participate with American dishes. She said the dinner is a great way for students to socialize and learn about different cultures. “International students love to meet Americans and have American friends,

so it is pretty easy to talk to them, start a dialogue, and make a friendship,” Henneberry said. “That’s one thing that helps us also to have all of our students become comfortable with other cultures.” When OSU’s American students are exposed to other cultures and are comfortable with these experiences, they become better professionals in the industry and in business, Henneberry said. Not only are international students creating an impact on campus, but also OSU is making an impact on them. Yang said her OSU experience has affected her career path. “I want to be an agricultural economics faculty member,” Yang said. “I hope I can make a contribution to international trade between China and the U.S. for agricultural products.”

Caitlyn Garner Stigler, Okla.

International Programs Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Dr. Adele Tongco, Director adel.tongco@okstate.edu 158 Ag Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078 405-744-6580

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OSU honors CASNR student with NCAA nomination


he National Collegiate Athletics Before college, Krshka grew up at Association Woman of the Year Krshka Quarter Horses, a horse training award honors a top graduating feand breeding facility in Yukon, Okla., and male student athlete who has distinguished developed an interest in horses as a child. herself throughout her academic career in Krshka began riding a pony when she the areas of academic achievement, athletic was around 3 years old, and she showed in excellence, service and leadership. Student her first lead-line class at age 4. athletes are nominated only once in their “I didn’t really push the horses on careers by their institutions. Katy,” said Jackie Krshka, the 22-yearKaty Krshka, old’s mother. “If she former member of wanted to ride, that Katy is at the top of the Oklahoma State great, but if not, the list of all of those who was University Equestrian that was fine, also. Team, was selected as have made a huge impact “I didn’t want OSU’s 2015 nominee on this university. Katy to feel pressured for the NCAA Woman to ride, so she tried of the Year award. — Larry Sanchez many different activWhile Krshka did OSU Equestrian Team Head Coach ities,” Jackie Krshka not win the award, she added. “She took is the first member of the OSU Equestrian piano lessons and did gymnastics, but she team to be nominated as well as the first always came back to the horses.” student from the College of Agricultural Krshka said she loved horses and Sciences and Natural Resources. riding from the get-go. “The nomination for the NCAA As a high school student, Krshka Woman of the Year Award is just one way served as the youth president for the Oklathat other people are going to get to know homa Quarter Horse Youth Association how special of an individual Katy is,” said and as a Region 8 director for the AmeriLarry Sanchez, head coach of the OSU can Quarter Horse Youth Association. Equestrian Team. In 2010, Krshka competed on the “Katy is at the top of the list of all of AQHA Youth World Cup team. Similar those who have made a huge impact on to Olympic format, riders can win gold, this university,” Sanchez said. “I couldn’t silver or bronze medals for their achievebe more proud of her nomination.” ments in each event. Krshka, a member of the OSU Krshka received a gold medal as a Equestrian Team from 2011 to 2015, high-point rider in showmanship and a received her bachelor’s degree in animal gold medal in horsemanship. She also rescience from OSU in December 2014. She ceived a silver medal as a high-point rider is currently in her first year as a student in hunt seat equitation. The team took in the Master of International Agriculture high-point honors for the United States program at OSU. that year.

Krshka said competing for Team USA was a great experience. In addition to being chosen to compete at the AQHA Youth World Cup, Krshka is an AQHYA World Champion and four-time AQHYA Reserve World Champion. She has 11 All-American Quarter Horse Congress championships and five All-Around Congress titles. Krhska’s success in equestrian competition did not go unnoticed. “I had known Katy for a long time due to her involvement in the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association,” Sanchez said. “Katy was competing at a very high level within the AQHA and was one of the top recruits coming out of high school. “All the coaches were anxious to sign her to their rosters,” Sanchez said. “My goal was to keep Katy in Oklahoma.” Krshka said she became more aware of collegiate equestrian teams while still in high school. “It was really exciting to go and visit different [schools],” Krshka said. “But, I had always loved OSU because my dad and brother went to school here.” Krshka ultimately decided to attend OSU because it felt like home, she said. She signed with the OSU Equestrian Team in November 2010. “Throughout her four years,” Sanchez said, “Katy definitely made an impact on our program, not only by being a phenomenal rider but also by being a leader for the team.” Krshka led by example in all aspects of the program, Sanchez said. In the four years Krshka rode for OSU, she received numerous outstanding


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Never underestimate yourself … Anything is possible. It just depends on how hard you want to work. — Katy Krshka 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee

Katy Krshka, OSU’s nominee for the 2015 Woman of the Year award, has ridden horses since she was 3. Photo by Dakota Davis-Keith.


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player recognitions and National Collegiate Equestrian Association Rider of the Month awards as well as Big 12 Rider of the Month awards. Krshka rode on a team that won three consecutive Big 12 Championships, a Reserve NCEA National Championship and an NCEA Western Division National Championship. “Krshka competed in two events while on the equestrian team,” Sanchez said. “She is a seven-time All-American. She was an All-American in reining for three years and in horsemanship the four years she competed.” An All-American is selected from the top four riders in each event based on their accomplishments during a season of competition, according to the NCEA. Krshka also has been successful in the classroom. Since enrolling at OSU, she has been on both the president’s and dean’s honor rolls. As a result, she was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and a threetime NCEA Academic All-American. Krshka was the 2015 OSU Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. In addition to being a member of

Katy Krshka demonstrates the spin during a reining competition at an OSU Equestrian Team meet. Photo by Bruce Waterfield.

the equestrian team, Krshka served as the OSU Spirit Rider for 2014-15. “It’s a lot of hard work,” Krshka said. “Never underestimate yourself. You can always push yourself so much farther than you think you can. Never sell yourself short. Anything is possible. It just depends on how hard you want to work.” Krshka is a humble, hardworking person, said Paris Nottingham, Krshka’s roommate and a biochemistry and molecular biology senior. “We have shown horses together since we were 12 years old,” Nottingham said. “She is someone I look up to.” Krshka has always been hardworking, driven and goal-oriented, her mother said. “It’s in her DNA,” Jackie Krshka said. “Many times with success comes arrogance and entitlement. I am proudest of her, not for her wins, but that she has remained humble and gracious in her success.”

Dakota Davis-Keith Perry, Okla.

C�wgirl Equestrian here to stay

Although the NCAA’s Committee on Women’s Athletics recommended the removal of women’s equestrian from the emerging sports list in October 2014, officials failed to complete the association’s process for dropping the sport and the CWA was charged with finding an alternative for Women’s Equestrian besides dropping it. Larry Sanchez, Oklahoma State University Equestrian Team coach and spokesperson for the NCAA’s varsity equestrian steering committee, said he wanted to ensure supporters OSU will not drop the equestrian team as a competitive sport. “Coach Mike Holder, OSU athletic director, told me he is going to continue to sponsor it here because it helps meet the Title IX needs for OSU,” Sanchez said. According to the OSU Office of Equal opportunity, Title IX states no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. “The black cloud that was over equestrian has not totally dissipated, but it has definitely moved from over the top of us,” Sanchez said. Sanchez said equestrian is a great sport because OSU is home to the Cowboys and the university is in the heart of horse country. “There is no risk of equestrian being dropped by the NCAA at this time,” Sanchez said, “nor will it be dropped at OSU.”


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Protecting Amer

OSU develops a food safety option for the

Food safety inspectors make up the largest portion of the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s employees with more than 7,500 nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Photo by Kaitlyn Sanson.

ach year, 48 million people get sick from foodborne illnesses in the U.S. alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Food safety is a major issue,” said Ranjith Ramanathan, an assistant professor who teaches food science courses in the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science. “Every day, we hear about foodborne outbreaks. The consumers are really worried about what to buy, what to do, what not to eat.” Because of this growing need for food safety professionals, OSU has established one of the first undergraduate degree options focused on food safety, said Ravirajsinh Jadeja, assistant professor and food safety specialist at OSU. “Students can come to OSU, major in food science with a food safety option, and graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree, qualified to get a job in the food safety area,” said Clint Rusk, head of the OSU Department of Animal Science. OSU’s food safety option puts more emphasis on quality control versus microbiology like other schools, which makes the program unique, Ramanathan said. “With this food safety option, we are training more students so they can help the industry,” Ramanathan said. The push for the food safety option began with the Oklahoma food industry, Rusk said. Through input from the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center’s advisory board, OSU recognized the need to develop students specialized and trained in food safety, Rusk said. “Support for the food safety option grew all the way up to President Burns Hargis,” Rusk said. The department jumped on board, Rusk said, and began the interview process


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ing merica’s

tion for the food science major


for the first faculty position within the said. “When we go to lunch, we expect it food safety program. Jadeja started in to be safe. None of us want to get sick.” January 2015. Jadeja said the curriculum currently “We were very impressed with Dr. includes at least five new classes, two of Jadeja’s background and just as impressed which Jadeja taught in Fall 2015. with his personality,” Rusk said. “We felt “The food safety option really puts he would interact well with students.” into place people who have the backJadeja said he was interested in ground and exposure to auditing, food coming to OSU for this program because microbiology and quality-control systems, he wanted a career where he could work so they can hit the ground running in a with the industry and production facility,” With this food safety teach students. VanOverbeke said. “OSU has state- option, we are training The career of-the-art facilities, a opportunities for more students so they can this option range really good program and is already working help the industry. from production to closely with the indusprocessing systems to — Ranjith Ramanathan marketing for food try,” Jadeja said. Animal Science Assistant Professor retail or restaurants, Although the food safety option is less than a year old, the VanOverbeke said. Since Oklahoma food department is moving quickly and already companies came to OSU asking directly has received approval for the curriculum, for students with these specific qualificaRusk said. tions, they will look to OSU for employees The curriculum includes a Hazard graduating with this option, she said. Analysis Critical Control Point course to Jadeja said his position includes both go in-depth with HACCP training, which teaching and extension, which gives him all processing plants require, said Deborah the opportunity to work closely with the VanOverbeke, an animal science professor Oklahoma food industry and take students who teaches food science courses. Classes with him when he goes on industry visits. involving sanitation as well as other quali“Jadeja’s expected to leave campus, ty-control classes also are being developed visit companies, and work with those comin the department, VanOverbeke said. panies,” Rusk said. “So, for the students to “Companies have a shortage of people be able to go with the professor to visit the working in the sanitation crew,” Jadeja companies they will potentially work for, said. “That’s why they need properly how many other majors get to do that?” trained and equipped people who can take Jadeja said he taught a class for Fall care of the job. This sanitation course is 2015, Oklahoma Food Industry Experigoing to help the students.” ences, in which students visited different Companies are required to docucompanies statewide within the food ment their processes to ensure the food production industry. they produce is safe, Rusk said, and those “If students have some exposure and companies need people trained in this doc- some knowledge of the companies, it umenting process. makes them more capable of coming in “We all want a safe food supply,” Rusk and running from day one versus trying to

learn the system from the get-go,” VanOverbeke said. Rusk said numerous jobs will be available in the food industry, which makes the food safety option such an exciting opportunity for students. “When you look at the food science major,” VanOverbeke said, “we’re always going to eat. It’s one of those majors where jobs aren’t going to come and go as the economy changes. Jobs are always going to be there.” As the food science major continues to be promoted through the college, the food safety option will grow because of the various paths students can take that help set them apart from other students, VanOverbeke said. “Students really need to know what the need is,” Ramanathan said. “People are not really aware of the exciting career opportunities. If we promote food science, especially food safety, then there are a lot of job opportunities.” As the world’s population grows and more food is consumed, more companies will demand food safety graduates, Rusk said, and OSU is one of the places to come to pursue the food safety field. The food safety area is up-and-coming and offers great opportunities to help with food safety issues, he added. “There will be opportunities in almost every state with this major in addition to other countries who will seek food safety experts,” Rusk said.

Kaitlyn Sanson Flagler Beach, Fla. COWBOY JOURNAL | 71

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Early Career Kent Gardner Kent Gardner, a 2015 Early Career Achievement Award recipient, was raised in Sharon, Okla., where he was active in the agricultural industry through 4-H and FFA. Gardner grew up on a farm raising cattle and growing tomatoes with four older siblings. “My siblings really paved the way for my future,” Gardner said. “They set the path, and all I really had to do was follow.” In 2001, Gardner earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the Oklahoma State University College of Natural Sciences and Natural Resources. He then earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma in 2004. “College is all about pushing yourself to do just a little bit more,” Gardner said. “The OSU College of Agricultural Scienc-

es and Natural Resources was definitely a factor that contributed to my success.” Since his graduation from OSU, Gardner has established himself as a respected attorney and serves as the vice president and general counsel for The Funk Cos., including Express Employment Professionals, Express Ranches and Express UU Bar Ranch. Gardner is also a co-owner of Mangum Brick Co. and a partner in several Bobcat dealerships in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. Gardner is a passionate supporter of OSU and is a member of the boards of governors for the OSU Foundation and the OSU Alumni Association. He serves on several local and alumni organization boards, as well. Gardner resides in Edmond, Okla.

Kent Gardner (left) and Mike Albert have achieved success in their chosen careers. Photo by Todd Johnson.

Mike Albert Mike Albert, the youngest partner with Design Workshop in Aspen, Colo., and one of the state’s Top Five Designers Under 40, earned a degree in landscape architecture from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 2006. Last spring, he received the CASNR Alumni Association’s Early Career Achievement Award. “Honestly, I was shocked,” Albert said. “Considering the quality of our college’s graduates and the impact they have, I was completely humbled.” Crediting his success back to his time at OSU, Albert said, “The education — both inside and out of the classroom — shaped the person I am today. “Internships enabled me to understand the breadth and diversity of the landscape architecture profession, the

culture of office I desired, and the geographies in which I wanted to live. “Our profession is now viewed as an influential leader in shaping our currently structured environment,” Albert said. “Today, landscape architects often lead complex, multi-disciplinary teams of architects, engineers, environmental specialists, scientists, market analysts and artists in tackling future and current contemporary issues.” He said OSU’s landscape architecture program provides students with the professional skills to have profound and positive impacts on the future generations. Albert said John Ritter, associate professor emeritus, and other faculty in the landscape architecture program guided and shaped him in a positive direction. “For decades, John Ritter influenced

hundreds of landscape architecture students,” Albert said. With Albert’s family still home in Beaver, Okla., running their ranching operations and with his roots in the OSU landscape architecture program, Albert said he frequently returns to Oklahoma. “I am fortunate to have the support of my family, who instilled hard work and discipline,” Albert said. “In recent years, my trips to OSU mostly have been concentrated around football games,” Albert said. Albert served on the landscape architecture program’s professional advisory council from 2008 to 2011. He said he plans to return to Stillwater next April for Cowboys and Conversations, a Student Alumni Board networking initiative to connect alumni with students.


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CASNR Alumni News Winter/Spring 2016

Thank you, sponsors! Gold Level

Express Ranches • Gregory & Kristen Hart • Wal-Mart

Silver Level American Farmers & Ranchers • BancFirst–Stillwater Bank of Western Oklahoma • Chisholm Trail Farm Credit Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma • Grissoms LLC Oklahoma Farm Bureau • P&K Equipment Persimmon Creek Investments • Shattuck National Bank The Bank of Kremlin • The Bank N.A. • The Stock Exchange Bank W.B. Johnston Grain Co.

Bronze Level Hopeton State Bank The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation–Agricultural Division Brandon & Becky Chandler Royal-Grow Products LLC Tallgrass RC & D Project Wheatland Resource Conservation & Development

Alma Mater.

Give your all to your

he CASNR Alumni group is a nonprofit organization dedicated toward OSU recruitment, promoting CASNR student academic excellence and activities, and building CASNR student scholarship programs. The group has a 12-member board of directors. The board includes two representatives from each of the four districts throughout Oklahoma and four members from across the United States. Throughout the year, the CASNR Alumni board is involved with several events, including Dinner with Five Cowboys, the Access Tour, CASNR Roundup, and the CASNR Homecoming Reception. The organization also supports the CASNR Early Career Achievement Award, Outstanding Senior awards and various student scholarships.

CASNR Alumni Board of Directors Brian Vowell

Pr es i d e n t Stillwat e r, O k la .

B rand o n Cha ndler Vice Pre s i d e n t Str atfo rd , O k la .

Le wis Cunni ngha m Secre t a ry Edmon d , O k la .

Ste ve D a mron

E xecutive Se c re t a ry Stillwat e r, O k la .

Do n Roberts E nid, O k la .

K e n Sp a dy

Hinto n , O k la .

Tre s a T ra mmell A rd more, O k la .

Jeremy B en ne t t St i l lw ater, Ok l a .

Pa ige Wa l l ac e

St i l lw ater, Ok l a .

Ha le y Na bor s E n id, Ok l a .

C olem a n H ic k m a n Sapu lpa , Ok l a .

R ay lon E a rl s

Guy mon, Ok l a .

K i rby Sm it h For more information, visit casnr.okstate.edu/alumni.

Yu kon, Ok l a .


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FA R M H O U S E F R A T E R N I T Y www.fhosu.org - rushosufh@yahoo.com

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Cowboy Journal Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership 448 Agricultural Hall Stillwater, OK 74078-6031

Expanding Minds, Inspiring Purpose

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Profile for Cowboy Journal

Cowboy Journal v18n1  

Cowboy Journal Volume 17, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2016, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Journal v18n1  

Cowboy Journal Volume 17, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2016, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University


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