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COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES AND NATURAL RESOURCES

"R 2 • SUMMER/ FALL 2008

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DISCOVER THE POWER OF

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staff

Editors Callie Hadley Skyler Selby

Graphic Coordinators Samantha Davidson Stacy Patton

Sponsorship Coordinators Shawna Allen Evin Goss

Circulation Coordinators Austin Partida Darrin Schultz

Photography Coordinators Lance Shaw Hannah Wright

Web Editor Jillianne Zweiacker

Staff Brittainy Barton Blayr Beougher Whitney Danker Cori Harrison Christa Martin Ashley Schnoor Sara-Jane Smallwood Kirby Smith Kandice Taylor

Managing Editor Shelly Peper Sitton

Cori Harrison /top left), Austin Partida, Kirby Smith, Darrin Schultz, Whitney Danker Shawna Allen, Sara-Jane Smallwood, Evin Goss, Ashley Schnoor Hannah Wright, Lance Shaw (bottom left), Kandice Taylor Skyler Selby, Jillianne Zweiacker Samantha Davidson, Blayr Beougher Stacy Patton, Brittainy Barton, Callie Hadley and Christa Martin.

Assistant Managing Editors Cindy Blackwell Dwayne Cartmell

Founding Sponsors Limousin World Oklahoma Farm Bureau Quebecor World Midland

on the Web Visit this issue and Cowboy Journal archives at http:// cowboyjournal.okstate.edu

on the cover

Fr{}-1,1,{, the editors ... In this issue we are excited to highlight just a few of the outstanding individuals who are connected with the Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. We have enjoyed learning about alumni and students, and through their stories we have yet another example of the high-quality education CASNR offers. To Tanner Robertson, Traci Naile, Elizabeth Whitfield, Bonnie Milby, Katie Reim, Jessica Stewart, Debbie McCarthy and Dave Martin, thank you for all your hard work, support and assistance. Also, to our fellow staff members, thank you for all the hours, dedication, and most of all, fun. We would not have been able to do this without you. As we stand at the end of the semester and look back at our years at OSU, we are grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved in CASNR. It has been a place for us to grow, learn and reach our full potential. Shelly, Cindy and Dwayne - we cannot thank you enough for investing so much in each of us. You have been sources of direction, encouragement and friendship. We will never forget all you have done.

Prescribed burns are vital to research at the C ross Timbers Experimental Range. Steve Winter works to maintain a controlled burn. (Photo by Blayr Beougher)

4 • Cowboy Journal

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VU of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabili1ies 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 policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. This publication is printed and issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the Vice President, Dean, and Director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and has been prepared and distributed at no cost to the taxpayers of Oklahoma. The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.


volume 10 number 2 • summer/fall 2008 c

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The Voice Behind the Whisper • 26 Alumnus Richard Dane! has called Varsity Barbershop 'home' for 50 years

Keepers ofYe Bottle • 33 Forty years of'Ye Olde Ph.D Pepper' in agricultural economics

OSU Alum Goes the Distance ... To Make a Difference • 35 Mi bey assumes duties as vice chancellor of Kenya's Moi University

60 Years & Counting • 42 OSU's College of Veterinary Medicine commemorates its diamond anniversary

Real Men of Excellence • 46 CASNR honors three distinguished alumni

Ag Alumni News• 48 CASNR alumni in the spotlight

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The New Face of'Oklahoma Gardening'• 18

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Exploring Opportunities in Extension• 16 Cooperative Extension interns leave their mark on Oklahoma counties

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This season of'Oklahoma Gardening' brings its 10th host into homes across the state

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Cowboys Race Against Cancer • 37 Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty 'team up' in the battle against cancer

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A Delights-ful Alternative • 6

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FAPC helps Stillwater family offer healthy drink options

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CSI: Agricultural Style • 20

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Forensics and plant pathology unite through the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

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Black Gold to Sun Gold • 22 Oklahoma State University receives $2.5 million as regional center for Sun Grant Initiative

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Plum Sweet Plum • 28

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NREM studies show sand plum thickets provide homes for North American bobwhite quail

Cross Timbers • 30 OSU's Cross Timbers Experimental Range provides Oklahomans with information on managing natural resources

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Bikes and Buddies • 9 Two agricultural education graduate students give back to their communities by donating bicycles

What Do Biochemists Do? • 11 Exploring the truth about biochemistry careers

Cowboys Make the Call • 13 CASNR students call alumni to raise scholarship money

CASNR Seniors Score Big• 21 Kuzma earns top honors at CASNR awards banquet

Introducing ... an International Master's Option • 24 Students can use travel to earn a degree

Saving the World ... Professionally • 39 Environmental science class teaches students to apply knowledge in real-world situations

Making a Difference ... One Student at a Time • 44 CASNR implements new selection process for Student Success Leaders


outreach

FAPC helps Stillwater family offer healthy drink options ping bags, boxes, wrapping paper, signage and post cards, Salas said. They also produced other printed paper products By Hannah Wnght for companies such as Nautica, Tommy Oologah, Okla. Hilfiger, Warner Brothers and Versace. IT'S A COMPANY AS RICH IN FLA"My business partner and I found vor, tradition and Oklahoma State Uni ourselves playing ball in the big leagues," versity spirit as the man who founded it. Salas said. "We were overwhelmed with Fruity Delights was established in Still- the knowledge we were missing." water, Okla., but the idea came from a The company was a great success, thousand miles away. but after two years of operation, Salas At age 19, Ricardo Salas was opera- and his partner decided to close shop tions manager at a freight forwarding and head to college. Salas had lived in company in Guadalajara, Mexicp. One Stillwater with his family until he was of the company's specialties was export- seven years old while his father, Rodolfo ing Mexican handicrafts to Europe and Salas, studied animal science. Salas said the United States. Salas credits much of he had fond memories of the town, and, the business knowledge he obtained in after receiving a Legacy Scholarship to the early years to his boss and mentor. waive out-of-state tuition, he headed to "My first boss was an entrepreneur," OSU, where he tailored his education Salas said. "He sat me at the right side around his entrepreneurial ideas. of his desk for every decision. I learned One of his ideas was Fruity Dea lot about business from him. I learned lights. Though he had three other busiabout being an entrepreneur, as well." ness plans in the works while Fruity In his early 20s, using the business Delights was developing, the beverage contacts he made at the shipping com- company soon began emerging as an pany, Salas moved to Mexico City, ready idea to be taken seriously, and Salas saw to venture into his own business. Salas the tremendous marketing potential in and his partner founded RS Interna- the United States. tional Trading Co. The company foSalas and his wife, Pepper, both cused on producing and had full-time jobs in the early stages of selling mate- Fruity Delights. As they juggled a family rials s1,1ch as and work, Fruity Delights was placed on shop the back burner. But a devastating turn of events left the Salas family reeling. "On May 25, 2006, our son died," Salas said. "With his death left all interest I had in everyone else's business, and I could not focus on anything but Fruity 6 â&#x20AC;˘ Cowboy Journal

Delights, my passion. So my wife and I decided I should quit my job and focus on starting Fruity Delights as quickly as possible while she and some of our savings helped keep us afloat." Salas said he knew, now more than ever, this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. "The time came when it was time for Ricardo to quit his job," Pepper Salas said. "I was managing a restaurant here in town, and I said, 'I'll support the family for now and you just go gung-ho with it."' With all energy channeled into the new company, Ricardo Salas worked to make a name for Fruity Delights. "The toughest point has been to know where to find the right information," Ricardo Salas said. "There is a bunch of data out there; knowing how to pick it in order to put a business plan together has taken the largest amount of time and patience." That's where Chuck Willoughby, business and marketing relations manager at the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center, got involved. Willoughby and Ricardo Salas first met through the Meridian Technology Center, Willoughby said. The Meridian Technology Small Business Assistance Center called FAPC about getting involved with one of the small businesses they were helping, Willoughby said. That small business was Fruity Delights. At that stage of the company, Ricardo Salas was looking at small-stage


production in Stillwater, Willoughby and stays frozen until the vendor thaws adhering to strict diets. Ricardo Salas said. Trial markets for his product were it. It is then put in a granita machine, donated sugar-free Fruity Delights to a local vendors, such as The Daily Grind which keeps the product frozen at a JDRF event conducted by the sorority, and OSU's Student Union. Both are slushy consistency. What does this mean Piguet said. for consumers? An amazingly fresh, colcurrently Fruity Delights vendors. The Salas family is proud of its ''.At first, we wanted to be a small re- orful glass of Fruity Delights every time, OSU and Oklahoma connections. Oklahoma is the optimal test market tail location and make all the beverages Ricardo Salas said. ourselves and sell directly to the public," And where can you get a glass of for Fruity Delights, Ricardo Salas said. Ricardo Salas said. "FAPC introduced Fruity Delights? The product is avail- While many of the household-name the co-packer concept, which opened able in many locations on OSU's cam- products are launched in trendsetting pus, including the Student Union, areas such as California and New York, up a whole different company." Willoughby aided Fruity Delights Twenty Something Too, Stout Hall, Ad- Ricardo Salas looks invitingly at the by suggesting using a manufacturing ams Market and West Side Cafe. It also challenge of launching in Oklahoma. plant to produce the product and hav- can be purchased at Swick's Pizza and "Oklahoma is a very tough cusing regular business meetings with Ri- The Daily Grind in Stillwater as well as tomer," Ricardo Salas said. "If we make cardo Salas. They met every 30 days to Cafe 501 in Edmond. And this is only it here, we can make it easier in Los discuss the business decisions Ricardo the beginning, said the globally minded Angeles and New York." Salas had made and to plan what moves Ricardo Salas. Oklahomans are proud of prodto make next. "International commerce is what I ucts made in the state, Ricardo Salas After facilities to produce Fruity want to do," Ricardo Salas said. "We'll said, and they pay close attention to Delights in the United States proved too start in the U .S by interstate commerce, "Made in Oklahoma." Fruity Delights expensive, Ricardo Salas turned to his then cross boundaries to Canada and is a company that was made in OklaMexico. Then, who knows, Europe?" native country of Mexico. homa, Ricardo Salas said. It was made Budget is crucial when trying to Fruity Delights prides itself on be- in Stillwater, and it was made at OSU launch a new business, but money is not ing one of the healthiest drinks on the "One of the main reasons for the only reason Ricardo Salas chose a market, Ricardo Salas said. It is 100- launching Fruity Delights in Stillwafactory in Mexico. He said some of the percent natural, made from fresh fruit ter is because we love Stillwater - it's best-tasting fruit in the world is grown purees, with no preservatives, caffeine, our home," Ricardo Salas said. "We there. Now, Fruity Delights can reach artificial ingredients or colors. Ricardo Salas said the beverage in more people at once and be made with some of the world's best fruit, Ricardo dustry maintains itself through artificial means. High-fructose corn syrup, caf Salas said. Strawberry, cantaloupe, lime and feine, artificial flavors and colors are stamango are Fruity Delights' fruit picks, ples in the most popular drinks on the and the Salases plan to expand. They market. Fruity Delights is filling a niche have experimented with flavors such as in the natural foods market as a healthy grape, watermelon, pineapple, plum and substitute for soda. pear. Ricardo Salas is particularly proud "I like them because they're all natof the story behind the mango flavor, his ural and taste good," said Kelli Piguet, personal favorite. a biochemistry and molecular biology "I wanted to import mango from junior. "They're very refreshing." Mexico because we use a variety that is Piguet, whose favorite flavor is full in flavor and tastes nothing like the strawberry, first tried Fruity Delights variety available in the U.S ," he said. in November 2007 through "We managed to find a way to export it her sorority, Kappa Kappa and communicate that flavor to every- Gamma. The sorority's lobody else." cal philanthropy is the JuSince the manufacturing plant is in venile Diabetes Research the heart of the best agricultural region Foundation. Since Fruity in Mexico, Fruity Delights is processed, Delights offers a sugarpasteurized, packaged and frozen within free version, it provides an 24 hours of harvest. From there, the fin- option for diabetics who ished product is shipped to Oklahoma want taste and flavor, while


love campus, and we want to give the opportunities that we learned through the process of creating Fruity Delights to OSU's students." Fruity Delights grew rapidly, and Pepper Salas was able to quit her job to become the chief operations officer of the company. Just as the Salas family is proud of Stillwater and OSU, those who know Fruity Delights' story willingly support the company. "You know you're supporting someone who was here at OSU," Piguet said. "Being an OSU student, I'm kind of following in his footsteps, and it's nice having people like that." Fruity Delights has a wonderful beginning, and the future looks bright. Thanks to a driven entrepreneur, the help of FAPC and a wonderful product, Stillwater and OSU have a company of which they can be proud, and that company is here to stay. ""11111

Fruity Delights founders Ricardo /left) and Pepper Salas work side by side to make their dreams for their company a reality.


students

Bikes and Buddies

Two agricultural education graduate students give back to their communities by donating bicycles By Evin Goss Carmen, Okla. THE RHYTHMIC CRY OF THE auctioneer swirls around the crowd. Bidders compete for their prized pieces of merchandise. At the Oklahoma State University Bicycle and Unclaimed Property auction, electronics, jewelry and clothes were up for grabs, but Chance Owen and his roommate Eric Kennel were there to buy bicycles. Owen is from Caddo, Okla., and Kennel is an Okeana, Ohio, native. Both young men are agricultural education graduate students and wanted to buy bicycles for their own enjoyment. "We were looking for a bike or two that was cheap to buy to get some exercise," Owen said. Owen's parents, Gary and Pam Owen, also attended the auction. On a church mission trip to Penjamo, Mexico, last summer, Pam Owen noticed a lack of transportation for local citizens.

"Chance talked about the bike auction," Pam Owen said. "I thought it would be a good idea to buy some to take to Mexico for our mission trip." The bicycles started selling at affordable prices within the small auction crowd. At the end of the day, the Owens and Kennel had purchased 23 bicycles. "It was fun," Pam Owen said. "It was my first time at the bike auction." Most of the bicycles were in working order. However, some needed repairs. "Some of the seats and the brakes were broken," Owen said, "and some tires we had to replace. We only spent about $200 on bikes and $10 to $15 for fixing them." Some of the bikes stayed in Stillwater with Owen and Kennel, and some were taken to Caddo. In Caddo, a few of the bicycles have been given to children in the Owens' church. The rest will be taken to Penjamo this summer. In Stillwater, Owen and Kennel

have given some of their bicycles to OSU international students who have no mode of transportation. "In our department [Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership], we have a lot of international students," Kennel said. "This is a way we can make them feel at home." To date, Owen and Kennel have given four bicycles to fellow students. "Since we are both in graduate school, we haven't been as efficient in giving them away," Owen said. "If we hear of people, we will fix one up and give it to them." At the department's annual picnic, Owen and Kennel noticed Samba Moriba, an agricultural education graduate student from Sierra Leone, Africa, did not have a ride home, so they took him back to campus. When they discovered Moriba had no means of transportation, they gave him a bicycle. "In a week, they fixed up a bike and gave it to me," Moriba said. "I use my Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 9


bike every day, except when it snows. I don't have a car, and besides, it is good exercise for me." Most of the bicycles sold at the auction were abandoned and unclaimed on campus by students, said Jan Cook-Hernandez, assistant manager of OSU Parking and Transit Services. OSU Parking and Transit Services and the OSU Police Department conduct the OSU Bicycle and Unclaimed Properry Auction. "We normally do the auction once a year," Cook-Hernandez said, "but this year we are doing two." The Owens and Kennel bought their bicycles at the August 2007 auction. An additional auction was held April 15 The annual auction will be held in August. Owen and Kennel said they plan to attend the bicycle auction every year and continue to buy and donate bicycles. Owen and Kennel said they both love having the opportuniry to give to others. "If you give a little [to others], you get a lot in return," Owen said. - .

Chance Owen (left) and Eric Kennel purchased bicycles from the OSU Bicycle and Unclaimed Property Auction to give to people in need.


Wha Exploring the truth about biochemistry careers By Callie Hadley Midland, Texas

partment of biochemistry and molecular biology. The experience they gain in research situations and extracurricular DOCTOR. LAWYER. TEACHER. activities helps prepare chem for future Consultant. Veterinarian. Though at careers in industry or graduate and profirst glance these careers may not seem fessional studies, Hartson said. to have anything in common, they are Individuals who receive a bachelor's all careers an individual with a degree in degree in biochemistry and choose not biochemistry can pursue. to advance to a graduate program or Gary Thompson, head of the Okla- professional school have options open homa State University Department of to them in many fields, Hartson said. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Thompson said the biofuels induswill tell you, a common misconception try is one area where biochemistry mais biochemistry graduates will spend jors will be in high demand. "There will be jobs available contheir lives in laboratories, never seeing the light of day. In reality, biochemistry ducting research on how best to create is more than laboratories and research. biofuels or how they can be utilized ''A biochemistry degree gives stu- after production to jobs working in dents the opportunity to study the basic biofuel plants running equipment and foundation for the way things work in overseeing everyday activities," Thompalmost every course," said Steve Hart- son said. son, assistant research professional and Research technician jobs are availdirector of the OSU DNA/Protein Re- able to bachelor's graduates in various source facility, a facility specializing in areas. Any company with a research deDNA sequencing and mass spectrom- partment will need individuals with reetry. "Students come to our program to search experience who can run tests and get that depth." perform other duties in the lab, ThompThe OSU biochemistry program son said. offers students a background in chemisThose who have a passion for teachtry and biology. ing can choose to teach at high schools ''A biochemistry degree gives stu- or junior colleges with their bachelor's dents a good foundation in all the physi- degree, Hartson said. Technical or scical sciences," Hartson said. ence writers are also needed. From the time they are undergradu"The ability to sell yourself, along ates, students have the opportunity to with speaking and writing skills, are just participate in research based in the de- as important as a passion for science,"

said Bobby Johnson, an OSU biochemistry graduate. Consulting also has become a career in which biochemistry graduates are needed, Thompson said. "There is a real need for individuals who have a good understanding of new technologies to help develop policies for states and nations, so they can make good judgments," Thompson said. Policies concerning issues such as genetically modified organisms, cloning and other genetically related discoveries and innovations are examples. A huge demand has arisen for individuals with scientific expertise in patent law, said Bob Matts, OSU biochemistry graduate coordinator. "The explosion in biochemical knowledge has been overwhelming," Matts said. "There have been record numbers of million-dollar lawsuits dealing with discoveries and who does or who doesn't own them." A niche is developing for biochemistry students who obtain a master's or doctorate in biochemistry and then move on to get their law degrees. "The industry needs lawyers with biochemistry experience to help determine what's patentable," Matts said. Biochemistry lawyers help companies abide by the procedures that must be followed to acquire a patent or handle other issues related to patent law. Individuals with a biochemistry deSummer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 11


gree are not limited to getting a job in biochemistry, Matts said. He suggests immunology, pharmacology and entomology as a few of the various options biochemistry students have available to chem after graduation. Lenora Volk, a 2001 OSU biochemistry graduate, agreed. However, she said she tells students an advanced degree is always an option when they chink about the future. Volk, a Tulsa native, completed a bachelor's degree in biochemistry at OSU. She participated in research in Hartson's lab from her freshman year until graduation. After graduating from OSU, she earned a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center. She began pose-doctorate work in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in January 2008. "Probably the best option is to go to graduate school and then enter the work force," Volk said. Biochemistry graduates can earn a master's degree, but they have a unique option, also. . "When getting a graduate degree in biochemistry, you can go straight from your bachelor's into a Ph.D.," Thompson said. "However, if an individual isn't sure what they want to do, getting a master's degree gives chem an opportunity to chink about it." Students can get a master's in almost anything chat relates to the field they wish to pursue, including biochemistry, Matts said. "It can really give students chat extra edge above the competition." Students who are on the edge of getting into medical school often find getting a master's degree can help chem get in where they wouldn't have otherwise. A master's degree also can make students more competitive in doctoral programs in other disciplines outside biochemistry, he said. Professional degree options also are available in medicine, veterinary medicine or dentistry. "The biochemistry degree prepares students for any professional program in 12 â&#x20AC;˘ Cowboy Journal

For individuals who wish to remain medicine," Thompson said. "Our students go into graduate-level programs in a collegiate setting in a teaching and well-prepared because of the rigorous research capacity, they must know it is level of coursework required for a bach- one of the most difficult careers to obtain, Matts said. elor's degree." The M.D./Ph.D., the doctor of Academic positions are competimedicine and the doctor of philosophy tive, despite the fact fewer individuals in biochemistry, is a degree combination are seeking chem, he said. available to students, Hartson said. However, the possibility always exIndividuals who wish to go into the ists of working in a lab in an academic medical or pharmaceutical industries setting and becoming a principal invesshould consider working toward their tigator, Matts said. Principal investigaM.D./Ph.D, he said. tors are the primary persons in charge of "This program allows individuals to a research grant and report to the indiperform clinical trials and other research vidual in whose lab they are working or where they actually get to interact with a department head, he said. human patients," Hartson said. "Principal investigators can work Hartson said other professional their way into being a department head programs such as veterinary medicine or or head of an institute with hard work dental schools appreciate biochemistry and time," Matts said. "Being a pringraduates because of their research expe- cipal investigator is a way to get your riences and abilities to balance challeng- foot in the door if you are unable to attain a professorship." ing coursework and other activities. The biochemistry and molecular Thompson said the main benefit biology program offers pre-profession- of a biochemistry degree is its flexibility al degrees for medical and veterinary gives students a real advantage. "The biochemistry degree is much studies to help prepare students for professional schools. The challenging more flexible than people chink," coursework helps students to be pre- Thompson said. "It gives students a pared and accepted to more competi- broader educational scope and employtive programs when they finally apply, ers love our graduates. They know chat Thompson said. we don't mind a challenge." ......

Kristen Szabla, an OSU biochemistry graduate now pursuing her master's degree in biochemistry, injects samples into the HPLC, a protein purifier, at the ONA/Protein Resource Facility.


students

CASNR students call alumni to raise scholarship money By Skyler Selby Gage, Okla. FOR STUDENTS IN THE COLLege of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, raising scholarship money for their fellow students is only a phone call away. CASNR student leaders, faculty and the Oklahoma State University Foundation are working hand-in-hand to raise money for CASNR students.

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The OSU Foundation has a group ers raised more than $31,000. This of more than 20 students working as year, 20 CASNR student leaders from Cowboy Callers. These students work groups such as Agricultural Ambassafor the foundation to call alumni to ask dors, Freshmen In Transition Student for donat.ions. To raise scholarship mon- Academic Mentors and Career Liaisons ey for CASNR, students from different were callers. The student leaders called departments within the college have from Feb. 18 through Feb. 27. The goal volunteered at the OSU Foundation to set for this year was $70,000. call alumni. Cassie Lancaster, animal science seEd Miller, CASNR associate dean, nior and Agricultural Ambassador, was and Amy Simmons, Agricultural Am- enthusiastic about this year's goal. bassador coordinator, organized a time "It is a high goal, and I think it is when agricultural students great," Lancaster said. "It is better to set could act as "calling compan- the bar high than set it low." ions" to the Cowboy Callers. Each student worked in threeand Simmons hour shifts to call CASNR alumni. The Miller learned from the first year of amount raised by CASNR students and calling in 2007 and are trying Cowboy Callers to date is $57,000. Miller said he is proud of the stuto improve their efforts. To try dents who called and is thankful for all to raise more money this year, they decided to use more stu- donations made. dents from different areas of "Most of the students who are callstudy within the college. ing are on scholarship," Miller said. "The students last year "They know how important this supdid a great job," Miller said. port is. Every scholarship donation, "It is a great program. How- even if it is small, helps." ever, when we looked at it To prepare potential donors, a brothis year, we said 'Why not chure was mailed a month prior to the use more students from our calling period. The brochures specifileadership groups and make it cally explained needs within the college even better?"' and described how donations can help Last year, the "calling com- CASNR students. The brochures propanions" and Cowboy Call- vide an estimate of how much a semester

"Calling companions" record donor information at the Oklahoma State University Foundation.

Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 13


at OSU can cost to give donors a better idea of the monetary needs of today's students. The brochures also let donors know about their options. Donors can choose to contribute to a wide range of options: The CASNR general scholarship fund; a specific scholarship, department, major or program; or student leadership and service scholarships to provide students an international educational experience. "People want to be generous," said Debbie Nance, director of the annual giving program for the OSU Foundation. "They want to know their gift is going to matter. The brochures help them with that." Using students as Cowboy Callers is an effective and personal way to raise money for CASNR. "We try to reach as many alumni as we can in a short amount of time," Nance said. "It helps when students are in the same area of study as the alumni.

Students have a great time talking to alumni, and it is a good way for them to build relationships and network." CASNR students were excited about being "calling companions." "I thought it really sounded like a lot of fun," Lancaster said. "I jumped on that. I actually got to call my parents, and that was really fun!" Students who volunteered to be "calling companions" said they realized how important donations can be and enjoyed connecting with alumni. "This college has done a lot for me, and it is a great way for me to give back," Lancaster said. "I think it is so crucial to build relationships with alumni." Last year was the first time CASNR students were "calling companions." To better prepare them for calling this year, a training session was held prior to calling sessions. Callers spent time discussing different calling scenarios, the anatomy of a

phone call and how to use calling scripts while talking to alumni. "The training teaches the callers how to build rapport and basically have a successful phone call," said Heather Briggs, annual giving coordinator for the OSU Foundation. "They also learned about the paperwork that is involved and how to use the phone." Miller said it is good to use students for Cowboy Callers because of the close relationships between CASNR alumni and students. "There is a strong connection in CASNR between our alumni and the departments from which they graduated that you don't find in the other colleges," Miller said. "We want to do everything we can do to maintain those wonderful relationships with our alumni.",.

To donate to CASNR, call the OSU Foundation at 800-622-4678 or visit http:1105 Ugiving. com.


extension

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Cooperative Extension interns leave their mark on Oklahoma counties

By Stacy Patton Faxon, Okla. MAKING THE BEST BETTER. Empowering youth to reach their full potential. Learning by doing. Words designed to inspire. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service staff has worked to provide opportunities for youth to reach their full potential for 98 years. The new goal? To train college students to take positions as the inspirational leaders, the goal setters - the extension educators. Summer 2007 found OCES placing 12 interns in extension offices around the state. The interns, who were college juniors, seniors or graduate students, learned the duties and functions of a county educator. They also were given one or more special projects to develop and administer under the supervision of the local county educator. "Our goal was to help students have an opportunity to learn more about extension," said Charles Cox, 4-H youth development assistant director and

16 â&#x20AC;˘ Cowboy Journal

Opportur\i-ties ir\

program leader. "In the past, we have recruited former 4-H members as employees who had some understanding of the extension program through their 4-H involvement; however, over the last several years, we've had more difficulty recruiting employees who had much of an extension background. This extension program seemed to be the answer." Cox said he, Glenn Muske, the interim assistant director in family and consumer sciences, and Recia Garcia, the northwest district PCS specialist, worked together to develop the guidelines and conduct interviews for the internship program. Through state funding of the general OCES budget, the internship program became a reality. "We wanted the interns to have an opportunity to see what goes on in a county office," Cox said. "In the most effective county offices, everyone helps a little with everything, so our goal was to let the interns see what happens in different program areas," he said.

Emily Gregory, an agricultural leadership junior at Oklahoma State University, said the program gave her a new perspective on the extension office. "I've been involved in 4-H since I was nine, but through this program I got to see another side of things," Gregory said. "You get to deal with parents and with kids. It's like turning the tables on yourself and seeing how you were as a 4-H'er. "I also didn't realize the number of reports that extension educators have to do, the paperwork that you never see," Gregory said. Cox said one of the requirements of the program was for the interns to present one educational program and one leadership training course. "The reality is that most of the interns did a lot of work - particularly the ones who had been very active in 4H," Cox said. "They put on 10 or 15 different workshops during the course of the summer. Some of those who had strong agricultural communications backgrounds wrote news releases; devel-


oped publications, brochures and fliers; and marketed things. It was phenomenal the amount of work they did within their hosting counties." Cox said counties hosting interns benefited greatly from the experience. "We had a few counties that applied and said, 'We're not sure if we want to do this because we don't want to have to baby-sit somebody,"' Cox said. "Then at the end they were saying, 'Dang, this is a good thing!'" Kyle Worthington, extension educator in Oklahoma County, said the internship program was an excellent opportunity for the interns as well as the extension staff at the county level. "Our intern [Rachel Perryman] was a blessing for a couple of reasons," Worthington said. "She took on a large role in helping plan, coordinate and present programming for our county's youth retreat. She was just very professional with youth and adult audiences." Likewise, Gregory said her experiences with the volunteer leaders in Bryan County were positive.

"Our volunteer leaders really complimented me," Gregory said. "I got gifts from them when I left, which really helped me understand that I actually made an impact." Cox said the program is not limited to OSU students. However, preference is given to juniors, seniors and graduate students pursuing a major in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources or the College of Human Environmental Sciences or to students with majors in other colleges that relate to employability with the OCES. "We even have an international student planning to attend OSU in the fall who sent in an application," Cox said. "This student has an interest primarily in rural development and wanted to learn more about extension. He also wanted to get acquainted with everything before he came to school." Cox said the interns could express a preference for the county where they wanted to work, but the final assignment depended on county needs and the collective preferences of all appli-

cants. To provide a student with new experiences, however, placement in the student's home county is avoided if possible, Cox said. Because the extension intern program was a success, Cox said continuing the program will not be an issue. "Of the 12 sites that we need for interns, we've had about 20 counties that have applied to host," Cox said. "We also had some that will fund their own positions, so I think the program will continue to grow." Cox said the best way to tell if the program is a success is to see how many interns pursue a career within the extension field. "Several of the interns said, 'This is for sure where I'm going to end up and what I want to do; this is the career I want to pursue,"' Cox said. "I think we'll have several who will apply and explore extension opportunities." - . For more information about the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, visit http://www2. dasnr. okstate. edu!extension.

Emily Gregory (far left) picks soybean leaves. Gayle Buellesfeld teaches a rocket workshop at Tricounty 4-H Camp. Natalie Kayne teaches a workshop in Oklahoma County. Dana Cox gives healthy eating tips at Pottawatomie County farmers market. Megan Maxson works a Sun Safety IQ booth. Kelli Armbruster builds fence at the extension farm. Rachel Perryman interviews a 4-H member.

Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 17


This season of 'Oklahoma Gardening' brings its 10th host into homes across the state By Lance Shaw Chickasha, Okla. WHEN APRIL SHOWERS BRING flowers, it can only mean one thing: Gardening season is back in full force. When the grass turns green and flowers start to bloom, those with green thumbs, and even chose with noc-sogreen thumbs, need someone to turn to for all the latest tips and techniques. That person is Kim Rebek with "Oklahoma Gardening." The 33rd season of "Oklahoma Gardening" is under way from the Oklahoma Botanical Gardens in Stillwater

Director and videographer Kevin Gragg (foreground) films Kim Rebek as they produce an episode for the current season of "Oklahoma Gardening."

18 â&#x20AC;˘ Cowboy Journal

with a new face hosting the show. Rebek, originally from the Chicago suburb of Orland Park, Ill., has found her way to Oklahoma State University and is the show's 1Och host. While talking with Rebek about being from the Chicago area, the question of whether she or her family had any kind of gardening or agricultural background surfaced. "le was kind of a big switch, in terms of my family," Rebek said. "I grew up in a suburb and never heard of the FFA or 4-H until I got to college." Rebek attended the University of Wisconsin, where she received her bachelor's degree in horticulture, and then attended Purdue University for her master's in entomology. Rebek said with her educational background, she plans to bring something different to the show while serving as host. Rebek said most of the past hosts for "Oklahoma Gardening" have had strictly horticulture backgrounds. As host, Rebek said she plans to use her knowledge of horticulture and entomology, along with her certificate in environmental studies, to put more of an environmental focus on the show. To do this, Rebek said she plans to stress such topics as water conservation through proper plant choices. This topic, along with others, will be discussed on "Oklahoma Gardening," which can be seen each week on

the Oklahoma Education Television Authority network. The program gives examples of how-to projects and teaches about proper gardening techniques. Along with watching "Oklahoma Gardening" on OETA, one can view it on the OETA OKLA digital television network throughout the week to watch any missed episodes. The wide range of topics "Oklahoma Gardening" covers is something viewer Debbie Strickland enjoys about the show. "I've watched the show off and on for years," Strickland said. "It's always been so pertinent to what's going on." Rebek's educational background will not be the only difference she will bring to the show. The fact she is not from Oklahoma will play a role in the direction she takes the show in attracting the audience's attention. "Kim is from the north, and everything is new to her," said Kevin Gragg, "Oklahoma Gardening" director and videographer. "[Past hosts] have been from Oklahoma or have been in Oklahoma prior to doing the show." Gragg said Rebek is learning along with the audience during the show, and with a lot of things, she is like a kid in the garden. "That kind of excitement is neat because she is discovering everything," Gragg said. "She is going to be able to really excite people who may not be


extension knowledgeable of the subject, almost to where she will come across as though she is learning things at the same time." Since Rebek is new to the show, not only as the host but also as a viewer, Gragg said he is trying to be open to her ideas and not do things the way they usually do. "I am letting her find her way," Gragg said. When asked what Gragg was looking forward to this season, he said it would be the opportunity of "gelling" more with Kim. "Kim and I are still learning to dance together," Gragg said. "I equate it to dancing to where you have to learn what each person is thinking in order to film the show." The 2008 season of "Oklahoma Gardening" will be on the road for various episodes. Rebek said the show plans to visit 12 member gardens associated with the Oklahoma Botanical Garden and Arboretum. While on the road visiting the member gardens, the show plans to visit the northwest corner of the state and feature gardening and growing for that region, Rebek said. "One aspect of the show is that we visit gardens across the state and those include homeowner's gardens, public gardens or businesses," Rebek said. She said another aspect of this season's show will be to expose viewers to the range of gardens across Oklahoma. An example she mentioned was the plan for "Oklahoma Gardening" to visit an organic farm this season. "I love the regional stuff because Oklahoma is so diverse," Gragg said. "There is a huge difference in the types of plants that can be grown from region to region." Strickland said she also enjoys the regional episodes that highlight the diversity of Oklahoma. "To me, Oklahoma is distinctively divided into thirds," she said. "[Regional] episodes give you, the viewer, an idea of the many characteristics of the state and what the different areas have to offer."

The idea of traveling is somewhat of a new concept for the show, which started when former host Steve Owens and Gragg began going on the road. Gragg said these trips started as short trips around the state that could be done in a day and then became regional tours. "We would go out for a week and concentrate on one region of the state and its gardens and special plants for that region," Gragg said. "We just kind of stumbled into things and people liked the idea, so we continued to do it." Gragg said this year the show might be on the road more than ever. Along with traveling the state this summer the show will have a series-long program about landscape design. During this series, Rebek will discuss topics such as proper design elements and different garden styles to use with the different landscapes of Oklahoma. Rebek also will describe different hardscape elements to use, such as the type of stones landscapers can choose. Continuing with the traveling theme of this season, Rebek said the show will visit various landscape designers and gardens in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas. Even though it sounds like "Oklahoma Gardening" has a busy season ahead of it, Rebek and fellow staff still find time to give back to viewers with the annual "Summer Gardenfest," which is free to its viewers and the public. "It is our way of thanking our viewers for watching the show," Rebek said. Strickland attends "Summer Gardenfest" and said she likes being able to see the types of plants the hosts have used that she finds in her own yard. "The longer you have your yard, the more shade you will have with the growth of your trees," said Strickland. "So to be able to go [to Gardenfest] and see the shade plants and the things that will grow in some sun but more shade is very enjoyable to me." This will be the seventh year for the celebration, which will take place June 9 in the studio gardens located within the OSU Botanical Gardens west of Still-

water. Rebek said the event will include tours of the OSU Botanical Gardens and a workshop with Barbara Brown, an extension food specialist. This year's theme is "Insects and Gardens" and will feature guest speaker Eric Grissell, who will speak on the relationships between insects and gardens. "His garden philosophy is that we should work with, rather than against, nature in our gardens," Rebek said. She said the event will have a family atmosphere, and the OSU entomology program will bring its insect zoo for the kids to see. "Summer Gardenfest," and most importantly the show, would not be possible if not for the support of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Gragg said the OSU Division of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources produces the show with a majority of the funding coming from OCES. Gragg said even though the show is aired on OETA, the network does not produce it. OETA provides a conduit to air the show. Show production involves a partnership between OSU Agricultural Communications Services and the OSU Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. So for all of you green thumbs and even those not-so-green thumbs, tune in to "Oklahoma Gardening" when it airs on OETA Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. - . For more information about the show or "Summer Gardenfest, " visit the "Oklahoma Gardening" Web site at http://www. oklahomagardening. okstate. edu.

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11.'.


Forensics and plant pathology unite through the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources By Austin Partida Tipton, Okla. WHAT IF THE U.S. FOOD SUPPLY was affected by bioterrorism? What would law enforcement personnel look for in determining the cause? Jacqueline Fletcher, Sarkey's distinguished professor and director of the National Institute for Microbial Forensics and Food and Agricultural Biosecurity, or NIMFFAB, at Oklahoma State University has designed an initiative to help answer these questions. "What NIMFFAB tries to do is get everybody coordinated and train personnel if we were faced with issues related to food biosecurity," said Astri Wayadande, NIMFFAB assistant director. NIMFFAB began in January 2007 to determine if an agricultural plant disease was caused by a natural outbreak or if the disease was intentionally placed. To help the security community, NIMFFAB will conduct an inaugural field exercise event in early May 2008. The field day exercise is one of the first outreach functions NIMFFAB has offered, and it is targeted toward people who have little or no previous experience in agriculture, Fletcher said. "These are people from the FBI's hazardous material response unit, for example," Fletcher said. "They are very well-versed in incident command; they know diagnostic techniques, so we do not have to teach them those things." Instead, NIMFFAB will provide

training focused on an agricultural setting, Fletcher said. "They are not used to going out in a wheat field or a peanut field," Fletcher said. "When they get into that setting, what is a sample? What do they need to collect? Where do they collect? Is it from the roots, the water, or the le.:ives, or is it the soil?" Fletcher said the field exercise will help law-enforcement personnel compare a healthy crop with one affected by a pathogen and learn how to better relate to the producer. "You want people to know what is expected and what the chain of command is," Wayadande said. "Unlikely though it may be of this happening, you do not want chaos." In addition to the field exercise, OSU will teach courses to educate students about agricultural biosecurity. "We'll have a very general agricultural biosecurity undergraduate course," Fletcher said. "We've planned an upper-level course primarily focused on microbial forensics . This will be in conjunction with our forensic science department, which is at the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa." She said OSU could offer a minor in agricultural biosecurity in the future. "We are hoping to get more faculty on board who will be under the auspices ofNIMFFAB," Fletcher said. Stephanie Rogers, an OSU biochemistry alumna, is using NIMFFAB for her research project as she works toward a doctorate in plant pathology. Rogers' research project includes a

study of wheat streak mosaic virus. Rogers uses the virus as a model system for all agricultural crop pathogens. "It's like a question-answer tree that will guide law enforcement investigating a field with steps to follow to determine if it was a natural outbreak or an intentional outbreak," Rogers said. "It will include the weather and other surrounding elements." TeeCie West, a Tarleton State University biology alumna, also works within the NIMFFAB umbrella for her research project as she progresses toward a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology. West's research includes spotting plant samples onto microarrays. "I probe with known viral sequences and look for plants that have the viral sequences in them," West said. "I will be working on a single nucleotide polymorphism using microarray, as well." NIMFFAB merges plant pathology and forensic science, Rogers said. "Forensic science is well established," Rogers said. "Plant pathology is well established, but they do not mesh. "We are trying to modify techniques in both areas to connect them so if something were to happen, we could have a really quick attribution." West said she and Rogers will participate in internships this summer at the National Federal Bureau of Investigation lab in Quantico, Va. The threat of bioterrorism in the United States is low, but the "What if?" factor still exists. With continuing support, education and research, NIMFFAB will help to answer the question. , .


students

CASNR seniors score Kuzma earns top honors at CASNR awards banquet By Christa Martin Anadarko, Okla. LINDSAY KUZMA, AN ANIMAL science and agribusiness double major from Lodi, Wisc., was selected as outstanding senior in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources for her accomplishments as an Oklahoma State University student. She is the daughter of Frank and Wendy Kuzma. Nine other seniors earned the Top Ten Senior award; the top five also earned the Dean Fred LeCrone award: Whitney Danker, an agricultural communications major from Wellston, Okla.; Travis Jett, an agribusiness major from Laverne, Okla.; Kuzma; Blake Wilson, an animal science major from Okemah, Okla.; and Jillianne Zwei-

acker, an agricultural communications major from Pawnee, Okla. The remaining Top Ten Seniors were Christopher Branch, an agricultural economics major from Comanche, Okla.; Alicia Davis, a pre-veterinary option animal science major from Bixby, Okla.; Megan Downing, an animal science major from Locust Grove, Okla.; Matthew Dvorak, an honors international agricultural economics major from Perry, Okla.; and Randis Gallaway, an agricultural economics and accounting double major from Duncan, Okla. Jared Crain, a plant and soil science major from Woodward, Okla., received the Browning Outstanding Freshman in CASNR award. He is the son of Wesley and Marilyn Crain.-.

Animal science and agribusiness double major Lindsay Kuzma took home top honors as CASNR's Outstanding Senior for 2008.

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By Whitney Danker Wellston, Okla. THE OIL BOOMS OF THE EARLY 1900s held great potential for Oklahoma energy. Today, Oklahoma State University biomass engineers are pioneering their way from the traditiohal "black gold" to a "sun gold" fuel source. After years of planning and gaining funding, biomass research through the Sun Grant Initiative began this year.

Prasanth Maddipati (left) and Dimple Kundiyana check temperature levels of the syngas fermentor.

22 â&#x20AC;˘ Cowboy Journal

The Sun Grant is a research initiative for alternative fuel sources through the U.S. Department ofTransportation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program was created to improve energy sustainability by increasing biobased forms of fuel through agricultural products, said Clarence Watson, associate director of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station. "The Sun Grant is a consortium of land grants to harness the extension and research power they have," Watson said. In 2001 , OSU was asked to serve as one of five regional centers for the Sun Grant Initiative. The regional centers are located at South Dakota State University, the University of Tennessee, Cornell University, Oregon State University and Oklahoma State University. "We have had a long-standing biomass program here at Oklahoma State," said Watson, who serves as director of the South Central Regional Sun Grant Center based at OSU, "and because of that, we were chosen as a program. "Our two major industries in Oklahoma are energy and agriculture. The Sun Grant marries those two together, getting energy from agriculture. Oklahoma was a natural choice."

Seventy-five percent of the grant's funding is allotted to the 13 land-grant universities in the region through a competitive grant process. Twenty-five percent of funding is allotted to OSU to develop a center of excellence. As the regional center, OSU receives approximately $2.5 million each year to divide between the center and the universities. This year, the regional center awarded 17 fully funded projects across the region, which includes Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico. "Each region is unique," said Raymond Huhnke, assistant director of the Sun Grant's South Central Regional Center. "Regional focus is what the Sun Grant is about." The region's landscape ranges from a tropical area in Louisiana to the deserts of New Mexico. "It is a very diverse region, and Oklahoma is typical of that," Watson said. "We are a diverse state in terms of geography and climate." Biofuel production opens a new market for the agricultural community by giving it the opportunity to produce fuel, not just feed, fiber or food. "With the funding, we can show the impacts we can make in converting vari-


ous types of feedstocks to marketable or value-added products," Huhnke said. Ten of the selected proposals were joint projects, meaning universities collaborate on the same research. The 10 projects each received $135,000 for three years. The remaining seven grants were single-university projects focusing on seed research. The seed projects are funded at $35,000 for two years. OSU received three of the competitive grants available in the region. Sun Grant-funded research projects at OSU include using sweet sorghum hybrids as bioenergy feedstock and breeding new switchgrass cultivars for increased biomass production. The third project funded is syngas fermentation. Dimple Kundiyana, a research engineer in biosystems and agricultural engineering, is working on syngas research. The syngas project was approved for three years of funding. Working with Kundiyana is Prasanth Maddipati, a BAE graduate student.

- Raymond Huhnke "Our main research objective is to increase ethanol yield from the syngas fermentation process," Kundiyana said. "Syngas, or synthesis gas, is produced during gasification of biomass, for instance, switchgrass or bermudagrass." Their research strives to increase ethanol yield, reduce the price of ethanol and move from a bench-scale to a commercial-scale fermentor. "From studies, it has been found that corn is a cheap alternative source for producing ethanol," Maddipati said.

Maddipati said the initial cost can be reduced by using corn steep liquor, leading to lower prices at the pump. Currently, their process yields three grams of ethanol for every one liter of syngas, but they said they are still a long way from their optimistic target. "We have successfully scaled up from 5-liter fermentors to 75-liter fermentors," Kundiyana said. "The next challenge we face is to scale to 1,000gallon fermentors." Reaching the 1,000-gallon goal would mean ethanol could be mass produced in less time, making it more readily available to consumers. It could also lower the production cost per gallon. "We have come a long way but are only at the beginning," Huhnke said. Both Watson and Huhnke said they want to reach an annual funding goal of $10 million to each regional center. "We think the future looks very bright," Watson said. , .

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infPoducing ... an internationa l Students can use travel to earn a degree

By Samantha Davidson Ringwood, Okla. PERSONALIZATION, FLEXIBILITY AND AN EXCITing international experience .. . concepts the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty had in mind when they added the new international agriculture option to the Master of Agriculture degree. "We specifically designed this program not to be research-based," said David Henneberry, assistant dean of international programs in agriculture. "The basis is coursework plus the international experience." Many people worked together to add this internationally focused program to CASNR. "Vice President Robert Whitson was a crucial element in getting this degree started," Henneberry said. Because this program is multidisciplinary, it is housed in the dean's office. The degree option requires 32 credit hours, six of which come from an international internship. "There are two pieces to the focus of this academic degree: international agriculture and an agricultural focus area," Henneberry said. An agricultural focus area consists of agricultural courses in the student's area of interest. Brandon Boughen, an agricultural education alumnus, is the first graduate student accepted into the program. "I spent three months in Africa," Boughen said. "This really opened my eyes, and I found that international dynamic I was looking for. So, when I found out about the program from Dr. Jim Leising, I knew it was a perfect fit for me." With CASNR's multiple international ties, international alumni will play key roles in the new program's success. Henneberry said he hopes these connections provide international experiences for CASNR students in the program. "There are quite a few international graduates who have received their degree from the college of ag," Boughen said. "They would be more than willing to do some kind of student exchange. This would help our program tremendously." Leising, assistant director of international agricultural programs, said he appreciates the benefits of the program. "This is an interdisciplinary program," Leising said. "It


' option masters doesn't look at one aspect of agriculture but allows students to study multiple disciplines." This broad education in agriculture provides students with a great deal of flexibility, Henneberry said. Students have the freedom to choose from a wide variety of agricultural coursework. "The students have a lot of freedom in designing their programs," Henneberry said. "Students can pick and choose what is right for them. It doesn't have to make sense to someone else, but it needs to make sense to the student." Henneberry said he is excited about this degree and employers are excited about it, too, because the international agriculture option prepares graduates for various careers. "It offers a range of career options," Leising said. "There are a multitude of opportunities - everything from volunteer work to paid positions. "Almost all large agricultural companies like ADM and Cargill have international operations," he said. "This degree would be a good flt for one of those careers." International work within state and national departments of agriculture is another career path these graduate students could follow. ''.All 50 state departments of agriculture have international marketing divisions," Henneberry said. "This is a good degree for that type of position." Leising said he anticipates growth in this program. "This program meets the needs of our students," Leising said. "This new option will integrate the knowledge about international agriculture and multiple disciplines needed to solve important problems in the world. "It'll be a very exciting program and unique opportunity for students," Leising said. "If they want to have some adventure in their lives, this is the perfect time to do it. Especially if they don't know what they want to do, this helps them find more opportunities and network."-. Students interested in the master's in international agriculture program can call Jim Leising at 405-744-9718 or send a message to james. leising@okstate.edu. Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 25


Alumnus Richard Danel has called Varsity Barbershop 'home' for 50 years THE WALLS AT VARSITY BARBERshop do more than support the building. They tell the story of a Cowboy legend who has never once suited up for a game. Photographs of Oklahoma State University greats - Henry P. Iba, Eddie Sutton, Bryant Reeves, Jim Dillard, Pat Noyes, Bob Fenimore and others frame a mirror that reflects the sparkling eyes and gentle smile of one man who has touched the lives of many. At times, he may speak only in a whisper, but Richard Danel's voice has been heard by more than a million people who have sat in his small barbershop on University Street. Varsity Barbershop is located three blocks south of Gallagher-Iba Arena, a place where Danel can be found cheering on his beloved Cowboys and Cowgirls on many occasions. Danel, affectionately called "Whisperin' Richard" by those who know him, has been cutting hair since the age of 13. 26 â&#x20AC;˘ Cowboy Journal

"My dad was my first customer," Danel said. "He told me that ifl messed up, he could get it fixed." While most kids spent their time fishing or riding bikes during the summer months, Danel attended barber school the summers berween his sophomore, junior and senior years in high school and continued cutting hair while he attended college. Danel, along with his wife, Dot, attended Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College from 1952-1954 after graduating from Eastern OAMC. Richard Danel graduated with a double major in agricultural education and animal science, and Dot Danel graduated with a degree in home economics. Although Richard Danel attended college, he said he always knew he wanted to be a barber. "Majoring in agriculture is a sideline," Richard Danel said. "Barbering is my profession." Barbering has been his profession for 61 years, and he has cut hair in Var-

sity Barbershop since Oct. 7, 1957. At one time, he was cutting hair on more than ] 00 heads a day. "I really believe he was called to do that," Dot Danel said. Richard Danel sums up his love of being a barber with a knowing smile as he whispers one word: "people." People fill the photograph album on his countertop, their love for "Whisperin' Richard" evident. People are what keep Richard Danel far from retirement, although he said he believes he retired long ago. "When I retired 30 years ago, I started talking instead of cutting," Richard Danel said, as he kindly bumped the arm of a customer. Richard Danel cuts hair for people from all walks of life: students, coaches, businessmen, farmers and professors. "I like getting my hair cut [by Richard] because it's like having a moment with an OSU cultural icon," said Shannon Ferrell, agricultural economics assistant professor and a 14-year customer.


People from the Stillwater area travel to Varsity Barbershop for their dose of "Whisperin' Richard." "The more and longer I work, the more it builds up," Richard Danel said. Dot Danel agreed people keep her husband away from retirement. She said he is able to relate to people of all ages, from babies to adults. "If you don't enjoy people, you don't reach that milestone of being friends with people of all ages," Dot Danel said. "Our Christmas list says it all. The barbershop is a common ground for everyone. Everyone is the same." OSU legends have found this common ground, and Richard Danel has cut the hair of thousands of players and coaches, including his good friend Jim Stanley, the 1973-1978 head coach of the OSU football team. Stanley is attributed with creating the nickname "Whisperin' Richard." With six barbers working in the barbershop originally, it became noisy, and Richard Danel would answer the telephone quietly as a courtesy to customers and colleagues. "Jim would call and ask if the shop was busy," Richard Danel said. "Then he would tell the other coaches, Tm goin' to see Whisperin' and get me a haircut. I'll be back in a few minutes.' Well, the name caught on." A wooden sign above the window of the barbershop reads "Whisperin' Richard's." It was given to him by Stanley, who received it from the men of the Sigma Nu fraternity. Each year, the fraternity brothers build a fort in the front yard of the fraternity house for their annual Frontier Ball, and one year during the '60s they built "Whisperin' Richard's" barbershop as their focal point. A picture of the fort now adorns the wall of the shop, and the red and white wooden barber pole embellishes the outside of the front window. "I think Richard is very proud of the sign," Dot Danel said.

Aside from being a barber, Richard Danel is a wearer of many hats. He is a husband, father, grandfather, greatgrandfather, traveler, handyman and, most importantly, a friend. "He is always busy accomplishing things," Dot Danel said. The Danels grew up in Panola, Okla., and met before they began grade school. Best friends before they married, Richard Danel said they kept people waiting for their wedding day. "Everyone thought we would get married right after school was out in May, but we didn't," Richard Danel said. "We waited until June 1." The Danels have two daughters, Dana and Tami, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They love traveling and have visited each of the 50 states as well as 18 countries on four different continents. They also travel to OSU basketball and football games as much as possible. "We take at least one vacation a year," Richard Danel said. "Sometimes two weeks, sometimes four. We've been known to take off for six weeks at a time, but that's not very nice [to the customers]." Having traveled to various places around the world and met many people, Richard Danel is a champion storyteller. "I love coming here because he is a good storyteller," said Charles Graff, a two-year customer. "He always has neat things to look at." Richard Danel laughed at comments

Left: Richard Dane/ cuts Tim Schlais' hair while telling one of his many stories.

about his storytelling ability, as another customer added, ''.At least 20 percent of his stories are true, maybe." The atmosphere at the barbershop is filled with light heans and contagious laughter. People often say, "If only walls could talk." If the walls at Varsity Barbershop could talk, they would not brag of a man who is good friends with Stanley, Sutton and many other OSU icons. They would not tell of the OSU paraphernalia that would stretch from Varsity Barbershop to Gallagher-Iba Arena. Rather than talk, the walls at Varsity Barbershop would simply whisper a story about a good man who is friends with many, has put thousands of smiles on people's faces and has given millions of good haircuts. More importantly, the walls at Varsity Barbershop would smile gently, tell you to take a seat and listen to the fascinating stories told by a man called "Whisperin' Richard."""111


research

Pluin Sweet Pluin NREM studies show sand plum thickets provide homes for North American bobwhite quail By Darrin Schultz Pond Creek, Okla. MOST PEOPLE'S MEMORIES OF wild plums are the jellies their grandmothers used to make. Although an Internet search on sand plum is more likely to result in jelly and wine recipes than wildlife, during the last 50 years, the value of the sand plum as a source of food and medicine for humans has diminished. Today, the real value in sand plum is the cover and structure they provide for wildlife and livestock. Fred Guthery, professor for Oklahoma State University's natural resource ecology and management department, began his research on a study of the importance of the sand plum. "We did a radio telemetry study on bobwhites and found that the birds 28 â&#x20AC;˘ Cowboy Journal

spent much of their lives in or near sand plum," Guthery said. The sand plum is a shrub species native to Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. The species is better known as the Chickasaw plum, since it was believed to have been introduced east of the Mississippi river by the Chickasaw Indians through trade. The shrub's current distribution stretches from the western edge of the southern Great Plains east to the Atlantic coast. Individual plants grow up to 15 feet tall. Sand plum is drought tolerant and prefers well-drained, acidic sandy soils. In the spring, it produces snowy white flowers and is one of the few shrubs that flower before leaves are produced in the spring. In late summer, it produces a red or yellowish fruit that is quickly consumed by wildlife as well as humans. Guthery works with graduate stu-

dents researching the management of Chickasaw plum on rangelands to meet wildlife and livestock objectives. Guthery has worked with many colleagues and graduate students during his time at OSU. "I got the project organized," Guthery said. "However, it's a team effort. There was no research on sand plum. We knew how to kill it but didn't know the importance sand plum had on other animals." Historically, ranchers have sprayed woody cover like Chickasaw plum to make room for grass, Guthery said. Management decisions and knowledge of the surrounding environment helps guide researchers. "Understanding the natural history of plants and wildlife can aid in making informed management decisions," Guthery said. "I view natural history as


the arithmetic of natural resource science because it consists of the purest facts with which we deal. Facts of natural history are, in an ecological sense, tantamount to the axioms of mathematicians and the molecules of chemists." Guchery and Stacy Dunkin, NREM research assistant, directed a recent study on private properties in three Oklahoma counties: Payne, Harper and Ellis. In 2006, Dunkin surveyed the history of the Chickasaw plum and the plane's relation to wildlife. One of the objectives of chis project was to gather descriptive natural story observations on the use of Chickasaw plum by mammals, reptiles, birds, invertebrates and planes. Chickasaw plum is an important food source for a variety of wildlife, including turkeys, black bears, wolves, coyotes, white-tailed deer and fox. "I had observed 30 species utilizing or associated with Chickasaw plum," Dunkin said. "These included five species of mammals, 17 birds, one reptile and four insects." Chickasaw plum fulfills the role of trees by providing shade for wildlife and livestock where trees are absent or restricted. The major benefit co domestic livestock is shade chat dense patches provide, and shade has been shown to be an

e real value in s-and plum is the structure it provides

for wildli e. ' - Stacy Dunkin important factor in summer weight gain in livestock, Guchery said. Shade provided by the Chickasaw plum may be as effective as water and supplemental feeding as a tool to promote uniform grazing of pastures. Heat stress due to the lack of shade also affects breeding performance in cattle. ''A landowner might have a negative outlook on sand plum because the plum competes with livestock forage," Guchery said. Shade provided by sand plum is beneficial to cattle and ocher livestock, Dunkin said. Cattle could be found resting during midday in large sand plum patches, he said. During calving season, calves were found resting in patches while the herd grazed nearby.

Dunkin's research study was the first to specifically look at Chickasaw plum growth and wildlife use. However, two additional studies followed from NREM research assistants Brett Cooper and Adam West. "So far, our studies are the only ones ever done," Dunkin said. Dunkin's research found birds were the most frequent users of Chickasaw plum. Quail regularly were flushed from plum patches. "When bobwhites were encountered in patches, they tended to run to the far end and hold," Dunkin said. "If they were pressed further, they would run a short distance from the edge of the patch and flush toward an adjacent [sand plum] patch." According to OSU's research, quail have a variety of uses for sand plum. "These birds were found calling from within patches usually just after sunrise," Dunkin said. "It appears patches were used as roost sites." The NREM graduate students are promoting the Chickasaw sand plum as an important woody cover to benefit a variety of wildlife. "Sand plums are not just for jelly anymore," Dunkin said. "The real value in sand plum is the structure it provides for wildlife.",m

Opposite page: Ripening fruit catches the eye in a sand plum thicket in Payne County. Left: OSU's sand plum research has focused on habitat for North American bobwhite quail. Right: NREM research assistant Brett Cooper measures sand plum in a thicket in Ellis County.

Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 29


By Blayr Beougher Owasso, Okla.

In fact, scientists agree a gap exists in the scientific knowledge about the Cross Timbers ecosystem. STRETCHING FROM SOUTHThis Southern Plains ecosystem is eastern Kansas to central Texas is Cross not what it once was, said Dwayne ElTimbers, a 19.5-million-acre ecosystem more, state wildlife extension specialist. crossing through Oklahoma State UniHistorically, Cross Timbers would versity territory. OSU owns roughly have been an oak-savannah habitat with 1,800 acres of Cross Timbers on the an open-forest structure. Fire suppresOSU Range Research Station, 12 miles sion is a major component of the closing southwest of campus. canopy, the diminishing grasslands and "Cross Timbers is a big ecosystem the reduction in native wildlife species, and one of the few ecosystems still large- Elmore said. Fire can bring back what was once ly intact because of the nature of the terrain," said Adam Gourley, range re- natural to this area. search station assistant superintendent. "The interesting part of all this "The soils and brush make it hard to is that when you drive from Stillwater farm and costly to develop." 路 to Oklahoma City what you see is not In the past, rese;uch has focused on what this landscape looked like 100 vegetation responses on the Cross Tim- years ago, " Elmore said. "It would have bers Experimental Range, Gourley said. been much more open, and there would have been great numbers of bison, prairie chickens and elk in Payne County, species that are not anywhere in this county now." The goal of the research station is to restore native habitat with prescribed fire, said Chris Stansberry, range research station superintendent. Every year, the fire crew "crosses their fingers" to hold off burn bans. In spring 2008, areas on the Cross Timbers Experimental Range were burned; the rest of CTER will be burned in the near future. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out if you suppress fire in an ecosystem that evolved with

fire, then you are going to end up with a problem," Stansberry said. "And we definitely have a problem in this state." Fire is a unique tool when used to keep ecosystems intact, but with fire suppression, the invasive Eastern redcedar is somewhat overtaking the Cross Timbers ecosystem in Oklahoma, Elmore said. CTER, just like the rest of the Cross Timbers ecosystem, has changed dramatically due to lack of fire. Cedars are invading the land base basically east oflnterstate 35, said Brent Westerman, field and research service unit senior director. And fire is the most economical way to control invasive species like the Eastern redcedar. The Eastern redcedar is not fire adapted, meaning it does not re-sprout following fire like oaks do, Elmore said. Fire suppression has led to the current overabundance of this invasive species in Cross Timbers. "CTER is suffering from an enormous cedar encroachment problem, and if nothing is done, it will eventually be one solid cedar forest," Gourley said. ''Areas on CTER where old herbicide studies were conducted have not been burned for at least 25 years," he said. "It is extremely evident how fast the cedars will take Cross Timbers over without fire."

Drip torches, like this one used by Chris Stansberry, are used when conducting controlled burns.


Some areas on CTER that once were grasslands already have been converted to a cedar forest, Gourley said. Because patches of CTER are so far gone, it will take years and a lot of work to see a major turn around, he said. The abundance of cedars on CTER makes the staff more determined to do everything possible to get rid of the rapidly spreading invasive species. "Using fire to open the forest canopy is going to somewhat shift Cross Timbers back to a grassland system and not dominated by forest," Elmore said. "Cross Timbers will be more of a balance between forest and grass." Stansberry said the fire crew plans to make the perimeter and interior firelines on CTER 150 feet wide and free of cedars with few oaks, making prescribed fires much easier and safer. "Economically important wildlife species, such as bobwhite quail, can thrive in Cross Timbers habitats chat are managed appropriately," said Sam Fuhlendorf, professor of natural resource ecology and management. The OSU Range Research Station and its Cross Timbers Experimental Range areas are important for research, as evidenced by the number and size of grants that have been awarded to study wildlife, invasive species, cattle and ecosystem shifts, Westerman said. Most research stations only conduct cropland research, making the OSU Range Research Station unique, Fuhlendorf said.

Research on CTER started in the early 1980s. Now, the station has plans for multiple research projects in one area, providing farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma with information on how to manage their land. "We have decided to shift the research's focus and build on what we learned from the previous 20 years of experiments, which is chat basically we can't do anything in chat land without fire," Fuhlendorf said. The primary research project on CTER now is the development of a research and demonstration area for the Cross Timbers ecosystem. The primary part of the research and demonstration area is to demonstrate patch-burning techniques on a landscape scale, Gourley said. Eighteen patches will be burned, and cattle will be collared to monitor how fire affects grazing behaviors, he said.

"The OSU Range Research Station crew, in conjunction with Dwayne Elmore, have begun to monitor wildlife numbers and movements," Westerman said. "They have sec up cameras to monitor deer; it is something we haven't done in the past." CTER is designed to research several things at the same time similar to a working ranch, Fuhlendorf said. Fire lines built throughout CTER will double as roads, helping the workers get around easier and allowing tours, which are part of the new project. Due to the rough terrain, conducting research on CTER has been a struggle in the past, Westerman said. CTER is under a major renovation to improve the infrastructure, which will complement ongoing research activities, he said.

Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 31


Cross Timbers Ecosystem with suppressed fire (left) and with prescribed fire.

Renovations include road improvements, pond upgrades and preparation of the station to showcase research and demonstration activities in the near future, Westerman said. "Currently, the terrain is so rough, one can hardly get around, not to mention build fire lines and support research," Westerman said. "Most of the area is only accessible on foot or horseback." The Range Research Station recently received new equipment to help complete many tasks they have struggled to complete in the past. "We were very fortunate this winter to receive funding from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and the

Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station's field and research service unit to purchase an ASV Posi-Track loader," Stansberry said. "That piece of equipment is going to be a tremendous asset to the range station for constructing fire lines, roads, creek crossings and fences not only on CTER but also the rest of the range station." CTER not only benefits research projects but also is an area where local and national groups and organizations can come for demonstrations or hold contests, Elmore said. In the past, CTER brought in 4-H members to discuss fire ecology, Elmore said. This summer, members from 30 states will visit CTER during the big-

gest wildlife contest in 4-H, the National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program Contest, which will be held in Oklahoma for the first time. "The more people we can get on this site the more people we can educate about fire, cattle grazing and wildlife," Stansberry said. "Research possibilities out here are endless." A goal of the natural resource ecology and management department at OSU is to perform research that not only will be published in journals but also will provide relevant information to landowners about exactly how to manage their land, Fuhlendorf said. CTER and OSU provide Oklahomans across the state with useful information about how to manage natural resources for multiple uses. "We do research to help people in Oklahoma make a better living and have a better life," Fuhlendorf said. , . For more information about CTER, call Chris Stansberry at 405-743-4714 or send a message to stansbj@okstate.edu.


alumni

By Ashley Schnoor Maquoketa, Iowa "NOW'S THE TIME. THIS IS THE Place. Dr Pepper is the Taste." "Be You." "The friendly 'Pepper-Upper."' As the oldest major soft drink in America, Dr Pepper has not only a history of slogans but also a 40-year-old tradition of "passing the bottle" within the agricultural economics department at Oklahoma State University. "I really started it," said Gerald Doeksen, OSU regents professor. The tradition began in 1968, Doeksen said, when 10 to 15 graduate students gathered nightly to study in Agricultural Hall. Nine o'clock served as break time to get a Coke or Pepsi from the pop machine. "One night we took our break and went to get our pops," Doeksen said. "Dale Kalbfleish put his money into the machine, and instead of a Coke or Pepsi, he got a Dr Pepper." Kalbfleish did not like Dr Pepper and did not drink it. Rather, he sat it on his desk, starting the 40-yearold tradition. When Kalbfleish graduated m 1969, he typed his name and graduating year on a black label, placed it on the Dr Pepper bottle and put the bottle on Doeksen's desk. Doeksen followed Kalbfleish's lead and stuck his name and year on the bottle and passed the bottle to Harry Mapp after graduating. Doeksen said the bottle is an antique and is older than his office in Agricultural Hall. When the tradition began, Ag Hall was two separate buildings, the north and south wings were not connected as they are today.

"I am almost scared to touch it," Doeksen said. "It might blow up." Since graduation, Doeksen has worked on the OSU campus. Although his titles have changed, he has not ventured far from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, allowing him to watch the bottle travel among 27 graduate students. Of those who have possessed the bottle, only two teach at OSU: Doeksen and Kim Anderson, the Charles A. Breedlove agribusiness professor. "I was glad to get the bottle, because it was a status symbol rather than a bottle of shame," said Anderson, who earned his doctorate in 1980. Anderson and many others were bestowed the honor of housing the Dr Pepper bottle after attending OSU for more than six years. Some years have more than one name; Anderson said this was because students left as soon as they finished their dissertations. Anderson said he was not the only name for 1980; he was joined by Tom "TT" Harris. "When you became the senior graduate student who had been here the longest, you received the Dr Pepper bottle and you got your name on it,"

Anderson said. "When you graduated, you found the next oldest senior to graduate and passed the bottle on to him." Anderson said the agricultural economics department kept a log of seniority used to assign office space to graduate students. This list also was used for the "passing of the bottle" because names were listed by seniority. It was the bottle holder's job to determine who the next student to receive the bottle was and then pass it on. Anderson said the defense dissertation marked a graduate student's last project before handing the bottle to the next student. "You were the senior person," Anderson said. "It was a big deal to get the [Dr Pepper] bottle." Whoever housed the bottle placed it on the next student's desk. Anderson still has the same desk he sat at 25 years ago and pointed out the exact home of the bottle while in his possession. Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 33


Department Head Mike Woods currently houses the 39-year-old bottle of pop that has close to 35 names taped to it. The bottle remains intact and has never been broken or opened.

Woods is not sure what to do with it and joked it may be a little too flat to drink now. "It was just a way to acknowledge that graduate school takes longer than you think," Woods said. "It is also a way to recognize and slightly poke fun at who was here the longest." Although Woods graduated from OSU in 1981 with his doctorate in agricultural economics, he never received the bottle. That year was skipped, Woods said.

"I think there was a scandal," Woods said with a grin. "I am not sure why there is not a name for 1981, but Harris skipped me." Since the 1968 bottle of Dr Pepper is full of names, Woods purchased a sixpack of Dr Pepper bottles, which await the continuation of the tradition. Woods said one of the more recent names on the bottle is Rob Hogan, who earned his Ph.D. in 2004 and works as a professor and extension economist for Texas A&M University. Hogan said he works in District 6 of Texas and serves as the link between research economists and research centers at TAMU and producers. He also teaches farm and ranch management and marketing management to producers within his district. Rita Carreira, a 2004 graduate, is the most current name on the bottle. u '; "It's a lighthearted tradition that ties :c ~ [OSU agricultural economics graduate i students] together," Woods said.-..

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alumni

Mibey assumes duties as vice chancellor of Kenya's Mai University By Cori Harrison Minier, Ill. ON THE WESTERN EDGE OF the African equatorial country of Kenya, you not only will find the world's second largest freshwater lake and nearly 80 major species of animals but also an Oklahoma State University graduate making a difference in students' lives. Kenya native Richard Kiprono Mibey walked the halls of Agricultural Hall for nearly four years while obtaining his master's degree in plant pathology in 1981 and his doctorate in agricultural education and extension in 1984. "My time at OSU exposed me to various aspects of life," Mibey said. "The university has a large foreign student population with diverse cultures. The environment is conducive to learning, doing research and recreation." In addition to working as a graduate assistant in the plant pathology program and as a research assistant at the U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in Stillwater, Mibey was president of the plant pathology club at OSU. During this time, he was advised by Robert Price and was Price's 240th graduate student to advise. "Dr. Mibey is carrying on the excellent tradition of the department of agricultural education and of Dr. Robert Price with great respect," said David Henneberry, director of international agricultural programs. Upon graduation from OSU, Mibey returned to Kenya, where he gained an abundance of teaching and administrative experience, highlighted by his re-

cent signing as vice chancellor of Moi University in September 2006. "[Dr. Mibey] is singularly focused on the future of Kenya, and on his role in shaping Moi University into an institution that Kenyans look to as a place where they can transform their futures through acquiring an education," Henneberry said. Located approximately 300 miles from Kenya's capital city, Nairobi, in the city of Eldoret, Moi University opened communities supas Kenya's second public university in ported my efforts 1984 and has grown from a single for- inhelpingtore-open estry department to 13 schools spread the university." Current OSU agricultural educaacross nine campuses. Currently, the university has an en- tion graduate student and fellow Kenyan rollment of nearly 15,000 students and Patrick Saisi is a close friend of Mi bey. "He is goal-oriented, self-motivated employs almost 3,000 staff members. Mi bey has been the supervisor of four of and very innovative with good interperthe university's doctoral students and 16 sonal skills," Saisi said. Before moving to Moi University, graduate students. "Dr. Mibey is a very inspirational Mibey occupied several teaching and individual," Henneberry said. "He has administrative positions. These includa quiet portrayal of leadership, allow- ed professor of mycology, the study of ing those around him to each have their fungi, at the University of Nairobi in 2002 and deputy vice chancellor of turn in the spotlight." Mibey said the management cours- administration and finance at Maseno es he took in the later part of his edu- University from 2004 to 2006. While at Maseno University, he sucation have helped him to successfully overcome the situational management pervised the construction of five new university dorms and several lecture challenges as the leader of a university. "Earlier this year, all the universities rooms. He also helped secure the deed and schools in Kenya were closed due for a university farm to expand Maseno's to the widespread violence that erupt- veterinary program. Along with his academic work, ed after the results of our presidential elections," Mibey said. "I moved into Mibey is a world-recognized specialist the villages surrounding the university on fungal taxonomy and biodiversity to seek peace and cooperation with conservation. Through his work as a fungal taxonomist, he has discovered our neighbors. "After several days of discussions, the and classified more than 120 species of Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 35


fungi and made notable contributions toward the conservation of Kenyan endangered indigenous tree species. He has published 28 articles about his work. Mibey adds involvement in several distinguished societies to his list of achievements. He is the current president of the African Mycological Association, which was established in 1995 and promotes mycology through contact among members in Africa. He has been a board member of the Kenya Forestry Research Institute and chairman of the Kenya Industrial Research Development Institute. The KFRI works to develop forestry through research, while the KIRDI promotes the development, acquisition and diffusion of technologies to the local industry. Mibey has taken part in several fellowships, including membership as a senior research fellow in the publicly funded German academic exchange service. While working in Munich, he helped name a collection of fungi from around the world.

At chis time, he is a fellow of the World Innovation Foundation, which helps make scientific advancements through research and knowledge. Mibey also is a past Darwin Fellow at the International Mycological Institute in Ukraine where he contributed to naming fungi that previously had been incorrectly identified. Mibey currently resides in Eldoret with his wife, Elizabeth, and children. In November 2007, Mibey and a group of administrators from Moi University traveled to Stillwater to meet with OSU representatives to begin a collaboration between the two prominent research universities. The two institutions formalized a memorandum of understanding between OSU and Moi University, which was signed by Mibey and Robert Whitson, vice president, dean and director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU. "The memorandum of understanding signed between OSU and Moi Uni-

versity will offer opportunities for the exchange of students and faculty, thus enriching learning experiences," Mibey said. "We shall also be able to have joint research projects completed by staff and students from both institutions." The agreement is co cover all of OSU; however, CASNR is expected to cake the lead role in working with Moi University, Henneberry said. CASNR has produced many successful international alumni like Mibey, Henneberry said. The OSU agricultural education program has produced two university presidents in Thailand, Thep Phongparnich and Pongsak Angkasith, he said. "I am ever grateful for the guidance, encouragement, motivation and support I received at OSU," Mibey said. "OSU excels in building a strong personal character, professionalism, endurance, dedication and creativity. "My achievements today are based on chose things.",.


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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty 'team up' in the battle against cancer By Kandice Taylor Paden, Okla.

fessor and head of the OSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. "We wanted to help." Porter and fellow PASS faculty Brett Carver, Kefy Desta, Bjorn Martin and Chad Penn form the Sherrer Squad. The team would like to get other colleges around campus involved in the relays for cancer research, Porter said. Porter said Bob Whitson, vice president, dean and director of DASNR, supports the team's efforts to raise awareness about cancer and to fund research. "I felt honored that they would do that to raise money to fight such a dreadful disease as cancer," Sherrer said. "There's going to be a cure sometime, and that gives us a great hope." Sherrer had a PET scan performed in February, and the doctor said the tumor was gone; therefore, the cancer is in remission. Sherrer completed two more treatments on the doctor's recommendation to be sure the cancer was gone.

Everyone on the team joined to show his or her support for Sherrer. "I think it is a very good and noble cause to help out," Carver said, "and burn a little energy in the process." While this is the first attempt to form a relay team within PASS, this is not DASNR's first attempt to raise funds for the ACS. Department of Agricultural Economics Regents Professor Damona Doye said the Ag Econ & Friends relay team has participated in the Payne County Relay for Life event for more than 10 years. The Relay for Life raises money and awareness to fund cancer research. It is not a set number of miles. It begins with a lap made by cancer survivors and is followed by team members walking laps throughout the night until the next morning, symbolizing how cancer never sleeps. Payne County's Relay for Life Event will be held August 22 at Couch Park in Stillwater. The Ag Econ & Friends relay team

IMAGINE THE HEARTBREAK and fear you would feel if you learn you have cancer. Your emotions run wild as questions fill your mind. What will the future hold? Gary Sherrer, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources assistant vice president for external affairs, found himself in this circumstance last fall after being diagnosed with nonHodgkin's lymphoma. In the midst of his emotional turmoil, a beacon of light appeared, and hope came in the form of colleagues who supported him in his battle with cancer. Sherrer said being diagnosed with cancer was certainly a set back, but everyone has something they have to go through. He said he was glad the cancer was diagnosed so at least he knew what he had to fight. Sherrer said he has had an outpouring of support from family, friends and colleagues. He said their support is what gets him through the hard times. "You have to have a good attitude," Sherrer said, "and fight with all your heart and soul." To support Sherrer in his fight, plant and soil sciences professors formed the Sherrer Squad relay team and participated in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 27. Although the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is 26.2 miles long, the Sherrer Squad participated as a relay team, taking turns running in the race. They registered their team with the American Cancer Society to raise money and awareness for cancer research. "It's been a real struggle for him go- Dave Porter (left), Kefy Desta and Bjorn Martin trained countless hours for the Oklahoma City Memorial ing through this," said Dave Porter, pro- Marathon in April. Summer/Fall 2008 • 37


was started by a former colleague, Dan Bernardo, a cancer survivor. Since then, others have been diagnosed, including Doye's late husband, Harry Mapp, who was also an agricultural economics professor. Doye said this encourages the team to keep participating to raise funds for research. "Most people have a personal tie to the relay," said Doye. "For me, it's a continuing tribute to Harry." Like the Sherrer Squad, the Ag Econ & Friends team includes people who have been touched by cancer. "Relay for Life is a great way to help raise money for cancer research," said Katie Reim, communications specialist and Relay for Life team member. "Having family members and friends who have had cancer and are battling cancer, this is a way for me to help raise money to support this cause. It is also a time for fellowship and celebration for those who have fought the battle with cancer and won." The Ag Econ & Friends relay team has raised $70,000 for cancer research. Not only do the relay teams support cancer research by raising aw~reness and funds, but also they create team-member interaction, which benefits members in their day-to-day jobs. "It has given me the opportunity to get to know people outside of my department on a more personal basis," Doye said. "It's fun and rewarding." Everyone gains something different by being a part of the teams. "Being a part of the relay allows me to be thankful for my healthy family and friends and reminds me of the importance of giving back to others," Reim

Gary Sherrer, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in October 2007, continues his work with a bright smile and positive outlook despite his struggle with cancer. The cancer was found to be in remission in February 2008.

said. "It also is a time for me to remember those who have lost the battle." While DASNR professors make a difference in the lives of students every day, some are on another mission:

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Environmental science class teaches students to apply knowledge in real-world situations By Kirby Smith Elk City, Okla. CLARK KENT'S TRANSFORMAtion to Superman allowed him to dart into alleys and face the current crisis in his legendary blue cape. His quick departures and high-flying problem solving ensured a safe future. Oklahoma State University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources' environmental science program teaches students to resolve environmental issues and, like Superman, help make the world a safe place to live. Established in 1992 as an interdisciplinary program, environmental science prepares its graduates to identify and assess environmental problems, develop alternatives and understand the implications. A portion of this preparation is a capstone class. "With the capstone class, we really want students to begin interacting with

professionals in the industry," said Jeff Hattey, soil science professor, environmental sciences program director and capstone course instructor. "We want students to understand what they will be doing when they walk onto a job." Hattey is in his second year of teaching the class. He and other environmental science faculty use innovative teaching methods and classes to promote research opportunities and partnerships, such as the senior capstone class. The Environmental Science Application of Problem course, or ENVI 4813, addresses real-world issues by connecting students with organizations and individuals needing advice to remedy specific environmental problems. Class objectives focus on developing an understanding of problem solving and the application of the environmental sciences. Students also learn how to work with clients to meet their needs, and develop the ability to communicate

recommendations to clients in a professional manner. With an average class size of 13 students, the class is divided into groups. Each group receives a project from various sources in Oklahoma. "The bulk of our projects come from government agencies, private individuals, public industries and even OSU," Hattey said. One such project took place near Tar Creek in Picher, Okla. "The land in this project had high levels of lead and zinc in the soil from previous mining operations," said Chad Penn, assistant professor of soil and environmental chemistry. "The landowner wanted to run cattle on the land and needed to know the safest way." Penn assisted with the project. "I would make sure they were on the right track or would assist them if they were missing an integral part of a potential solution," Penn said.

OSU Plant and Soil Sciences graduate student Lisa Fultz (left) and extension agent Chris Stiegler perform water quality tests.


"The students definitely did most of the work." Brandon Sloan graduated in December 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and a minor in soil science; he was a student on the Tar Creek project. "Being a part of the class and getting to work on the Tar Creek project really taught me that every problem isn't easy and not every problem is the same," Sloan said. "Every problem has more than one solution." Sloan now works as an environmental scientist for a consulting firm in Tulsa, Okla. He credits the capstone class for familiarizing him with the dayto-day activities of his current position. "In other classes, the only time you get hands-on experience is in lab," Sloan said. "That's a short time, but in the capstone class, time was yours to do what needed to be done. We made the initial contact with the client and met with him to find out what he wanted and his budget."

leurned the most an'd gained the most experience from the capst:i e-. course. - Rhonda Gerig Rhonda Gerig, an environmental science senior and participant in the class, reflected the feeling of working with an actual client. "It was very intimidating," Gerig said. "At the end of the project, we gave our recommendations in an hour-long presentation. That experience really helped me because I've presented a project I worked on to a government agency. Any presentations I have to give in other classes are no big deal at all."

The capstone class focuses on preparing students to make the transition from college life to professional life, Hattey said. "So much of college life is laid back," Hattey said. "We are trying to introduce students to the mind-set of being a young professional." Interacting with clients gives students the opportunity to practice professionalism before joining the work force. "We hope this class lets people know our students are not only top quality in the classroom but also in the industry," Hattey said. Students in the capstone class receive a hands-on encounter with life as a working professional. The experience gives students a chance to go beyond the books and see the application of their education. "Out of all the classes at OSU I've taken, I learned the most and gained the most experience from the capstone class," Gerig said. , .


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www.ansi.okstate.edu/studentjblockbridle

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www.huntingandfishinginfo.com 405-880-4 26 7

and the hunting and fishing network welcome you to the four seasons. Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 41


alumni

OSU's College of Veterinary Medicine commemorates its diamond anniversary By Shawna Allen Newcastle, Okla. THIS YEAR MARKS THE 60TH ANniversary of Oklahoma State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical College's School of Veterinary Medicine opened its doors May 1, 1948, after years of work by "the father of veterinary medicine in Oklahoma," L.L. Lewis. Although Lewis died before the veterinary school opened, he had been appointed the professor of veterinary

science in 1896 and was a vital part of the college's success and establishment. Early veterinary schools, such as OAMC's, began primarily for teaching equine care to students, said Michael Lorenz, CVM dean and OSU alumnus. "Horses and horse-drawn carriages were the means of transportation in the early 1900s," Lorenz said. "Veterinarians were needed to doctor and take care of the horses." During the first year, OAMC's veterinary school taught two classes to the 31 male students: anatomy in the morn-

ing, histology after lunch and morning labs for both classes on Saturday. "Veterinary school was like a fulltime job," Lorenz said. "The students had class Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon, an hour break for lunch, then back to class until 5 p.m." Although days were long, the small class size encouraged a feeling of belonging and unity among the students, said Roger Panciera, 1953 graduate and former veterinary professor. By 1957, the school of veterinary medicine had 35 faculty and six departments. Today, the college has 114 faculty, three departments, a teaching hospital and a disease diagnostic laboratory. The three departments are veterinary pathobiology, physiological sciences and veterinary clinical sciences. "We are a small faculty with a wide array of courses offered to our students," Lorenz said. "This indicates the faculty's primary goal is educating students on how to be good veterinarians." Although students have the option to specialize in a particular field with their electives, the CVM faculty takes pride in teaching students the core curriculum and the primary care techniques. Lorenz said professors at OSU Six veterinary students walk in front of the World War II army building, which housed the first classroom from 1948 to 1968.


are "eye-to-eye" with their students, making sure they learn and understand the material. The dedication put forth by the faculty and students resulted in success for all. By 1961, OSU's College of Veterinary Medicine had 255 graduates working in 37 states and overseas. Now, the total number of graduates is 3,089. "We've graduated three presidents of the American Veterinary Medical Association," Lorenz said, "along with Bob Whitney, the only veterinarian to serve as surgeon general." With an increase in total numbers and student success came an increase in cost and building space. "In 1948, the budget allotted for the CVM was $110,023," said Derinda Lowe, CVM public relations coordinator. "Today, one semester of veterinary school costs a student $6,565 in-state tuition and $15,202 out-of-state." As for building space, McElroy Hall was built a year after the school was established. During the years, several wings were added to the original structure to accommodate students, faculty and laboratories. "We have more facilities, faculty and research now than there were back then," Panciera said. Today the College of Veterinary Medicine [McElroy Hall], the Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory are the three buildings housing the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. "The first classroom was a temporary World War II army building and the veterinary hospital was located m

DJOHNDEERE

Alexis Maxey (center) and Courtney Rogan (right), 4th-year veterinary students, hold Ziggy while veterinarian Danielle Kelton, small animal medicine/s urgery intern, removes staples from his stomach.

McElroy Hall," said Mark Neer, director of the teaching hospital. "The hospital as we know it today wasn't constructed until 1976." All students are required to work in the teaching hospital to observe realworld veterinary cases. Neer said it is exciting to see students take what they learn in the classroom to diagnose live patients. The teaching hospital not only helps veterinary students, but also it serves animal owners in the community and state. "We get a lot of pets for general checkups," Neer said, "along with some unique cases we have not seen." Researching internal diseases and parasitology are special areas on which the OSU CVM focuses, Lorenz said. "It is important to have research," said Jerry Mayaler, associate dean for research and graduate studies for the CVM. "We are one of the few veterinary schools that conducts research on ticktransmitted diseases."

Whether learning primary care, conducting research or receiving handson experience, the OSU CVM provides graduates an education to meet the needs of employment or graduate school, Lorenz said. "OSU means a lot to me," Panciera said. "I came back as part of the faculty hoping to make a difference." Each year, the CVM has a fall conference for veterinarians, technicians and office personnel. Specialists from OSU and other colleges share their knowledge with the attendees. Alumni events and reunions also are scheduled during the conference, which is Oct. 30-31. Seeing the pride alumni have for the college and their passion for the veterinary industry is exciting, Lowe said. "We are planning a big celebration this year," Lowe said. "During the fall conference, we hope numerous faculty, students and alumni join us to commemorate our 60 years of success." - .

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__. RK Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 43


Makin

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one student at a time

CASNR implements new selection process for Student Success Leaders By Brittainy Barton Jarrell, Texas UPON ENTERING THE STUdent Success Center, one is greeted by smiling faces, along with the sights and sounds of students assisting fellow students with resumes, job searches and many other student development and career service-related activities. These same students are seen on campus helping with the recruitment of potential Oklahoma State University students. These students are here because they share common interests: They enjoy spreading the OSU spirit, want to help others succeed and have a "team player" attitude. They are Student Success Leaders. SSLs consist of Agricultural Ambassadors, Career Liaisons and Freshmen in Transition Student Academic Mentors, or FIT SAMs. Each team represents the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources as well as OSU. Since an SSL has many responsi44 â&#x20AC;˘ Cowboy Journal

bilities, potential applicants may worry becoming an SSL might conflict with classes and other activities in which they already are involved. "We normally get to choose our four office hours around our class schedule at our convenience," said Carol Cook, Career Liaison. ''Also, I don't take night classes so I can be available to do club presentations in the evenings." Becoming an SSL provides students with networking opportunities with leaders in the college, the university and the community. "Being an SSL will help me in the future because I have had experience working with a diverse group ofstudents, and have had the opportunity to network and help coordinate many activities," said Megan McCool, 20072008 FIT SAM. As an SSL, opportunities exist to spread the spirit of OSU and to ensure others gain from their experiences. "Being an SSL isn't about what

we gain from the experience but how others gain from it," said Whitney Danker, Ag Ambassador student council representative. "We are here to serve the college because we love CASNR and are thankful for the opportunities that we have been given." These leaders work with students in either getting them interested in CASNR or assisting with post-graduation plans. "The students that I work with are the future at OSU, and I love that I get to work with them," said Karolyn Bolay, Ag Ambassador. When considering whether to become an SSL, students should keep many things in mind. Sometimes being an SSL means being ready and willing to work anytime you are asked. Many qualities are ideal for each SSL position. The diverse qualities are what makes the group such a great team. "To be a good SSL, I think you need to have a passion for the College of Ag and its students," Cook said. "You


need to have a servant's attitude and well as learn what you will be doing if a willingness to help. These qualities you are selected," Cook said. After the sessions, the applicants are - along with responsibility and smile invited to a mix and mingle event with - will make you a great SSL." To become an SSL, students must the selection committee. "During the mix and mingle, each participate in the new pre-training applicant gets one-on-one time with program for applicants. "The idea to start the SSL training each committee member," Cook said. came from networking with other "Based on this experience, about 40 advisers from universities similar to applicants are asked in for interviews. "The interview consists of a ours," said Amy Simmons, coordinator of prospective student services and Ag business-professional meeting with the selection committee, where you discuss Ambassador adviser. Each year prior to the beginning of why you would like to be an SSL and classes, SSLs were asked to go through which position you can see yourself in," training to learn about etiquette, majors she said. and options, presentation skills, resume The committee forms the teams development, job responsibilities of each and notifies the new SSLs by e-mail. "We are hoping that the new process position and general information about will first indicate which students are truly OSU and the CASNR. "We found that many of the committed to the program," Simmons students felt overwhelmed by what said. "Second, we are providing an they were learning and wanted to know opportunity for students to learn about what was going to be expected of them each position in depth, and third, the prior to applying," Simmons said. "This coordinators have the opportunity to prompted the development of the interact with the participants multiple times prior to selection." training process prior to applying." Current SSLs said they encourage The new selection process also provides the advisers of each group an their peers and new transfer students to additional opportunity to interact with consider an SSL position in the future. "I have really come out of my shell the applicants, to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and to decide in which by being an SSL," McCool said. "It has given me confidence that I group each student would fit best. "You participate in four sessions once did not have," she said. "I have met before the SSL interviews take place, so so many new people, and I credit all of that you can become acquainted with this to being an SSL." - . the advisers and selection committee as

Ag Ambassadors

• • • • •

Attend livestock shows in Oklahoma Attend state and national FFA conventions Meet every Thursday Organize and attend Kickoff Retreat, Back-to-School Training and Ag Roundup Participate in Future Ag Leaders Conference Participate in Ambassador Phone-a-Thon Facilitate high school visits

FIT SAMs •

• •

Serve as in-house student mentors for freshmen involved with the FIT program Establish a sense of "community" for FIT participants Coordinate programming activities for the FIT students Contribute to the general student service/student development efforts of CASNR Attend training sessions, seminars and programs to become a better mentor

Career Liaisons • •

Organize and participate in fall and spring career fairs Volunteer for four hours per week in the Student Success Center Assist students with resumes, cover letters, thank-you letters, job searches and interview tips

Opposite page: Lindsey Cheek (right) assists Dan Morris with his resume. Bottom: In the Student Success Center (clockwise from far left/ Brynn Ross, Katy Pfenning, Katie Allen, Cammeron Cooper, Amy Simmons and Cassie Lancaster use the computers on a variety of projects.

Summer/Fall 2008 • 45


alumni

Real men of excellence CASNR honors three distinguished alumni By Sara-Jane Smallwood Clayton, Okla. EXCELLENCE. EXCELLENCE. EXCELLENCE. The excellence gene permeates graduates of the Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, especially the 2007 Distinguished Agricultural Alumni: Byrd Curtis, Eddie Smith and Dennis White. "It's important to recognize achievements of outstanding individuals," said Ed Miller, CASNR associate dean for academic programs. "They provide a model of achievement for the rest of us to attain. "Each honoree excelled in a quite unique way. They show us many ways to provide exceptional leadership and service in our industry." Honorees are chosen each year based on their career achievements. Nominations for the Distinguished Agricultural Alumni Award come from many places and individuals, but most nominations come from the alumni's department or major. ''A strength of this awards program is that nominations can come in many ways," said Miller. "The university president, the dean, past honorees and faculty are great resources to identify nominees."

Byrd Curtis A worldwide career can start in Stillwater, Okla. Byrd Curtis has traveled to 65 different countries and has called five of them "home." This world leader in wheat research, however, credits his career success to his time at OSU. "I couldn't have done any of it without my background from OSU," Curtis said. Curtis completed both his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at OSU and served as an agronomy professor from 1953-1962. He then worked as a faculty member at Colorado State University, where he served as the state wheat breeder. As he continued with his agronomic career, Curtis was the first manager for Cargill's hybrid wheat research program. His program helped improve the cross-pollination traits in wheat, advancements that led to the development of wheat hybrids in the U.S., although these hybrids were not adopted by producers. "My experience with Cargill included many interactions with foreign wheat breeders, researchers and agricultural administrators in Europe, South America and the USSR," Curtis said.

This helped prepare him to be the director of the wheat program at the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement in 1981. Curtis was only the third person to hold this tide at CIMMYT, where he oversaw the world's largest germplasm development network for wheat, triticale and barley. Because of advancements in wheat varieties and wheat growing technology from CIMMYT, wheat production in many developing countries has increased dramatically. CIMMYT is based in Mexico but has a global reach. As director of CIMMYT, Curtis traveled to represent the organization. "I grew up in Roosevelt, Okla., a small town 40 miles northwest of Lawton," Curtis said. "Not many people [from small towns] are that lucky to travel to 65 countries." Upon retirement in 1991 , Curtis returned to Colorado where he is a retired emeritus professor at CSU. "Golf, exercising, Kiwanis, volunteering and computer work, particularly in genealogy, keep me busy," Curtis said. "I have a good time each day. I never have a free moment."


Dennis White

Eddie Smith After a renowned career helping shape young agricultural leaders, Eddie Smith has returned to the lands of his upbringing. As a student in Jet, Okla., Smith was active in the local FFA chapter. His experiences raising cattle and his membership in the FFA led him to OSU and a degree in agricultural education. "OSU was more than I expected," Smith said. "I was a little overwhelmed at first, but I soon felt at home after I fell in with agricultural education and FFA programs." Smith's career began as an Oklahoma agricultural education teacher at Fargo and Burlington high schools. "During those days as a teacher, I grew even more fond of OSU," Smith said. After several years in the classroom, Smith found another calling within agricultural education. In 1976, he took a position with the Oklahoma Department of Vocational and Technical Education - now the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and became the state supervisor of agricultural education in 1988. "OSU and CareerTech

have a long-standing tradition of working together," Smith said. "They have a three-part program: CareerTech, the teachers' association and OSU. We have all players working together." During his tenure as state supervisor, Smith revitalized agricultural education curriculum and promoted youth leadership through the FFA. Because of his dedication to agricultural youth, Smith was named the outstanding member of the National Association of State Supervisors of Agriculture in 2004. Smith retired from his position at CareerTech in April 2007 and has returned to his agricultural roots in northwestern Oklahoma. "I have farmland and a small cattle herd in northwest Oklahoma," Smith said. "I also enrolled in real estate school right after retirement. I enjoy playing with my cows and selling real estate." Smith's background in agriculture benefits this job. He sells hunting, farming and recreation land for Hunting Country Real Estate. "It's been very successful," he said. ''All land is good and has its own purpose. I'm in it to enjoy it."

Extracurricular act1v1t1es are an important part of the college experience for many students. For Dennis White, however, those extracurricular activities became an important part of his life, even beyond college. White, an animal science alumnus, still attends many campus activities. The positive effects of his involvement as a student inspired him to continue those contributions as a graduate. White's continued support of many OSU activities, including the livestock judging team, the OSU Foundation, the Animal Science Alumni Association and sports teams, brings him back to Stillwater and OSU's campus on a regular basis. "College helps you grow as a person," White said. "You see there is a lot more than what is just in your county. I got to travel a lot with the judging team. From that, I learned how to think and organize my thoughts." White said he always knew his career path would involve animal agriculture. "Just like every country kid, I got involved with 4-H and FFA," White said. "I had beef cattle and was in farm

shop. I knew I wanted to go into animal science. That's where I started and where I stayed." White's bachelor's and master's animal science degrees from OSU took him far. During his career, White managed the sliced bacon department at Wilson & Co., worked as a livestock specialist for the Texas A&M Extension Service and was the director of the American National Cattlemen's Association Feeder Council. After holding these positions, White became the senior technical adviser for Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Co. He stayed there for 22 years. "The most rewarding part of my career was getting to know people in all parts of the beef industry across America," White said. "I got to understand the beef cattle industry in the broadest terms, not just what was going on at home in Oklahoma or Texas." White and his wife Marta returned home to Ninnekah, Okla., in 1999. He now divides his time among activities at OSU, working in his woodshop, traveling and running stocker cattle.- . Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 47


Whitson's Notes With increased interconnectivity in today's world, DASNR emphasizes interdisciplinary programs in our classrooms, the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Our students are provided the opportunity to experience multidisciplinary approaches to solving complex issues related to Oklahoma agriculture and natural resources through these programs. Most DASNR faculty and staff are affiliated with interdisciplinary teams to combine the knowledge and experience necessary to solve challenging issues and concerns important to Oklahoma, the region and beyond. The division's 2nd Century Initiative - a road map to tackle the challenges of the future - has seven research and extension thrusts: 21st Century Animal Enterprises; 21st Century Biological Technologies; 21st Century Plant Enterprises; Economically Strong and Empowered Communities; Natural Resources - Quality and Management; Resilient and Healthy Families; and 4-H - Developing Community Leaders. These thrusts encompass highprofile issues, such as enhancing the energy industry through biofuel development, managing water resources and strengthening rural economies. We measure DASNR's successes in part by the success of Oklahoma and its citizens. In turn, our research and extension efforts enhance classroom opportunities, which is the land-grant mission made real.

M~ Dr. Robert E. Whitson DASNR Vice President, Dean and Director 48 â&#x20AC;˘ Cowboy Journal

Gear up for DASNR Access Tour THE AGRICULTURE ALUMNI Association will conduct its fifth tour June 4-5. The tour is a two-day journey across the state with several stops. This year, the tour will travel to the southcentral part of the state. The Agriculture Alumni Association board of directors looks forward to the 2008 Access Tour and invites current and future alumni to mark their calendars for the event. Come and ride with the Cowboys to learn about the diverse agriculture in the great state of Oklahoma. If you would like more information about the tour, call Steve Upson at 580-224-6433 or send a message to sdupson@noble.org.

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The 2007 DASNR Access Tour participants pose for a group photo and visit various facilities during their two-day excursion.

2008-2009 Agriculture Alumni Association Board of Directors Shelly Ramsey ....... . ...... Jones President, Northeast Kim Spady ................ Hinton Vice President, Southwest Brent Garvie ............ Burlington Secretary, Northwest Brent Kisling ................ Enid Northwest Jami Longacre ........... Kellyville Northeast Wes Elliott ...... . .... .. .. Elk City Southwest

John Cothren ... . .... . ... Shawnee Southeast Steve Upson ........ . ..... Ardmore Southeast Dana Bessinger ......... . .. Watonga At-large Danna Goss ...... . ........ Canute At-large Jason Harvey ............. El Reno At-large Shirley Stephens . . . . . . . . . Chickasha At-large


Ramsey assumes duties as new board president AS NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT of the Agriculture Alumni Association, Shelly Ramsey is proof hard work, discipline and joy in what you do can take a person far in life. Growing up on a cattle and wheat farm in Bray, Okla., Ramsey said she participated in various activities for as long as she can remember. "I was extremely active in 4-H and showed Shorthorn cattle for 11 years," Ramsey said. "In high school, I participated in every possible sport I could, including basketball, softball and track." Ramsey's next steps were to Stillwater, Okla., and to the home of the Cowboys, Oklahoma State University. Things were different in a bigger city, but Ramsey made the most of her college experience. "Going to OSU from a small town was frightening and exciting at the same time," Ramsey said. "I quickly got to know my adviser and was helped in gaining the experience and knowledge I needed to be a success in the professional world." Ramsey was involved in numerous organizations on the collegiate level, including the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Agricultural Student Council, Collegiate 4-H, Agricultural

Ambassadors and Kappa Delta sorority. She credits these activities with helping her grow as a person and learning to enjoy life in general. "[My activities] taught me a great lesson in balancing personal life and business, something I use on a daily basis," Ramsey said. "It is very important to keep that balance and remember to have fun and enjoy life. You only get one shot!" Ramsey graduated in 1995 with a degree in agricultural communications. Shortly after, she married Greg Ramsey, a 1995 agricultural economics graduate. Now residing in Jones, Okla., Shelly Ramsey serves as an event coordinator for the University of Central Oklahoma, but she has not forgotten her roots as an OSU alumna. She credits the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources for much of her success. "DASNR not only provides you a family away from home, but also it prepares you for what is to come in your future," Ramsey said. "Even though I may not work in the agricultural world on a daily basis, my degree prepared me for any type of role." Ramsey became a lifetime member of the OSU Alumni Association about eight years ago, and in 2004, was asked

Shelly Ramsey

to serve on the Agriculture Alumni board by former president Brent Kisling. "I always participated in the Agriculture Alumni Association activities, but when I was approached, I was honored," Ramsey said. "What better way to give back to a great college?" Now, as the new president, Ramsey plans to continue her predecessors' work and give back to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "In the past few years, the board has tried to increase the way it gives back to the college and the students," Ramsey said. "I hope to continue the success of the past presidents as well as reach out to those alumni with whom we have not made that connection back to the Agriculture Alumni Association."

Mark your calendars for Barbecue 2008! COME TO THE ANNUAL AGRIculture Alumni Barbecue Oct. 18, and cheer for the Cowboys as they take on the Baylor Bears. Game time will be announced at a later date, but if the game is at 2 p.m. or later, the barbecue will begin two and

half hours prior to game time. If game time is at 11 a.m., the barbecue will follow the game. Special recognition will be given to alumni celebrating 10, 25 and 50 years, as well as the Distinguished Agriculture Alumni. It is a great opportunity to visit

with classmates, reunite with old friends and meet DASNR faculty and staff. Barbecue registration information will be mailed in September. If you don't receive notification, please call DASNR at 405-744-5395.

Summer/Fall 2008 â&#x20AC;˘ 49


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Profile for Cowboy Journal

Cowboy Journal v10n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 10, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2008, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Journal v10n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 10, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2008, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

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