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Pawing into prime time A timeless treasure Ag Alumni News


Happy birthday, Clover!



Faculty members exemplify excellence Cowgirl in a suit


Getting 'good eats'


Cowboys go global


Scholar's stellar success From dust to pay dirt Into the woods Turning the tassel Beef cuts to boardroom

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Endowed scholarships at OSU help students like Carol pursue their dreams. Read Carol's full story at OSUgiving.com/carolcook, and consider how you can help other agricultural students like her.




Office of Scholarships 1.800.622.4678 I Scholarships@ OSUgivi ng.com 400 S. Monroe I PO Box 1749 I Stillwater, OK 74076-1749

OSUgivingcom Your impact begins here.


Alicia Stover Lindsey Pritchard Abby Goodman Stacy Sexton Riann Eller Johnna Stevenson Brian Womack Brooke Clay Alex Northard Chelsea Kenney Leigha Stevenson The mission of this issue of Cowboy Journal, like those VOLUME n ISSUE 1 • Winter/Spring 2009 in the past, is to keep potential, current and former students, along with supporters, informed of the successes EDITORS Alex Northard, Alicia Stover of the Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural GRAPHIC COORDINATOR Brooke Clay Sciences and Natural Resources. Those of us in agricul- SPONSORSHIP COORDINATOR Johnna Stevenson ture are proud of what we do and know the necessity of CIRCULATION COORDINATOR Brian Womack communication. We also recognize the importance of ad- PHOTOGRAPHY COORDINATOR Stacy Sexton vocates, both in the agricultural industry and otherwise. WEB EDITOR Lindsey Pritchard This is why we would like to dedicate this issue to Terry STAFF Chelsea Kenney, Riann Eller Hyman, OSU CASNR alumnus and rodeo coach, and for- Abby Goodman, Leigha Stevenson mer Oklahoma State representative. Rep. Hyman was a MANAGING EDITOR Shelly Peper Sitton great supporter, and he will be forever missed. Without the help of our committed crew, both in ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITORS Cindy Blackwell, and out of the classroom, this magazine would not be Dwayne Cartmell, Tanner Robertson possible. A special thank you goes to Traci Naile, Jessica Stewart, Elizabeth Whitfield, Bonnie Milby, Tierra Eller, FOUNDING SPONSORS Limousin World, Oklahoma Farm Mandy Gross, Jill Rucker, Matt Wright, Misty Wright, Bureau, Quebecor World Midland Cassie Bacon, the OSU Flight Center and the Stillwater Airport. And to our fellow staff members and classmates ON THE WEB Visit this issue and the Cowboy Journal ar- thank you for making the semester fly by and for being chives at http://cowboyjournal.okstate.edu optimistic, even when you were faced with challenges. We are glad to have had the opportunity to learn more about ON THE COVER The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is pushing for 100 percent student you and wish you the best of luck in the future. With the end of our undergraduate careers in reach, participation in Study Abroad Programs. Go to "Cowboys go it is important we look back on our time here at OSU and global" on page 18 to learn more. Photo by Chelsea Kenney. recognize those who have made this experience special. Shelly, Cindy, Dwayne and Tanner - a million thanks would not be enough. Your continued guidance, support and friendship have proven to be irreplaceable. Thank you for being our mentors and friends.

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title Vl and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its 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 Stare 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 madewlth the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.


Pawing into prime time CASNR aiuuuu,u Travu Brrrrmt capturer u.u:,cm widt '~reatert AUlertcMl Do_g' Millions of CBS viewers tuned in this past summer to see 12 dog enthusiasts and their faithful companions compete for the prestigious title of Greatest American Dog and a $250,000 prize. Dog enthusiast Travis Brorsen, an Oklahoma State University agricultural communications alumnus from Perry, Okla., spent his younger years helping around the farm. During his college days, he was an Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity member, acted in numerous stage productions and wrote stories for the Cowboy Journal. He never imagined he would win a prime-time reality show. A hike of fate "Presley and I were hiking through Runyan Canyon when a lady approached us about a reality show showcasing people and their dogs," Brorsen said. Brorsen said he politely declined, telling the representative to look for someone with more experience. Presley,

his 2-year-old boxer, was "high-spirited, not well-trained and a little young to compete in such a large challenge." "The next thing I knew we were auditioning just like everyone else," Brorsen said. Before the taping of the show, Brorsen met with a trainer to help Presley "catch up" with the other dogs. "It was simple," Brorsen said. "Just like other things in life, the more you work with something, the better you will be at it." His theory can be related to anything. For example, the more you study for a test, the better the outcome will be, he said. ''As a state FFA officer, I gave speeches about hard work, determination and never getting discouraged," Brorsen said. "I had to listen to my own advice." On the show Brorsen used his own advice on the show and said, ''After a while, it was like the cameras weren't there." "It was like a really fancy compound, and the fridge was always stocked," Brorsen said. "We were in our own little world - a reality out of reality." Without a script, Brorsen said he could choose what he wanted to say and had complete control of situations. Nothing was done twice, and he had no outside contact, except for one phone call to Mom, he said. "Spending 24 hours a day for seven weeks with Presley was so rewarding," Brorsen said. "He became my shadow, following me throughout the house." Each episode showcased a new challenge, ranging from a doggie dance to a photo shoot. Each pair worked together using trust, talent and skill to be competitive. "The episode starring the elephant charging down the lane amazed me the most;' Brorsen said. "I don't know that I could sit in a circle while an elephant was charging at me, and I wasn't sure how Presley would handle the situation." Bill Mcfarlin was one of the 12 contestants living in close quarters with their canine companions. "Living with 12 dogs wasn't as difficult as most would think," said McFarlin, owner of Star, a Brittany Spaniel. "We had different styles of training, and it was interesting watching the interactions with dogs and owners." Although Mcfarlin had his eye on the $250,000 prize, the friendships - especially Brorsen's - made the experience worthwhile. Travis Brorsen (left) and Presley join host Jarod Miller after winning "Greatest American Dog" on Sept. 10, 2008.

The "Greatest American Dog," Presley, takes a break at "Travis and Presley Day" in Perry, Okla., on Oct. J7.

"He's just a nice guy," Mcfarlin said. ''As a father, I can tell you his parents did a good job. He's a straight-up, honest, Christian guy." Everything on the show was real - friendships, drama and competition, Mcfarlin said. "When I got the boot from the show, I knew Travis would probably win," Mcfarlin said. "He had been getting better and better each week." Pursuing the dream Although the name "Travis Brorsen" may be a new name to prime-time television, he is in no way a newcomer to acting or Hollywood. "In college, I participated in five or six main stage productions," he said. "For months before the performance, we rehearsed every night for two to three hours." Although Brorsen said friends were living the "college life" while he was rehearsing, he knew he was onto something. He was working on a production for which he was not getting paid or earning college credit - but enjoying every minute of it. ''At the time, I wondered, 'How great would it be to make a living doing something I enjoy?"' Brorsen said. After graduating in May 2001, Brorsen worked on the family farm with his parents, Verl and Dianna Brorsen. Brorsen recalled one conversation with his father. "My dad was in front of me pulling the swather, and I was daydreaming," he said. "He stopped, and I didn't." His dad reacted like most would after thousands of dollars worth of damage had been done, he said. He jumped out of the tractor and yelled, "What are you doing?" ''At the end of the conversation, Dad said if I wanted to go to New York or Los Angeles, [my parents] would sup-

port me," Brorsen said. "I rented a U-Haul and loaded my '91 GMC pickup and drove to L.A." Although Dianna and Verl Brorsen were nervous and excited for Travis, they were 100 percent supportive. "Be true to who you are," Dianna Brorsen told her son. ''And, remember where you came from." One day at a time Her words stayed with Brorsen as he made the trip to California. He had three months' rent in his pocket and big dreams in his heart. "When I got to L.A., it was one day at a time," Brorsen said. "So many people make goals of being an extra within a short period of time, and when it doesn't happen for them, they get discouraged." Brorsen listened to his own advice from his state FFA officer years and realized he could make his dream a reality. He took it day-by-day, researching acting classes and photographers for head shots. "I was on the set of Desperate Housewives, playing Bree's [Marcia Cross] lawyer when the actor playing the policeman jokingly said I was really young to be a lawyer," Brorsen said. "Marcia joked back about my references and education - that's when I realized they were normal people, but they've just been doing this longer than I have." Living the dream Brorsen currently lives in Los Angeles and is working as a full-time actor. "If in five years I decide acting isn't important," Brorsen said, "I will look back and know I followed my passion, went after it, and never settled for anything less than I wanted to do." • By Brooke Clay, Perkins, Okla. WINTER/SPRING 2009 • 7

Scholar's stellar success Neatly tucked into southeastern Oklahoma, the rural community of Byng boasts only 1,100 people, but one Oklahoma State University scholar of distinction calls this small town home. Byng native Cortney Timmons, a biosystems and agricultural engineering senior, has earned two of the most coveted national academic awards - the Truman and the Udall scholarships. "Networking is one of the reasons why I started applying for these different scholarships," Timmons said. "I go into every scholarship without any expectation." The middle child of Steve and Lisa Timmons developed a passion for agriscience and a desire to help others and the environment in her junior high environmental sciences courses. This passion endured into her college years. "Cortney wants to make a difference in the world," said Ron Elliott, BAE department head. Timmons said her true motivation is to make the world a better place to live. One of the ways she has

advanced this motivation is by starting a tailgate recycling program at OSU. This program started as an idea based on a University of Missouri program, which was founded by a student Timmons met when she received the Udall. The recycling program started during the 2007 football season with students giving bags to individuals who are tailgating. The bags then are collected and taken to Habitat for Humanity to benefit its outreach program. ''A lot of people would say her biggest success would be the Truman Scholarship," said Jeremy Cowley, Timmons' fiance and agricultural education teacher at Edmond High School. "She would say her biggest success would be her tailgate recycling." Timmons' drive was not gained overnight. "My parents instilled in me a good work ethic," Timmons said. As a senior in high school, she and three teammates won a state championship at the science fair, which earned her an opportunity to go to Japan. Lisa Timmons said her daughter wanted a state championship banner to be put on the Byng's school gym wall. Timmons participated in more than science research projects during her high school years. She was active in basketball, student council and FFA. After high school graduation in 2004, Timmons served the Oklahoma FFA as the southeast district vice president. Kent Boggs, Oklahoma FFA executive secretary, said Timmons was a team player. He said she never wanted the lime light and was always working toward the betterment of the group. "She never seems to have a bad day," Boggs said. While an FFA officer, Timmons became involved with student organizations in her field of study at OSU. Timmons said she tries as much as possible to help others achieve excellence. Her BAE research mentor agreed. "You can rely on her to make sure other groups are working together," said Glenn Brown, BAE professor. Brown said Timmons participates in class discussions and is one of the leaders in the classroom. Elliott said Timmons remembers what it is like to be a freshman and mentors the other students. Cortney Timmons plans to attend graduate school after graduation in May 2009.

Cortney Timmons sorts recycled objects as part of the OSU tailgate recycling program she helped start.

"Cortney has a natural leadership ability," Elliott said. "She has appreciation for what people are going through." Lisa Timmons said her daughter tries to do as much as possible to help others achieve excellence. "From the time she was little, she has always been very sensitive to other people's needs," Lisa Timmons said. "She is definitely caring." Her passion for others will carry her to the next step in her education. After Timmons and Cowley marry in June 2009, she plans to attend graduate school, but she is undecided on where to earn a master's degree in environmental engineering related to agriculture. "I have always wanted to go to grad school," she said. This year, Timmons is applying for a Marshall Scholarship, which means she would study in the United Kingdom for two years. Only 40 U.S. students who graduate from a four-year institution receive this award each year. Timmons said OSU is "near to her heart" and she will not forget the people or the education. OSU has provided her with an opportunity to grow and be competitive, and

the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has helped her become a better student. "I think it is just incredible what we have in our college," Timmons said. "It's the best in the nation." No matter where life takes Timmons, her passion, drive and work ethic will be instrumental to her success. • By Brian Womack, Hinton, Okla.


From dust to pay dirt A_griadtw-aL ~fr~ dill, pl,bwr /i,u fMUifys 0 ~ LMUi R.JMt yffi, On April 22, 1889, men and women gathered at the Texas and Arkansas borders preparing to start a new life in a new territory called Oklahoma. A cloud of dust created by dancing feet rose in the air, as to signify the anticipation in the crowd. When the shot rang out to announce the beginning of the Oklahoma Land Run, no person was stationary, rather running forward, eager to settle and build a home. One family chose to head toward the center of the new territory. There, they found a place to stake their claim, a place to call home, where waving wheat not only smelled sweet but also became a lifestyle practiced today, four generations later. Now, 120 years after that historical day, members of that family plow the same land spoken for by their ancestors. This in itself is not unusual. What is unique, however, is finding a young member of the family as eager to continue the family business of raising and selling wheat as agricultural economics freshman Robert Parrish. "My family has been doing it for so long that it just seems natural to keep doing it," he said. Parrish was raised on his family's farming operation in Hunter, Okla., and has been a dedicated member of the business since he was a toddler. "We used to let Robert play in the yard when he was little," said Raymond Parrish, Robert's father. "We would turn our backs for just a second, and he would be gone. His great-uncle Virgel would pick him up and take him to feed the cows or check the fields." This early involvement led Robert Parrish to showing the wheat he raised on his family's farm. "My mom and dad would go to Okeene to some wheat shows to see how the wheat they were growing stacked up against other farmers from the area," Parrish said. "They started it off, and then I watched my sister participate in the shows. Once it got to be my turn, I started, too." IO • COWBOY JOURNAL

The jump on the competition and the resulting experience catapulted Parrish to the top in this year's Oklahoma Wheat Show, which agricultural economics professor Kim Anderson said is a prestigious show coordinated and sponsored in part by Oklahoma State University and judged by OSU faculty. "The goal of the wheat show is to teach agriculture youth the value of producing high milling-quality wheat," Anderson said. "It is invigorating to see good, solid farm people rise to success." Parrish is thankful for his accomplishments. "I've been doing this since I was about 9 years old," he said. "When I heard my name called, all I could think was this had been a long time coming, and I was excited to finally come out on top." Parrish also was excited about the awards he received. "I got two trophies and $2,000 in scholarship money, which I added to the $4,000 I had already won;' he said. "I also received a loaf of bread baked from flour made out of my winning wheat, which is pretty cool." Though he is glad to finally get a win, it has been a long road for Parrish. He said some of his favorite memories come from being able to compete against his sister, Jennifer, an agricultural economics alumna. "I was lucky enough to win the 4-H competition three years and be the overall grand champion two years," she said. "Since we do everything as a family, it has been a running joke that our seed would get switched and he should have been the one to win." The Parrish family is proud to have accomplished so much with such a small team. "We're just a one-horse operation around here,"

Robert Parrish farms the land his family acquired ago during the Oklahoma Land Run.



STUDENTS Raymond Parrish said. "No hired hands, everybody just pitches in when we need them." Still, it is no accident the Parrish siblings have shown their product successfully. "We plant all certified wheat," said Robert's mother, Peggy Parrish. "When you start out with the best seed, you have a better chance of ending up with the best product." Parrish agreed with his mom. "I couldn't have really done anything different to make my product any better," he said. "We planted quality seed, and I did the best I could to prepare my wheat. The only thing I had to worry about was the weather." Parrish said he appreciates what his family's operation has allowed him to accomplish and credits the business with other successes. "I won the national grain entrepreneurship proficiency in FFA when I was a junior in high school," he said. "It was based on my wheat and running a production business. I also won a trip to Houston and Galveston, and I have gotten to meet many different people and win scholarships." But, he said, the lessons learned are what make his experiences valuable to him as he prepares for a career. ''I've learned that patience is key," he said. "I never won until my last year so patience definitely pays off." Patience and years of experience, backed by generations of farmers, has allowed Parrish to find his niche. "I want to find a job in an agriculture-related business," he said. "I want to keep farming with my dad. I know I'll be back here someday." • By Alicia Stover, Binger, Okla.

Into the woods Imagine spending seven weeks of your summer among the trees and wildlife in Montana. You may even have a nice view of snow-capped mountains from the window of your home away from home. If you are a forestry student at Oklahoma State University, you may experience this during forestry camp. The founding fathers of the OSU Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management developed this summer "field camp" in 1948 to give forestry students hands-on experience while learning in a team environment, said Thomas Kuzmic, forestry camp director and professor at OSU. "The faculty have just embraced it from that day forward," Kuzmic said. Forestry camp is required for all forestry students at OSU. Students prepare for it early in the forestry program by taking prerequisite classes such as dendrology (tree identification), forestry measurements, algebra, trigonometry and statistics. Students usually go to forestry camp the summer between their sophomore and junior years at OSU, said Caysie Taylor, NREM senior and past forestry camp participant. ¡ As a camp director for 29 years, Kuzmic has a long history with forestry camp. During each of those summers, he has spent seven weeks with his forestry camp students. Multiple faculty members participate in the camps, but Kuzmic is the only faculty member who stays for the entire seven-week period. "[Forestry camp] is a part of our culture in the department," Kuzmic said. Forestry camp is a "roving camp" with its location changing every year. The camp was conducted in a variety

of locations across the country but more recently has settled to four specific locations that cycle every four years: Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan and Montana. " [Camp] gives students a broader view - a broader aspect of what forestry is," said Keith Owens, NREM department head. "Quite a few of our students go back to those same areas the following summer for summer jobs." Forestry camp may feel like a summer job to the forestry students, though. "It's kind of like an 8-to-5 job in a way," Taylor said. The forestry students get in a routine of waking up early, eating breakfast at 7 a.m. and preparing their sack lunch for the day, starting in the field or classroom by 8 a.m. and working for the rest of the morning. "We didn't spend that much time in the classroom," Taylor said. "Instead, we were out working in the field. We spent a great deal of time hiking around to evaluate aspects of the forest and driving to different areas to learn from different agency professionals." The forestry students get a half-hour lunch break and are back to work for the rest of the afternoon. Then, they enjoy dinner at 6 p.m. and complete any unfinished fieldwork, write reports and socialize. Finally, the students get to sleep and prepare themselves for the day ahead. "The bottom line is, you call it a day and get up in the morning and do it again," Kuzmic said. A day's work can include activities such as cruising timber stands (measuring and inventorying), observing differences in ecosystems of different elevations, meeting with professionals in the field, and learning about management techniques and ecological relationships. "One cool experience was when we started down in a canyon and hiked all the way up to the alpine tundra," Taylor said. "We talked about the different ecosystems with different elevations - how they have different plants and have different temperatures." Forestry camp consists of three parts. Taylor said her first two weeks at camp focused on measurements of trees. The next two weeks were spent on ecosystems and the practice of silviculture, which focuses on tree growth. The remaining three weeks focused on fire ecology, wildlife, hydrology and recreation. Taylor said one of her best memories from forestry camp was when she went backpacking into Rocky MounJessie Martin (left), Ryan Oberst and Robert Nix show OSU spirit during an ecological field exercise on the alpine tundra during the 2007 Colorado camp.


STUDENTS tain National Park with classmates Shelby Williams and Kyle Hesse. She said when students go to summer camp, they form a close bond with each other. "It's amazing how much you kind of accept each other once you spend the seven weeks together," Taylor said. Kuzmic said he strongly encourages his students to explore on the weekends. In earlier years, forestry camp students had to work on the weekends but now are allowed to relax and spend the weekends doing what they enjoy. One of the more noticeable differences in forestry camp through the years is the number of women participants. In its 60 years, the number of women in the program has increased. When forestry camp began, women were not involved. Today, about one-third of the students are women, Kuzmic said. Two of the biggest concerns students have today about forestry camp are the financial obligations and the extended time commitment of seven weeks. Forestry camp costs vary depending on the location of the camp. For example, the 2008 forestry camp in Alberta, Mich., cost each student $1,732. This price included lodging, transportation to different activities while at camp, some supplies, camp operational costs and food (17 meals a week). Students also have to pay tuition for the sevencredit-hour camp, transportation costs, weekend meals and personal expenses they incur while at camp. Because of the big financial commitment, every student receives at least one scholarship, Owens said. The Brown Foundation awards each student $600 toward forestry camp expenses. Additionally, one student receives a $1,200 scholarship from OSU alumna Carolyn Foutch. "That's important, of course, because when our students go to summer camp for seven weeks, they are losing essentially a summer's worth of earnings' time in outside jobs," Owens said. ''Any scholarships we can get to help them are very important." Forestry camp is not only a financial investment for the students, but also it takes them out of their comfort zone, Kuzmic said. In addition to leaving potential summer jobs, the students leave their families and friends for seven weeks. However, the forestry students know how


forestry cau1f tra.dititm, ...

After camp each year, the students are expected to create a photo board of their camp experience. The photo boards adorn the halls of NREM, located in the southwest basement wing of Agricultural Hall. The photo boards date back to 1960; therefore, the hall is full of forestry camp photo boards. The photo boards draw attention to themselves because of the creativity used to make them. "A lot ofalumni come back to look at their boards;' Owens said. "When there is a game day or they are in town for something, they will come through the halls and try to find the board where their pictures are."

Erick Warren measures a tree in a Montana forest during the camp.


important forestry camp is for their educations and future careers, Owens said. "Summer camp is important enough that after students go to summer camp, we have more than a 90 percent retention of students in the program," Owens said. "It kind of defines what they want to do. After summer camp, they know if they want to go into forestry or not." Taylor said she had her doubts whether forestry was the right major for her during her first week of summer camp in 2007. However, talking to Kuzmic and her classmates and giving summer camp the benefit of the doubt helped set her on the right path. She said summer camp had a lasting effect on her. "It made me realize 'I really do like my major, and I am really glad that I am here and glad that I got this experience,"' Taylor said. "For me, I grew up a lot." Most students look back on forestry camp as a great experience, Kuzmic said. Forestry camp has helped develop a reputation for OSU forestry students. Multiple employers specifically want an OSU forestry graduate to work for them.


Laura Dunn (left) and Shayla Highfill paddle down the Pine River in Minnesota during a program at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in 2006.

"We think it gives them an edge in the job market," Kuzmic said. Forestry camp has not only made an impression on its student participants and future employers, but also it has made an impression on the faculty members involved. "It has been an education for me," Kuzmic said.

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After 60 years, forestry camp is still going strong and touching lives in different ways. The memories of the seven busy weeks at forestry camp will linger in the minds of OSU forestry alumni forever. • By Alex Northard, Grand Rapids, Minn.


Turning the tassel A 3{,{,UU for 3raduate sdunrt p,repa,ratwrt During the last few semesters of a student's undergraduate education, "What are you going to do with your degree?'' becomes the topic of conversation. After weighing options, students may decide furthering their education in graduate school is their best choice.

Making the decision While a number of students would not begin to consider more school, the idea of gaining more knowledge or specializing in a field might sound appealing. Dwayne Cartmell, Oklahoma State University agricultural communications associate professor, said students should obtain their graduate degrees to acquire an advanced skill set. "Graduate school should be something to help students take the next step in their careers," Cartmell said. Some students, however, like Sarah Rowland, a biosystems and agricultural engineering master's student, have said they enjoy school and research, and therefore, decided to continue their education. "Students can get a greater depth or breadth of learning," said Ron Elliott, OSU biosystems and agricultural engineering department head. "They can focus on a subject or discipline!' Sometimes students know they want to go beyond the undergraduate level. "I knew my senior year of high school I would stay in school until I completed my doctoral degree," Rowland said. "I figured out most professions and people who do research pursued some sort of graduate degree." Some students find the thought of harder classes and research daunting. "Students find the unknown intimidating," said Jim Key, OSU agricultural education professor emeritus. Whatever the reasons for pursuing more time in the classroom, graduate school seems to be a popular option. In fact, the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has 406 students enrolled in its 12 graduate programs.

should investigate schools, faculty and departments before making a final decision. "I didn't think picking my adviser was as critical as it was," Elliott said. "You don't want it to be haphazard." Cartmell said students must look for an institution with a strong academic program in their area of interest as well as a school that has solid mentoring and staff members with whom you want to work.

Applying Completing the admissions application might sound intimidating, but Key recommended starting the application process approximately a year before the first semester of graduate school. "The further ahead you can plan, the better," Key said. You can apply to OSU

Weighing your options As you prepare for your transition to graduate school, explore your options. Elliott said students WINTER/SPRING 2009 • IS

CASNR t;radua:te Pro3rtU11,,! CASNR offers the following graduate degrees: Agricultural Communications • Agricultural Economics Agricultural Education • Animal Science Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Entomology· Horticulture Natural Resource Ecology & Management International Agriculture • Plant and Soil Sciences Plant Pathology

online at http://www.app.it.okstate.edu/gradcollege. In addition, each academic department has required materials that need to be submitted. For example, the biosystems and agricultural engineering department requires official transcripts, a resume, a one-page statement of academic objectives and three letters of reference. For international students, the Test of English as a Foreign Language also is required. Some departments require applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination. You can register to take the GRE online at http://www. TakeTheGRE.com. The cost of taking the GRE is $140 in the United States.

Paying for more education Finding funding for any college degree can be an obstacle, but graduate students have multiple funding options. Elliott said most students in the BAE department pay for school through assistantships. "The assistantship is important for them to work and be a part of the faculty and work environment," Key said. Although it is up to the student whether to apply for one, Elliott said assistantships provide financial support and are "pretty standard" for students. According to OSU's financial aid Web site, eligible students can obtain subsidized direct loans, unsubsidized direct loans, federal Perkins loans and federal work-study. Some students fund their education through fellowships. These are more like scholarships than jobs. Rowland received the National Science Fellowship, which will pay for three years of her graduate studies. Although she does not have an assistantship, she advised looking for both programs to help with the financial burden. The tuition burden for an Oklahoma resident for fall 2008/spring 2009 per credit hour is $154.85, while a nonresident tuition is $602 per credit hour. Whatever your reason for going to graduate school, most experts will tell you two things: Do not procrastinate, and be prepared. "Figure out the right fit for you, get admitted, find an assistantship, enroll and get to work," Cartmell said. • By Chelsea Kenney, Flagstaff, Ariz.

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Cowboys go global CASNR

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If you dream of traveling to Italy, Brazil or China to study, explore or shop, now it is easier than ever through the Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources study abroad program. CASNR faculty and staff are encouraging all students to participate in an international experience prior to graduating from OSU and strive to one day have 100 percent participation from CASNR students. "The only way to understand or change the world is to go out in it," said James Leising, CASNR assistant director of international agricultural programs. To assist students, OSU and CASNR have increased scholarships for study abroad experiences and continue to search for additional financial support, Leising said. Participating in a study abroad program is cheaper than traveling independently, said Joe Schatzer, agricultural economics professor who has coordinated multiple study abroad trips. With the increase in financial help, the number of students participating continues to rise, nearly doubling from 69 in 2006 to 134 in 2008.

Scholarships have helped fuel this growth. During the school year, OSU offered more than $329,000 in study abroad scholarships. When traveling with OSU, students pay for tuition, airfare and trip fees. For example, the 2008 England trip cost students approximately $600 for tuition, $725 for airfare and $2,850 for in-country expenses (housing, transportation, breakfasts and admission fees). Students must provide extra money for remaining meals, souvenirs and other personal expenses. "The costs of these trips can vary a great deal based on the type of housing and time of year;' said Dwayne Cartmell, agricultural communications associate professor. "We make sure we put students in a safe environment." During some study abroad courses, students stay in hotels; in other courses, such as Costa Rica and Thailand, students stay with local families. "Students were assigned to stay in the homes of different families in the city of Atenas," said Alisha Preno, animal science freshman. ''Allison Brim and I stayed with a family of five and quickly learned that none of the family spoke any English, and although it was a challenge, we always seemed to find a way to communicate." 2007-2008

Above: International A gricultural Economics Tour participants visit the Eiffel Tower. Left: Street signs in Puebla, Mexico, guide CASNR students toward their next adventure. 18 • COWBOY JOURNAL

INTERNATIONAL For those who want to learn a new language, CASNR offers a six-week Spanish immersion program at the Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla in Puebla, Mexico, which is about 2 1/2 hours southeast of Mexico City. On last year's trip, students from the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University, the University of Dallas and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte joined 10 OSU students. "On a daily basis, we attended Spanish classes in the mornings at the university," said Brianna Jett, agricultural economics junior. "In the afternoons, we took tours of historical sites and museums in the city, played sports, and took cooking and dance classes." A unique advantage of the CASNR trips is getting to see how other countries farm, work and play - an experience the everyday tourist would not get, said David Henneberry, director of international agricultural programs. "During the final week of our stay, we toured different agricultural sites near Puebla," Jett said. "We saw a plant nursery, a dairy, a fighting bull ranch and large-scale chicken production. It was a very eye-opening experience to see the different aspects of Mexican agriculture and how it compares to agriculture in the United States." Henneberry said one of the main purposes of these courses is "to show the agriculture students the real agriculture of Italy and the real agriculture of Mexico." ''Anyone can go to these places and see the tourist sites," he said, "but with the OSU program, you get to go off the beaten path and see these places like no one else." "It is important for Americans to understand other countries and how they produce food and other agricultural products," Henneberry said. If you are a new student at OSU, expect to see Henneberry or a former study abroad student visit one of your classes to talk about the wonderful and exciting adventures on the study abroad courses. "Half of everything agriculturally produced in the United States gets exported," Leising said. "If we can understand how other cultures produce and operate in relation to us, we can make ourselves better." While abroad, you do not have to worry about getting lost because you have a guide to help you. You also will have classmates and instructors with you throughout the trip. These courses are a great way to get to know your fellow students and faculty and to create a unique bond. Eli Parr, an agricultural education junior, participated in the Spanish immersion program. "Every student should go on a study abroad program," Parr said. "They will know the feeling of not being able to describe all of the excitement and joy they experienced." • By Stacy Sexton, Konawa, Okla.

Study abroad students visited nature's cascades while on the CASNR Spanish immersion program in Puebla, Mexico.

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Connections between faculty, staff and students make the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources successful not only in academics but also job placement. Every few years, alumni have the opportunity to complete a survey about their experiences at Oklahoma State University while giving credit to faculty who made a direct impact in their collegiate careers. "The survey allows alumni to give credit to a superior faculty member who made a difference in their collegiate experiences," said Cheryl DeVuyst, assistant dean of academic programs. From the more than 50 CASNR faculty members who were identified by alumni, 12 received the 2008 Exemplary Faculty Award from the OSU Agriculture Alumni Association.

Kim Anderson Agricultural Economics Professor "Dr. Anderson made a positive impact in my life by implementing real-life experiences into the classroom," said Kirby Smith, Master of Agriculture graduate student. "Seeing the application of what I was learning allowed me to see the big picture. His class was the piece of the puzzle that helped me to connect the classroom to the work force." LouAnella Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Professor "Dr. Lou Anella was one of my favorite professors during my time at OSU, and he always had a smile on his face," said Rachael Ramon, 2006 horticulture alumna. "I wish there were more professors like him." Steve Damron Animal Science Professor "Dr. Damron has a genuine interest in student success and is always willing to go the extra mile to help students achieve their goals;' said Sara Winterholler, animal science graduate student and alumna. "His dedication and passion for teaching are especially evident in his interaction and commitment to reaching out to the diverse needs of students." Jerry Fitch Animal Science Professor "Dr. Jerry Fitch has been an instrumental part of my graduate college experience," said Kristi Bishop, Master of Agriculture graduate student. "His personable approach toward dealing with students is both friendly and supportive." 20 • COWBOY JOURNAL

for their dedkatUJn to


Sharon Ford Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Lecturer "Dr. Ford plays an integral role in the lives of biochemistry students at Oklahoma State University,'' said Travis Wolff, pharmacy student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. "While her class requires a lot of effort, I can honestly say her class was one of the most learning-intense in my academic career at OSU. Now working on my Doctor of Pharmacy, I am proud and confident in my biochemistry and molecular biology background. The effort she puts into connecting with students in her biochemistry teaching lab goes far above and beyond any college student's expectations."


lify excellence Jeff Hattey

Brad Morgan

Plant and Soil Sciences Professor

Animal Science Professor

''As an adviser, Dr. Hattey always pushes you to make you the best candidate for a job later on," said Jaben Richards, OSU graduate student . ''As a teacher, his teaching style encourages critical thinking and makes learning fun."

"Dr. Morgan is a very respected individual and relates very well to students," said Tanner Hopkins, animal science senior. "His sense of humor makes for an excellent learning environment in the classroom."

Bob Kropp

Bailey Norwood

Animal Science Professor

Agricultural Economics Profe ssor

"Dr. Kropp continues to be one of the most influential people in my life," said Lindsay Allen, animal science alumna. "Not only does he challenge you academically, he challenges you to stretch the boundaries of your education."

"Bailey Norwood is not only a great teacher, because he makes his classes fun and exciting, but he is also extremely supportive of the departmental club, Aggie-X, and the national club, American Agricultural Economics Association," said Lindsey Cheek, agricultural economics alumna. "With Dr. Norwood's help and my involvement in these two activities, I developed qualities and experiences that helped me secure a job upon graduation. I know I would not have been as successful without him." Joe Schatzer Agricultural Economics Professor

"I first really got to know Dr. Joe Schatzer during my study abroad trip to England, Scotland and France during the summer of 2005," said Allison Hayes, residential life director at New Mexico State University. "I never knew how much he cared about students and how deeply he wanted them to learn until that trip." Shelly Peper Sitton Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership Associate Professor

"Shelly Sitton was a great inspiration in my life. Her work ethic and true compassion for the students she teaches helped shape my character," said Chris Kidd, an Oklahoma FFA adviser and agricultural communications alumnus. "She has a passion for her job, and that passion is evident in the way she advises, teaches and counsels her students - she truly cares." Joe Williams Agricultural Economics Professor

"Dr. Williams has been an excellent mentor for rural kids around the state and has been pivotal in their success at OSU," said state Rep. Lee Denney, an agricultural economics alumna. • Compiled by Brooke Clay, Perkins, Okla. exemplary faculty members: Bob Kropp (back left), Jerry Fitch, Joe Schatzer, Jeff Hattey, Brad Morgan, Bailey Norwood, Shelly Peper Sitton (front left), Kim Anderson, Joe W illiams, Lou Anella and Steve Damron. (not pictured: Sharon Ford)



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Honoring. Celebrating. Envisioning. Oklahoma 4-H turns this year and plans a year-long celebration. The party started at the 2008 Oklahoma 4-H Roundup and will continue through 2009. "As Oklahoma 4-H celebrates 100 years of service to the state, extension educators, 4-H members, volunteers and alumni are making preparations for celebrations across the state,'' said Jessica Stewart, Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program marketing coordinator and centennial celebration chairwoman. Oklahoma 4-H originated in 1909 as a youth organization to promote and enhance agricultural and home economic practices. Starting with 50 corn club members in Tishomingo, Okla. , today more than 162,000 Oklahomans are involved in 4-H. Its centennial mission is to honor the past, celebrate the present and envision the future.


Honoring To honor the Oklahomans who have been part of 4-H, the organization created a centennial division for the county and state fairs, allowing 4-H alumni to exhibit their items again. "Back when these alumni were in 4-H and doing their project work, it was an exciting moment for them,'' Stewart said. "They won trips to go out of state and go across the country to national conferences, and those were the

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highlights of their lives. So, we wanted to give them an opportunity to showcase how it affected their lives." Charles Cox, assistant director and program leader of 4-H Youth Development for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, said another goal of the Oklahoma 4-H centennial celebration is for 4-H members to learn about preserving and restoring their 4-H history. "All kinds of histories are coming out of the treasure chest in the attic or top of the closet,'' Cox said. "The most exciting part is seeing other people getting excited about their history, reliving some of the experiences and friendships they made." The centennial division will be available for the 2009 fairs with classes for current 4-H'ers and 4-H alumni. "Within the youth classes, 4-H'ers can exhibit antiques, photography, fabric and fashion, quilts, various posters and displays, a lot of then and now," Stewart said. "What we really want them to do is to go back, research their 4-H heritage, and understand what 4-H used to be versus today." In the alumni division, the classes include antiques and collectibles, ribbons, medals or buttons they may have won in 4-H - basically any kind of 4-H collectible. Stewart said the Oklahoma State Fair had 167 centennial division entries, including an original project work class for dresses, clothing and hand-knitted items. Other alumni classes were photography, original 4-H record books and personal scrapbooks. "This is a great way to see what people have collected during their 4-H career,'' Stewart said. "It is neat to look at what members were doing then and think about what they do now." Stewart said the projects showed what was important to 4-H'ers and how 4-H influenced their lives. "Some of the poster displays in the alumni division had things they saved from every trip," Stewart said. "They had bars of soap they had from the hotel that they stayed in, and they kept the sugar packets from the breakfasts and lunches that they had."

Celebrating Along with honoring the past, the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program is celebrating the present through a statewide homecoming event. This event tentatively is planned for November 2009. Counties and districts also are encouraged to celebrate locally. "We are encouraging every county in the state to have some kind of celebration," Cox said. "It will be a good event


to identify some new partners, alumni and significant do"Since this is our centennial, this is a way to find out nors to the 4-H program and the scholarship program." a little bit more about Oklahoma 4-H in general;' Taylor Additionally, Oklahoma 4-H is creating a centennial said. "They are learning about how much time it will take commemorative garden at the Oklahoma Botanical Gar- to get to their destination and budgeting their money." den in Stillwater. 4-H members began work in October Oklahoma 4-H plans to establish a geo cache - like a 2008 on landscaping detreasure chest - at each counsigns, and they plan to help ty's historical 4-H location. plant flowers in the garden Cox said each geo cache in the spring. would allow 4-H'ers to go on "4-H'ers have the opa scavenger hunt. Those who portunity to work with a find the cache cannot remove cka.rtM Cox anything, landscape designer while but can add some0 ~ 4-H MSifraltt direcl-or thing to it. also creating a garden celebrating 4-H," Stewart said. "The Oklahoma 4-H program depends entirely upon its youth members, volunteers, extension educators and supporters," Stewart said. Envisioning The centennial celebration paves the way for future 4-H'ers "As we honor the past and those who made Oklahoma 4-H to learn about their organization through an Oklahoma what it is today, we are continually envisioning the future and our next century of success." • By Lindsey Pritchard, 4-H centennial road trip. "This is an activity where we are encouraging youth McLoud, Okla. and adults to plan road trips around the state," Cox said. "We are encouraging every county to identify significant To learn more about Oklahoma 4-H's centennial cellocations that may have something to do with the history ebration activities, history and ways to get involved, please of 4-H." visit http:// celebrateok4h.okstate.edu. Matthew Taylor, the state 4-H chairman, said this is a good activity for Oklahoma 4-H members to learn about Aubrey Snider (left), Lillie Snider, Susan Weck/er and Karen budgeting, time management and contacting people to Weck/er, members of Payne County 4-H, decide which plants visit these locations. to use in designing the Oklahoma 4-H centennial garden.

Cowgirl in a suit From the corn fields of northwest Indiana came this dairy farmer's daughter. Most comfortable in boots and jeans, this small-town girl relates well to people because she cares about others. The newest member of the Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources administration, Cheryl DeVuyst serves CASNR students, faculty and staff as the new assistant dean. Born and raised in Kouts, Ind., DeVuyst is no stranger to hard work and said she does not mind getting her hands dirty. Growing up, DeVuyst baled hay, cleaned pens and fed livestock. "I am just a small-town girl," DeVuyst said. "In school, I was a member of 4-H and FFA." While in those organizations, DeVuyst took a special interest in hogs and showed many of them. In fact, when asked what made her different, she said, "I am probably the only administrator here who has been on the cover of Hogs Today."

While deciding what to study in college, DeVuyst told her high school guidance counselor she was interested in pursuing an agriculture degree. Her counselor told her she was too smart to study agriculture. DeVuyst said she was highly offended. "Farmers and ranchers prove every day it takes intelligence to thrive in global agriculture," DeVuyst said. DeVuyst earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics with an emphasis in finance from Purdue University and her doctoral degree in agricultural economics with an emphasis in marketing and finance from the University of Illinois. While in college, DeVuyst was one of few girls who studied agricultural economics. She said she worked hard to separate herself from stereotypes. "Many people thought the girls were just studying agricultural economics to find a husband," DeVuyst said. "I wasn't trying to find a husband. I was just interested in studying agricultural economics." While it may not have been the fueling force behind her drive to study agricultural economics, DeVuyst did find a husband who shared the same academic interests: Eric DeVuyst also studied agricultural economics. DeVuyst and her husband recently left North Dakota 24 • COWBOY JOURNAL

State University, where they were both faculty members in the agricultural economics department. He has joined the OSU agricultural economics faculty as a professor. The DeVuysts reside in Morrison, Okla., with their 13-year-old daughter, Megan. The DeVuysts said they chose to move to Morrison because they wanted to live in a small community with a good school and a strong agricultural program. DeVuyst said she feels "divinely smiled upon" for having the opportunity to be a CASNR administrator. "When we started the process of filling the position for the assistant dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, we wanted to find someone who would make a connection with our students," said Robert Whitson, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources vice president, dean and director. "Dr. DeVuyst holds excellent academic credentials and is clearly interested in the well-being of CASNR students." Ed Miller, CASNR associate dean, said he was thrilled with the decision to select DeVuyst as the assistant dean. "She is a strong educator, she matches our philosophy, and she has a sincere desire to develop students and faculty," Miller said. Miller said he knows CASNR students are happy to have DeVuyst. "On Sunday before classes began, Dr. DeVuyst was doing some training with the Student Academic Mentors, and I was in my office with the door open catching up on some paperwork," Miller said. "I overheard some students from around the corner, who did not know I was listening, talking about how much they like Dr. DeVuyst and how they are looking forward to working with her. What more could we ask for?" Other students on campus said they enjoy working with DeVuyst. "Dr. DeVuyst is always nice and very easy to speak with," said agribusiness senior Carol Cook. "I feel like I could ask her anything!' DeVuyst instructs AG 1011, which is the orientation class for CASNR freshmen, and oversees the CASNR scholarship program. DeVuyst also helps advisers from all CASNR clubs and organizations and is responsible for faculty and student development.


While CASNR and its departments awarded more than $1 million to graduate and undergraduate students last year, DeVuyst is working to increase the amount of scholarship money available. She said she hopes to lessen the financial burden tuition can bring. DeVuyst also said she wants to see more recognition for faculty. "My ultimate goal here at OSU is to develop people," DeVuyst said. "I want to help develop students, not just in academics, but as the leaders they will become. I also want to develop new and current faculty members into awardwinning faculty members, to help earn them the recognition they deserve." This small-town girl may be a long way from Indiana, but she still stays close to her roots. DeVuyst dons a suit daily, but she said she is still most comfortable in boots and jeans. Her love of agriculture makes her approachable, and her drive to develop others is making a difference for CASNR. • By Johnna Stevenson, Fletcher, Okla.

Cheryl DeVuyst has been a cowgirl all her life, but she officially became one during summer 2008, after being hired as the new assistant dean for the OSU College ofAgricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Beef cuts to boardroom Since 1926, young men and women have seen their lives transformed as a result of their experiences on the Oklahoma State University meat judging team. Current and potential students are becoming more interested in this competitive venue. OSU's team has proven its worth, not only by capturing top honors at the nation's most prestigious contests but also by winning outside of the United States. The 2008 team won the Australian National Meat Judging Contest, winning the beef judging, lamb judging, placings and reasons/questions divisions. The team competed against Australia's top 10 teams and the national team representing Japan. So, what drives their passion for competition, career advancement and self-improvement? "Students involved in meat judging want to do something more with their college career than just go to class," said Glen Dolezal, former OSU team coach. In 1999, after 16 years experience with OSU's team, Dolezal joined Cargill Meat Solutions, where he currently serves as the director of new technology applications. Gretchen Hilton, OSU meat science assistant professor and current meat team head coach, said meat judging is a great competitive venue for college students. "Participating on a collegiate judging team is often one of the last things people can do in their lives that is competitive," Hilton said. Brad Morgan, OSU meat science professor, said meat judging not only increases the students' knowledge but also teaches them how to prioritize their daily lives and to focus their college career paths. "Students on judging teams treat college like a job," Morgan said. With 16 national championship titles to OSU's credit, the 2008 team members are excited about pursuing collegiate championships and gaining experiences that will set 26 • COWBOY JOURNAL

them apart from other candidates when applying for jobs in the future. "The opportunities for graduates with meat judging experience are endless," Hilton said. "We're a very tightknit group in the meat industry." Carrie Highfill is one team member looking forward to a future in the meat industry. "Because we travel all over the U.S. to compete and practice, it's a great opportunity to learn about the industry," Highfill said. A junior at OSU, Highfill is pursuing a degree in food science with minors in agricultural economics and animal science. She said she plans to pursue a career in meat research and development upon graduation. The skills and experience Those interested in meat judging might ask: "Do I need previous experience? What if I know nothing about writing reasons?" Hilton said the key to success can be found in three principles: hard work, dedication and a desire to learn. In addition to these principles, students should enroll in the prerequisite course for the team, ANSI 3182: Meat Grading and Selection. "No prior knowledge of meat judging is necessary to do well," Hilton said. "If you are interested and apply yourself, you are sure to succeed." Proving Hilton's theory true are current team members Breanna Winters and Kelly Manke. Winters, an animal science senior, had no previous experience judging. "I first got interested in meat judging after I took a job in the meat lab of the Food and Agricultural Products Center," Winters said. "I took ANSI 3182 in the fall and started judging with the team in the spring." Manke began her collegiate judging experience from a complete outsider's perspective.

STUDENTS "I didn't even know it existed until about a year ago,'' Manke said. Manke grew up in Marlow, Okla., and was part of an agriculturally involved family, although she never participated in 4-H or FFA. "It was new territory for me, but it has been an amazing experience,'' Manke said. "I wouldn't trade this experience for anything." Hilton said everyone on the team will succeed at whatever career they choose, thanks to their team experience. Jason Apple, an OSU meat judging team alumnus and professor of animal science at the University of Arkansas, agrees with Hilton. He noted if you apply yourself mentally and physically, you are bound to succeed not only as a meat judger but also in other areas of life. "Judging teaches you to recognize a problem, make a decision, then justify that decision using sound logic,'' Apple said. Winters said she has learned many beneficial skills for her future. "I have definitely learned decision making, critical thinking and communication skills,'' Winters said. "Judging also teaches you how to work with and get along with other people." Morgan, Apple and Hilton all said time management is an important skill students learn when beginning their judging careers. "Practice begins at 5 a.m.,'' Hilton said. "We practice during the week and also on the weekends. When you're getting up that early to spend five to six hours in a cold

meat locker, you have to be both dedicated and know how to manage your time." So, where can it really take me? Dolezal said Cargill highly values job applicants with judging experience. "They have proven they can travel, relocate and have a firm grasp of the industry when they graduate,'' Dolezal said. "Because of this, Cargill is supportive of intercollegiate meat judging and hosts competitions each year:' Team members have the opportunity to travel throughout the semester to practice and compete at various nonuniversity locations. These facilities include Cargill Meat Solutions, Beef Products Inc., National Beef and Tyson as well as unique locations like Australia. Morgan said many companies will consider time served on a meat judging team as up to a year's worth of professional experience. "Employers can see the difference,'' Morgan said. "When you have the judging experience, it makes the transition from college to a job almost seamless." Winters said she is confident about her future in the meat industry. "When an employer sees meat judging on your resume, your experience gives you a better chance at being hired than other animal science candidates without the judging knowledge,'' Winters said. With their abilities, team members are equipped to succeed in everything from the world of business to family life. • By Leigha Stevenson, Rockwall, Texas

2008 meat team members Kacie George (left), Lacey Vedral, Kashen Urban, Breanna Winters, Brendon Lowe, Carrie Highfill, Andrea Garmyn, Jill Fletcher and Kelly Manke join head coach Gretchen Hilton on a visit to Cargill BeefAustralia.

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Getting 'good eats' The Robert M. Kerr Food &Agricultural Products Center has partnered with the OSU Department of Hotel and slowly seeps into the room, and the doorbell jingles as hunRestaurant Administration, the Oklahoma Restaurant Asgry customers filter in the door just in time for breakfast. sociation, the Tulsa City-County Health Department and the Oklahoma State Department of Health to create the Linda Grimes of Edmond, Okla., has carried this vivid Restaurateur Basic Training program. This educational exdream with her for years. Thanks in part to Oklahoma perience may make the decision to invest in the restaurant State University, her dream soon could be a reality. business easier for people like Grimes, said Andrea Graves, Grimes owns and operates a small, portable conces- FAPC business planning and marketing specialist. "I wanted to know if I had a snowball's chance of sucsion business called Kelli's Kurlies & More and is considering permanently parking it to open a restaurant. Grimes ceeding, and the training gave reliable resources to help us wanted to know her chances for success before she em- make an informed decision;' Grimes said. barked on such an expensive journey, so she turned to Many people do not understand or simply are not preOSU for guidance. pared for what they are about to encounter by going into the restaurant business, Graves said. Now, they can sign up Chris Cuellar from the OSU Department ofHotel and Restau- for the training program through the Oklahoma Restaurant Administration helps prepare a meal for the lunch crowd rant Association Web site and get a better understanding at The Ranchers Club. of what it takes to succeed. "We use the training to prepare people for what they are about to get into," Graves said. "It can be overwhelming with all the permits that must be obtained and rules and regulations that must be followed. The odds to succeed in the restaurant business are already low; we want to increase those odds." The $199, one-day training course provides information about business planning, marketing and branding, permits, design and regulations. Grimes said she needed help on how to make the transition from a concession business to a restaurant. Before taking the plunge, she wanted to know the basics of how much things were going to cost, she said. "If we don't have a good day, we can't just pack up and go home like we can now," Grimes said. "We would be stuck. We really wanted to know how much financial help we would need, how to hire employees and the entire inspection process." The program was organized when health department inspectors saw a need for education and assistance. The course is offered quarterly and includes everything new business owners would want or need to know, but the course is not limited to aspiring restaurant owners, said Rebecca Eastham, HRAD clinical instructor and general manager of the Atherton Hotel. "We wanted this class to be a one-stop shop for potential restaurateurs," Eastham said. "We want to become a central source of information, and we want it to be a refresher course for those already in the industry." Graves said the training currently is limited to about The sound ofsizzling bacon fills the air, the aroma ofcoffee



25 participants per session, and to help the sessions remain convenient for all Oklahomans, the training location is rotated between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. "We don't plan on the sessions getting any bigger than about 25 participants each quarter because we want to maintain a comfortable environment," Graves said. Eastham said the seminar's speakers are professionals who have been in industry for years. "Presenters are professors here at the college, from the health department or sometimes even professors who are teaching and have managed a restaurant," Eastham said. "They all donate their time to keep it cost effective. We only charge participants enough to cover materials and their lunch for the day." In the end, the Restaurateur Basic Training program is an investment in Oklahoma. According to the Oklahoma Restaurant Association, restaurants brought $536.9 bil-

lion into the U.S. economy in 2007, and that number is projected to increase. Restaurants also employ 12.8 million people in the U.S., and by 2017, that number is projected to be 14 million. Those statistics matter little to Linda Grimes; she is just trying to fulfill a dream. "When my husband and I got married, we wanted to open a restaurant," Grimes said. "Then, we started a family and put that dream on hold. Now, I just want a place to cook good old-fashioned meals and maybe a little Weight Watchers, too." • By Riann Eller, Depew, Okla.

For more information about the Restaurateur Basic Training, please visit the Oklahoma Restaurant Association Web site at http://okrestaurants.com.

Tulsa Sessions

Oldahoma City Sessions

James 0. Goodwin Health Center 5051 South 129th East Avenue Jan. 27 • Aug. 25

Hospitality Comp 3800 Northwest 36th Street April 28 • Oct. 27

Training from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Visit http://okrestaurants.com or call 800-375-8181for more information

A timeless treasure Small towns across America, including Oklahoma, have their treasures. McAlester has Reba McEntire, Yukon has Garth Brooks, Checotah has Carrie Underwood, and Helena has Melvin Welch. "Melvin does not look like he is 102 years old," said Kim Anderson, an Oklahoma State University agricultural economics professor. On March 10, 1906, Welch was born on the family farm in Helena, Okla. "I still live on the same section where I was born," Welch said. Welch grew up in a typical small Oklahoma town. He attended school in a one-room country schoolhouse through the eighth grade. Welch said he remembers his school had 25 to 30 students at a time. "Each class was given 10 minutes per day, but being a one-room schoolhouse, even the youngest students were hearing what the eighth-graders were learning," Welch said. "The younger students were always prepared for the following years!' Welch grew up working on the family farm, growing wheat and raising cattle. After graduating from Helena High School in 1924, Welch said he knew the next step was to head off to college. "My mother never had a formal education, which 30 • COWBOY JOURNAL

pushed her to want all of her children to attend college," Welch said. "She sold eggs, cream and butter to help pay for my education." Welch's farming background led him to choose Oklahoma A&M. The day he moved to Stillwater, his family packed their Model-T Ford and headed down the dirt roads from Helena. His family stayed long enough to make sure he found a family with a room available. "I woke up the morning after I moved to Stillwater and had to go register for classes all on my own," Welch said. "I walked to the college of music table, and they asked me if I had any previous piano or voice schooling. When I could not answer those with a 'yes,' I knew I was in the wrong line." Welch said he looked back at his childhood and decided his farming background was leading him to the college of agriculture. "I chose the agricultural economics department along with a few of my buddies," Welch said. "Also, it was brand new in 1924, which seemed exciting." Welch quickly developed a friendship with the

Centurian Melvin Welch devotes his life to Oklahoma State, wheat farming and his family.


Melvin Welch has composed a life ofsweet harmony from plow to ukelele.

agricultural economics department head, J.T. Sanders. Welch said Sanders was a big help to him through his struggles in his first few years. "The poorest English teacher was assigned to teach the 'aggies,"' Welch said. "She did not like us too much, so she threatened to kick us out of the class and told us not to come back. Well, Carr T. Dowell, the dean of agriculture, said she couldn't do that and sent us right back to class. We all passed." After graduating in 1928, Welch taught vocational agriculture at Merritt Consolidated School in Elk City, Okla., for two years and in Cheyenne, Okla., for three years. He

also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service). He worked throughout Oklahoma with the USDA, but he was transferred to Texas in 1941. "When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, a lot of the military boys were called to duty," Welch said. ''A lot of the boys down in the College Station, Texas, area were enlisted in the military, so I had to move down there to work in their places." Welch continued his work with the USDA until 1948, when he returned to teaching. He spent the next 22 years as a teacher in Wichita, Kan. After Welch finished his teaching and USDA careers, he returned to the family farm with his late wife Velma Welch. Welch still farms 360 acres with his wife Martha Welch and his family. "I only farm wheat now," Welch said. "I used to have cattle, but now I rent my pasture to other folks to use for their cattle." Each year, Welch's son, Mark Welch, returns to the family farm to help his father plant the wheat. Welch's daughter, Melva Joy, followed in his footsteps and attended his alma mater, graduating in 1961. Welch said he has a wonderful life, always doing the things he sets his mind to do. He said he learned in college not to miss opportunities and to achieve aspirations. "I look back, and I'm sorry I did not try harder," Welch said. "I did not know the opportunities I had until it was too late. Take advantage of what you have. You don't always get another chance." • By Abby Goodman, Jenks, Okla.

DASNR honors distinguished alumni The Oklahoma State Univeristy Agricultural Alumni Association and the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources recognized Joe Neal Hampton, Mike Kubicek and the late Clem McSpadden as Distinguished Alumni during the annual Agricultural Alumni Homecoming Barbecue on Oct. 18. Hampton earned his agricultural economics bachelor's and master's degrees in 1971 and 1975, respectively. During his career, he worked for the Enid Board of Trade, the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association, the Oklahoma Seed Trade Association, the Oklahoma Agricultural Chemical Association and the Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association. Hampton lives in Waukomis, Okla., with his wife, Joan, where they have a farming operation of 240 acres. Kubicek earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in agronomy in 1970 and 1972, respectively. During his professional career, he worked for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the

Oklahoma Peanut Commission and the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. Kubicek resides in the Econtuchka Bottom, northeast of Shawnee, Okla., with his wife, Kianna. They operate Econtuchka Farms and have produced soybeans, wheat, corn, alfalfa, cattle and peanuts. McSpadden graduated with a Bachelor of Science in animal husbandry from Oklahoma A&M College in 1948. He was an Oklahoma State senator from 1954 to 1972. McSpadden served as a representative in the U.S. Congress from 1973 to 1975, founding the first Congressional Rural Caucus. As a fifth-generation rancher, he actively operated a cow-calf operation in Rogers County. His land has been in continuous use as ranch land since before statehood. McSpadden died in July 2008. His wife, Donna, lives in Chelsea, Okla. His deep commitment to agriculture lives on through the Clem McSpadden Endowed Chair in Agricultural Youth Leadership and the Clem McSpadden Endowed Scholarship Fund.

DASNR Alumni Access Tour to visit Northwest Ol<lahoma 2009

Bob Whitson, vice president, dean and director of OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps recognize the 2008 distinguished alumni: Joe Neal Hampton (top left), Mike Kubicek (middle right) and Clem McSpadden, accepted by his widow Donna McSpadden (bottom right). 32 â&#x20AC;˘ COWBOY JOURNAL

Join the Agriculture Alumni Association for the 2009 DASNR Alumni Access Tour on June 4-5. In its sixth year, the tour will explore businesses in northwestern Oklahoma that make a direct impact on Oklahoma's agriculture. "The Access Tour is a great opportunity for our alumni to network with DASNR faculty and staff," said Shelly Ramsey, the Agriculture Alumni Association president.

The tour is open to OSU CASNR faculty and staff as well as future and current alumni. During the two-day excursion, tour participants will pose for a group photo and visit various facilities to learn about the diverse agricuture in the great state of Oklahoma. If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting a future Access Tour or for more information about the tour, call Tonya Magness at 405-744-5395.

Association recognizes 10-, 25-, 50-year alumni

Thank, J'OU1 ~ S ! The Agriculture Alumni Association board of directors thanks the organizations that stepped up to help with the association's various events. Their contributions to the Ag Roundup and DASNR Alumni Access Tour made these events a great success.

The Agricultural Alumni Association honored its 50-year, 25-year and 10year alumni during the annual Agricultural Alumni Homecoming Barbecue on Oct. 18.

• Bank of Western Oklahoma • Barber Dyson Ford Lincoln Mercury • Blue & Gold Sausage Co. • Chisholm Trail Farm Credit • The Cowman • Farm Service Agency • Oklahoma Farm Bureau • Oklahoma State Union of Farmers • Oklahoma Wheat Commission • USDA Rural Development WINTER/SPRING 2009 • 33

www.huntingandfishinginfo.com 405-880-4267

and the hunting and fishing network welcome you to the four seasons.


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



Profile for Cowboy Journal

Cowboy Journal v11n1  

Cowboy Journal Volume 11, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2009, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Journal v11n1  

Cowboy Journal Volume 11, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2009, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University


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