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an oklahoma tradition entertainment on a budget racing for research interacting with insects interdisciplinary innovation i'm in school. i need a part-time job. what do i do?

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don't 'dis' my ability

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100 years of 4-H memories

osu technology changes the world a compassionate gentleman seniors celebrate success oh, the places butterflies will go! hanging on ag alumni news

cowboy journal staff volume 11 • number 2 editors nathan fent & emily kilian graphics coordinators christa coffey & dallyn minnick sponsorship & circulation coordinator jill banzet photography coordinator kimberly curl web editor cassie bacon staff candice blackwell, hannah gregory, maggie hoey, matt jones, nicole kliebert & ashley stockamp managing editor shelly peper sitton assistant managing editors cindy blackwell, dwayne cartmell & tanner robertson founding sponsors limousin world, oklahoma farm bureau & quebecor world midland on the web visit this issue and the cowboy journal archives at http:/ /cowboyjournal.okstate.edu


Oklahoma Tradition S

'' Blue and Gold Sausage was born out of necessity and has benefited so many agricultural education students as well as others over the years. I am so glad to be a part of it.'' - Greg Ramsey

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unday morning comes, and the smell of fresh Blue and Gold sausage wafts through the house, bringing a family to the breakfast table for a few moments of togetherness. This spicy delight has become not only an Oklahoma tradition but also a family tradition. In the 1960s, Don Ramsey served as the agricultural education teacher in Jones, Okla., but said he wanted to do something more to help students and the FFA program. His students raised many pigs, but Don found when the time came to sell the pigs, the students lost money. Not only was the grain to feed the animals high, but also selling prices were not adequate, Don said. In 1969, Don decided to process the students' pigs and make breakfast sausage, which the students would sell door-to-door as a fundraiser. Although Don thought the product would sell well, he could have never guessed just how well. "We made 300 pounds of sausage the first year and thought it was way too much," Don said. "The students came back to class after th'e first day of selling the sausage and said they needed more!" The door-to-door sausage marketing continued successfully for a couple of years until Don decided to make Blue and Gold Sausage his full-time career in 1972. Blue and Gold Sausage began to spread to FFA chapters across Oklahoma. Today, the product is sold exclusively through school groups and other organizations. Kelly Robertson, a customer from Pryor, Okla., said he loves the product.

"I enjoy the flavor and the quality of the product," Robertson said. "The No. 1 benefit of this product, though, is it helps support the kids." Along with their 2 Y2-pound rolls of sausage, Blue and Gold customers now also can enjoy 3 1/2-pound packages of bacon and 5-pound bags of chicken tenderloin fritters. The Ramseys make the pork sausage product, but their bacon and chicken fritters are private label. The Ramseys have made Blue and Gold Sausage a family affair. As an Oklahoma State University alumnus, Don sent his sons to Stillwater. Brett graduated in 1992 with a degree in agricultural education and agricultural economics. Greg graduated in 1995 with a degree in agricultural economics. After graduating, they began working with their father at Blue and Gold Sausage Co. in Jones. Don's wife, Willadean, is also part of the family business, serving as the company's secretary. "Blue and Gold Sausage was born out of necessity and has benefited so many agricultural education students as well as others over the years," Greg said. "I am so glad to be a part of it." The brothers are partners in the company and love what they do. Their dad said he is proud of them. "My sons do better at this job than I ever did and are always ready to work," Don said. As far as Brett and Greg are concerned, their mother and father are the backbone of the 40-year-old Oklahoma sausage company. "Dad and Mom started this company from scratch and have nursed it to health," Brett said. "Greg and I just

try to maintain the business and keep it growing." The Ramseys could not have imagined this business would last a lifetime and be a family tradition not just for their family, but for many others. Brett and Greg said they are lucky this business has continued to grow as a second-generation business. "Only 10 percent of family businesses survive into the second generation," Brett said. "We are so fortunate to be in that 10 percent." Blue and Gold Sausage currently does business with 881 groups. This includes 352 FFA chapters a'nd all but 40 of these chapters are in Oklahoma. Dalton Nichols, an FFA member from Cleveland, Okla., said he enjoys selling Blue and Gold sausage and never has any problem finding customers willing to support FFA. "Many people ask me if I am selling sausage before I even have a chance to ask them if they would like to buy," Nichols said. "Devoted Blue and Gold Sausage Co. customers are always eager to buy this product." Don said the Blue and Gold Sausage family is proud of the money they help FFA chapters and other groups such as Little League teams raise. "Last year, our participating groups raised $2.9 million," Greg said. "We are so proud because we know this money is benefiting students by allowing them to attend leadership conferences, FFA conventions and giving them so many other opportunities that might not be possible without the money they raise." cowboy journal

Today, 12 trucks transport Blue and Gold Sausage products to locations in Arkansas, Texas and Kansas as well as across Oklahoma. Processing is done 50 days a year; therefore, Blue and Gold Sausage hires 35 employees to help process and package the product. "Our workforce amazes me," Brett said. "They are mostly all retired and range in age from 65 to 78 years old and somehow they all get the work done successfully." Days without processing once consisted of Don traveling to visit FFA chapters. Being an agricultural education teacher for 20 years helped Don make good contacts from multiple states. He said he was a little worried about losing all those contacts once he decided to run Blue and Gold Sausage, but this was not the case. "I still keep in contact with all the old, familiar faces, and I don't feel like I ever quit because I am still mixed in with all the teachers," Don said. Many agricultural education teachers said Blue and Gold Sausage makes a huge impact on their chapters, including Walt Taylor, agricultural education teacher in Pryor, Okla. "Blue and Gold is the primary source of fundraising our chapter does," Taylor said. "With the economy the way it is, I thought we would see a drop in sales, but our chapter sold more this year than any other, and no wonder because it is a low-cost, highquality product." Taylor said Blue and Gold Sausage Co. gives back a lot to students.

"Blue and Gold is a huge supporter of FFA," Taylor said. "They donate funds to the Oklahoma FFA Foundation and many other organizations benefiting students." To help solve any problems, Don, 80, still visits the office daily. He also is part of the OSU Alumni Association and has been involved with the OSU Food Industry Committee. He said he enjoys keeping in touch with and hearing from Blue and Gold past and present customers. "Sometimes we get calls from people just letting us know how much they love our product, but when they tell you how long they have been using it, the number is usually greater than 40 years," Don said. "Many forget it has only been 40 years because the sausage has become a tradition and a regular in a lot of households." The Ramsey brothers said they are always eager to get advice from their father and to hear what he will say next. Recently, the family has talked about what the next 40 years of Blue and Gold Sausage will bring. Both Brett and Greg said they are excited for the future. "Our goal is to continue to make a product that is easy to sell and easy for organizations to raise money with, and we hope to continue making this process even more efficient as time goes on," Greg said. Don is also excited for the future of Blue and Gold Sausage and said he hopes the company does just as well during the next 40 years. "My hope is that in the year 2050, a Ramsey will still be the president of the company and the customers are still as satisfied with our product as they are today," Don said. Don said he appreciates all the loyal customers and said one thing that has surprised him about the last 40 years is that so many people would buy sausage as a fundraiser. "We appreciate our customers, and we have always thought we should sell something of value people want and can use," Don said. "People are going to get their money's worth with this product." by Kimberly Curl, Grove, Okla.

112 lb. Blue Et Go/d Sausage 1I 4 cup al!-Purpose flour 2 cups rni/k Saft

Brown and crumble sausage In skfl!et /do not drain). Add flaur and mix th~raugh/y Odd!ng soft and Peppe, to taste. Flour amounts may be OdJusted up or down ta Prov/de Preferred gravy thickness. Add 'Oi/k t m,xt~re andfor heat, ten unti/ thickened. /Water may be o subst,tuted anyst1rr1ng Part of of the 'Oi/k.)


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hether in rural America or in a large city, the ongoing economic crisis affects people's lives. "Because of the rising cost of almost everything, money is tighter," said Jarrod Barlow, animal science senior. "I have to be careful where my money goes, and it is hard to find fun things to do when you're trying to watch what you spend." Stillwater offers a variety of inexpensive activities allowing fun opportunities for any budget.

check out stiffwater Stillwater has several educational and recreational options to learn about the local area. Woodland Park Vineyard, Oklahoma State University Botanical Gardens and Arboretum, Eskimo Joe's Print Shop, and the OSU campus walking tour are all fun, free activities around town, said Cory Cart, marketing and public relations coordinator for the Stillwater Convention and Visitors Bureau. The owners of Woodland Park Vineyard began picking their own grapes in 2004 and use their grapes to create incredible wines, Cart said. The tasting room, inside a large red barn, features wine for sale, wine accessories, homemade jellies, breads and artwork created by the owners. Winery tours are available on Saturdays by appointment. The tasting room is open Thursdays and Fridays. The OSU Botanical Gardens covers three acres with display gardens, including more than 300 plant varieties, Cart said. Guided tours are available by appointment only, and walk-in access is available every day except Wednesdays. Eskimo Joe's Print shop offers the


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public a view of where the famous Tshirts are printed. "Most people don't realize Eskimo Joe's T-shirts are designed and printed in Stillwater at a 15,000-square-foot print shop," Cart said. "Eskimo Joe's Print Shop prints more than 5,000 shirts each day and is great for individual or group tours." Tours can be scheduled 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. OSU plays a large role in Stillwater, providing many jobs for people in the community and bringing many people into the area each year. The OSU campus walking tour is an opportunity to learn about OSU and its contributions to the community. The tour highlights famous and historic buildings around campus such as Gallagher-Iba Arena, Boone Pickens Stadium, Edmon Low Library and the Student Union, Cart said.

biking trails, hiking trails, camping, hunting and fishing. Lake Carl Blackwell, east of Stillwater, also offers great options for outdoor fun, including a ropes course and perfect spots for fishing.

catch a flick

elpfore the outdoors

With 10 large digital screens and reduced ticket prices, Carmike Cinema provides another entertainment option. With the OSU student discount the theater offers, going to a movie with friends or alone to escape from the hectic life of working or studying offers an inexpensive evening of entertainment for everyone. "Going to the movies is fun," said Jonathan Payne, animal science senior. "They have several different kinds of movies from love stories to action." Barlow said recent renovations to the theatre are nice. He said he enjoys watching a good movie on the big screen and loves eating the popcorn.

Lakes in the Stillwater area supply a playground for the outdoor enthusiast and offer an escape for anyone pursuing fresh air or an escape from the chaos of everyday life. Boomer Lake, near Lakeview and Washington streets, is free to the public and offers a 5-kilometer jogging trail, fishing, disc golf, playgrounds and shelters for grilling or picnicking. "A bunch of us go to Boomer Lake late in the evening and just sit and listen to music and enjoy the night," said Dell Farris, agricultural economics junior. A walk around Boomer Lake is relaxing, said Myriah Johnson, agricultural economics senior. Lake McMurtry, northwest of Stillwater, has wooded areas and offers

Enjoy playing a sport with friends or meeting new people by playing intramurals on campus or by participating in one of the programs offered by Stillwater Parks, Events and Recreation. Intramurals, organized by the Colvin Recreation Center, are free to students and can be a fun way to get a few friends together for some competition. Throughout the year, OSl!J offers seasonal sports including soccer, volleyball, basketball and softball. "Intramurals throughout the years have served as a great way of building on friendships," Farris said, "whether on a club team or just on a team of old high school buddies trying to see if we still have what it takes."

6reak a sweat

a Playing intramurals is a way to keep up with old friends as well as meet new ones. It also provides a great way to stay in shape. "Every season I play an intramural sport like flag football, basketball or softball," Johnson said. "I've met a lot of people and had the chance to participate in athletic events I will miss when I graduate." Stillwater Parks, Events and Recreation offers a variety of events. Sports programs provide athletic activities for all ages, including baseball, softball, tennis, soccer, basketball and volleyball. You can sign up for these programs at the Armory Recreation Center on East Ninth Street. "I enjoy being involved with Parks and Rec because it's been a great way to get involved with the community," said Traci N aile, agricultural education doctoral student. "Parks and Rec offers more programs than just youth and adult sports. "Staff members do a wonderful job of taking care of the facilities they have, and they have a reputation throughout the state for great programs and facilities."

catch a concert Stillwater is a great place to listen to live music. Whether a concert featuring one of the OSU musical groups or a jam session in town by a local band, live music abounds. "I enjoy the music performed in the Seretean Center by a number of groups," Johnson said. The Seretean Center is a good place to see an orchestra or just a few solos, Payne said. "One of the best concerts I can remember was from my freshmen year,"

Farris said. "It was the concert at the fairgrounds during Ag Week."

strike up fun Catch a few frames with friends at the bowling alley or join a league if you are a little more serious. Frontier Lanes has league play almost every night and has a league for almost everyone. The facility even has a league geared toward college students, said Zack Henson, assistant manager at Frontier Lanes. They offer hourly rates during the day and specials on Monday and Tuesday nights. They also have specials for birthday parties and group events. "There isn't any cleaner fun than going down to Frontier Lanes and bowling a few frames," Farris said.

have a 6aff Swick's Pizza and Mini Glow Golf is a great place for inexpensive entertainment said Morgan Gottfried, Swick's Pizza and Mini Glow Golf employee. They have an arcade full of pinball machines and video games. The glow golf is a 9-hole miniature-golf course, open from 11 a.m . to midnight. Wednesday nights they offer half price golf and group specials. "I have been to Swick's before to play golf with a group, and it's a lot of fun," Barlow said. "The black light glow adds a fun atmosphere and makes it different."

visit a museum Stillwater museums provide good places to ponder art or learn about the history of the local area. Museums include several art galleries, Heritage Hall Museum, National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Sheerar Museum and

Cultural Center, Stillwater Airport Museum, and Washington Irving Trail and Museum. Whether you are from the area or from far away, you can find a lot to see and learn about in Stillwater because these local museums and art exhibits offer an inexpensive way to expand your knowledge of the region. The Gardiner Art Gallery is a part of the OSU College of Arts and Sciences and exhibits works by visiting artists, faculty and students, said Teresa Holder, assistant gallery director. The gallery hosts 10 exhibitions each year: four by visiting artists, one by current or retired faculty, and five by students. The gallery is open 8:30 a.m . to 5 p.m ., Monday through Friday, and is in the Bartlett Center.

fenla hanl Volunteering for a group or organization is a great way to spend time and can be fun. Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, Stillwater Humane Society and the OSU Vet School always need volunteers ready to work.

Volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters offers an opportunity to serve as a mentor to a child. The Stillwater Humane Society always needs volunteers. Walking, cleaning and playing with animals can be a fun way to help this organization. Opportunities to volunteer at the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences can be through internships, on the foal team and in other areas where they need help. "I enjoy volunteering at the vet school," said Monika Walker, a senior in agribusiness/veterinary clinical sciences. "I started volunteering my freshman year by doing foal team, helping throughout the night and on weekends to take care of sick foals. Now, I have an internship there and enjoy helping with all the animals."

take a break The Student Union Activities Board offers a variety of activities and has some of the cheapest programming on campus, said Dennis Rudasill, SUAB recreation chair.

SUAB is divided into five committees to provide entertainment for a variety of people. The recreation committee puts on events such as casino night and bingo night. The cultural and social issues committee puts on cultural dinners and brings in speakers. The entertainment committee offers musical entertainment with "open mic" night, concerts and karaoke. The outdoor committee puts on a dog show and a haunted house. The movies committee plays movies no longer in the theatre but have not yet been released to DVD. "We would like students to never be bored," Rudasill said. "It's easy to become a part of SUAB. Recruitment is in the fall and spring and we are always looking for new, creative people." Stillwater has a lot of fun to offer, but not all fun has to be expensive. With money being tight these days, it's important to know about all the inexpensive and free things.

by Christa Coffey, Bloomington, Ind.

Proud Supporter of Oklahoma State Cattlemen's Association Oklahoma CattleWomen's Association

Stillwater Milling Co. Manufacturers of






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


ife is a race. To win, you need a fast car, a really fast car. In the race to produce better food and improve health, Oklahoma State University's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the DNA/Protein Core Facility are laps ahead of the battling competition. "Research is war," said Steve Hartson, director of the DNA/Protein Core Facility. "If you're gonna drag race, you better have a good car. " OSU's biochemistry and molecular biology department has started the race. The department does extensive, state-of-the-art research in plant and animal health with a strong focus on human health. OSU has a unique approach to research. Research is broken down into applied, translational and basic research, said Gary Thompson, head of the OSU biochemistry and molecular biology department. To do this research, certain tools and instruments are essential. OSU's biochemistry and molecular biology department is home to a specialized research facility, the DNA/Protein Core Facility, which provides the expertise and instrumentation required for a broad range of research projects. "The role of the department is providing basic research in the areas of food and health to Oklahoma and the U.S. ," Thompson said. Thompson came to OSU almost two years ago and has made positive changes ever since. As a result, the department is well equipped for biochemical and biophysical research and collaborates closely with the departments of chemistry,

physics, entomology and plant pathology, botany, microbiology, and plant and soil science, Thompson said. "Our facility provides instruments and expertise beyond the abilities of individual investigators," Hartson said. "This enables our campus to have a university-supported, shared resource." The DNA/Protein Core Facility has some of the most cutting-edge research tools available, Hartson said. Recently, he led a large collaboration of OSU investigators to obtain funding from the National Science Foundation to acquire and manage one of the world's most powerful mass spectrometers, an LTQ OrbitrapXL. This $1 million machine dissects molecules and determines the molecular weights of their fragments . From this, biological molecules can be identified. This ultra-high performance technology has been embraced as "the new gold standard in biological mass spectrometry," Hartson said. Since the official launch of OSU's Orbitrap in September 2008, multiple research projects have benefited from the power of this cutting-edge instrument, Hartson said. Along with the crown-jewel mass spectrometer, the facility also houses a world-class DNA analyzer, which sequences gene DNA. Sequencing DNA has previously been an extensive process, but not with this instrument. "With the DNA analyzer, research that used to take six months now takes six days," Hartson said. The DNA/Protein Core Facility does 10,000 to 15,000 sequencing jobs per year. This service is open to all researchers, but primarily OSU investigators use it. The facility also offers instruments for microarray printing and analysis, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics. The DNA/Protein Core Facility has historical roots as a component of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology. Hartson and his

staff are members of that department, but the facility serves and benefits the entire campus. "The DNA/Protein Core Facility is just one of the several world-class core facilities on the OSU campus, and we all share the same goal of helping OSU researchers be competitive," Hartson said. For professors like Michael Massiah, the tools available are imperative to his research. Massiah conducts research on the structures of proteins, specifically a protein called Midline-1 . This protein is directly linked to heart, brain and kidney defects as well as craniofacial abnormalities, which are a group of deformities in the growth of the skull and facial bones. "If we know what [the proteins] look like, we can know what they do and how they do it," Massiah said. For his research, Massiah uses several of the DNA/Protein Core Facility instruments, including the mass spectrometer and the DNA analyzer as well as instruments from other core facilities on campus, like the NMR spectrometer. "Without the DNA/Protein Core Facility, we'd have to buy all the equipment for our lab," he said. "That can be very difficult and is not cost effective. That is not good for science." But, it is not only the instruments that make the facility crucial to research at the university. "We have one of the best research facilities in the country, even compared to medical schools," Massiah said. "But without Dr. Hartson, it becomes half of what it is." With the combination of Hartson's expertise, premier instruments and his staff of expert research specialists, the facility is one-of-a-kind. For the biochemistry and molecular biology department and OSU, this is key to future success. Massiah directly relates the quality of professors and researchers to the

facility and tools the biochemistry and molecular biology department offers. "Students do not realize the impact good professors have on their education," he said. "We must have exceptional instructors, and it takes facilities like the core facility to bring them here." Massiah also said he is a strong believer in keeping Oklahoma students in Oklahoma after graduation. "With the facility, we, as Oklahomans, can keep our successful students here instead of losing them to other states," Massiah said. Hartson agreed the facility is a "potent recruiting tool. " This DNA/Protein Core Facility enables OSU to receive more funding because of these state-of-the-art tools. This helps researchers get more money, and in turn, helps OSU get superior researchers. "Solid, competitive contributions to research are gold," Hartson said.

With the facility being such an important key to research on campus, it soon will be transferred to the new Interdisciplinary Sciences Building upon its completion. It will still be known as the biochemistry and molecular biology DNA/Protein Core Facility, directed by Hartson, but will become more accessible to other departments, such as chemistry and microbiology. "In the new Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, we will better serve the OSU community at large," Thompson said. "I want to see more individuals taking advantage of the instruments and services we provide." As the department continues to grow its facility and resources, a main goal still remains to increase enrollment and gain skilled faculty. OSU has the "good car," and is ready for more people willing to join the race.

by Dallyn Minnick, Woodwani, Okla.

summer • fall 2009

Interacting with

Insects D

id you know without insects the world would be covered 20 feet deep in dead bodies and feces within 10 years? Would you guess 75 percent of all animals are arthropods, making entomology the largest science? The goal of Oklahoma State University's Insect Adventure is to spread facts about the creatures people often refer to as pests. The Insect Adventure's mission is to enlighten and excite students and adults regarding the impact of entomology on their daily lives through education and hands-on interaction, said Phillip Mulder, entomology and plant pathology department head. OSU's insect outreach program has been operating for nearly 20 years, but it received a face-lift in 2005. "The entomology and plant pathology department renovated the old insectary so the Insect Adventure could be more like a museum," said Andrine Shufran, Insect Adventure director. "The students, faculty and staff sacrificed their weekends to totally gut, paint, level floors and build exhibits." The renovated facility is a 1,400-square-foot educational center where kids can explore. The center includes microscope stations, live arthropods and large display boxes of pinned specimens. OSU has the only facility in the state allowing visitors to explore entomology. With insects outnumbering people a billion to one, the staff of the Insect Adventure wants to facilitate interaction to increase understanding and eliminate misconceptions related to insects. "There is a big difference between seeing something in a cage and interacting with it," Shufran said. "We

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make sure to get the insects out of their cages so people can see them, touch them and hold them." Although the Insect Adventure's purpose is to educate the public, a lot of that education comes in the form of defying myths, Shufran said. "I hear the craziest things about insects that people believe are true," Shufran said. "People hear things from their friends, or facts get manipulated and people start believing them." Half of women and 10 percent of men admit tb having some level of arachnophobia, Shufran said, despite the fact insects are a small fraction of the size of humans. Shufran explained being scared of insects is a conditioned response; it is not natural to be scared of something so small. "Children see their mothers scream when they see a spider, so the children become scared, as well," Shufran said. When given the opportunity to interact and understand insects, many fears will disappear. "You see people's fears just fade away," Shufran said. "There will be people who scream if they look at the insects, and after a few minutes they are more comfortable. Next thing you know, they are holding all of the insects and really enjoying themselves." Although walking sticks are its specialty, the Insect Adventure has 25 to 40 species of arthropods. They also have a greenhouse facility on site to provide all the planteaters with food. "We are very sustainable because we try to grow our own food as much as possible for the insects," Shufran said. "Sustainability is the key to expanding our collection. We want

to make sure we aren't relying on food providers when we can be growing it ourselves to save money." The Insect Adventure is funded by the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, but its sustainability depends on donations. With the financial strain on schools in Oklahoma, sending students to Stillwater to visit the Insect Adventure is often difficult, Shufran said. Departmental faculty and staff have adapted the zoo into a mobile adventure. "We can put the insects in traveling cages and travel to any school in the state," Shufran said. "Schools often limit the number of field trips students can take due to the lack of funding. We try to alleviate that problem." For a $200 fee, the Insect Adventure can adapt to any size event and customize presentations for specific audiences of all ages. Sample presentations include an insect petting zoo, a start-to-finish guide to making an entomology collection, and the importance of pollinators. The Insect Adventure is most popular among elementary students, so faculty members have worked

on creating curriculum-based educational presentations. "We can come in and give a lesson about insects, a subject many teachers don't have much experience with, and we can bring live insects with us," Shufran said. The Insect Adventure travels to schools, fairs and civic organizations across the state. Just like the facility, the mobile Insect Adventure soon will get a face-lift. Eco-Motion, a non-profit educational organization, donated a full-size school bus that will be transformed into "The Bug Bus." After minor maintenance, a new insect-inspired coat of paint and a new air conditioner, "The Bug Bus" will be ready to hit the road as early as 2010 and will expand the Insect Adventure's mobile presentation possibilities. "Five years ago, we just had a bunch of roaches," Shufran said. "Now we have built up our colonies and have grown. We finally feel like we are something, and we are excited about keeping the ball rolling." As the department celebrates its successes, the Insect Adventure staff

has even bigger plans for the future. The Insect Adventure wants to be one of the few zoos in Oklahoma featuring a permanent butterfly exhibit. The insectary has housed and raised butterflies in the past but only on a limited scale. "A new environment specifically for butterflies would be needed to provide the kind of butterfly attraction we feel this state needs," Shufran said. "Much can be learned about insect biochemistry, metamorphosis and molting processes through watching butterflies." The Insect Adventure has other plans to expand, including adding a classroom to the facility, a honey bee observation wall and updating the greenhouse facilities. "We have come a long way," Mulder said. "The department has made great strides in following our vision in making this something everyone at OSU and the community can be proud of, and we are excited about the future of the Insect Adventure."

by Maggie Hoey, Sand Springs, Okla.

interdiscip inar • 1nno ation CASNR's take on the future ofAmerican achievement


nnovation - a term often misunderstood and misused. It is described by Webster's dictionary as an introduction to something new. However, for some individuals, this definition will not suffice. For the teaching staff of Oklahoma State University's first Innovations course, innovation means the key to the future of problem-solving, the answer to a long-time deficit in undergraduate education. "We teach our students innovation is the process by which value is created for customers by transforming knowledge and technology into profitable and marketable products and services," said Paul Weckler, associate professor in the OSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. With the current state of the competitive global economy, his words ring true. Weckler and five other OSU professors recognized the opportunities innovative thinking provides people in the working world. They devised a plan to offer College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources students these opportunities within undergraduate coursework.

challenging creativity In January 2006, the Innovations teaching staff - which includes Cindy Blackwell, Ron Delahoussaye, Rodney Holcomb, Shelly Sitton, Dan Tilley and Weckler - began formulating a proposal for the U.S. Department of


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Agriculture Higher Education Challenge Grant program. Gregory Smith, national education program leader for Higher Education Programs at the USDA, said the Challenge Grant program provides funding for teachers, allowing them to innovate how coursework is delivered to students. It also encourages professors to update the curriculum content and deliver it in new, exciting ways so students learn more effectively and are equipped with crucial problem-solving skills sought by employers. Smith said the grant program receives an average of 120 applications annually and usually funds approximately 30 projects. Grants are awarded in two categories: single-institution projects, which receive up to $150,000, and joint-institution projects, which can receive up to $500,000. "We look for projects that address a critical need in the workplace and provide graduates with better skills expected by employers," Smith said. "We also look for projects that involve partners to deliver the content to a greater number of students, and projects that have the impact to change the way others may teach." OSU partnered with California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the joint-institution project and received $465 ,595 for a three-year period.


not tend to flourish when everything is compartmentalized. He said difficulties arise when unifying different people and their individual disciplines. Teamwork becomes critical when it comes to creativity and innovation. Tilley, professor in agribusiness at OSU, referred to the teamwork concept as being the equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci's genius. "da Vinci is the most widely recognized Renaissance man because he knew so much about science and the arts; he was a creativity expert," Tilley said. "Today, I don't think anyone can be that broadly educated because of the increasing technology. I think a team of students can be smarter than da Vinci ever thought about being ... if they work well as a team."

creating objectives In the proposal, the team of professors outlined goals for the Innovations course: "[We hope to] 1) create workplace-ready graduates capable of participating in and eventually leading private sector innovation; 2) enhance the educational experience of students in agribusiness, engineering and communications so the enrollment in those disciplines will increase; and 3) develop and disseminate interdisciplinary curricula for adaptation and use by other universities." OSU acts as the lead institution for the grant and received the largest portion of funding of the three universities, Weckler said. At OSU, the course extends through three semesters. Students enroll in an introductory class in the spring semester of their junior year to learn about the process of innovation, leadership, and team-building. During this semester, they are assigned to teams and given a problem that requires engineering design, a business plan and a marketing strategy. This small project gives the students an idea of the year-long project they will encounter as seniors working with clients, Weckler said. In the senior Innovations class, students again are assigned to teams as well as a client with a real-world cowboy journal

problem. As in the introductory course, each team must research its client's problem and possible solutions, formulate engineering assessments and designs, write a business plan and produce financial estimates, and develop a marketing communications plan to execute the new concept efficiently.

interdisciplinary innovation One term heard daily from the Innovations professors is "interdisciplinary." The unique scope of the project brings together students in the areas of mechanical engineering, biosystems and agricultural engineering, agricultural communications, and agribusiness. While each of these academic programs has a noteworthy reputation at OSU, graduating students need additional skills to be more marketable to employers. "The course takes integration to a whole new level," said Ed Miller, associate dean of academic programs for CASNR. "Students in this class have all the tools they need from other courses they've taken or they know where to get the facts and figures they need. This course is an exposure to how people in other disciplines think and work and to the integration used across disciplines to solve problems or to create something new." Weckler said innovation does

With four degree areas included in the pilot course, instructors had to take special care to ensure senior level curriculum was being covered in addition to new material. "The feedback from [the engineering] department advisory community is that our students have very good technical knowledge and skills," Weckler said, "but the area they lack is in the business world, from things like teamwork, initiative and communications skills to the financial and economic aspects [of a business]. There are only so many things you can do in a four-year bachelor's degree." Weckler said his own experiences in the engineering industry made him realize he was well-trained technically, but his education was somewhat narrow. Not only does he want his students to learn how to develop and evaluate design solutions and systematic design processes but also how to communicate effectively with their clients, understand conventional business practices and project management skills, and recognize the importance of professional and ethical responsibility. In previous years, Weckler's students have enrolled in Senior Design Engineering Project I and II (BAE 4012/4023), a two-semester course sequence for biosystems engineering majors focusing on design procedures to work on a professional-level project.

Tilley said he hopes his Advanced Agribusiness Management (AGEC 4423) students learn the value of working in a cross-discipline environment and gain respect for others' skills. "Sometimes you don't appreciate your own discipline until you see how it melds with another," Tilley said. "I want my students to learn how they can contribute to project success [with their agribusiness skills] as a part of the team." Students realize the forwardthinking attitudes and advanced opportunities in the course, and they appreciate the edge it will provide them in the competitive job market after graduation. "Working on a team where you have all three disciplines is much more like the real world than any other class I've had at OSU," said Benton Ray, agribusiness senior. "The things we have done on the business and economics side of the projects will prepare us for the demands of the working world, and we should commend the professors for bringing this opportunity to us." Blackwell, assistant professor in agricultural communications and one of the two communications advisers for Innovations, said she wants students in Planning Campaigns in Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGCM 4403) to understand the importance of a unified image and a unified message for companies, especially small businesses.

"I want my students to see where they fit in the big picture," Blackwell said. "That's what is exciting about the interdisciplinary part of this class - my students see that without their communications component, no one would know about the new designs or business plans." Blackwell's students are responsible not only for Innovations project work but also for Professional Development (AGCM 4203) and Campaigns assignments, which are integrated into the class. "Students do everything they would in a communications campaign, but they do it as they work with other people who may or may not agree with the direction they are going," Blackwell said. "That situation offers unbelievable frustrations but also provides unbelievable learning opportunities for the students."

partners in education Although the Innovations course was funded by the USDA, it was made possible by cooperative efforts of clients in the agricultural industry within Oklahoma. During the summer of 2008, Weckler met with various companies to find projects that would benefit from student-client partnerships. The clientele list for the first senior Innovations course included Aero Component Repair LLC in Durant, Okla., which repairs and refurbishes turbine engine and airplane components; Bergan LLC in Monkey Island,

Okla., which develops pet products; Charles Machine Works in Perry, Okla. , which produces and markets commerical equipment; The Vassar Co. in Perkins, Okla., which produces farm implements; and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Paddlefish Project in Miami, Okla. , which focuses on research and the collection and sale of paddlefish caviar.

looking to the future Weckler said he is unsure whether the course will continue to be a part of the CASNR curriculum, but he is hopeful the continuing demand for new technology and out-of-the-box solutions will be a reason to keep it as a mainstay in agricultural engineering, agricultural communications and agribusiness coursework. "Employers tell us if they can't find students from traditional sources with appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities, they will look elsewhere," Smith said. He also said in today's economic climate, with more people looking for jobs than there are jobs available and with more foreign countries increasing the rigor of their academic offerings, employers have more choices when filling open positions. "We hope our grant programs help keep American academic institutions competitive in a global marketplace," Smith said. by Jt1/ Ba,nzet, Edna, Kan.

about the projects Black and Orange Designs

Assigned to Charles Machine Works in Perry, Okla., this team researched and built a new product for commercial and private customers. The team also developed a marketing plan for the product. Off the Wall Productions

Working with Bergan LLC in Monkey Island, Okla., students from the team designed a pet bed filler for the company and provided a prototype and marketing guidelines for a soft product launch in April 2009. Power Solutions

Paired with Aero Component LLC in Durant, Okla., students designed and built a green energy storage system. They also designed a Web site for their client's private business. Prime Designs

Paired with The Vassar Co. in Perkins, Okla., this team designed an arena drag to be used on private and commercial levels. The team also prepared a marketing plan for the product within the equine industry. R&D Solutions

Assigned to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Paddlefish Project, students researched waste management solutions for the paddlefish processing facility at Twin Bridges State Park in Miami, Okla., and developed a marketing portfolio for the agency.

I'm in college. I need a part-time job.

Finding a part-time job while you are in college can be a daunting task. Oklahoma State University has a multitude of tools and opportunities for students to find a job useful to future careers.

!cowboy journal


he OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is unique because your advisers are also your professors, said Amy Gazaway, career development coordinator for CASNR. This creates an excellent working relationship to benefit you as a student. Faculty, advisers and other students are often the best resources for finding a job.

Get prepared The first thing to do to prepare for a job search is to start looking early. Jobs on campus are in high demand and can fill fast. If you want a job during the fall or spring semesters, you should begin looking one to two months in advance, according to OSU Career Services. When doing this, you should keep in mind what interests you and what types of jobs could help your future career. If you have a lot of experience in one area, try to find a job in another area in which you might need more experience, said Jon Ramsey, advising coordinator and teaching associate for agricultural education. You also should prepare your resume and application letter. Include any work or volunteer experience relevant to your potential job, according to OSU Career Services. A CASNR or OSU career consultant can help you with these materials. When applying for a job, include your resume and an application letter as well as your class schedule and availability.

Ask around The most important resources for job openings are advisers and teachers. They should be the first to hear about job openings, and they can pass information to you. "Professors will actively share information about career opportunities," said Penny Weeks, advising coordinator and associate professor for agricultural leadership. Along with career consultants, faculty can provide students with feedback from employers regarding what they are currently looking for in an employee, said Andrea Ellis,

employer outreach coordinator for OSU Career Services. "I found my job at the Beef Center through my adviser," said Lindsey Hankey, animal science sophomore. "I just went out there and met with my boss and was hired within a week." Another tool available for job hunting is networking. Make sure your friends and family know you are looking for a job, and they can refer you to positions. "My roommate saw my current job in an e-mail she received through her department," said Erin Way, a pre-vet senior who works at Antech Diagnostics in Stillwater. "I went up to the lab and applied." Local newspapers are another source of information. The classified ads can be a good place to look for local jobs. Make sure you check newspapers of surrounding towns that are within driving distance.

Check the OSU Hire System HireOSUGrads.com is a free, online resource that lists part-time and fulltime jobs, internships and work-study positions. Ellis said the site can have 1,500 job listings at any time. You can search as broad as all part-time jobs or as narrow as by type of job. Your OSU 0-Key account information will allow you to log into HireOSUGrads.com. You can upload your resume and apply for some jobs online. The Hire system also has other tools such as tips on making a resume and links to set up appointments with career consultants.

Go visit Some companies and facilities do not actively post help-wanted advertisements; they find employees by word of mouth. If you know of a ranch or business for which you would like to work, go and ask. Do not forget to bring a copy of your resume and schedule. Even if they do not have any available positions at that time, leave your information for future openings.

by Candice Blackwell St Petersburg, Fla.

Where to look On Campus • Noble Research Center • Purebred Beef Center • Nutrition Physiological Center • Willard Sparks Beef Research Center • North Range Beef Cattle Breeding Facility • South Range Cow Research Center • OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences • Molecular Genetics Lab • Food and Agricultural Products Center • Dairy Cattle Center • Swine Research Facility • Sheep Facility • Equine Center • Poultry Research Center • Turf Research Center • Botanical Gardens • Teaching and Research Greenhouses • Edmon Law Library • Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering labs • Advanced Technology Research Center • Student Union • Teaching assistantships • Faculty grant projects • Data entry for research studies • Other colleges and departments Off Campus • Oklahoma Beef Inc. • Reproductive Enterprises Inc. • Farm supply stores • Construction companies • Construction supply companies • Horne supply stores • Garden centers • Insurance companies • Local banks • Veterinary clinics • Retail stores • Lawyers' offices • Auction services • Sales management companies • Golf courses • Local feedlots • Farm data services • City of Stillwater offices • Parks, Events and Recreation • Restaurants • Tanning salons • Bookstores • Video rental stores • Radio stations

summer • fall 2009



ven though J.D. Edmonson and Oklahoma 4-H did not meet until they were 10 years old, they have been connected since birth. On a chilly fall day in 1909, a group of Oklahomans met to create the state's first 4-H club. In the same year, a baby boy was born into a little farm family near Clinton, Okla. Now, as Oklahoma 4-H prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday this fall , Edmonson is preparing to celebrate his, too. Edmonson spent his youth and his career in 4-H and said he is excited to share his centennial birthday with4-H. "I've always appreciated 4-H," Edmonson said. "It means a lot to me personally and to many others across the state." Edmonson's first memories of 4-H and extension stem from his uncle. "My uncle was an early-day extension agent in Texas," Edmonson said. "He was chosen because he was such a good farmer, and seeing what he did made me interested in extension." Edmonson and his family left their farm near Clinton and moved to Oklahoma City in January 1921. "We lived miles from nowhere and had to drive a horse and buggy to get anywhere," he said. "Because of the distance, I wasn't involved in 4-H until my family moved to the city." At 10 years of age, he joined 4-H and began his first project. "My dad raised hogs, so I had a pig project," Edmonson said. "We also had 12 acres of land, so I put a patch into corn." Edmonson had chickens and was involved in livestock judging. He participated in county and community fairs during this time while living in Oklahoma City. Other 4-H memories come from Edmonson's time in Logan County, Okla., after his family moved to the small community of N avina. "Back then, Guthrie 4-H always beat everyone, but we still had fun," Edmonson said. In 1926, Edmonson took a 4-H trip to Kansas City, Mo. "We didn't have roads from my area north, so we drove to Miami, Okla., and went north," he said.

Edmonson said he enjoyed Kansas City, but his favorite 4-H trips were to the Windy City. "I went to Chicago for the 4-H Convention in 1927," he said. "I was a stranger in a big town." Edmonson served as a delegate again in 1929. "This time I was older and wiser," he said. "I enjoyed Chicago a lot more the second time." Edmonson also served as a delegate to Roundup, Oklahoma 4-H's annual conference, from 1925 to 1929. Edmonson said they held Roundup and its activities in Stillwater, on what was then the Oklahoma A&M College campus. "They had contests for performing a model meeting in under 30 minutes where we had to have boy and girl demonstrations, play games, sing songs, and take care of club business," he said. Soon after the contests came to an end in the early 1930s, Edmonson graduated from Oklahoma A&M with a degree in animal science. He started his first Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service job on July 11, 1934, in Kay County, Okla. "I was supposed to work the farm program, but instead I ran the 4-H program," he said. "Back in those days, you had to know a little bit about a lot of things to do a good job with 4-H." Edmonson continued to attend Roundup, but instead of serving as a delegate, he went as the Kay County 4-H agent. "Everyone met in tents because it was too hot in the buildings," he said. Edmonson was at Roundup the year politicians decided tents were no longer a good meeting place. "In the summer of 1936 or '37, politicians from across the state were in Stillwater meeting with us," Edmonson said. "Well, the wind was sure strong that day, and a big puff blew the tent down." Edmonson and other assistant extension agents were sitting across the street from the meeting, and they saw all the action. "Nobody was seriously hurt, but politicians decided 4-H' ers needed a more permanent place to meet," he summer • fall 2009


said. "As a result, the 4-H Club and Student Activity Building, now Gallagher-Iba Arena, was built in 1938." The building, first used for 4-H and student activities, was the largest of its kind when built. Now it is home to Oklahoma State University basketball and wrestling. Edmonson moved to Woodward County, Okla., during the Dust Bowl, where he served as county extension agent and farm program director. "I remember there were few cattle when I first got there," he said. "It was so dry, but then the rains finally came." Edmonson revamped the livestock programs in Woodward County when the Dust Bowl ended. He also started the Woodward Livestock Show, which still takes place each spring. By 1950, Edmonson said he had a stellar livestock judging team, and they made it to the national 4-H and FFA junior contest in Chicago. Edmonson was on a committee to get the classes of animals together for the contest, so he didn't realize how well his team was performing.

"The results were going to be announced the day after the contest, on Saturday," he said. "The livestock show was in the morning, followed by lunch at noon where they announced the winners. Well, we got to that lunch a little late, and we found out one of our guys was high individual and we were high team!" Edmonson said this is one of his favorite 4-H memories. "That was such a big contest, and I sure was proud of those gentlemen from Woodward County." Many 4-H members were successful under Edmonson's tutelage, whether in Kay, Osage, Woodward or Grant counties. Edmonson had members win dress revue contests, tractor operator contests and Share the Fun contests, not to mention livestock judging contests. Edmonson even remembers seeing Reba McEntire perform at Roundup for Share the Fun. "A lot of agents probably remember her performing," he said. "4-H has created numerous leaders."

Edmonson's impact is far-reaching, too. He retired in December 1965 but is still involved with 4-H and OSU. He sponsors a scholarship in the animal science department and attends livestock shows in his home area. In addition to numerous awards and honors Edmonson has received throughout the years, his brothers in FarmHouse Fraternity recently honored him as an outstanding alumnus. Now, 100 years after Edmonson's first breath in Clinton, he sits quietly at his paper-strewn desk in the corner of his den, surrounded by plaques, awards and photographs of memories past. 4-H also has a rich 100-year history, and Edmonson is just one example of the deep roots 4-H has created. The impact is immeasurable, and Edmonson said he would sum up his lifetime 4-H experiences like this: "Well, when I got out, I got right back into it for my career, didn't I?"

by Emily Ki.lion, Medford, Okla.

Keep the award-wining Cowboy Journal in your mailbox by renewing your membership with the OSU Agriculture Alumni Association. Call the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources today at 405-744-5395 for membe rship registration or renewal.

fter 20 years of teaching in Texas, A Mike Spencer and his wife, Carol, decided it was time for a change. When the opportunity arose in 1988 to open a restaurant with Mike's brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Molly Spencer, they seized it. "You get to a point in your life where you would like to try something different," Mike said. "The chance came available, and we decided to try it, and if it didn't work out, we could go back to teaching." In 1989, Steve and Molly, both Oklahoma State University graduates, along with Mike and Carol, opened their restaurant. Nearly 20 years later, the family-owned business continues to be a success.

A new opportunity

Cinnamon Cinnsation Mike Spencer, part owner of Spencer's Smokehouse & BBQ in Midwest City, Okla., receives compliments on his barbecue sauce daily. Little did he know, his pursuit to market the barbecue sauce would lead to a new business venture: Spencer's Cinnamon Rolls.


cowboy journal

In 2004, Mike decided to take the advice of numerous customers and market his barbecue sauce for sale in the retail grocery store industry. "I planned on marketing our barbecue sauce," Mike said. "I went to a Basic Training workshop, which is where I met Jim Brooks and other FAPC employees." Basic Training is a workshop hosted by OSU's Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center to assist entrepreneurs in understanding every aspect of producing and marketing food products. Brooks, business planning and marketing service manager for FAPC, recalled Mike's participation in Basic Training. "Mike thought he wanted to commercialize his barbecue sauce to grocery stores in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas," Brooks said. "He came to the Basic Training workshop with his barbecue sauce to promote it." Along with barbecue sauce, Mike brought cinnamon rolls for a nutritional analysis. He wanted to learn the calorie content of the cinnamon rolls he occasionally made at the restaurant. "We make our own homemade yeast rolls in the restaurant," Mike said. "For public relations reasons, we would make cinnamon rolls from the yeast rolls and take them to other local businesses and give them away." Mike brought more cinnamon rolls than needed for the nutritional

analysis, so he decided to share them with other participants of the workshop and FAPC employees. "We set them out during break, and they were gone in about 5 to 10 minutes," Brooks said. "You couldn't find a single crumb left. Everyone thought they were excellent and wanted to know where they came from and who made them." During the workshop, Mike realized marketing his barbecue sauce was not possible at the time. "Trying to get that particular product marketed involved too much competition," Mike said. "You go to a grocery store and you see 30 brands of barbecue sauce. I decided it was not going to work for me." Brooks recalled talking about the competitive barbecue sauce market during his presentation. "I had a slide with a picture I had taken of all the barbecue sauces in the retail grocery store section," Brooks said. "On the next slide, I listed all the national brands, private labels and all Oklahoma companies already on the shelf. By the end of the day, Mike decided he didn't have the time to do what it would take to get into the retail grocery market."

Changing directions In the days following the workshop, Brooks and other FAPC employees discussed Mike's cinnamon rolls.

"We got to talking about the cinnamon rolls here at the center," Brooks said. "I called Mike and said let's put the barbecue sauce aside and talk about cinnamon rolls. I told him how well they went over and how you can't find a cinnamon roll like it: a true homemade, gourmet cinnamon roll. " Needing to discuss the opportunity with family, Mike took some time to decide what to do. After some thought, he chose to pursue the idea further. "We sat down and talked through the criteria and the protocol necessary to get his cinnamon rolls going," Brooks said. "From that point, we more or less got started." The next step was to locate a manufacturer for the cinnamon rolls. Mike wanted to find a plant with the capability of handling all aspects of production, from start to finish . "We looked all around Oklahoma trying to find a bakery that could do it," Mike said. "We wanted to keep it in state, but no one in Oklahoma could do it." Lone Star Foods in San Antonio, Texas, a bakery that produces products for both small and large companies, was a perfect fit for producing the cinnamon rolls. Production of the cinnamon rolls began in 2007.

Valuable assistance With help from FAPC in all aspects of production and marketing, Mike

created a new business, Spencer's Cinnamon Rolls. "We have helped with marketing, attended presentations and food shows, conducted product demonstrations, and assisted in establishing his pricing and profit structure," Brooks said. "You have to have a great deal of patience in the food business, and Mike really exemplifies someone who understands patience has its rewards." Impressed with the Basic Training workshop, Mike said he appreciates the help he received from FAPC. "The FAPC group is an awesome group of people to work with," Mike said . "They are able to go from nothing to what it would look like on the shelf. They go through everything you have to have to get a business together. It's invaluable, and it is probably the finest course I have ever taken." Spencer's Cinnamon Rolls are sold on the OSU campus at Adam's Market, located behind the Cowboy Mall, and in the Bennett Hall cafeteria. Ben E . Keith, a food distributor in the area, sells the cinnamon rolls to various restaurants. The cinnamon rolls also can be found in Sam's Clubs in the Oklahoma City area. Barbecue and cinnamon are not typically a good combination, but for Mike Spencer, they are the perfect pair.

by Nathan Fent, Wyandotte, Okla.

Basic Training offers industry insight You know you have the next big food product. The problem is what to do next. Specialists at the Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center have the answers to your questions and many more you have not considered. Five times a year, FAPC hosts Basic Training, a workshop designed to help upcoming entrepreneurs analyze the viability of their business ventures. Topics include • • • • •

Planning your business Health regulations Product and market evaluation Labeling and UPC codes Patents and trademarks

• Processing and co-packing • Liabilities and legalities • Assistance: available: to c:ntrc:prc:neurs • Video about the FJ\PC facilities and services offered

For online registration, visit http://fapc.okstate.edu/basictraining.html.

summer • fall 2009


don't 'dis' my ability ordinary lives of extraordinary people


ying your shoes, reading the newspaper and walking down the street may be part of your daily routine, but imagine your routine if you were blind, dyslexic or missing a limb.

teaching right-handed Matt Kelly, 26, agricultural education teacher at Elgin High School, was born missing his left arm below the elbow. While his disability is visible, Kelly considers his challenges to be the same as everyone else's. "Everybody faces challenges," Kelly said. "It's just some are more obvious than others. How we deal with them is how we succeed." Kelly grew up in a household that helped him accept his disability, but he never allowed his missing arm to control what he did or did not do. "I can't get a handicap sticker because I don't walk on my hands," Kelly said with a chuckle. As a student at Oklahoma State University, Kelly said he was not faced with many challenges. The hardest part of college was accidently sitting at a left-handed desk, Kelly said. Through college he worked at Stillwater Milling Co. Kelly could carry feed, stock shelves, check new stock and help customers. "There was a lady with one arm carrying a feed bag, and I thought I should go help her because she only had one arm," Kelly said. Kelly graduated in December 2005 with a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications. After graduation, he completed alternative certification to become an agricultural education teacher. He returned to Elgin and teaches for his alma mater.


cowboy journal

As a teacher, the biggest challenge he faces is shearing goats. He said it is difficult to keep the skin tight during clipping, but with help from his shoulder, he tackles the job. As a teacher, Kelly strives to inspire his students through his disability and has become a motivational speaker. His presentation, "Playing the Hand You're Dealt," uses card playing as a way to teach others to accept their own uncontrollable situations. When asked what he cannot do, Kelly is always quick to reply, "The monkey bars, but I am almost tall enough to master those, too."

true sight While working at Stillwater Milling, Kelly worked with Steve Shroeder. At the time, Shroeder was working as manager for the Agri-Center operation. Shroeder was born in Stillwater, Okla., in 1947 and was legally blind with limited visibility. He grew up on a family farm in Stillwater and said he enjoyed working in the fields. Shroeder said he loved running the farm equipment and driving the tractors. He said his favorite part of farming was making dust in the fields. Shroeder attended Stillwater High School, and after graduation he enrolled at OSU for four years, although he did not earn a degree. At the time, he was considered a special student, and he had limited course options. His first job was at a farm retail store. After eight months he accepted a job at Stillwater Milling. "At the old job, I was making $80 for 53 hours salary, and at the new job, I was going to make $121.26 for 56 hours; at $1.90 an hour," Shroeder

said. "I didn't know how I was going to spend that much extra money." In 1975, Shroeder was promoted to manager at the Agri-Center. He resigned as manager in 1995, but remained an employee at the store. Shroeder said his biggest challenge was not being able to read the price book or find prices on the computers. He relied heavily on memory to assist him. "Anything I hear customers or our employees talking about I try to remember," Shroeder said. Shroeder listens for important facts about the products and commits them to memory to better assist future customers. He mainly listens for prices, application rates and any products with special use instructions. About six years ago, Shroeder lost all ability to see. He said he was both relieved and sad at that point. "It was kind of a relief when I went blind because then I didn't have anything else to worry about, and I knew I'd hit the bottom," Shroeder said. He was faced with new adjustments at work, on his farm and at home.

' ' Everybody faces challenges. It's just some are more obvious than others. How we deal with them is how we succeed.'' - Matt Kelly

Shroeder said his hardest adjustment was learning to ask for help and accepting the different ways people accomplish tasks. Kelly worked on Shroeder's farm while he was working at Stillwater Milling. Shroeder would sit on the fenders of the tractor and help Kelly, but Shroeder said it is difficult to fix a problem when you can't see it. Shroeder said he made it to this point in his life because of his selfmotivation to become successful. "I always was pretty self-motivated," Shroeder said. "Part of my challenge in life was to prove to people that even though I had a sight defect, I could do everything that you could."

accident to acceptance Not all disabilities come with birth. For Bill Teel, Keota High School agricultural education teacher, it was on a hunting trip with his uncle. Teel said he was an 8-year-old boy with a perfect family. His father, John, was a graduate of OSU and worked for Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, and his mom, Martha, took care of the family in Wagoner, Okla. After returning from a family vacation, Teel's life drastically changed. Much to his mother's disapproval, he went hunting with his uncle. While waiting for his uncle to get the dog, Teel attempted to climb onto a stall and dropped his gun, causing it to fire. At that time, Teel was unsure of his fate. His uncle removed his belt and wrapped it around Teel's leg to stop the bleeding. Teel said he thought he would not survive and he only wanted the chance to say goodbye. "I asked him if I could see my mom and dad one more time," Teel said. "That's all I could ask for. I didn't really think I was going to make it." Teel said he woke up a few days later in the hospital and was unaware of his missing leg. He was in the hospital for a few months before he was able to return to his family and his farm, but he did not return to the perfect home he remembered. Shortly after he returned home, his father became ill and died. Although Teel said he blamed himself and had

no motivation to continue, he overcame this tragedy to help his mother know they could survive. Teel adapted to his disability and learned to play like most young boys; he learned to walk, climb trees and ride a bike. He started back to school as a third-grader and never missed a grade in school. Two years later, Teel's mom married Lloyd Hicks, and when Teel was in grade school the family moved to Skiatook, Okla. There, Teel became a part of the FFA chapter, and in ninth grade decided he was going to be an agricultural education teacher. "I never really fit in until I got to FFA in Skiatook," Teel said. His plan was set, and he began working toward his goal. He knew he was going to attend OSU and complete his degree in agricultural education. Teel said OSU was helpful, and Robert Terry, former department head of agricultural education, helped him through the program. Terry had Teel as both a student and an advisee. Terry said he had known Teel for a while before he knew Teel had a prosthetic leg. Teel never let it limit what he could do as a student and as a teacher, Terry said.

"Some people are said to be too good for their own good, and I think that describes Bill," Terry said. "I would take a truckload of his kind." Teel achieved his goal and graduated with a degree in agricultural education, but finding a place to teach became a challenge. "Just because I made it through college and graduated wasn't good enough," Teel said. "I couldn't get a job because no one wanted to take a chance on me." After several years of searching, he applied for a position in Keota, Okla.,

in 1988. When Teel arrived in Keota , he met a local grocery store owner who also had a prosthetic leg. He later met a property owner who also had a prosthetic. He said he knew Keota would be different. "I always thought I wanted to go back to Skiatook when my ag teacher left," Teel said. "When I taught here four or five years, I knew I was going to stay." Teel and his wife, Mary, still live in Keota where they own a house and have 200 head of cattle on 1,300 acres. They have raised two daughters, Amy and Rachel, who also attended OSU. He spends his time raising cattle, baling hay, and helping others in the community, in addition to giving motivational speeches and teaching his agriculture students about overcoming their own situations. "I want the kids here to know they can have those things," Teel said. "They can have anything if they want it bad enough. If you try and do things right, there is always a chance you will fail, but if you try and do things right, you have an advantage." by Ashley Stockamp, Greenville, IO.

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OSU technology changes the world Graduate students in plant and soil sciences help Kenyan agriculturalists


f you were to travel 8,637 miles southeast from Stillwater, you would find yourself in Embu, Kenya, a 24-hour trip from Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. While Oklahoma offers a temperate climate and somewhat unpredictable weather patterns, Kenya is arid, with only about 20 percent of the land usable for agriculture. Oklahoma produces large numbers of cattle and vast acres of wheat, and it bears a mostly middle-class income demographic. Agriculture is sparse in Kenya, and nearly 50 percent of all rural Kenyans live below the poverty line. "You see the commercials on TV, but you never realize how bad the conditions are until you get there," said Jacob Vossenkemper, ~ plant and soil sciences master's student who recently made a trip to Kenya. "You know immediately when you get there. It's hard to breathe, and the pollution is really bad. " He is just one of 80 students from the Oklahoma State University Department of Plant and Soil Sci-


cowboy journal

ences who has traveled to a developing nation on one of 35 different trips sponsored by the department in the last 17 years. Vossenkemper, along with fellow graduate students Jerry May and Yumiko Kanke, spent four days in Kenya in February 2009. They worked with researchers, technicians and plant breeders; presented nitrogen-use efficiency workshops ; and showed Kenyans how to use GreenSeeker technology to get better nitrogen fertilizer use on their cereal crops. Embu is home to one of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institutes, where these students traveled to present their nitrogen-use efficiency workshops to researchers. Fred Kanampiu, a plant and soil sciences alumnus, works for CIMMYT, a Spanish acronym for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Nairobi, Kenya. He hosted the students when they arrived in Africa. "Dr. Kanampiu, working through CIMMYT, primarily organized these meetings for the KARI campus in

Embu," said Brian Arnall, assistant professor in the department. The meetings merged the three students with the Kenyan researchers to teach the researchers how to get better efficiency with nitrogen fertilizer.

Development of GreenSeeker GreenSeeker technology was developed at OSU in the early 1990s in a collaborative effort between biosystems and agricultural engineering and plant and soil sciences. Although created at OSU, it is now marketed worldwide. This hand-held sensor scans crops to determine if the crop needs nitrogen fertilizer and, if so, how much. It also can give a mid-season yield prediction for cereal crops such as rice, corn, wheat and sorghum. GreenSeeker provides a numerical value to insert into an existing equation for the crop, specific to the environment. The resulting answer gives a yield prediction equation. "GreenSeeker was derived off the principle of over-fertilization," Vossenkemper said. "For farmers who can afford to fertilize, it's not uncom-

mon for them to over-apply nitrogen fertilizer, which causes run-off." The GreenSeeker device calculates the proper amount of nitrogen to be applied so fertilizer is not wasted. "Most farmers in Kenya can't afford to buy fertilizer in the first place, much less waste any," May said.

The trip breakdown Overall, these three students spent four days in Kenya. The first day and a half was spent working with Kanampiu and CIMMYT at the KARI campus in Embu. They taught about the need for nitrogen-use efficiency and fertilizer recovery and about how to use the GreenSeeker technology. "The goal was to show them how to run it and use it to their advantage and then how to adapt it," Vossenkemper said. The students then had the opportunity to visit Dominion Farms, which was started by Guthrie, Okla., native Calvin Burgess. Dominion owns 17,000 acres in western Kenya, but only 1,700 acres are cultivated for rice production. The other 15,000 acres are swampland, currently being cleared by some of the 400 employees at Dominion Farms. Dominion Farms purchased two GreenSeeker sensors. The students spent almost an entire day showing the workers how to use them for rice. Their first day at Dominion was spent training the employees about GreenSeeker, showing how it should work and the research that has gone

into its development. The second day provided the employees with hands-on experience using GreenSeeker.

The vision "This trip was a learning experience for sure," May said. "It really opened my eyes to see how fortunate we are here in America." Regents professors Marvin Stone, John Solie and Bill Raun were the original designers of the GreenSeeker sensor. In the past 17 years, they have organized trips abroad for graduate students to gain experience in improving nitrogen-use efficiency in developing countries. These trips mean more to students than just the opportunity to further their education. "One of the most important things I could give these students was the experience of working abroad," Raun said. "Get them in the Third World to recognize the luxuries we have here in the United States and they will come back different people." Raun's vision has become a reality for many students, and for these three, it is no different. "It really gave me an appreciation for the quality of life we have here," Vossenkemper said. "It made me appreciate American agriculture as well as the things we take for granted like having access to fertilizer, lime, chemicals and tractor parts." Though Raun rarely makes the trips with the students, he knows how life-changing the experience can be,

especially for those who have never left the country. "I've never had a student who didn't thank me for the experience abroad," Raun said.

Implementation in Kenya How will this trip and the use of GreenSeeker technology affect agriculture in Kenya? "Usage will begin in research and larger scale farms, and through modern science, we can be more precise in the amount of nitrogen used," Kanampiu said. "This is a positive direction for efficient nitrogen use on the continent." From the creation and development of GreenSeeker to its implementation in nations where farmers could not ordinarily afford to purchase it, the faculty and students in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources are shaping the future of agriculture in the world. It is true: OSU technology is changing the world.

summer • fall 2009


lthough noted for his small stature, Joe H. Hughes possessed a big, powerful voice for Oklahoma's agricultural youth. This South Carolina native sought a Bachelor of Science in animal husbandry from Clemson University. He then studied animal science ruminant nutrition in graduate school at Oklahoma State University, not knowing he would continue to call Stillwater home almost 40 years after he arrived.

4rft7( Se/"VICe During the mid-1960s, Joe attended graduate school at OSU. He received orders in 1968 to report for active duty in Fort Lee, Va. Fellow graduate student Everett Martin, now a Washington State University emeritus animal science professor, said it had been a "miracle" he and Joe had been given permission to continue their education. The Army delayed their required service, which was unusual in those times because ROTC required two years of active duty for those commissioned with a Bachelor of Science. cowboy journal

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Joe remained in the states for a period of time, with his first assignment centered on nutrition research. He then received orders to go to Vietnam. Joe was assigned to the first Logistic Command in Cam Ranh Bay. Joe received the Bronze Star for meritorious service in 1970. When released from active duty the same year, Joe returned to college to finish his degree. "Hughes was a patriotic American who didn't hesitate to serve the needs of our country," said Bob Totusek, OSU emeritus animal science department head and Joe's mentor.


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I/ /i.f'ei,Me ded,'c.ation to 05t/ Upon graduation, Joe accepted a position as the first Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service 4-H livestock specialist in 1971. "Joe was the standard in youth livestock education," said Rusty Gosz, OCES 4-H livestock specialist. "My response to people when asked how I fill his shoes is simple: Some shoes aren't meant to be filled. The best I can do is try to step [in] his tracks." During his 28-year tenure, Joe pioneered the animal science department's Big Three Field Days, Super Showman awards and bred-and-owned livestock divisions, which still are implemented today. Larry Shell, president of the OSU Alumni Association, admits at the time the events were initiated, he and other agricultural education instructors did not fully grasp the future influence of the programs Joe was developing. "Big Three had a humble beginning with a small number of participants," Shell said. "Today, the number is unbelievable.''

The events include livestock judging contests, critiques and educational activities for 4-H and FFA members across the state and country. Today, nearly 1,250 youth attend the events each day during the three-day period. Shell said the event is one of the best recruitment tools the college has. He credited the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources as being the only OSU college to increase enrollment in 2008, partly because of the success of the field day events. Once you get kids on campus, as Hughes did with field days, they are hooked, Shell said. Joe always was organized and spent time developing a plan and giving everyone an assignment who was on the event committee, said Fred Ray, retired OCES meat scientist and current Outwest Meat Co. director of food safety and quality assurance. "As a result, the OSU Department of Animal Science always had great summer field days," Ray said. "Dr. Hughes always had the program planned for a successful event for all." At the Oklahoma 4-H and FFA junior livestock show in Oklahoma City, Joe served as beef superintendent for nearly three decades. Through his volunteer efforts, Joe said he felt the need to re,eognize individuals for their hard work as showmen and as producers of their own livestock. Chancey Redgate Hanson, OSU alumna and graphic artist for the Oklahoma Cowman, said Super Showman awards were meaningful to her during her years of showing cattle. These awards recognize youth for their exceptional ability to exhibit livestock. Hanson said it was just as important, if not more important, to win this award than to be at the top of her class with an exhibit. She also recalled how special it was to win bred-and-owned cattle awards, which validated the work she and her family had completed together.

Man al' c.hat--der While Joe's list of accomplishments is endless, he is thought to be most noted for his character and personal attributes, said numerous colleagues and friends of Joe. summer • fall 2009


"Genuine," Martin said. "Joe's ame ought to be there as the definition in the dictionary. That is how I think of him because his moral cl;laracter was t'Op of the line." Hanson agreed Joe was a person who sincerely meant it when he asked pepple how they were doing. He was known for recognizing people after introductions from years past and readily recalled names and stories because of his true interest in others. Famous for giving encouragement, Joe impacted many career choices of youth and peers throughout the years. "All I knew was FFA and teaching, and Joe encouraged me to pursue my current career," Shell said. "He was my personal inspiration whert I took the position, always there to pat me on the back and tell me I would do-good things. Dr. Hughes is responsible for my career here at OSU." His so-called "pep talks" were evident to youth across the state. In the competitive arena, where not ev.eryone r~eived a blue ribbon, Joe made exhibitors feel better by encouraging every competitor. He always brought out the good and pointed out an achievement in every endeavor, Gosz said. "Joe was the best example of a servant leader of current days, not just to youth, but to their educators and families," Gosz said. He also said while Joe was alway,s the first to smile i:rrany Situation, he fought some big issues during his career. Joe stood up for moral and ethical issues rel~ted to the show ring. "Jee wanted everyone to go by the rules and do it right," said Wayne Shearhart, r.etired Muskogee County Q<CES director. Shearhart said he believes in the theory Joe lived by. Joe's mother instilled in him the theory "if you were going to do something, you better do it right." With youth ac,tivities, Joe said he saw the need for an even p1aying field, worrying about the smallest details. "He was willing to do the things that nobody else quite gets around to doing,'' said David Buchanan, foqner OSU animal science professor. "I recall the ttdfe when we were sitting in a seminar class on Friday afternoon lis-

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tening to the outside door squeak every time somebody came in or out of the Animal- Science Building. "On Saturday morning Joe was there with his oil can going around the building and lubricating all of the door hinges. While everyone else was complaining about the noise, Joe was the one willing to take time on a Saturday morning to do something about it." Joe's dedication to his wife was just as strong as his dedication to youth. Today, Lynn can often be found through her volunteer efforts with the Stillwater Garden Club and at church events. Joe supported Lynn's voJunteer activities and often attended the garden club's programs.

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Since his retirement in 1999, Joe had dedicated much of his time as 'the secretary /treasurer of the OSU Animal Science Alumni Association. Totusek credited Joe for bringing the association This honor came while Joe was to a new level financially. fighting pancreatic cancer. "Joe generated a great amount "Joe had three health crises in the of money for endowed scholarships," Totusek said. "He made his volunteer last few years," said Mike Schnelle, efforts a full-time job." OCES horticulture and landscape architecture specialist. "Each time I saw him Totusek said it took four people he asked about how my life was going. to fill Joe's one spot after he retired. I've only met a handful of people in His work had been endless for yeung people, and Joe would have had it no my life wh9 liad the grace and thoughtother way. fulness to edify others when they "Joe was a true southern gentleman themselves were facing,.a health crisis or another comparable challenge." who was a compassionate, practicing Christian more than any other person Joe, as expected, stayed positive during his treatments, saying: "We I can think of, uncompromising in his lofty principles and integrity, totally serve a mighty God, and He can do what He wants. It will take a miracle, dedicated to striving for excellence in everything, and he was a profound role but miracles He can do." model for tens of thousands of young people and to us," Totusek said. As a result of Joe's accomplishOn April 13, just before this Cowboy Jourments, this legend was named a nominee for the 2009 National 4-H nal Wettlt to press, Joe's battle against cancer ended. About two weeks before his death, Hall of Fame. Also, Oct. 17, 2008, was declared Joe Hughes Day by Gav. Brad Joe sliared with his colTeagu,es a few last thoughts a'how what should be import()nt to Henry. The event, held in the Anllllfll Science Building, was attended by everyone in life. He said Jesus Christ is No. 1. He also saidfamily matters and Oklahoma Sen. Ron Justice, Rep. Don Arms, Rep. Dale DeWitt and other God had blessed him in that regard. Joe's "Joe supporters" from across the state. final words of wisdom summed up his life: "Wherever or whatever you do, Ride for the An animal science scholarship endowment was presented to Joe and Lytln in Brandl" Thank you, Dr. Hughes. You will be missed but notforgotten. honor of their service.

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~ummer â&#x20AC;˘ fall 2609

seniors celebrate success C

ongratulations rang throughout the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources annual banquet as 12 seniors were recognized for their outstanding performance at Oklahoma State University. An audience of alumni, faculty, students and supporters watched as Jered Davidson, agricultural economics major from Ft. Cobb, Okla., was named CASNR's Outstanding Senior. "OSU has inspired me to advocate for rural society, stand up for what I believe, and represent the community and myself in a way that encourages and inspires others to further their own contributions to the world in which they live," Davidson said. While attending OSU, Davidson was named the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship Scholar, Harry S. Truman Scholarship national finalist and an OSU Alumni Association Outstanding Senior award recipient. He was an active member of FarmHouse Fraternity, Student Government Association and Student Alumni Board. He has also helped with Habitat for Humanity and Stillwater Parks, Events and Recreation. "As a student leader, I helped shape the direction of many student organizations, offered advice and guidance as a student success leader, and worked with professors on meaningful projects that have bettered the society in which we live," Davidson said. Davidson, along with Cassie Bacon, animal science and agricultural communications; Austin Horn, agricultural economics; Emily Kilian, cowboy journal

agricultural communications; and Cortney Timmons, biosystems and agricultural engineering, were recognized at the banquet as the top five CASNR seniors, receiving the Dean Fred LeCrone Leadership Award. Bacon, from Prairie Grove, Ark., attributes her success to her experiences at OSU and to the individuals who helped her along the way. "My experience at OSU has been the most important investment I will ever make in directing the path of my future by providing me with an outstanding education, the fundamental tools to success, lifelong mentors and friends, lessons to use in the real world and an even greater appreciation for the world of agriculture," she said. Horn, from Yukon, Okla., said he is proud to follow in his parents' footsteps at OSU. "I am honored that I have had a unique opportunity to build upon the legacy of my parents, both of whom have a Ph.D. in agricultural education from OSU," Horn said. Kilian, from Medford, Okla., said she treasures the numerous lessons she learned at OSU. "I have earned more than just a degree in my short time at OSU," Kilian said. "I have found a new home, gained a new favorite color - orange and most importantly, earned personal respect for myself." Timmons, from Ada, Okla., said she appreciates the friendships and memories she made throughout her college career. "When I look back on my time

spent here, the relationships I formed will stand out above all else," Timmons said. "I will always be thankful to those who helped make my college experience better than I could have ever imagined." Completing the list of CASNR top seniors were Myriah Johnson of Perry, Okla., agricultural economics; Jonathan Kelly of Altus, Okla., natural resource ecology and management and plant and soil sciences; Aimee Lee of Pryor, Okla., food science; Tiffani Pruitt of Tuttle, Okla., animal science; Savannah Smith of Talihina, Okla., environmental science; Nathan Thompson of Davenport, Okla., agricultural economics; and Travis Wolff of Yale, Okla., biochemistry and molecular biology. CASNR presented additional awards at the banquet, including more than $974,250 in scholarships. Sarah Fry of Omega, Okla., biochemistry and molecular biology, was named the Charles and Magda Browning Outstanding Freshman. Shannon Ferrell, agricultural economics assistant professor, was honored as the Alpha Zeta Outstanding Teacher in CASNR. Jon Ramsey, agricultural education teaching associate, received the Ag Ambassadors Outstanding Adviser Award. The Ag Ambassadors also honored Mary Ellen Beyl with the Outstanding Professional Staff Award.

by Ashley Stockamp, Greenville, Ill


hen spring approaches, butterfly enthusiasts begin working in their gardens to attract butterflies. The summer is not too late to begin a butterfly garden because many butterflies come in late summer. With a trip to your local garden store and $100, you can get all you need to create an inviting butterfly habitat. Anyone can have a butterfly garden with little work. Growing a butterfly garden can be an exciting thing for a family, said Laura Payne, volunteer coordinator at the Oklahoma Botanical Gardens and Arboretum. Family participation will range from choosing the seeds to plant to watching the butterflies complete their life cycles. Payne said butterflies are interesting to watch. She also said you can get beauty, enjoyment, learning and experience from watching the caterpillar evolve into the butterfly. Butterfly gardens are inexpensive to create, said Steve Owens, former Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service consumer horticulture specialist and owner of Bustani Plant Farm. "You could do a really good 10 foot by 10 foot butterfly garden for less than $100," Owens said.

cowboy journal

For any successful garden, nutrient-rich soil is important, Payne said. You can take a soil sample to the local extension office to get it tested. If the soil has clay in it, compost will need to be added. While the soil is being tested, look in plant catalogs for butterfly plants, Payne said. Most catalogs will indicate what plants attract butterflies. To gain more knowledge for your area, you can call the local extension office. Generally, butterflies like plants with flowers in clusters, Owens said. They are able to sample numerous flowers in one setting. Daisies and lantanas are examples of plants with flower clusters. "Get a good variety of plants to attract different kinds of butterflies," said Donna Mackiewicz, volunteer coordinator of the Oklahoma Master Naturalist Organization. It is a good idea to get a mixture of perennial and annual plants, Owens said. The perennials will not need to be planted every year, but they only flower four weeks on average. The annuals will need to be planted every year, but they will bloom throughout the growing season. When planning a garden, you should realize most nectar-producing plants, those producing butterfly food , require full sun, Payne said. If partialsun areas are all you have available, make sure to look for partial-sun plants such as begonias, Gerber daisies and geraniums. A sunny location is as important for the plant as it is for the butterfly, according to the OCES. The plants need plenty of sun to receive the energy needed to produce nectar through photosynthesis. Butterflies need areas to bask in the sun so their body temperatures are high enough to fly. Butterflies not only need nectar plants for their food, but also they need leafy plants for their offspring. Certain butterflies will lay eggs only on certain plants. Butterflies lay eggs on plants that will create a good food source for the larvae, Payne said. Butterflies and caterpillars eat different parts of the plant because the way they feed is different.

"Caterpillars have different mouth parts," Owens said. "They are chewing insects, so they eat leaves. Adult butterflies have proboscis [a tube the butterfly uses for feeding], and they sip the nectar out of the flowers." Other butterflies will use one plant for their life cycle. "The monarch feeds on the tropical butterfly weed," Payne said. "They lay their eggs on the plant. During chrysalis, it hangs on the plant. There is food there when it is ready." While butterflies feed on multiple plants, caterpillars usually will feed only on one type of plant, Owens said. "Larvae get all of their nutrients from one type of plant because they are host specific," Owens said. "The adult female knows what plants to lay her eggs on." Larvae eat the leafy part of the plant. Caterpillars feed on herbs such as fennel, parsley and dill. A butterfly gardener will sacrifice these herbs for feeding caterpillars. Water also should be provided for the butterflies, Payne said. A birdbath

filled with sand and water creates an excellent spot for butterflies to drink. "Just like with anything else, you want to provide food , shelter and water," Payne said. Butterflies need protection from strong gusts of wind, according to the OCES. The coldest winds come from the north and the south. Tall shrubs can create a wind block. The cooler winds also can create a shorter blooming season. Insecticides should be avoided, Owens said. If a caterpillar is found where you do not want it, such as in your herb garden, clip the branch and move it into your butterfly garden. Caterpillars do not travel far, so it is unlikely they will go back to the herb garden, Owens said. After creating your butterfly habitat, all there is left to do is wait, watch and enjoy.

by Nicole Kliebert, Paulina, La.

summer â&#x20AC;˘ fall 2009

Hanging on Overcoming the economy's rough ride hen you take a quick look at a W newspaper, turn on the news, or listen to the radio, you hear something about the ongoing economic decline. Americans are experiencing firsthand the change in the economic outlook and find themselves making cowboy journal

changes in their everyday lives to "make ends meet. " "We are experiencing the most serious downturn since the Great Depression," said Larry Sanders, Oklahoma State University professor of agricultural economics. "Will it be

another Great D epression, or will we pull through it and stop it from getting that far? That has yet to be fully and completely determined." Sanders said the country has never been in this particular situation. "Because we have never actually been in this place or been through this experience, we don't know for sure how to fix it, the general public and experts alike," Sanders said. "I am a short-term pessimist and a longterm optimist. I believe in America, I believe in our economy, but this is a tough situation." Sanders said agriculture is in a difficult position and is not immune to the situation at hand. Agriculture is a capital-intensive industry that relies heavily on borrowed funds. He said with capital becoming more difficult to obtain, farmers have more difficulty getting the money they need to keep their operation running. "Agriculture doesn't live in a vacuum," Sanders said. "It is true that typically agriculture isn't hurt as much as other sectors, but this time, there are several things that are making a really big difference." One issue facing the agricultural industry is the diminishing market for exported products. Sanders said much of what American agriculture produces is intended for the export market. With the global market suffering alongside the U.S. economy, previous customers no longer can afford U.S. products, and the U.S. cannot afford to give it to them on credit. This leaves the surplus product to be sold in domestic markets, driving commodity prices down. As the agricultural industry embraces this challenge, OSU students are using their resources to prepare for the future. In spite of a tight job market, well-qualified graduates will have job opportunities. However, students are facing a "double-edged sword ," said Mike Woods, department head of agricultural economics. "On one side, students are continuing their college education to help ride out tough economic times," he said. "On the other side, students are having financial difficulty and need to

find a job. The question is which way does that scale tip?" Through their degree programs, students have ways to make the most of the skill set they receive through their curricula. "If I were a student, I would use every resource available," Woods said. "Students should talk to every faculty member and mentor about possible leads and opportunities. They should use every means at their disposal to network and look for employment." Woods praised the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources for creating the Student Success Center. The Student Success Center offers students looking into the job market many resources including resume paper, thank-you cards and a staff to help students make the most of their attributes, he said. "Job seekers have to be more open in terms of considering job possibilities that may not meet 100 percent of their dream-job qualifications," said Amy

Gazaway, career development coordinator for CASNR. "That job could get their foot in the door for securing their dream job in the future." Gazaway is adamant jobs are available to graduates with degrees in agriculture. However, a job search might not be the same as it might have once been, she said. "Students have to be more proactive," Gazaway said. "Students who don't use all available resources, such as career fairs, campus job postings, and networking opportunities, to actively seek a job are not going to be the students who get the job. "The student who networks and is persistent will get the job. Passive job seeking does not work in this economy. It never actually works at all." Gazaway said a common misconception among students exists about lack of job availability. Because of this, she said too many students are turning to graduate school for the wrong reasons, rather than facing what they believe will be a fruitless job hunt.

"Because of the media coverage of the economy, there is a perception there aren't any jobs," Gazaway said. "There are jobs available, and fear of job search failure is not a good reason to go to graduate school." Gazaway said graduate school is the right decision for some students, but she encourages them to look at all their options before they decide about their career path or graduate school. While the job market is a key topic, it is important to realize careers are only a small piece of the puzzle. Even when graduates land their first job, the question remains: Will the economy recover? "As long as we pay attention to what's going on, we'll find a way td.get through this situation," Sanders said. "History says we will. We have learned that we can manage these situations. It may be tough for a while, but we'll muddle through."

by Hannah Gregory, Tu1tle, Okla.

Don't let the sun set on your operation.

From producers considering a change in their operations to those wanting a better handle on their finances, IfMAPS specialists can develop a plan to fit your needs. It's free and confidential business planning. Could you ask for more? Call 1-800-522-3755 or visit agecon.okstate.edu/ifmaps for more information.

DASNRFacts • The Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service account for nearly 40 percent of OSU's research expenditures. • Seventy-two percent of all U.S. citizens are aware of 4-H programs, 38 percent are aware of other state extension programs, and 17 percent are aware of the Master Gardener Program. • OCES expenditures for statewide outreach activities constitute 69 percent of the total outreach expenditures for OSU.

Access tour takes on Northwest Oklahoma The DASNR Access Tour will journey to northwest Oklahoma for its annual travel experience May 18-19, 2009. This two-day journey makes several educational stops across the state. The expedition will start in Stillwater and head west to Mountain Country Foods in Okeene, Roman Nose Golf Course and Flying W Livestock Equipment in Watonga, Southern Plains Research Station in Woodward, as well as additional agricultural stops along the way. "The Ag Access Tour is a way for Oklahoma State University faculty and staff to connect with Oklahoma agriculture through a grassroots tour," said Dana Bessinger, Agriculture Alumni Board member and coordinator of the 2009 tour. "It offers faculty, students

Mark Your Calendars! Rev up your appetite and get ready for great food and renewing acquaintances with classmates and friends! The annual Agriculture Alumni Barbecue will be Oct. 17, 2009. Game time will be announced at a later date, but if the game is at 2 p.m. or later, the event will begin at 11 a.m. If game time is at 11 a.m., the meal will follow the game. Special recognition will be given to alumni celebrating 10, 25 and 50 years since graduation. "The barbecue is a great opportunity to visit with classmates, reunite with old friends, and meet with DASNR faculty and staff," said Shelly Ramsey, Agriculture Alumni Board president. Barbecue registration information will be mailed in September. If you do not receive notification in the mail, please call the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources office during business hours at 405-744-5395.

OSU Homecoming • Oct. 17, 2009 cowboy journal

and alumni an opportunity to see what is happening across the state and how these projects reflect back to OSU." Each stop offers a different aspect of Oklahoma agriculture. "We are very appreciative that the different businesses and operations open their doors to us," Bessinger said. The trip is funded by the OSU Ag Alumni Association, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and various other sponsors. The Alumni Association looks forward to future tours, and invites alumni to participate in this year's trip. For more information, please call the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources office during business hours at 405-744-5395.

DASNR expands biosciences research Construction on Oklahoma State University's new Institute for Agricultural Biosciences in Ardmore, Okla., is set to begin in spring 2009. The Institute, part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, will conduct vital research for Oklahoma and the region. It also will help DASNR learn more about the role of cellulosic crops as alternative sources for bioenergy, enhance the understanding of crop and animal production, and strengthen collaboration with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. This project represents OSU's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified building, and it will adhere to high performance standards for sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Longacre proud of her Cowboy roots

Jami (McAnulty) Longacre is a 1993 Oklahoma State University graduate in agricultural economics. She was raised on a diversified farming and ranching operation in rural Creek County and graduated from Kellyville High School. Longacre still resides in Kellyville with her husband of 14 years, John, and their 4-year-old son, Turner. "I was so enriched by so many faculty at OSU who challenged me to think," Longacre said. "I will forever be grateful for the opportunity CASNR provided me as the 1992 Ag Legislative intern." Longacre spent the spring 1992 semester at the Oklahoma Capitol working with Jan Montgomery (former legislative consultant for the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natrual Resources), Sen. Robert Kerr, Rep. M.C. Leist and then-Secretary of Agriculture Gary Sherrer. She said this internship "pulled it all together" for her and showed her one voice and one vote really matter. Longacre said she saw the importance, as an agricultural economics senior, of being involved and engaged in the public policy process. That

became her passion to affect laws and legislation that impact agriculture, rural Oklahoma and the economy. Following graduation from OSU, Longacre went to work for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture as an executive assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture. In June 1995, she joined the staff of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and was the director of policy and governmental affairs, where she represented cattle producers' interests through lobbying efforts at the state capitol. This position was only a stepping stone to Longacre being named the first female executive director of the Oklahoma Beef Industry Council in 1997. Longacre is currently a legislative and marketing consultant for Longacre Inc. and for McSpadden & Associates. In February 2001, she launched her own full-service legislative, marketing and consulting firm that prides itself in a proven record of success in lobbying the Oklahoma Legislature. As a legislative and marketing consultant, Longacre assists her clients in lobbying the state legislature and in marketing, issues management, media relations, strategic planning and public policy training. She said her favorite memories from her time at OSU are the relationships she developed. "OSU is truly a home away from home," Longacre said. "From my professors to my classmates, members of my sorority, and colleagues within my major, I can truly say those relationships have been the foundation of my personal and career success." The Agriculture Alumni Board has been blessed with Longacre's service since 2003, and it is a pleasure to introduce you to this dedicated board member and true Cowboy fan.

summer â&#x20AC;˘ fall 2009

Oklahoma's only Veterinary College and Teaching Hospital, OSU's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences offers 24-hour veterinary care to all species. Chances are, the doctor who cares for your animal graduated from Oklahoma's veterinary college - of the state's veterinarians, over 70 percent are OSU alumni.

For admissions information, animal healthcare and veterinary hospital services, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call 1-405-744-7000.

You may think all insurance agents are a bunch of clowns. Well, if that's true, the agents at Oklahoma Farm Bureau are more like the kind of clown you'd find at a rodeo. We're always there for you, ready to take the bull by thehorns if things get serious. After all, we're from Oklahoma, too. And if there's one thing Okies know how to do, it's take care of their neighbors. You can trust our agents to give you good advice, a good price, and fast, friendly service when you need it. As for those out-of-state guys, well, let's just say you'd have better luck talking to a mime.

For details about Oklahoma Farm Bureau, visit us on line at okfbins.com



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

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Profile for Cowboy Journal

Cowboy Journal v11n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 11, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2009, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Journal v11n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 11, Number 2, Summer/Fall 2009, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University


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