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Aiding Agriculture in Afghanistan • Cowboys on Capitol Hill • Painting in the Dirt

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MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY

TM

800 N. Harvey Oklahoma City, OK 73102 • 800-324-7771 www.americanfarmersandranchers.com

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P HOT O/CO

URTE SY O F T HE N ATI ON AL WRE ST LING HALL OF FA ME

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Table of Contents 6 12 16 18

From Golden Wheat to a Gold Medal Capital Cowboys Outside the Flowerbox The Greater Side of the Lesser Prairie Chicken

22 25

Behind the Face Mask

26 30 32 34 38 42 46 48

Army Strong — OSU Proud

Building for the Future, One Educator at a Time

Red Shirt, Orange Friday The Gracious ‘Fellow’ Judging Excellence Hooked on Winning Welcome to Canola Country DASNR Recognizes Distinguished Alumni Alumni News Cover Photo By Levi McGee Pictured Clint Round

Win t er /Spr in g 2010 • 4

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Cowboy Journal Staff Volume 12 • Number 1

Editors Heather Condict & Suzanne Simpson Graphics Coordinator Jan Garms Sponsorship Coordinators Brittney Rochell & Katy Pfenning Photo Coordinator Levi McGee Circulation Coordinator Clint Round Web Editors Levi McGee & Katy Pfenning Staff Caitlin Scheihing, Heidi Slaughter & Chism Sander Managing Editor Shelly Peper Sitton Assistant Managing Editors Cindy Blackwell, Dwayne Cartmell & Tanner Robertson Contributing Photographers Dwayne Cartmell, Todd Johnson, Sara-Jane Smallwood, Dayla Turner, Shae Kennedy, Mitch Alcala & Noppadol Paothong Founding Sponsors Limousin World, Oklahoma Farm Bureau & Worldcolor Midland On the Web Visit this issue and the Cowboy Journal archives at http://cowboyjournal.okstate.edu

As we move throughout our lives, we experience times of great happiness, genuine pleasure and immeasurable joy. Unfortunately, we must also endure periods of sorrow and tribulation. On Aug. 2, 2009, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources family suffered a shocking tragedy when 20-year-old Ted Foster Jr., an animal science junior, died after falling from the back of a truck and incurring a severe head injury. We dedicate this issue of Cowboy Journal to Ted’s memory. He was an incredibly spirited, compassionate and vivacious young man who touched countless lives through his friendship, community service and passion, and we hope these pages reflect his dedication to and love for agriculture. We also offer our thanks to Dwayne Cartmell, Cindy Blackwell, Tanner Robertson, Sheri IshmaelWaldrop, Angel Riggs, Jill Rucker, Bonnie Milby and Jessica Stewart. We truly could not publish Cowboy Journal without your help and support. One individual has gone above and beyond the call of duty to produce this magazine, and we want to recognize our managing editor, Shelly Sitton, for her extreme devotion to and real enthusiasm for CASNR and the field of agricultural communications. Finally, we thank our fellow staff members for their hard work, ready smiles and laughter. Each one of you has great talent and a bright future, and we believe you can succeed at anything you attempt. – Suzanne Simpson & Heather Condict

Heather Condict Heidi Slaughter Brittney Rochell Katy Pfenning Clint Round Caitlin Scheihing Jan Garms Suzanne Simpson Levi McGee Chism Sander

Win t er /Spr in g 2010 • 5

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PHOTO/GARMS

From Golden Wheat An Oklahoma farm kid wrestles his way to the top By Suzanne Simpson, Blanchard, Okla. 6 • COWBOY JOURNAL

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On the steps of the historic Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine in Rome, a place where gladiators battled for their lives nearly 2,000 years ago, another struggle of monumental proportions was taking place. Two of the most muscular and powerful men in the world were engaged in what has since become one of the most famous battles in wrestling history. Emamali Habibi, a five-time world champion and undefeated star from Iran, was the decided favorite. For the first half of the match, it seemed his victory was near; then, to the astonishment of the watching crowd, Habibi’s opponent managed to outmaneuver him, pin him to the mat, and go on to win a 1960 Olympic gold medal in free-style wrestling. This incredible individual, the man who overcame the impossible and conquered the unconquerable, was none other than Doug Blubaugh, a young man from a small wheat farm in Oklahoma and an Oklahoma State University alumnus. “I’ve been in wrestling for 45 years,” said Mike Chapman, the leading authority of wrestling history, author of 22 books and founder of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum. “And Doug Blubaugh is one of the most well-respected people in the business. When I first got into it, Doug was probably the biggest legend in wrestling. He had just beaten the fabled Iranian wrestler, scoring what may be the most stunning pin in American wrestling history.” The year Blubaugh received his Olympic gold medal, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles named him the Outstanding Wrestler in the World. In 1957 and 1959, Blubaugh won the National Freestyle Wrestling Tournament, and he also placed first in the Pan-American Games in 1959. He placed third in the NCAA Championships as a sophomore in 1955, second as a junior and first as a senior. “Doug Blubaugh is the kind of person who conquered the West,” said Jack Duncan, a former wrestling coach and one of Blubaugh’s closest friends. “He’s so dedicated and hardworking. From the beginning of our acquaintance, I was very impressed with his work ethic, his ability to work with kids, and his devotion to the sport of wrestling.” Blubaugh took advantage of this ability by devoting his life and career to coaching wrestling. During his career, Blubaugh was an assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Michigan State University, and he was head coach at Indiana University. He has instructed internationally successful teams and has become one of the most sought-after summer camp coaches in the United States. “Doug is an excellent teacher,” Duncan said. “He just teaches things that work. His philosophy, ‘work hard,’ is what he’s been doing his entire life. Doug is 75 years old, but he still gets on the mat and commands respect. I can’t see him ever slowing down.” Blubaugh has been involved in wrestling for 60 years. The only pursuit to ever rival Blubaugh’s fervor for wrestling is his love of farming, Duncan said.

PHOTO/COURTESY OF DOUG BLUBAUGH

Left: Doug Blubaugh currently lives in Tonkawa, Okla., where he intends to plant a garden and continue to feed his love of agriculture. Above: Doug Blubaugh has been called one of the best wrestling coaches in the nation because of his ability to discover a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

“I have had two great passions in my life: wrestling and agriculture,” Blubaugh said. “I grew up on a wheat farm in the Ponca City area; we had all kinds of animals, like chickens, cattle and hogs. I absolutely loved it.” Blubaugh said he attributes much of his wrestling success to his rural upbringing. “Growing up in agriculture is one the best things parents can do for their children,” Blubaugh said. “Kids can learn so much on a farm; it really helps them grow up and teaches them responsibility and the importance of hard work. I wouldn’t have traded that experience for anything.” Duncan said Blubaugh’s agricultural roots helped make him one of the toughest wrestlers and coaches in the world. “We grew up tough,” Blubaugh said. “When I was growing up, we didn’t even have running water. I think that was one of the things that helped me in my wrestling career. I had never known how to be anything else but tough.” This tough upbringing was necessary for surmounting his shortcomings, Blubaugh said. He has suffered from severe asthma and has been legally blind his entire life. WINTER/SPRING 2010 • 7

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PHOTO/COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL WRESTLING HALL OF FAME

PHOTO/COURTESY OF THE DAN GABLE INTERNATIONAL WRESTLING INSTITUTE AND MUSEUM

Above Left: Doug Blubaugh fell in love with wrestling in high school. During his first meet, Blubaugh lost to the same wrestler twice, a mistake he only repeated one more time in his career. Above Right: When Doug Blubaugh won Olympic gold in 1960, Blubaugh said he was proud to share his moment of glory with his mother, Audrey Blubaugh. He also had the privilege of sharing his moment of glory with two other wrestlers from the United States: Terry McCann and Shelby Wilson. Wilson is also a Ponca City native and an OSU alumnus.

“I probably should have never been a wrestler,” Blubaugh said. “I had a lot of things to overcome. When I first started wrestling as a freshman in high school, we had canvas mats, and the dust would fly when you hit the mat. It was terrible for my asthma; I couldn’t breathe half the season.” Blubaugh pushed through these physical problems, however, and they only managed to make him more focused and dedicated, Duncan said. “I remember going to the Olympic training camp after the team was selected in 1960,” said wrestling legend Gray Simons to Chapman in 2000 for his book Wrestling Tough. “I was in pretty darn good shape, but I hadn’t been running much. At camp the coaches had us running everywhere, all the time, while carrying little weights. “I said to Blubaugh, ‘What are they trying to do, work us to death?’ He stared back at me and said, ‘Simons, they can’t make it tough enough for me. I love this! Give me more!’” Blubaugh said this intense motivation and drive to succeed developed while he wrestled in high school in Ponca City, Okla.

“I think I ended up getting into wrestling because of my older brothers,” Blubaugh said. “They were both pretty good; I just wanted to be like them.” Even though his brothers both attended OU, Blubaugh said he decided to go to OSU so he could stay close to home and help his parents on their farm in Ponca City. He went home almost every day. “I got my strength from working on my father’s farm,” Blubaugh said. “I was in shape. I would run miles and miles every day. I had such a bad case of asthma, but running really helped. I could walk the length of a football field on my hands, and I could run for hours on end. While I was in college, I would clean out latrines at work in the morning, go to class, drive to my parent’s farm, work a few more hours out there, and then run anywhere from 5 to over 20 miles once I finished my daily chores. My life was made up of farming, school, wrestling and running.” While Blubaugh was attending OSU, he majored in agriculture. After college, he joined the U.S. Army, where he had the opportunity to train at West Point.

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“While I was in the military, I experienced some of the His success at Michigan State landed him the head coachbest days of my life,” Blubaugh said. “I really think I got to ing job at Indiana University. While working there, Blubaugh go to the Olympics because I was in the Army. I loved the opened the Top of the World Sports Camp in 1974. Army; they really helped me succeed and develop, not only as “It was a beautiful place, located right at the top of a hill,” a wrestler but also just as a person.” Blubaugh said. “I built it from the ground up, and I really While in the military, Blubaugh got his first coaching loved it. By the time I closed it, I had hundreds of boys coming job at West Point. This catalyzed his long, successful coacheach summer.” ing career, including seven Blubaugh said he years at Michigan State taught at countless I could never live without University where he taught other camps and seminars wrestling and agriculture. They some of the most successful throughout his coaching collegiate wrestling teams are both truly a way of life. career. Even today, at age in U.S. wrestling history, 75, he still tours the counDoug Blubaugh Chapman said. 1960 Gold Medalist try, teaching wrestling to “The reason I went to eager high school and Michigan State was Doug,” college students. said Dale Anderson, an NCAA champion in both 1967 and “I love working with students and teaching them wres1968. “He had an incredible reputation back then; he was the tling,” Blubaugh said. “Wrestling develops character; it’s one best in the nation.” of the biggest character-building sports. I still go to all the While Blubaugh was the assistant coach at Michigan State, wrestling events I can. I travel around the country, helping the wrestling program placed in the top five in the nation and with seminars and just doing all I can to make an impact on won the Big Ten championship seven years in a row. the sport that has truly touched my life.” “Doug was the type of guy who, if you called him at midIn addition to the countless seminars he helps instruct night and wanted to work out, he would do it,” Anderson said. across the nation, Blubaugh also helps teach students with “He’s just an extraordinary guy. He was the best college coach mental and physical disabilities. He said he loves being able to in that period.” make them smile. PHOTO/COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL WRESTLING HALL OF FAME

PHOTO/COURTESY OF DOUG BLUBAUGH

Above Left: During the 1960 Olympics in Rome, the wrestling events were held in the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. Before each match, Doug Blubaugh said he would take some time to be alone, gather his thoughts, and prepare for the task ahead. Because of his desire to prepare mentally for each match, Blubaugh said he did not realize who his opponents were going to be until he walked onto the stage. This included his famous battle with Emamali Habibi of Iran. Above Right: Doug Blubaugh’s pin of Emamili Habibi became so famous in the wrestling world that a poster titled “The Epic Struggle” was created from this photograph. WINTER/SPRING 2010 • 9

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“I’ve known Doug personally for more than 20 years,” Chapman said. “He is one of my greatest friends. Doug deserves every single accolade he gets; I don’t think I have ever met anyone who truly loves the sport of wrestling as much as Doug Blubaugh. His amazing strength, mental toughness and sheer willpower are unparalleled, even today.” Blubaugh said he could not imagine retiring or slowing down anytime in the near future. “I don’t see any reason to retire,” he said. “I’ll either die wrestling or in my garden.” Duncan said this fierce need to stay active results from Blubaugh’s dedication both to the sport of wrestling and to his agricultural roots. “Wrestling and farming have always been and continue to be Doug’s greatest passions,” Duncan said. “It’s his life, and he continues to do both to this day. I think he’ll do them until someone makes him stop or he dies.” Blubaugh said he believes wrestling is the most wonderful sport in existence. “My life and world have been farming and wrestling,” Blubaugh said. “I thank God I was born on a wheat farm in Oklahoma and learned ethics, and I don’t think I would have won the Olympics if I hadn’t been raised on a farm in Oklahoma. I could never live without wrestling and agriculture. They are both truly a way of life.” CJ

PHOTO/COURTESY OF DOUG BLUBAUGH

Even though Doug Blubaugh was incredibly physically fit, he never lifted weights in a gym. He said he attributes his strength to working on his father’s farm and his sheer determination.

10

Things You Didn’t Know About Doug Blubaugh … Until Now 1.

Blubaugh’s friends used to compare the thickness of his glasses to the bottoms of Coke bottles; they were about one-fourth of an inch thick.

2.

Blubaugh is an OSU legacy; his mother, Audrey Blubaugh, attended Oklahoma A&M and received a bachelor’s degree in education.

3.

Blubaugh’s passion for agriculture extends to planting and raising a wide array of trees; he said he has “planted more orchards than Johnny Appleseed.”

4.

Though Blubaugh had originally wanted to follow in his brothers’ footsteps and attend OU, he said, “I’m proud to say I’ve never lost to a Sooner!”

5.

While he was in college, Blubaugh would go rabbit hunting on the weekends and sell his prizes for 35 cents. This was his only money for entertainment.

6.

Blubaugh has five children: two sets of twin boys and a daughter. His sons’ names are Dale, Dean, Dann and Dana, and his daughter’s name is Dawn.

7.

Blubaugh is one of countless internationally successful wrestlers from rural America. Iowa and Oklahoma became great wrestling states largely because of the popularity of the sport in the small, rural communities.

8.

Blubaugh is passionate about raising toy poodles. “I have always enjoyed meeting new students at summer camps,” he said. “They expect a huge guy with something like a German shepherd. Their faces are always hilarious when they find out that I’m the short guy with the thick glasses who’s constantly carrying around a toy poodle!”

9.

When Blubaugh won his Olympic gold medal in 1960, he was 8 pounds under the weight limit for his class.

10. Blubaugh is not the only world-class wrestler from the Ponca City area who attended OSU. Shelby Wilson, who also won Olympic gold in 1960, is one of Blubaugh’s closest friends; he went on to become a minister and performed the ceremonies at Blubaugh’s wedding.

10 • COWBOY JOURNAL

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Building Men for more than a Century

FarmHouse Builder of Men

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources outstanding senior 2009 Scholarship Cup: Best Grades Among Fraternities 75 of the last 81 years 2009 Thomas Keys Most Outstanding Pledge Class 23 of the last 28 years 2009 Darrel ‘Dean’ Troxel Outstanding Fraternity 34 of the last 40 years 2009 Outstanding Campus Involvement 2009 Outstanding Community Service 2009 Outstanding Campus Relations 8 Seniors of Significance for 2009

Contact FHRush@hotmail.com www.FHOSU.com

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Capital Cowboys by K at y P fenning, Mountain Vie w, Okla.

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PHOTO/ISTOCK

Each year students from the Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources travel near and far to pursue internships. Some students find opportunities in small towns and rural areas, but others find themselves in cities like Washington, D.C. Internships in the nation’s capital allow students to participate in the different activities of specialized organizations. Students have a great opportunity to network and create job opportunities, said Sara-Jane Smallwood, a 2008 agricultural communications alumna. “My internships in Washington, D.C., led me to a job in Washington, D.C., after graduation,” Smallwood said. “Having previous federal experience listed on my résumé definitely helped me secure the position I currently have.” Kristi Bishop, who is currently obtaining a master’s degree in animal science at OSU, said internships are an amazing way for students to get their names “out there” for future jobs and opportunities; however, these internships allow only a brief time to make a great impression. Bishop served as the summer intern for the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. James Inhofe in 2009. She emphasized making the short internships worthwhile to the intern as well as the person or group for which the intern is working. “It is important to work hard and make a good impression immediately,” Bishop said. “It is a fast-paced atmosphere made up of extremely dedicated workers who expect you to produce quality work the first time around.” One of the most sought-after internships CASNR students pursue is the Frank Lucas Agricultural Policy Internship. “Offering this internship gives me a chance to give back to the institution that did so much for me,” Lucas said. “I want to give students the chance to broaden their horizons.” In this position, interns are involved with agriculture on a federal government level while they learn about the government’s processes. “It is an opportunity for young men and women to work with me and develop a real-world understanding of working and living in Washington, D.C.,” Lucas said. “They also get to learn about other issues going on within the government, which is very beneficial.” Brianna Jett, a 2009 graduate of agricultural economics at OSU, interned for Lucas’ office in the summer of 2007, and said the insight she developed while there was an essential aspect of her internship. “It was a very beneficial experience to learn how the federal government works,” Jett said. “Until you experience it first-hand, it is difficult to

12 • COWBOY JOURNAL

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understand the inner workings of what actually goes on in Washington, D.C.” Jett, who now works for Lucas, is passionate about the value of internships, no matter what particular internship one pursues or where the internship is located. “It is very important to do at least one internship during your college experience,” Jett said. “There is much to be learned about work culture and professional life that cannot be taught in the classroom. I have my current job, my first job out of college, as a direct result of my internship in Frank Lucas’ office.” Jerod Cottom, a student in agricultural economics and accounting at OSU, was the 2009 Congressman Frank Lucas Agricultural Policy Intern and he interned with the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, of which Lucas is a ranking Republican. Cottom said he now understands the huge impact networking can have on one’s professional life. “Build relationships with the people who you come in contact with,” Cottom said. “They are very connected people not only in Washington, D.C., but also in the states they reside in. I can now call one of the people I met and they could help me get in touch with whoever I need to speak to about certain issues or even for a job opportunity.” Not only do the students participate in educational, career-oriented internships, but they also become part of a large and busy city full of diverse activities. “It is important to get out of your comfort zone,” Jett said. “These internships do exactly that. It is especially good to go to a place such as Washington, D.C., because the whole environment is different than we experience in Oklahoma.” Washington, D.C., internships have another difference when it comes to interns and their experiences: the cost of living and functioning in Washington, D.C.

PHOTO

/ISTOC

rtant to do at “It is very impo ur ship during yo least one intern is much re he T e. nc rie college expe re out work cultu to be learned ab cannot at th e lif l na and professio e classroom.” be taught in th

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CASNR e University Oklahoma Stat l Hall ra tu ul ric 136 Ag K Stillwater, O 74078

Amy Gazaway, CASNR career development coordinator, has had several students who talked with her about the cost of living and working in the capital. “The main concern I see from prospective Washington, D.C., interns is their fear of the cost of living and working in D.C.,” Gazaway said. “However, when they return and tell me about their experience, students always tell me their experi-

PHOTO/COURTESY OF BRIANNA JETT Brianna Jett (left), a 2009 agricultural economics alumna, worked as an intern for Frank Lucas in 2007. She now works in the Congressman’s D.C. office. WINTER/SPRING 2010 • 13

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D.C.

ence far-exceeded the financial aspect of their internships.” Scholarships can help compensate for some of the expenses interns face as they live and work in the capital. “The Frank Lucas Agricultural Policy Internship offers a scholarship to the individual who receives the internship,” Gazaway said. “CASNR solicits applications and a committee selects the recipient of the internship scholarship. The award is then presented during the CASNR banquet in the spring.” Lucas said internships are not to be taken lightly, as it is a time to learn and build life-long relationships. “Be prepared to come and work,” Lucas said. “It is not a social outing. Just be prepared to come and work. Interns usually enjoy the work and the rewards are great.” CJ CK

/ISTO PHOTO

Dear pr osp “I would ective inter ns, encoura ge stud not lim e it their inter n s nts to the sum earch to mer. In ter nship the scho s du ol ing way year are an inte ring to expe restrience li workin ving an g in Wa d shingto n, D.C.”

CASNR Oklaho ma State Univers 136 Ag ity ricultur al Hall Stillwate r, OK 74078

Ways to decrease the cost of living while working in Washington, D.C. •

Walk. Washington, D.C., offers many things to see and do. If you walk, you will be able to experience more of the city during your internship as well as save on the cost of transportation. Also, if you find a place to live close to where you work, that will help, too.

Take advantage of receptions. Interns receive a list of receptions when they get to their internships, so take advantage of all the free dinners you can.

Find out if restaurants have specials and take advantage of those when you can.

Be prepared for having to spend more than you do elsewhere and learn how to budget wisely.

Where to look for internships in Washington, D.C.

PHOTO/ISTOCK

• • • • • • • •

USDA Commodity groups Farm organizations Media outlets The White House State delegations The Smithsonian Institution The CASNR Student Success Center

14 • COWBOY JOURNAL

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The Veterinary College and Teaching Hospital

Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

112 McElroy Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078 • Admissions Office 405-744-6653

Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

West Farm Road & Hall of Fame, Stillwater, OK 74078 • 405-744-7000 • www.cvhs.okstate.edu

Serving Stillwater, the State and Surrounding Regions since 1948. CJp_15_v12n1_vetschool.indd 1

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PHOTO/GARMS 16 • Cow boy Jou rn al

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Farmers rely on soil to grow crops to feed people and animals. Gardeners use soil to grow beautiful flowers. Children play in the soil, making mud pies and sandcastles. Narda Caton, however, uses Oklahoma soils to make art. “I have always been interested in Oklahoma soil conservation,” Caton said. Caton said she remembers talks about soil conservation when her late father, John W. Wilcox, was a representative in the Oklahoma Legislature. He would host former governor Bill “Alfalfa” Murray in their Dewey county home. Their talks sparked a deep interest Caton continued when she discovered she could paint with soil. Caton talked with another soil conservation enthusiast, Carolyn Mathews, and they shared ideas on how to use the soil to produce paint. “In the process I began to experiment with it,” Caton said. “I just absolutely love it. It’s probably more of a challenge than watercolor, but it’s that idea.” Caton mixes the soil with water and keeps the paint in open containers, allowing it to dry “just like mud.” “I asked Carolyn where I could find the soil because I really didn’t want to dig,” Caton said. Caton learned she could get a wide variety of soils at the soil, water and forage analytical lab at Oklahoma State University. The lab has one of the widest varieties of soils in the state. “I chose the soil samples that were the most red and the most black and then some of the in-between colors,” Caton said. “Oh, my goodness, they have some of the most gorgeous colors I have ever seen.” When Caton wanted to add a little more color than the soils she uses, she started using plants, like spinach for green and flowers for blue and yellow. These colors are used to accent the natural hues found in the soil. In the soils lab, technicians decontaminate the soil samples and sift them several times to prepare each sample for testing. “The soil was just like flour and was so fine,” Caton said. After running the requested tests, the lab technicians would normally just throw out the soil samples. Caton asked Michael Kress, lab manager, if she could have some of the samples. Kress said she could have everything they had already tested. “Michael was so interested in the paintings,” Caton said. “He was glad to help me and give me the soil I needed.”

Caton said she tries to send the lab staff a print of every painting she does because of their cooperative spirit. “I’m a portrait painter,” Caton said. “That’s what I like to do. Recently, I started painting some historic things, and Pistol Pete was one of those.” She created the cowboy mascot for the staff in the lab, but it has become one of her most popular paintings. “My husband and I actually met the real Pistol Pete when we were children,” Caton said. “The old timers who made the [Oklahoma Land Run] would come to Enid and sit on the square and tell stories about their lives, and Frank Eaton was one of those.” Along with the Pistol Pete print, the OSU soils lab displays numerous Caton paintings on the walls and cabinets. “She is probably the foremost promoter of this type of art in the state,” Kress said. “She has been to a number of places to promote using Oklahoma soils for Oklahoma paintings.” Caton and her husband of 57 years, Jon, are both natives of Enid. They now reside in Bartlesville and work together on her art projects, as he makes frames for her unique art and paintings. In addition to her painting, Caton has a wide range of artistic talents. She has had experience as an artist, sculptor, designer, TV host and much more. Caton also produces silver jewelry, although painting is her passion. “I love painting the natural way as my ancestors did,” Caton said. “Every picture I paint I love.” CJ PHOTO/GARMS

Left: Narda Caton uses historical photos to create her soil paintings. Right: Oklahoma produces a wide variety of soil in many colors. WINTER/SPRING 2010 • 17

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PHOTO/PAOTHONG

The Greater Side of the Lesser Prairie Chicken J

By Levi McGee, Dover, Okla.

Just before dawn in the panhandle of Oklahoma, as the brisk spring wind blows across the prairie, sounds of tiny stomping feet, cooing and clucking fill the air. The mating ritual of the lesser prairie chicken, a rite that has taken place across the southern Great Plains for thousands of years, is about to begin. “The males puff themselves up and make crazy hollow popping and bubbling noises through air sacks in their throats,” said Tim O’Connell, assistant professor in natural resource ecology and management at Oklahoma State University. “They are really intently focused on each other and fighting to try and look the best for the females.”

The lesser prairie chicken, a grouse, is a medium to large chicken-sized bird. Prairie chickens perform a polygamist mating ritual at a “lek.” These are typically elevated areas with low vegetation where the birds can be seen and heard but also can watch for predators. The males gather at the leks at the break of dawn in March and April to display for the females. Even with their eccentric mating ritual, these birds are declining in population and have been for the past 100 years, according to Birdlife International. Though the lesser prairie chicken is not an endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service classifies it as a

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“candidate species,” which is a species not endangered or in Buffalo, Okla., allowed observers to sit in pop-up blinds to threatened but on the verge of becoming so. view the mating ritual. People traveled from across the United The lesser prairie chicken is known as an indicator speStates and Canada to see the birds. cies. The birds are ultrasensitive to everything; the condition Sue Selman, owner of Selman Ranch, hosted the viewings of the birds tells you the bioduring the festival. She reported logical quality of the land, said These lands don’t just produce chickens. having nearly 100 people visit Dwayne Elmore, OSU assistant They produce people. her ranch to watch prairie chickextension wildlife professor. Dwayne Elmore ens and other birds during the Extension Wildlife Specialist past year. Currently, between 20,000 and 40,000 birds exist in the “Prairie chickens are reUnited States. The major reason for the decline in prairie ally unique birds, and seeing them out in the morning is life chicken numbers in Oklahoma is a reduction of suitable changing,” Selman said. habitat in western Oklahoma, Elmore said. PHOT O/PAOT HONG Prairie chickens prefer continuous native grass for their habitat. Land that is broken up by farmland or introduced grasses is not appropriate for them. They also will not inhabit land with elevated structures, O’Connell said. These birds will avoid areas with cedar trees, telephone poles or wind turbines. “A prairie chicken’s main predators are hawks, eagles and other raptors,” O’Connell said. “The reason prairie chickens avoid areas with tall structures is because they see them as a perch where a predator bird could be.” When cedars and other tall objects are placed or start growing around a lek where the mating ritual is held, the birds will often abandon the area completely, O’Connell said. This abandonment of the mating ground could be catastrophic to the population of the bird. For the prairie chicken, losing this mating ground essentially means the prairie chicken losing its ability to mate. Another threat to the lesser prairie chicken population is barbed-wire fence collisions. “Hens are mostly the victims of fence collisions,” Elmore said. “After mating, hens fly a mile to a mile and a half, for biological purposes, to spread the genetics before they nest.” Fence collisions occur because prairie chickens like to fly extremely low to the ground. When a prairie chicken hits a barbed-wire fence, it will either break its neck or break a wing on impact, which will kill them, Elmore said. To combat the loss of habitat and population decline, the Oklahoma Audubon Council, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and the Oklahoma Agritourism program held Leks, Treks & More: the Woodward Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival in April 2009. The event was designed to increase awareness about the birds’ status. This event included prairie chicken viewings, conservation information and bird watching as well as local artists and musicians. “Seeing the prairie chicken is a very big deal for many people across the country, and they will pay to experience it, which is good for the landowners and the community,” Elmore said. The prairie chicken viewings held at the Selman Ranch T he 2010 Woodward Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival will be held April 16-21. For more information on the festival, visit www.okaudubon.org.

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“I’ve known people who lived on the prairie their entire lives and never actually saw one,” she said. Bird watchers, like those visiting the Selman Ranch, contributed $36 billion to the U.S. economy in 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. In fact, up to 20 percent of the U.S. population (or 48 million people) participates in bird watching. The Woodward festival stimulated the economy in nearby areas, Elmore said. Patrons of the Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival stayed in local hotels, shopped at local stores, and even helped western Oklahoma ranch owners in the Woodward area mark fences to prevent further collisions between the birds and barbed-wire fences. “There are only 2 percent of native prairie grasses left in the United States,” Selman said, “and we need to protect them for prairie chickens.” Protecting this bird is not only important for the prairie chicken, but it is also important for the land and for civilization, Elmore said. “We are not just talking about the prairie chickens,” Elmore said. “It is going to be things like riparian health, water quality and soil stability; the list could go on and on.” When things start happening to chickens, it is an early warning indicator the integrity of the grasslands is impaired, Elmore said.

“These grasslands produce the resources people need,” Elmore said. “Keeping them healthy is in everyone’s best interest. These lands don’t produce just chickens. They produce people.” CJ

The male lesser prairie chickens fan their feathers andPHO fill their airsacks TO /PAO THONtoGattract the hens gathered at the mating lek.

20 • Co w bo y Jo u r n a l

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Receiving this scholarship Receiving thisscholarship scholarship Receiving this scholarship Receiving was of the this utmost wasof theutmost utmost was ofofthe the was importance in making my importance making my importance making my importance ininmaking my college dreams a reality. college dreams reality. college dreams college aaareality. reality. Both of dreams my parents are Bothof my parents are Both ofofmy my parents are Both parents are Oklahoma high school Oklahoma high school Oklahoma high school Oklahoma high school teachers, and their

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PHO TO /CAR TMELL 22 • Co w bo y Jo u r n a l

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As 50,000+ orange-clad, screaming fans wait impatiently for the big moment, Bullet pulls at the reins, ready to run between the spirit lines. Smoke billows from the tunnel, and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys explode into Boone Pickens Stadium. Among the 112 players is Garber, Okla., native Brady Bond, No. 60. Bond, not desiring attention, is one of the last Cowboys on the field. A fifth-year senior, Bond is pursuing an agricultural education degree in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “When I first came to OSU, I was a business major,” Bond said. “Then one day I decided that I did not want to sit in an office all day.” Bond said he wanted to help people and called Mark Sneary, his high school agricultural education teacher, to get his advice. “We went to dinner one night, and he told me to give [agricultural teaching] a try and see what I thought. So, here I am,” Bond said. With his bachelor’s degree nearly finished and his athletic eligibility coming to an end, Bond completed his 12-week student-teaching experience in Spring 2009 at Mulhall-Orlando High School. “Brady was such a wonderful person to have at our school,” said Lesa Boyd, student information specialist at Mulhall-Orlando High School. “The kids loved him. He was a very hard worker and always had a positive attitude. He was a great role model for the kids.” Bond said he enjoys agricultural education because he not only gets to spend time outside, but also he can help youth make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. He said he likes being able to give students new opportunities. “I told my students to ‘experience it,’” Bond said. “At times, people do not realize what they are missing out on until they go out, give it a chance and experience it. It is the experiences you have today that make you who you are tomorrow.” Bond’s varied experiences at OSU have made him who he is today, including opportunities he created for himself through hard work and dedication both on and off the field. “I am very proud of the opportunities Brady has made for himself through athletics and agriculture,” said Mike Bond, the 23-year-old player’s father. “He has made some great contacts through both fields that can help him in his life.” Bond said his family has supported him in whatever he has done. On game days, his family can be seen during “The Walk,” holding signs supporting their favorite player. They all sport jerseys with his number. “We’ve attended every home game,” said Toni Estill, Bond’s mother. “We also try to go to some of the away games. It is so exciting pulling into town and thinking about how my son plays for the Cowboys. I am so proud of everything he has accomplished and will accomplish throughout his life.”

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CJ: How do you think growing up in a small town and working on a farm have helped you succeed? BB: Working on a farm taught me a lot about responsibility. When there is work to be done, it has to be done. This is true with football, as well. There are days I do not want to get up and go to practice, and there are times I do not want to run or do a drill. It is all part of the experience.

CJ: How hard was it to play football in high school and also be involved in FFA? BB: Part of the learning experience is figuring out how to balance both playing sports and also showing. I remember the Tulsa State Fair week where my coach wanted me at practice and I needed to be at the fair to feed the animals. You just have to work through it. One thing I can bring to being an ag teacher is an understanding for the students and being able to work with their athletics, as well. Since I have walked in their shoes, I can understand and can help work with them on achieving both. CJ: What were the challenges you had to overcome from playing eight-man football to playing Division I football? BB: The difference was basically the physical aspect. Everyone is bigger, faster and stronger, but a lot of it is mental. They teach you mental things so you will not break in a game situation. Physically, there is more competition, and mentally it is more demanding. You have to be more responsible on and off the field. CJ: How much time does it take to be a student athlete? BB: There is lots of time spent practicing and preparing for the games. According to NCAA rules, we can only spend 20 hours a week, so I spend a lot of time going in and watching film on my own. It’s another learning experience of how to manage your time. It is a lot of commitment and dedication, and it takes a lot of time on and off the field in order to achieve success. CJ: What is your goal for your life when you get out of college? BB: If I have the opportunity I would definitely like to give [the NFL] a try, and then I want to come back and teach agriculture. I want to be a positive influence in children’s lives. If the NFL does not work out, I already have a great foundation and a start with teaching agriculture. WINTER/SPRING 2010 • 23

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OSU head coach Mike Gundy said family support is what made Bond the man he is today. “Brady has had someone at home who has taught him he has to be at the right place at the right time,” Gundy said. Gundy also said Bond is dedicated, focused and “takes care of his business.” “We are proud of Brady,” Gundy said. “When young men come in our program and compete for us and graduate, that is really our ultimate goal. “Every Saturday we play to win, but when a young man like Brady is out there in the community four or five years from now doing something that makes him happy, that is really what we are trying to accomplish. “We are proud of those guys who come through here and contribute a lot of time and effort into Oklahoma State University and this program,” Gundy said. “It’s nice to see Brady set himself up for success.” Bond takes the praise in stride. “I am an ordinary person who had some unique opportunities,” Bond said. “I learned a lot about hard work and responsibility through the years of working on the farm that helped me become the man I am today. “I am proud to be part of the change in the football program at OSU. I am thankful to everyone who believed in me and helped me get to where I am today as a person, a football player and as a future agricultural education teacher.” CJ

PHOTO/ALCALA

Senior offensive lineman Brady Bond blocks for quarterback Zac Robinson against Houston. A second-team academic all-Big 12 selection, Bond has started 39 times in his career as a Cowboy.

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24 • COWBOY JOURNAL

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When Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education faced a potential shortage of high school agricultural education teachers, they joined forces to increase enrollment in the agricultural education program. Since 2007, the agricultural education program has hosted the Future Agricultural Education Teacher Academy. Fifteen students are selected to attend the academy each year. The academy targets high school juniors who are interested in becoming agricultural educators. “The Future Ag Ed Academy was one of the most beneficial opportunities for me in relation to me deciding my major,” said Amy Peel, a 2008 participant in the academy. The one-week program promotes and encourages teaching agricultural education as a rewarding and positive career choice, according to Oklahoma FFA. “The academy gives a great overview of what to expect through the college years as well as through the professional years,” said Felisha Yoder, a particpant from the first academy. During the academy, students tour the OSU campus, attend professional development workshops, and visit the ODCTE as well as agricultural education programs across the

state. They also meet with current agricultural education instructors and FFA advisers to explore the teaching profession. “During my week at Future Ag Ed Academy, I was given the opportunity to see all aspects of the profession to a greater level that I couldn’t have otherwise,” Peel said. “From this experience, I knew without a doubt, that agricultural education is where I was meant to be, this profession is how I could serve to a great capacity.” Each student who participates in the academy receives a $1,000 scholarship to be paid after they complete their first semester as an OSU agricultural education major. Sixty percent of the students who have attended the academy remain agricultural education majors, said Jon Ramsey, teaching associate and coordinator of field placement at OSU. “To help OSU and Career Tech fund the program, Chesapeake Energy, the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association, the Oklahoma FFA Foundation, the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers, and the Oklahoma Farm Bureau provide the scholarships,” Ramsey said. “It is really a cooperative effort between us all.” Interested students can go to www.okffa.org to apply or call Ramsey at 405-744-4260. Deadline is March 15. CJ

During the 2009 Future Agricultural Education Teacher Academy, the attendees experienced college living first hand. Many of them said this experience was the deciding factor when they chose their academic major and their university. PHOTO/TURNER

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army strong osu proud OSU, 1-45th take agriculture to Afghanistan by heidi slaughter, casper, wyo.

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Slaughtering sheep, beekeeping, canning fruits and vegetables, managing forest resources and producing poultry are current jobs of American citizens. Now more than 60 Oklahoma Army National Guard soldiers are performing those same jobs in Afghanistan as part of their agricultural development mission. “This mission is not about giving the Afghan people something; rather, it’s about empowering and teaching them new and improved ways of conducting business,” said Col. Michael (Mike) Chase, 1-45th unit commander in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Chase said the members of the 1-45th are educating and empowering the people of Afghanistan as part of a rotating Agribusiness Development Team Initiative, or ADT. As part of the mission, they receive help from the international agriculture program in Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. All the soldiers in the 1-45th are on this mission because they volunteered. “You don’t have any reluctance,” Chase said. “We have purposefully done some things to ensure it all comes together. I couldn’t be more pleased.” The soldiers of the 1-45th are applying various agricultural skills to real-life experiences in Afghanistan during their 10-month deployment. “I am definitely looking forward to the deployment,” said Capt. Sharon Rice, who serves as the operations officer for the 1-45th ADT. “To have the opportunity to be a part of this type of mobilization, one where the main objective is working with the local population, is priceless.” To support the 1-45th, the U.S. Army collaborated with OSU to create what it refers to as a “reach-back support team” to help solve any agricultural challenges the soldiers may encounter while in Afghanistan. As the reach-back team, master’s students Rachel Ringdahl, Jacob Woehl and Laura Ewald are prepared to re-

search many topics from crop production to livestock production. These students are providing information to the soldiers in Afghanistan through e-mails and phone calls. “It is a great opportunity, and I am really excited about the program,” Woehl said. For their efforts, reach-back team members will earn college credits toward their degrees in international agriculture. In addition, OSU is working with 17 soldiers in the 1-45th to help them earn their master’s degrees while they complete their mission in Afghanistan. “I’m looking forward to increasing my knowledge in the field as well as my personal knowledge of the Afghanistan culture,” Rice said. Chase said the Afghan people have lost three generations of farmers because of decades of war. He said he hopes the 1-45th ADT can help them to advance their farming and agricultural production capabilities. To accomplish their mission, the 1-45th ADT is conducting classes, creating demonstrations, providing seed and other materials, and exposing the Afghan people to the latest technological advancements. “We are going to Afghanistan as a state,” said Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, adjutant general of the Oklahoma National Guard. “The forging of partnerships in this mission reaches far beyond the traditional military structure.” The 1-45th soldiers replaced a military unit from Tennessee in Paktya Province near Gardez. Another team from the Oklahoma National Guard will replace the 1-45th in 2010. Currently, Ringdahl, Ewald and Woehl have a contract to work until September and are working for David Henneberry, director of international agricultural programs at OSU. “This is a unique opportunity for partnership and one having many different dimensions,” Henneberry said. One challenge for the reach-back team is to provide assistance to improve nutritional growth and development of animals based on the resources in Afghanistan. Another is re-

Staff Sgt. Tim Gallagher (front) begins the butchering process as fellow soldiers observe: Maj. Lindy White (back left in glasses), 2nd Lt. Chris Thomas, Spc. Joshua Martinez, Maj. Doug Christerson, Sgt. Dale Courtney, Sgt. Maj. Bobby Howard (left at rail), 1st Sgt. Garry Dorsey and Col. Mike Chase watch and learn during the week-long training held on the OSU campus. 2 6 • COWBOY JOURNAL

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searching and providing remedies for crop pests and diseases that might damage the crops. “On a global scale, it is unusual for a university to work alongside the military,” Henneberry said. “It is a unique opportunity to immerse our students in real-world situations and to prepare them for life after college.” Before the 1-45th unit was deployed to Afghanistan, the unit members attended a week-long training seminar on the OSU campus. During the training, OSU professors instructed the members on numerous topics such as beekeeping, soil science and butchering. Ringdahl, Ewald and Woehl helped present the lessons by serving as teaching assistants to the DASNR professors. “It is a great opportunity to help with this project,” Ewald said. “Being from a family active in international affairs, this will help expand my knowledge.” Deering said he appreciated OSU’s support prior to and during the unit’s deployment. “OSU’s valued assistance has enabled this team of Oklahoma Guardsmen to exceed what any other state has done so far,” Deering said in his address to the soldiers during their deployment ceremony Oct. 25. “Their continued sharing of valuable information and resources throughout the deploy-

Above: Brian Arnall, plant and soil sciences assistant professor, explains to Ryan Ellis how to use the GreenSeeker in preparation for the deployment. Below: Maj. Elmer Bruner (left), Capt. Shane King and Sgt. David Bowman practice canning carrots during training held on the OSU campus. PHOTO/JOHNSON

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ment will continue to enable these soldiers to accomplish their mission.” Prior to deployment, the soldiers also went through numerous military training venues in California, Montana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. The military prepared the 1-45th soldiers as much as possible before the deployment so they could be ready for the unexpected as well as the expected, said Spc. Ryan Ellis, who is not only an international agriculture master’s student but also an OSU agricultural education alumnus. In Texas, for example, the soldiers learned blacksmithing so they can teach the Afghan people how to turn an average bicycle into a productive tool. “We learned from a family blacksmith who showed us how to build the basic tools so we can take them with us to Afghanistan,” Ellis said. The men and women of the 1-45th have worked countless hours to prepare for the mission. “The members have made the commitment to support the team and the mission,” Chase said. “We’ve made great progress to becoming a team, like the ADT name indicates.” Rice and Ellis both said this is an exciting mission and look forward to what lies ahead. “I want to learn anything I can from the culture in Afghanistan,” Ellis said. “I want to help Afghanistan become better and more up to date with their agricultural skills then return home and apply those skills to our civilian jobs.” CJ

the flag and the thunderbird In today’s U.S. Army, as well as the U.S. Army Reserves and the National Guard, each soldier wears patches on each arm to signify affiliations and service. According to the 45th Infantry Brigade Web site, a flag patch is worn on a soldier’s right arm (see photo at above right). Although it seems to be reversed, what might appear to be a mistake is not; the patch represents the way the flag flies as it is carried into battle. The flag always races toward a battle, without retreating or surrendering. The lower patch (as seen in the photo) signifies the soldier has served in combat with the 45th Infantry Brigade. This thunderbird symbol is worn on the left arm by some Oklahoma National Guardsmen who have not served in combat, and it represents the predecessor of the 45th Infantry Brigade (the 45th Division), which was composed of Army National Guard troops from Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. The thunderbird is an Indian symbol meaning “sacred bearer of happiness unlimited.” The four-sided shape represents the four states comprising the former division.

PHOTO/SLAUGHTER

1-45th adt mission The 1-45th Agribusiness Development Team (ADT) of the Oklahoma National Guard deploys to Paktya Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, to conduct agricultural development operations in collaboration with all appropriate stakeholders to enhance food production, processing and security; foster sustainable and legal economic growth; and strengthen the connection of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) to the people of Paktya Province. WINTER/SPRING 2010 • 29

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by Heidi Slaughter, Casper, WYO., and Krista Anderson, Escalon, CALIF.

O

Orange may be Cowboy fans’ favorite color, but on Oct. 2, 2009, the Oklahoma State University campus turned red. On that Friday, OSU students had a unique opportunity to participate in the national “Red Shirt Friday” program aimed at supporting the U.S. Armed Forces. “‘Red Shirt, Orange Friday’ is a great way to show support for anyone serving in the military while showing school spirit,” said Corey Duysen, RSOF co-chair. The Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow student organization received special permission from OSU marketing to print an OSU logo on red shirts for this first-time event. The students sold more than 600 of the $10 red T-shirts. “ACT was able to make a profit of approximately $1,200,” said Megan McCool, RSOF co-chair. The money was used to create care packages for soldiers. ACT worked with the Student Veterans’ Organization to create the packages. “We have packaged and shipped 75 boxes so far,” said Jeremy Evert, a member of SVO and an electrical and computer engineering graduate student at OSU. “The community provided a great deal of support and a multitude of supplies to make the holidays special.” In addition to toiletries, calendars and games, the packages included homemade cookies, Chex mix and Rice Krispies treats as well as a Cowboy Journal magazine, the STATE magazine and the Homecoming Magazine. “Our organization has many members who have friends and family serving in the Armed Forces,” said Shelly Sitton, agricultural communications professor. “This is our opportunity to increase awareness of the Red Shirt Friday program while doing a small part to support troops on a local level.” Although this was the first time for this type of event at OSU, the students involved said they plan to continue their RSOF efforts. “We appreciate the sacrifices the troops and their families make,” Sitton said. “This is just our way of saying ‘thanks.’” CJ

PHOTO/CARTMELL Red Shirt Orange Friday co-chairs and ACT officers Corey Duysen and Megan McCool prepare one of more than 75 care package sent to the U.S. troops overseas. In addition to snacks and reading materials, the packages contained a multitude of other items, including toiletries, calendars and games.

30 • Cow boy Journ al

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PHOTO/SCHEIHING 32 • Cow boy Jou r na l

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The Gracious ‘Fellow’

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By Caitlin Scheihing, Greenfield, Okla.

When professors are enthusiastic about what they teach, students get excited to take their classes. These professors serve as advisers with open doors, and they go above and beyond to ensure their students have a positive experience. One such professor in the Oklahoma State University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture is Janet Cole. Whether you ask one student or a hundred, you will get the same descriptions of Cole: compassionate, humble, generous, calm and “awesome.” “She has always been there when I needed something,” said Katie Fine, a horticulture master’s student. “You can ask her anything, whether it has to do with education or something personal. She is always there to help us.” Cole’s work with both her students and her research projects earned her recognition last summer as a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science, which is the highest honor ASHS can bestow on members. Achieving ASHS Fellow is recognition of truly outstanding contributions to horticulture and the society, said Brian Kahn, horticulture professor. Regents professor Mike W. Smith said he nominated Cole for the award because of her outstanding record in teaching, research and leadership. “The students perceive how much she cares about them,” Smith said. “And she handles everything in a calm, cool and collected manner.” Cole said she is humbled to receive such an honor, a recognition most horticulture professors work toward throughout their careers. “She did not think she was far enough along in her career for this award,” said William Cole, her husband of 18 years. “But I told her if others think you are ready for this nomination then you should go for it.” When Cole started as a freshman at South Dakota State University, she did not anticipate teaching at a collegiate level. She said while she was in graduate school at Kansas State University, she decided the academic path was for her. “I had never planned to teach,” Cole said. “It was my undergrad professor Paul Prashar who encouraged me to think about graduate school.

“Once I was accepted to Kansas State and I accepted a teaching assistantship, I realized I like teaching,” she said. After earning her doctoral degree at Texas A&M University, Cole joined the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty in 1988. With an appointment of 35 percent teaching and 65 percent research at OSU, Cole has shared her time doing both activities. She currently teaches two courses: arboriculture and nursery production. Cole also oversees the landscape contracting program and mentors other faculty members. “She has been my faculty mentor since I came here,” said Lou Anella, an ornamental horticulture professor at OSU. “She has been really valuable and helpful to me in learning the ropes and getting through the tenure process.” Along with teaching classes and conducting research projects, Cole co-advises the student chapter of Professional Landcare Network, known to students as PLANET, and the horticulture honor society, Pi Alpha Xi. She also has co-coached the OSU horticulture commodities judging team and is a faculty associate for a floor of the CASNR Village suites. “She is always letting you know what a good job you are doing,” said James Custer, horticulture business senior and PLANET and Pi Alpha Xi member. “She is always very informed about what is going on with the clubs.” With a research appointment, Cole has plenty to keep her busy. Her research focuses on plant and water relations, plant nutrition, and ornamental plants with underlying environmental issues. Ornamental plants and grasses usually are grown for landscape and beautification processes. “Sometimes I feel I have a split personality between my teaching and research,” Cole said. “I like to use my summer to fit in a lot of my research projects to free up more time during the semesters for classes and students.” Professionalism drives Cole, and she stresses that trait to her students. As a result, she requires her students to attend the career fairs and to write descriptive papers about who they talk to and what they learn. She said helping the students to help themselves gives them the push to be better. “I want the students to be successful,” Cole said. “I do what I feel needs to be done to do the job well.” CJ

In her more than 20 years at OSU, Janet Cole has been published in more than 51 refereed publications and more than 21 trade publications. WINTER/SPRING 2010 • 33

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Anyone walking the hallways of the Animal Science Building at Oklahoma State University cannot miss the display cases filled with trophies, plaques and ribbons. Bronze horse statues and awards fill one case and declare the success of the Oklahoma State Horse Judging Team, including its 2008 American Quarter Horse World Championship. “It was the reputation of the program that got me to OSU,” said Meriruth Cohenour, who was a member of the 2004 championship team and now is Pinto Horse Association director of communications and editor of Pinto Horse Magazine. “I knew OSU was where I needed to be.” A 2004 animal science/agricultural communications alumna, Cohenour is just one of hundreds of College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources alumni from across the United States who have contributed their time and talent to judge horses for OSU. While most team members have some judging experience when they join, it is not required and anyone can tryout. Sam Davis, a sophomore animal science major from Pawhuska, Okla., learned to judge from animal science associate professor Steven Cooper. “While I grew up on a ranch and have been around horses all my life, I have never judged before,” Davis said. “This is my first year and it’s all real new to me, but I like it a whole lot because of the knowledge I have gained and the connections I have made.”

With an average of seven or eight team members a year, the individuals who perform best during practice make up the five-person team that competes at each contest. Practices are normally held three times a week, either in the classroom or at the Animal Science Arena. To support their trips to contests, the team relies mostly on donations and fundraising, such as helping at the AQHA World Show, doing whatever is needed. “One of the main things you learn when judging is time management and balancing everything,” said current judging team member and animal science junior Callie Blalark. Blalark was introduced to judging through her local 4-H club in Hugo, Okla. and continued with it at the collegiate level, first at junior college then at OSU. “This is a great way to meet people who have something in common and who have been here and kind of know what’s going on,” Blalark said. “Plus, it is just a great way to get into the college experience.” Some students know from an early age they want to judge at OSU. “Growing up in Oklahoma 4-H, one can’t help but be connected to OSU,” Cohenour said. “Many of the state competitions were held in Stillwater, so I fell in love with the campus long before it was time for me to choose a college. Much to my high school counselor’s dismay, I refused to apply to any other school but OSU.”

Left: Callie Blalark (facing camera), OSU animal science junior, started judging horses while a 4-H member in Hugo, Okla. She and Sarah Kawcak spend time preparing for the next horse judging competition. Above: Championships are not a new thing for the OSU Horse Judging Team. The 1996 team, coached by Don Topliff (front right) and Steven Cooper (back left), won seven of eight national competitions: Jim Reed (front left), Tyler Hicks, Yantcy Pinkston, Lori Eusler, Allison Lindsy, Katana Ewbank (back second from left), Matt Cunningham, Clay Cavander, Tammie Bridges and Ty Cunningham. WINTER/SPRING 2010 • 35

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Tom Sturgeon, a member of the 1984 judging team coached by Don Topliff and now a Perkins High School teacher, credits the program in helping him succeed in life. “Not only does horse judging help broaden your horizons,” Sturgeon said, “but just the people you meet and the connections you make, I know, have helped me greatly.” As a member of last year’s world championship team, animal science senior Amanda Burrows also took home high individual honors at the AQHA World Show. Burrows came to OSU after attending Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College on a horse-judging scholarship. “I always wanted to go to OSU and judge, so after I finished at NEO, I came here,” Burrows said. “OSU has had consistently good teams, and I wanted to be a part of that.” Burrows said her time with the judging team has helped her with all aspects of life. “Being a member has helped me in public speaking, working as a team, managing time and thinking quickly on my feet,” Burrows said. “I credit Dr. Cooper with as much of our success as anyone.” Cohenour agreed. “The most important thing I learned from the team wasn’t about horses,” Cohenour said. “I learned what Dr. Cooper and our assistant Amy Brown already knew, that — no matter how tired I am, no matter how upset I am, no matter how big the task ahead — I know that I can always push myself a little harder to get the job done.” Julie Riser, assistant manager of Eskimo Joes, and one of Cohenour’s teammates, said she still uses the skills and knowledge she gained from the OSU horse judging program in her day-to-day life. “I gained a great work ethic and public speaking skills, not to mention a lot of confidence along the way,” Riser said. “Contests and giving reasons were really stressful, and they made me much stronger mentally. I also gained a good sense of leadership, which I’ve carried into my career.” Thankful for the experiences they gained, former team members said they would do it all again. “I would be very disappointed in myself if I hadn’t given it a try, because it was definitely the highlight of my college experience,” Cohenour said. As a program, OSU horse judging has recorded years of success in winning championships as well as in creating experienced, well-rounded individuals with the skills and knowledge to succeed outside the collegiate judging realm. “If all the student does in the program is learn how to judge horses, whether they are world champions or not, then we have failed,” Cooper said. “I hope they learn skills to help them in life that you can’t always teach in a classroom because that, ultimately, is our goal.” CJ

HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE: OSU horse judging consistently ranks near the top of collegiate-level competition and helped set the standard for horse judging excellence among its ranks since the beginning of the current program. OSU’s success began when Doyle Meadows came to OSU in 1979 to manage the program. He coached the horse judging team and handled the extension specialist duties until 1983. “Doyle started the horse judging program that we know today,” said David Freeman, the OSU extension horse specialist. “He had a national winning team while he was here.” Following Meadows’ resignation in 1983, Freeman was hired as extension specialist along with Don Topliff, who took over as head coach for the horse judging team. “My first year we had the high individual at the AQHA World and placed third as a team,” Topliff said. “And I would think that my best team would have been in 1995, when we won seven out of eight contests.” When Topliff left the program in the fall of 1998, he was replaced by then-graduate assistant and now current team coach Steven Cooper, who joined the program in 1995 when he came to OSU to pursue his doctorate. Starting with Topliff ’s arrival through today’s Cooperled teams, OSU has won at the American Quarter Horse World Show, which Cooper refers to as the as the “Super Bowl” of horse judging contests, five times with the most recent being in 2008.

Equine Judging Honors since 1983 5 AQHA World Championships 4 AQHA Reserve World Championships 4 AQHA Congress Championships 3 National Reining Horse World Championships 2 National Western Championships 1 National Western Reserve Championship 1 Morgan National Championship 1 Morgan National Reserve Championship

For information about OSU Horse Judging, call 405-744-6065 or send a message to steven.cooper@okstate.edu. 36 • Co w bo y Jo u r n a l

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Many have missed a college class because they went fishing. Most do not have permission to do so. However, Chris Cypert and Aaron Hoffman started a college organization at Oklahoma State University that provides its members with an opportunity to win thousands of dollars, just by catching fish and to miss a class every once in a while. The Oklahoma State University Bass Fishing Club started in spring 2006 with two students, Cypert and Hoffman, wondering why OSU did not have a team. Cypert had friends at other universities who were members of their university bass fishing teams. After initially being led to the zoology department, they were eventually sent to Dan Shoup, associate professor in natural resources ecology and management. “I thought it was an excellent idea,” Shoup said. “It made perfect sense because we are in the heart of tournament areas.” According to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any

other state, more than one million surface acres of water and 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined. A bass fishing club at a university traditionally known for agriculture equals a perfect fit, Shoup said. Since 2006, the OSU Bass Fishing Club has competed in tournaments with schools from across the country, including several teams from the Big 12 Conference. Numerous collegiate teams have started in the past few years, Shoup said. “There were only four or five people in the beginning, so it was rough sometimes,” Shoup said. “But it was a good group, and we learned the ropes.” Last March, members Will Powell and Jeremy Bersche won a Forrest L. Wood College Fishing Tournament at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas. As a result, they won a $10,000 scholarship. “Winning that tournament … I just don’t know how to explain it,” Powell said. PHOTO/KENNEDY

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Bersche and Powell admit they did not think they had a chance mainly because they saw men catching really big fish the morning of the tournament. But they both thought they had a great shot at placing in the top third. “I will never forget that experience,” Powell said. “It seemed like forever waiting to see if we had actually won.” In most tournaments, the five biggest fish are weighed for total pounds. In the FLW tournaments, each team member needs to catch at least three fish and only the three biggest fish from each teammate can be weighed. “I’ve caught a few that were pushing 10 pounds, but they sure are harder to catch on tournament days,” Powell said. Because of a lack of funds, the OSU Bass Fishing Club does not get to pre-fish the lakes like most schools do. This can be a disadvantage, but you would not be able to tell by the numbers. OSU has placed in the top 20 several times with usually at least 100 teams, Shoup said. “Since we can’t pre-fish the lakes, we try to think about the patterns that the fish may be in,” Bersche said. “Are they shallow or deep? Are they in a summer or fall pattern?” Freshness also can be an advantage. “It can be good because we’re not doing what everyone else is doing and sometimes it pays off,” Powell said. “There are just so many styles to fish and so many ways to do things.” One of the favored qualities about tournament action is all of the anglers are close to the same age. The travel is another draw. A lake in northern Oklahoma cannot be compared to a lake in Texas, five or six hours away, because every lake is so different, said James Elam, club president. Many club members have high aspirations. “I want to stay around the business that I’m passionate about, whether that’s being able to turn pro or working on the business side of it by marketing and selling,” Powell said. Club members also have varying experience levels. “We have members who are just learning how to fish as well as many people who want to eventually turn pro some day,” Shoup said. Most members love being outside and enjoy the life lessons that come with fishing, Elam said. “It’s always fun doing what you love,” Elam said. “You meet so many people and everyone gets along because we all like the same thing.” Powell said he appreciates meeting people from all different walks of life, while Bersche said he enjoys the sport because every day is different and offers new adventures, challenges and experiences. “I love the competition,” Bersche said. “It’s such a challenge to try to find fish.” Another challenge is finding the resources to go to tournaments, which are often several hours away. Gas and lodging Left: OSU Bass Fishing Club members Bryce Bechtel (left) and Cody Fuller prepare to represent the team at a recent competition.

are both expensive undertakings that come directly from the competitors’ pockets. Prize money won does not completely go into the pockets of the winners. A portion of any prize money won goes to the university, and the remaining half is used for scholarship money. Determining who will participate in the tournaments is difficult, Shoup said. To decide who goes to the tournaments, the club has established a point system by having small local tournaments. The people with the most points go to the tournaments, if they can afford it. Some tournaments do not have a restriction on how many teams a university can have. In that case, the OSU club sends as many teams as can afford to go. “It all depends on the tournaments because each one is different,” Shoup said. The club’s goal for the season was to qualify for regionals, and they already accomplished that by placing in a tournament earlier in the year.

To join the OSU Bass Fishing Club, students pay a membership fee of $20. Recently, most members have joined the club online at the Campus Link Web site: campuslink.okstate.edu. The sponsors of the OSU Bass Team are Tackle Warehouse, Falcon Rods and Pure Fishing, which includes brands such as Abu Garcia, Berkley and Shakespeare. The sponsors’ names are on the team jerseys, and the OSU team members receive discounts on fishing supplies from the sponsor, rather than a cash donation to the club. If students want jerseys, they have to buy them. They receive a discount, but jerseys still cost more than $60 each. From an academic perspective, the OSU Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management has produced 500 “Fishing with Pete” lures (see example below) to raise funds for a graduate fisheries student scholarship. To support the scholarship by donating $25 for a “Fishing with Pete” lure, visit nrem.okstate.edu/fishinwpete.html.

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Sophomore agribusiness major Bryce Bechtel competes on the OSU Bass Fishing Team. More than 40 OSU students participate in the club.

“Since we did that, our next goal is to place in the top five at regionals to qualify for the national tournament,” Powell said. “We just try to hit the tournament trail and take it one step at a time.” Thanks to a feature story last year in The Daily O’Collegian, OSU’s daily campus-wide newspaper, approximately 18 people decided to join the club. Now the club includes 41 members. “Future students have been finding out about the club and have been e-mailing or calling me to see how they can join,” Shoup said. The most-asked question from future club members is whether they have to try out. This is a club that is open to everyone, Shoup said. Just because students join the OSU Bass Fishing Club does not mean they have to compete in tournaments. Many members join just to have a fishing buddy close to Stillwater, Elam said. “The best thing about the club is that you can learn so much,” Shoup said. “There are so many really knowledgeable guys in the club.” Meetings usually take place once a month, and many social activities are planned during the year, as well, Elam said. The meetings are informational, while the social activities include fishing tournaments and cookouts. “You don’t have to have a boat or expensive equipment just to have fun and catch fish,” Bersche said. CJ

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Welcome to Canola Country

Oklahoma farmers expand their production options

By Heather Condict, Purcell, Okla.

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Oklahoma farmers have grown wheat for generations. Until recently, no winter broadleaf rotational crop of any value to Oklahoma’s producers existed. When researchers at Oklahoma State University realized a need for something to “clean up” Oklahoma’s wheat crop, they put their energy into canola. “We kept getting new herbicides but the weeds weren’t getting any better,” said Thomas Peeper, who has worked as a weed control researcher at OSU for 30 years. “We had to take a different approach.” Seven years ago, researchers at OSU began studying canola. Kansas State University developed two winter-hardy varieties, and since water use efficiency is much better in winter in Oklahoma, it seemed like it might be worth a try, Peeper said. “Farmers have planted wheat here for a hundred years without rotating,” said Heath Sanders, OSU extension assistant for winter canola. “That monoculture causes weeds and diseases to flourish. We wanted to clean up things like rye and goat grass to produce a better yield and make it easier to export our crop by getting rid of some of the foreign material.” In 2002, Peeper and his staff planted literally a handful of canola at the Cimarron Valley Research Station in September and harvested it in June. Pleased with the results, the researchers used that seed to distribute to a few farmers who planted it on small plots as a trial. When those test plots did well, researchers realized farmers needed a place to sell their canola crop. “Local elevators didn’t know what to do when it showed up on the scales,” Peeper said. “There was no infrastructure to handle a new crop. We had to educate farmers and elevators and convince someone to put in a crushing plant.” Enter Producers Cooperative Oil Mill in Oklahoma City. With increased crush capacity and cotton acres declining, the mill needed an additional crop to crush. PCOM, a regional cooperative owned by 58 cotton gins, works with Plains Oilseed Products, a local cooperative farmers can join. Producers sell their canola to POP who then sells it to PCOM. PCOM sends the profits back to POP for distribution to members. “You could call it a ‘perfect marriage,’” said Philip Kenkel, an OSU agricultural economics professor. “POP had a board of directors and leadership, and PCOM had experience and equipment. As a cooperative specialist, it was neat to see the cooperation between co-ops.” In 2008, PCOM updated its equipment to begin processing winter canola. Now, they can process 500 tons of canola

per day. However, Oklahoma’s canola crop does not meet that capacity yet, and PCOM has to ship in canola from Canada and North Dakota. With plans to move from their downtown Oklahoma City location to a larger one by 2012, PCOM expects to be able to handle 1,500 tons of canola per day. “The range for winter canola is very wide, which is good for processors and producers,” said Gene Neuens, executive director of POP. “We have it growing from south of Waco, Texas, to just south of Hays, Kan.” With the help of Croplan Genetics and Monsanto, available canola varieties have gone from two to 12. Because several winter canola varieties are now well-adapted to Oklahoma’s climate, researchers are excited about a new opportunity, Sanders said. “The canola survived two late-spring freezes and a drought last year,” Neuens said. “It actually held up better than wheat did.” Although conventional canola works well on clean fields, Neuens said, Roundup-ready® canola is a promising rotational crop for wheat because it helps fight unwanted weeds like wild oats, rye and cheat. Canola also helps improve future wheat yields by reducing or eliminating dockage, Sanders said. Not only is canola good for wheat fields, it may become a valuable source of income, as well, Peeper said. “Right now, canola prices are close to double what wheat prices are,” Sanders said. “A lot of guys are looking at it not only as a way to clean up their wheat but also as a way to make a profit.” Farmers may make a profit from their canola crop, but they need to know it is not good for grazing cattle. “Canola is not designed to graze,” Neuens said. “It is a grain-only crop.” Although canola is not good for grazing, canola meal has a minimum crude protein guarantee of 34 percent. “Canola meal is very desirable, especially for the dairy industry,” Kenkel said. The meal contains a minimum of 2 percent fat and 12 percent fiber and can be fed in a multitude of rations for cattle, swine and poultry. “Where it fits in Oklahoma so well,” Peeper said, “is that the meal is very high quality, and we feed a lot of cattle here. So, it is very versatile.” Not only does it make a good livestock feed, but the meal also is acceptable for human consumption and could be an

What is canola? Canola is an oilseed crop that is used to produce cooking oil and meal. According to Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Canola oil became more popular for cooking and frying as health awareness increased. Canola is lower in saturated fat than any commonly consumed vegetable oil. It has half the saturated fat of olive oil and is cholesterol and trans-fat free. WINTER/SPRING 2010 • 43

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PHO TO /CON DICT PHO TO /CON DICT Canola experts in O klahoma expect to have approximately 250 canola producers in the state this winter. Canola acres are estimated to reach 70,000.

option for feeding people in undeveloped countries, Neuens said. Canola may be a biodiesel option, too. Though researchers are enthusiastic about canola, farmers may take longer to embrace the idea of trying something besides wheat. “Boy, there are a lot of cowboys in Oklahoma,” Peeper said. “They want to be able to put their cattle on it. But, a lot of guys only graze half of their wheat at a time anyway so they could plant canola where they are not grazing.” Attitudes may be changing, although slowly. “Last year, there were approximately 90 canola producers in Oklahoma with around 35,000 acres,” Neuens said. “This year, with around 250 producers, the acres of canola are expected to double.” Even if farmers are not quite confident yet, OSU researchers are. “OSU has spent an incredible amount of time and resources on canola,” Sanders said. “If they did not think it would work, they would have pushed it aside a long time ago.” OSU faculty members have been diligent in researching and promoting canola. “This is a good example of what a land-grant university does,” Kenkel said. “It brings a team of people to bear on a

problem. Agronomists, economists, engineers and food scientists from OSU have all worked together. The whole is much more valuable than the pieces.” The next generation of producers could have something different to look forward to when they take over the family farm. In addition to healthier fields of waving wheat, they may see the product of hard work and innovative thinking in yellow blossoms. “The future in agriculture is fantastic, especially with biotechnology,” Neuens said. “Students have a great chance now. If I were a new student, I would be looking at all the new crops like canola. That’s great for agriculture in Oklahoma. Diversity increases the number of jobs, and oilseed crops are a part of the future for the state’s agriculture.” CJ For more information, visit http://www.canola.okstate.edu, http://www.plainsoilseedproducts.com, or http://www.producerscoop.net. Producers interested in learning about incorporting canola into their operation can attend the 2010 Oklahoma-Kansas Winter Canola Conference at the Hoover Building in Enid, Okla., on July 20.

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Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources produces talented graduates semester after semester. Each year, the college recognizes some of the most successful alumni as “distinguished.” Honorees are chosen based on their career achievments. Nominations for the award can come from anyone, but most come from DASNR departments. In 2009, DASNR recognized Claud D. Evans, Mark Hodges and Ken Starks as Distinguished Agricultural Alumni. “The successes of each stand as a testament to the positive influence our graduates can and do have in their chosen career fields and in their communities,” said Robert E. Whitson, DASNR vice president, dean and director.

Claud D. Evans Claud D. Evans said receiving the distinguished alumni award is one of the greatest honors he has received. “I am extremely humbled and feel so proud to have been selected,” Evans said. A native of Poteau, Okla., Evans received his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural biochemistry from OSU in 1966. He then earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee Institute in 1970 and interned at the University of California-Davis. After 11 years as a veterinarian with Ralston Purina Co. in St. Louis, Evans and his wife, Elayne, returned to Oklahoma to become more directly involved with their registered Angus cattle operation as well as the family farm operated by her parents, J.P. and Vivian Owens, in Okfuskee County. Their farming operation currently includes Spanish meat goats with a gene for cashmere. In 1982, Evans opened the Okfuskee County Veterinary Clinic in Okemah, Okla., which still serves area residents. Evans is perhaps best known as a 16-year member of the Board of Regents for Oklahoma State University and the Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. He also has served as Oklahoma’s representative to the Southern Region Council on Agricultural, Research, Extension and Teaching for the past 10 years. This includes a two-year stint as chair of the Southern Region’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Executive Council. Evans has served on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Meat Goat Association, has been a trustee for the University Center at Tulsa, and has been a member of the Oklahoma Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, Okfuskee County Fair Board and American Angus Association.

The Evanses have two children, Gregory and Kelli, as well as two grandchildren, Donavin and Nakiah. Evans advises others to be the best they can be at whatever they do. “I never set a goal to be a distinguished alumni, but I had the goal to be the best I could,” he said. “Also, I’ve been blessed to receive a lot so I try to give a lot back. Do not forget from whence you came.”

Mark Hodges

Mark Hodges is a native of Forgan, Okla., and completed his Master of Science degree in agronomy at OSU in 1983, after earning his Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma Panhandle State University in 1978. Hodges served for six years as an Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service area agronomist in the Oklahoma panhandle before serving as executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission from 1996 to 1999. After a brief stint as head of the Oregon Wheat Commission, Hodges returned home in 2001 and served a second term as executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. He retired in 2008 and now serves as director of Plains Grains Inc. and executive director of Oklahoma Genetics Inc. Saying he never expected where life has taken him, Hodges encourages others to follow their dreams. “If you can imagine it, it’s possible,” he said. “Things I never dreamed of are possible. If you’ve got a vision, go for it.” Through years of outstanding leadership, Hodges has been instrumental in positioning Oklahoma’s wheat industry to be competitive in world markets. He was an important influence in the development of the current quality-based marketing plan adopted by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission in 2001, which is now used by Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. Hodges has received the Oklahoma Wheat Growers’ “Mr. Wheat” award, a “Distinguished Achievement Award” from the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, OSU’s “Grain Man of the Year,” and an “Innovative Leadership Award” from the High Plains Resource Conservation and Development Council. Additionally, Hodges has continued to be a supporter of the OSU Disivion of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ teaching, research and extension programs. He said the best thing about DASNR is the people. “The faculty, staff and graduate students I have worked with are second to none,” Hodges said. “It has been a pleasure and a joy.”

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He and his wife, Sharon, live in Oklahoma City and have two sons, Brandon and Clay.

Ken Starks

Ken Starks is from Stillwater, Okla., and graduated from C.E. Donart High School in 1972. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from OSU in 1976 and 1978, respectively. Starks said he was both flattered and surprised to be chosen as a distinguished alumnus. “I am proud and honored to receive this award,” he said. Currently a regional executive vice president for BancFirst, Starks has worked as a bank president, a commercial lender and agricultural loan officer, a trust officer, and more during his nearly 30-year banking career. He now supervises nine BancFirst branch locations throughout northeastern Oklahoma. His leadership has assisted farms, ranches, small businesses and communities throughout the state. In service to OSU, Starks has served as an active member of the OSU Foundation Board of Governors and the OSU Athletic Council. He also has served on the DASNR Dean’s Advisory Council since 1997. He is a former member of the OCES, where he served as an OCES area farm management specialist from 1978-79. Starks has been a positive and active presence in local FFA and 4-H programs, helping area youth. He also has mentored OSU students interested in banking and finance through internships and employment opportunities. Starks’ long-standing record of community service includes leadership roles with the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and Stillwater Education Foundation. Starks said being successful today means more than just working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. “You do the task until it is done,” he said. “Another important thing is the ability to get along with people. If you can work and deal with all kinds, you will go a lot further in life.” Starks and his wife, Kathy, have three children, Kendra, Loren and Jared. Kendra Starks completed a Bachelor of Science in marketing in 2001 and a Master of Science from the College of Education in 2003, both from OSU. Loren Starks graduated from OSU with an agricultural economics degree in 2005, and Jared Starks is a civil engineering senior at OSU. CJ

PHOT O/PR OVIDED BY EVAN S

PHOT O/JOHN SON

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DASNR honors grads from ’59, ’84

PHO TO /JO HN SON

PHO TO /JO HN SON The A griculture A lumni A ssociation honored 25- and 50-year graduates at its annual homecoming barbecue in the W es W atkins Center at O SU . This traditional event provides an excellent opportunity for alumni to visit with friends, to learn what is happening in the Division of A gricultural Sciences and N atural R esources, and to enjoy a good time. 48 • Co w bo y Jo u r n a l

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Winter/Spring 2010

Whitson’s Words of Wisdom

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Oklahoma State University’s land-grant mission is our business. Teaching, research and extension — the three equal parts of America’s land-grant mission — are reflected in the work of OSU’S College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and our two state agencies: the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Through the generosity of our supporters, CASNR provides nearly $1 million annually in scholarships and awards to its students, by far the most of any college at OSU. CASNR students receive cutting-edge instruction through 16 majors and more than 70 study options, helping them to prepare for careers in science, business, education, technology, engineering, natural resources or communications. Our OAES scientists account for 37 percent of the research conducted at OSU. OAES researchers conduct fundamental and applied research for the purpose of developing new procedural, product and technology improvements

that address concerns and issues important to rural and urban Oklahoma. Our OCES county educators and area, district and state specialists help ensure we remain responsive to the needs of Oklahomans, working side-byside with residents and organizations to make the best use of science-based innovations. On average, more than 1 million people attend or participate in 22,500 educational meetings, demonstrations and conferences conducted by OCES each year. Since joining OSU in 2005, it has been my pleasure to meet with many of you and, through our interaction, reaffirm the goals and core values held by both the division and those we serve. With your strong support, the future — for both the division and our Oklahoma stakeholders — will be bright indeed.

Robert E. Whitson

DASNR vice president, dean and director

Agriculture

Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Alumni Association Board of Directors Shelly Ramsey, President Jones, Okla. John Cothren,Vice President Shawnee, Okla. Cheryl DeVuyst, Executive Secretary Morrison, Okla. Dana Bessinger Watonga, Okla. Mechelle Hampton Tulsa, Okla. Kent Gardner Oklahoma City, Okla. Danna Goss Canute, Okla. Coleman Hickman Jenks, Okla. Don Roberts Enid, Okla. Steve Upson Ardmore, Okla. Wes Elliott Elk City, Okla. Kim Spady Hinton, Okla.

PHOT O/JOHN SON T he Oklahoma State University plant and soil sciences department, Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service held the 2009 N orth Central Oklahoma R esearch Station wheat tour. Attendees looked at examples of different wheat in Lahoma, Okla., on May 15.

Kyle Hughbanks Alva, Okla.

Win t er /Spr in g 2010 • 49

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Agriculture

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Profile for Cowboy Journal

Cowboy Journal v12n1  

Cowboy Journal Volume 12, Number 1 Winter/Spring 2010 Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Cowboy Journal v12n1  

Cowboy Journal Volume 12, Number 1 Winter/Spring 2010 Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

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