College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University
Volume 16 Number 1 â€˘ Winter/Spring 2014
Saving the Grain
Researchers evaluate canola storage
Living the Legacy
A family plants its roots at OSU
Students teach in Central America
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Growing Oklahomaâ€™s Future. Division of
Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources dasnr.okstate.edu
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The Fall 2013 Cowboy Journal staff bleeds orange: Dakota Chambers (left), Danielle Robinson, Jamie Baumgardner, Kailey Sullins, Jordan Cash, Blaire Boyer, Rhonda Roberts, Carrie Horsley, Ivy Hill, Morgan Neilson, Alannah Castro, Kendsy Vincent, Tyler Price, Samantha Stanbery and Mindy Andres. Photo by Jake Gankofskie.
Reflecting upon this semester, we realize how truly blessed we are to have such an amazing staff behind this issue of the Cowboy Journal. This year’s staff exhibited teamwork and dedication unlike anywhere we had seen. With determination and humility, the staff successfully produced an outstanding magazine. We are grateful to have been surrounded with such wonderful people and thank them for their tireless effort in producing this issue. Within these pages, you will find interesting stories about a man striving to feed the world, veterinarians treating performance horses, students collaborating between different colleges, and much more. We express our appreciation to Lori Allmon, Kelsey Conley and Holly Blakey
for taking time out of their busy schedules to proofread this issue. Also, thank you to Karen Brown, Todd Johnson, Gayle Hiner and Jake Gankofskie for your assistance during the process. Without each and every one of you, this magazine would not be what it is today. Also, thank you to our assistant managing editors Dwayne Cartmell, Traci Naile and Angel Riggs for your dedication and assistance in keeping the quality of this publication at such a high standard. We are grateful for your devotion to our education during our time as your students. Above all, we would like to thank our managing editor, Shelly Sitton, for continually challenging every one of us to be the best we can be in our professional lives as well as our personal lives. Your heart, dedi-
cation and passion to this magazine and staff have not gone unnoticed. You have pushed us and trained us to be the people and professionals we have become today. In the words of William Arthur Ward: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Thank you, Shelly, for inspiring us all. To the staff, congratulations! We made it! It has been an honor to work with all of you, and we know each of you will accomplish great things. We wish you the best in your future careers. We hope this issue will live up to the quality established by our predecessors, and we hope you enjoy it! Go Pokes!
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Volume 16 Number 1 Editors Rhonda Roberts Samantha Stanbery Graphic & Photo Coordinators Mindy Andres Tyler Price Sponsorship Coordinators Dakota Chambers Danielle Robinson
CASNR, CEAT students embrace the opportunity to learn from each other.
10 The Wise Legend
OSU animal science distinguished alumnus leaves an impact on the meat industry.
13 A Focused View
Students learn to capture Oklahoma through the lens of a camera.
18 Conserving Canola
Researchers look into storage methods as canola production in Oklahoma increases.
22 Twisted Wonders
A Norman woman’s pretzels may be the next big snack item.
Circulation Coordinator Blaire Boyer
24 The Plot Thickens
27 Nature’s Walls
Shelly Peper Sitton, Ph.D.
Assistant Managing Editors Dwayne Cartmell, Ph.D. Traci Naile, Ph.D. Angel Riggs, Ph.D.
Jamie Baumgardner, Jordan Cash, Alannah Castro, Ivy Hill, Carrie Horsley, Morgan Neilson, Kailey Sullins and Kendsy Vincent
On the Cover
On average, a canola seed is 40 percent oil. The remainder of the seed is used in livestock feed. Photo by Rhonda Roberts.
From the Olympics to professional sports, OSU covers ground.
CASNR students help take an elementary classroom outdoors.
30 Planting a Future
OSU professor strives to make a worldwide impact.
34 Wheat’s Dual Purpose
Producers use wheat for both crop yields and cattle gain.
38 This Little Piggy
FAPC, Ralph’s Packing Co. join forces to send OSU pork to market.
40 The Beef Masters
OCES Master Cattleman Program teaches producers industry fundamentals.
43 Treating the Pros
OSU veterinarians help heal equine athletes.
46 Travel. Change. Repeat.
CASNR students leave an impact on the lives of Central Americans.
51 Deep Roots
A farm family cultivates strong connections with Oklahoma State University.
54 One Grand Summer
An OSU senior experiences the summer of a lifetime in Grand Teton National Park.
Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability or status as a veteran in any of its politics, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services. This publication is printed by QuadGraphics-Midland and issued two times a year by agricultural communications seniors in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. It has been prepared and distributed at no cost to the taxpayers of Oklahoma.
58 Small Fish. Orange Pond.
An environmental science freshman crosses the ocean to ‘dive in’ at OSU.
62 America’s Brightest Orange
CASNR celebrates Homecoming 2013 … Cowboy style. COWBOY JOURNAL | 5
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CASNR, CEAT students embrace the opportunity to learn from each other. tudying in two buildings on opposite sides of the Oklahoma State University campus, students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the School of Architecture rarely crossed paths. That independence changed in the fall 2012 semester when professors within the horticulture and landscape architecture department and the architecture program developed an integrated class to give students a chance to experience real-world, interdisciplinary collaboration. This collaboration continued in the fall of 2013 when Nick Nelson, professor of landscape architecture, joined with professors of architecture Awilda Rodriguez and Jerry Stivers along with Randy Seitsinger, head of the School of Architecture, to extend this unique experience for students. The class — LA 4515 Studio 5: Urban Design for landscape architecture students and ARCH 4116 Design Studio VI for architecture students — brings together students from both colleges. The students work to solve problems and create projects while learning from others in a different, but similar, discipline, Seitsinger said. Nelson said the idea for the class began as an experiment to get students of similar disciplines “out of their comfort zone.” He said the class gives students the experience of interdisciplinary collaboration. “Interdisciplinary collaboration is a realistic part of what we do professionally,” Nelson said. “We deal with other professionals on a daily basis.”
Nelson said being able to give students “There is a high value in collaboration the experience of interdisciplinary interac- between the two similar disciplines,” Seitstion at an early stage in their careers is posi- inger said. tive. He said students in the class also gain In the first part of the semester, students numerous social skills are placed in groups through negotiation and Interdisciplinary collaboration of three to four arproblem solving in their is a realistic part of what we chitecture students design groups. and one landscape do professionally. The two programs — Nick Nelson architecture student Landscape Architecture Professor to develop a design previously tried to collaborate on various projects, for a specific projSeitsinger said, but limited space in design ect. Students in the 2013 fall semester crestudios and conflicting studio times made ated designs for a hypothetical Eco-Village this challenging. After a new addition to at OSU. the School of Architecture and reschedul- After this team project, students are ing studio times, Seitsinger said he and Ro- reorganized into their respective disciplines driguez approached Nelson about a joint to work on special projects, while still project in 2012. working in the same lab space as those from
Above: Randy Seitsinger (right) critiques the on-screen design of Curtis Freeman, architecture student. The studio is located on the third floor of the School of Architecture building. Left: Chris Haverkamp (center), architecture student, and Jay Williams (right), landscape architecture student, receive advice from Nick Nelson. Photos by Tyler Price. COWBOY JOURNAL | 7
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the opposite program. Continuing to work in the same space provides opportunity for additional cross-disciplinary interaction, critiques and problem solving, said Jerry Stivers, professor of architecture and studio critic for the class. Similar to the real world, the groups are chosen at random and not structured by the teachers or students, Stivers said. Students do not miss curriculum taught prior to the creation of the class. The content of the new class has been taught in the respective areas, but the new class adds new social and collaboration aspects, Nelson said. Preparing students for the “real world” is one of the greatest things the new class has done for the students, said Sean Miller, fourth-year architecture student. “We will always be working with a group of people from different fields, so getting a head start can only be a benefit,” Miller said. Miller said combining the classes allows students to be introduced to new ideas and thought patterns. Gaining vital skills in teamwork and working in groups was a rewarding learning experience, he said. Lance Shaw, a fourth-year landscape architecture student, said the daily critiques of group progress and design were some of Left: Assistant professor of architecture Awilda Rodriguez (left) observes landscape architecture student James Hazzard’s design in the studio where students create their designs. Below: Pencils sit ready to bring students’ designs to life. Photos by Tyler Price.
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the differences between this class and previous classes taken in the horticulture and landscape architecture department. “[The daily critique] has definitely been something that has kept me on my toes because you have to be ready to explain and sometimes defend your design during each studio,” Shaw said, “which actually helps to get a better understanding on what you are trying to accomplish.” Students learn from other students within and outside of their disciplines and also from faculty outside of their fields. “Getting feedback from the professors in architecture from their side of the design sometimes brings forth ideas that a landscape architect may not even think of,” Shaw said. “Hopefully, I can maintain that side of thinking once out in the real world.” Miller said it took time to get used to working with landscape architecture students. He said his group’s landscape architect became a great asset to his team and working with Nelson was a great learning experience for the team. Outside support for the class and its purpose has been evident, Seitsinger said. Oklahoma State University’s president, Burns Hargis, has visited the studio both semesters the class has been offered. “OSU is very supportive of cross-disci-
plinary activities,” Seitsinger said. “[Hargis] was very enthusiastic about the collaborations and seemed very supportive of what we were doing.” As an architecture firm owner, Stivers said he always identifies those students who have experience working with others. He said students with teamwork experience have an understanding of how to relate to people to get things done. “When you see [students] have been involved in team projects, that’s a positive thing,” Stivers said. Nelson said collaboration makes this class better than the classes taught prior to
the fall 2012 semester. He said being able to collaborate is especially important when working in a design environment. “The cross-college collaboration is such an important thing,” Nelson said, “because that’s the reality of professional life.” After two successful semesters, Seitsinger said he looks forward to continuing the class, improving the overall experience, and refining the interaction among the students of different majors. CJ
Tyler Price Laverne, Okla. Agricultural Education & Advocacy
Landscape architecture student Anna Oosting (second from left) and architecture students Laura Fox (second from right) and Alan Krone (right) get their work critiqued by Jerry Stivers, architecture professor. Photo by Tyler Price.
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OSU animal science distinguished alumnus leaves an impact on the meat industry. wake hours before the sun, Jimmy Wise arrived at the Tyson Foods Inc. packing plant in Dakota City, Neb., to complete the finishing touches on the International Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest for 2012. Few knew that morning would mark the final time Wise, a long-time meat science enthusiast, would remind contestants at the national contest of the day’s schedule and to make sure they filled their Scantrons clearly, leaving no stray marks. Before leaving his legacy in the meat industry, Wise earned his Bachelor of Science in meat science from Oklahoma State University in 1967. “I thought I was going to be a pre-vet major,” Wise said. “Once I got to Oklahoma State, I realized I didn’t really want to be a vet and very quickly changed my major to animal science.” During his time as an animal science student, he worked in the meat lab on campus, which triggered his interest in the meat science industry. “Working in the lab and also the opportunity to be on the meat judging team were very instrumental in my career development,” Wise said. Wise chose the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to complete his Master of Science and doctorate in meat science while working as a full-time instructor beginning
in 1970. During his 10 years at UNL, he coached several winning meats judging teams, capturing the International twice. “His greatest impact on the meat industry has come through all he has given back to students through his work at [U.S. Department of Agriculture] and meat judging,” said Gretchen Mafi, OSU meat science professor and meat judging coach.
Wise joined the meat standardization branch as a meat marketing specialist of the Food Safety and Quality Service for the USDA in 1978. During his time with the USDA, he was primarily in charge of beef carcass standards, while also doing work related to lamb and pork carcass grading. “He helped with many industry-influential projects — national beef quality
Above: The 1965 OSU Meat Judging Team captured top honors at the International Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest: Everett Martin (left), coach; Larry Stinchcomb; Jimmy Wise; Dale Shenold; Tom Brewster; Becky (Goodman) Kerr; Vernon Minson; Scott Sherrill; Ronnie Edwards; Melton Ezell, assistant coach; and Bill Pope, animal science department head. Photo courtesy of OSU animal science department. Right: Jimmy Wise places the official quality and yield grade on a carcass at OSU. He received the OSU Animal Science Outstanding Alumnus award in 2001 for his national leadership in the meat industry. Photo by Morgan Neilson.
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audit, international audit instrument grad- by Mafi. Gredell joined the meat judging ing and many other research projects,” Mafi team in 2012 and captured top 10 individsaid. “He wrote a lot of the new changes to ual honors twice. the grading standards.” “It was the impact of both Mafi and As one of the world’s leading authori- Wise during my time on the meat team ties, Wise conducted instrumental research that influenced me to pursue a master’s deused to help establish the current U.S. beef gree in meat science,” Gredell said. grading standards, Mafi said. Gredell is one of the thousands of stu“He played a major role in the way we dents Wise has impacted, Mafi said, and grade carcasses,” Mafi said. Wise’s guidance will have a rippling effect For 27 years, Wise on the industry for deled USDA research His love and passion for cades to come. projects and changed training young people has “One of the main industry practices. reasons I hope to had a significant impact When Wise began coach is to positively on the industry as a whole. at the USDA, all beef influence students the — Gretchen Mafi carcasses across the naOSU Meat Science Professor way Dr. Mafi and Dr. tion were graded by a Jimmy Wise did,” said trained grader’s eye. As he finished his ca- Nolan Hildebrand, OSU senior and 2012 reer there, the current camera systems were meat judging team member. being approved. “The experiences provided to me Before retiring in 2005, he stayed in- through the meat judging program taught volved in the judging program as a com- me so much more than I ever anticipated,” mittee chairman and member. He also put Hildebrand said. the official placings on grading and specifiAlthough Wise will no longer select cation rails at more than 115 contests. the classes for contests, time the reasons After leaving USDA, he began his role or have a pot of coffee brewing before the as the meat judging program coordinator sun rises, his legacy will continue through a for the American Meat Science Association. mentorship program in his name. This role allowed him the opportunity to “The AMSA will use the earnings impact many young professionals’ lives, from the mentorship fund to support an Mafi said. activity,” said Wise, who now resides near “His love and passion for training Mounds, Okla. “My proceeds will defiyoung people has had a significant impact nitely be used in some manner to support on the industry as a whole,” Mafi said. the judging program, which has been exWise scheduled each contest, organized tremely instrumental in attracting a lot of the plant, selected the classes, managed and very bright young people to the livestock executed the contest, and tabulated scores. and meat industry.” Coordinating contests is about making These young people hope to leave a sure all logistics are taken care of and good legacy much like Wise, Hildebrand said. committee members are selected, Wise “I miss the interaction with my colsaid. He said he did everything he could to leagues on the committee, the coaches and ensure contestants had the opportunity to the students,” Wise said. do their best. “It’s going to be interesting,” he added. Wise had a significant impact on the “For about 48 years now, most of my weekyoung professionals in the industry for the ends in the fall have been somehow related next nine years, Mafi said. to a judging contest. It will be a little bit “Honestly, until they get to college and different to not attend the contests.” CJ get involved in the meat judging program, many students have never considered the meat industry as a career,” Wise said. Morgan Neilson OSU senior Devin Gredell had never stepped foot in a meat cooler until he took Meeker, Colo. Sales & Marketing the meat science introduction class taught
Jimmy Wise models the winning shirt, which was designed by the OSU Meat Science Association and won the People’s Choice award. Photo courtesy of the American Meat Science Association.
On a rainy summer night in Auburn, Ala., participants of the 66th Reciprocal Meats Conference hosted by the American Meat Science Association gathered for the student membership’s annual T-shirt auction. The storm outside could not match the flood of bids about to come in. It quickly became one of the most memorable events to date, said KatieRose McCullough, OSU meat science graduate student and south region director, AMSA Student Board. Oklahoma State University entered a shirt with a silhouette of Jimmy Wise that read “Where the Legend Began.” Wise modeled the shirt, and the bids began. Soon, the shirt sold for $11,000. Donations to the purchase came from multiple friends of Wise. The proceeds of the shirt were donated to the Jimmy Wise Mentor Recognition Endowment.
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Students learn to capture Oklahoma through the lens of a camera.
Photo Tour students picturing on top of Mount Scott for a sunset shoot during the 2013 Photo Tour held May 12 through May 24. Photo by Carrie Horsley.
wenty-five students. Two weeks. One camera each. Students learn photography best by doing, said Dwayne Cartmell, OSU agricultural communications professor. “Students get it faster and understand key concepts better when you assist them during the field shoots,” Cartmell said. Cartmell taught the first photo tour course in 2006, taking students on a photo tour around Oklahoma. The idea for this course was modeled after a Texas Tech University course taught by Wyman Meinzer, official State Photographer of Texas, Cartmell said. Two OSU students took Meinzer’s course, and when they returned, they worked with Cartmell to bring a similar OSU course to life. “That first year we tried to hit all four corners of the state,” Cartmell said. “The time spent traveling was exhausting, so we changed the structure of the class after the first year.” The last three years the class has been based at the Quartz Mountain Resort’s bunkhouse in Lone Wolf, Okla.
Students attend photo shoots every morning and evening with the content focused on landscape, scenic, people, agriculture and rural America. Shoots include taking photos from the top of Mount Scott, capturing wheat harvest, performing artistic light painting, capturing various locations in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, and taking pictures in many rural communities in that part of Oklahoma. Students get to spend time in a unique geographical area of Oklahoma, which is great for teaching photography, he said. During the middle of the day, Cartmell and his teaching assistant, who varies from year to year, gather the students to critique pictures, discuss challenges, and prepare for upcoming shoots. Critiquing photos helps students think differently and get the perspective of others on how to improve, Cartmell said, and these sessions help students by showcasing peer and instructor work, which can foster growth in how students compose photos. “The photo tour places students in situations where they can take amazing
photos with the instructor right there beside them,” said Mitch Alcala, photography teaching assistant for three years. Students also experience the state’s culture at well-known Oklahoma restaurants, such as Meirs, The Backdoor Steakhouse, Hamburger Inn and The Old Plantation. Even though the photography is his favorite part of the tour, Alcala said the different places they go to for dinner, the people they meet in the small towns and the jokes during down time all make for a great environment. “It’s much more than a class,” Alcala said. “It’s an experience.” During the trip, students can take from 3,000 to 8,000 photos each, totaling more than 100,000 images each year. The photo tour is offered to both graduate (AGCM 5233) and undergraduate (AGCM 4233) students as a three-credithour summer course in May. For more information about the 2014 photo tour, you can send an email to Cartmell at email@example.com. by Carrie Horsley COWBOY JOURNAL | 13
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Morgan Neilson COWBOY JOURNAL | 15
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In 2014, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service, a state-by-state national network of educators who extend university-based research and knowledge to the people.
y p p a H ! y a d h t Bir Extension100.OKState.edu
Celebrate 100 years of extending knowledge and changing lives.
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en years ago, research showed canola would be a great rotation crop with wheat to help control weeds and insects in the field, said Carol Jones, a biosystems and agricultural engineering associate professor at Oklahoma State University and the principal investigator for a research project involving canola storage in Oklahoma. Researchers discovered rotating canola with wheat boosted the wheat yield by 10 percent the following year. “Many producers have found that canola produces better year after year than wheat does,” Jones said. Oklahoma is now second behind North Dakota in U.S. canola production. “The resiliency of canola seems to work well for Oklahoma because Oklahoma is so unpredictable when it comes to weather,” said Kevin Moore, a research engineer and doctoral student in the department of biosystems and agricultural engineering. Moore and Jones conduct research focused on using grain bags to store canola for longer periods of time without aeration. In the first six to eight weeks after harvest, canola goes through a sweat period where it is susceptible to self-heating. The grain needs to be well aerated to prevent rancidity in the canola from the heat, Moore said. Jones said producers in northern states Nearly 400,000 acres of canola were planted in 2013 in Oklahoma. Photo by Rhonda Roberts. 18 | WINTER/SPRING 2014
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Researchers look into storage methods as canola production in Oklahoma increases. and Canada harvest when temperatures are cool so canola is stored in grain bins at a cooler temperature. In Oklahoma, canola is harvested during hot weather so producers must blow air through the grain bin to keep it cool. “We’re looking at ways [where] perhaps farmers will not have to install aeration,” Jones said. “With grain bags, there’s no aeration involved.” WB Johnston Grain Co. in Enid, Okla., came to Jones with the idea of using grain bags after noticing a Kansas farmer had good luck with the bags, Jones said. “We wanted to test that process to see why it was so successful for him and see if it’s something we can roll out for the rest of the state as a suggestion for storing canola,” Jones said. The polyethylene grain bags look like thick, white plastic tubing, Jones said. The bags come in 8-foot and 10-foot diameters and can be any length. “Basically, it’s a big cocoon of plastic that you put the grain in,” Moore said. The grain bags limit the amount of oxygen reaching the grain. With less oxygen, degradation that may normally take place is prevented, which helps extend the storage life, Moore said. Moore said with the grain bags, farmers can harvest their canola and store it in the same field, which will save in transportation. Areas where the grain bags would be located, however, need to be cleared of any
sticks or rocks that could pierce the bag, of this research, WB Johnston Grain Co. Moore said. also provides different facilities for the The grain bags can rip if deer, birds or study on canola storage. other animals get into them, so producers Montie Walton, a grain operations must keep a close eye on the bags. Moore manager for WB Johnston Grain Co., said said if the grain bag rips, the hole can be the company also provides a concrete bin in patched with tape and damage to the grain Hunter, Okla., a steel bin with aeration in is localized to that specific area. Fairview, Okla., and flat storage with aera “You can’t just put these bags out in a tion in Fairview, Okla. field and not keep an eye on them,” Moore “We believe [canola] is something said, “but we haven’t had that’s going to be here, any problems with the bag The advantage to the and so we’re interested we’ve been using.” in finding out all we can farmers is it gives them Moore said their test about it from a storage some flexibility. grain bag is located in — Montie Walton side and handling side,” WB Johnston Grain Operations Manager Walton said. “Then, we Carnegie, Okla., where they loaded it this past can help our farm customJune. Moore and Jones checked the bag ev- ers and help ourselves get it to the market ery two weeks for the first three months of place in a good condition.” storage and now will check the bag every Walton said with the grain bags, they four weeks until April, when the first year have not seen seed degradation and the of the study will end, Moore said. temperatures have stayed constant. Walton “One thing we’re monitoring is the said he believes it will be viable for farmers free fatty acid in the canola,” Moore said. to put canola in these bags and bring it to Samples of canola are taken and sent the market place at their leisure as opposed to a crusher to extract the oil from the seed. to sitting in line at the local elevator. The oil is tested to check the free fatty acid “The advantage to the farmers is it value, which is a chemical indicator of gives them some flexibility,” Walton said. damage to the seed, Moore said. Walton said the predominant down Other indicators can be obvious, such side is it takes more labor to get the canola as the smell of the canola or mold accumu- in the bags. Special equipment is used to lation. Moore said the focus is on the grade load the grain bags, but the producer has to of the canola going into storage versus be sure the ground is clean and the bag is when it comes out. not stretched too far, Walton said. Although the grain bags are the focus Gene Neuens, an oilseed field specialCOWBOY JOURNAL | 19
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ist from Producers Cooperative Oil Mill in not be a viable practice for the company Oklahoma City, said if farmers can store because of space and the amount of storage canola on the farm longer, they can wait for PCOM would need. “We probably took in about 1 million market prices to increase before selling. Producers Cooperative Oil Mill is the to 1.5 million bushels [of canola] last year,” only Oklahoma facilNeuens said. ity with a crusher. Af- We probably took in about Farmers in this ter harvest, the grain is 1 million to 1.5 million part of the country are crushed to extract the nervous about storing bushels [of canola] last year. canola for very long, oil, refined, and then — Gene Neuens sold as canola oil. Oilseed Field Specialist for PCOM Moore said, because it Neuens said PCOM can go rancid easily if began crushing canola in 2006, which had not cared for properly. a huge effect on producers since canola pre- “If we’re going to continue to develop viously had to be shipped out of state to our capacity to take this raw material and be crushed. turn it into a higher value product, then we “More people started planting canola need to be able to store it,” he said. afterward,” Neuens said. Moore said it would be beneficial to Five years ago, Oklahoma had about keep inventory on hand throughout the 30,000 to 50,000 acres of canola planted, year so companies like PCOM would not Neuens said. Today, nearly 400,000 acres have to worry about shipping canola from are planted. other parts of the country to process it. Neuens said PCOM looked into grain Moore said he and Jones would like to bags as a storage technique, but it would compile three years of data on this canola
storage research. The next big step in their research will be in April when they can look at trends in the canola from a production year period, Moore said. Jones said they also want to look into putting grain bags inside grain bins. The static pressure on canola is twice what it is on wheat. Therefore, a grain bin designed for wheat can be filled only halfway with canola, so half the bin’s capacity is unused. “If we can put a grain bag in it and it doesn’t rely on aeration, you could use the full capacity of the bin,” Jones said. “We’d like to test it next summer.” Although Jones and Moore only have worked on this project since the spring, they have learned so much, Moore said. “It’s been really fascinating learning about it,” Moore said. “I’ve been excited to be involved in this research.” CJ
Rhonda Roberts Barela, Colo. Marketing & Sales
In June, canola was loaded into the test grain bag using special equipment. Researchers check it monthly to monitor quality changes. Photo courtesy of Kevin Moore. 20 | WINTER/SPRING 2014
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Interested in joining? Visit www.osuagrs.com. 21_cj_agr.indd 1
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ith just a little twist … Pam Russ, owner of Stonegate Gourmet, began making spicy pretzels for her son, Tyler, and his friends while they were in college. “[The boys] loved them,” Russ said. “They and other friends began encouraging me to sell them.” With that encouragement, Russ soon found herself starting a pretzel company. In January 2010 at age 50, Russ developed Red Dirt Pretzel Co. to give “a fun nod to our Oklahoma roots,” she said. Russ originally produced and sold her spicy pretzels while working full time for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. As her business expanded, she added other flavors she thought would appeal to customers, she said. Although anything western has a universal appeal, Russ said, as the company grew and gained customers across the country, Russ knew she needed another look for new packaging. After renaming her company to Stonegate Gourmet in 2012, Russ added the Rewards packaging line in 2013. “As much as we love Oklahoma, we wanted a name that evokes a universal sense of class and excellence without reflecting a particular region or product,” she said. Now, both pretzel lines have six flavors: spicy, caramel, dill, garlic Parmesan, ranch and white cheddar. “We have settled into six flavors cur
Stonegate Gourmet makes 800 boxes of pretzels per day. Each box contains 102 pretzels. Photo by Tyler Price. 22 | WINTER/SPRING 2014
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A Norman woman’s pretzels may be the next big snack item. rently,” Russ said, “as we think that provides a choice of flavors for our customers without being overwhelming. “Before I officially started the company, I began investigating what was required to produce and package such a product,” Russ said. Russ said an official with the Oklahoma State Department of Health suggested she contact Oklahoma State University to take one of the new entrepreneurial workshops taught by the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center. FAPC offers different food programs, with the “Basic Training” workshop being most popular, said Andrea Graves, FAPC business planning and marketing specialist. Through the Basic Training workshop, Russ met and worked with Tim Bowser, an extension specialist in processing and engineering at FAPC. “I spent a day at the FAPC kitchen working with their staff to ‘scale up’ the recipe for the 12-pound batches we now make,” Russ said. Bowser suggested Russ use a mixer to tumble the pretzels and spray on the flavor component. Bowser had been testing a unique cement mixer with a mixing bowl constructed of food-grade plastic. “In FAPC’s pilot plant experiments, the cement mixer did a great job of gently tumbling the pretzels,” Bowser said. The cement mixer with a motor cost roughly $350, compared to a food-industry standard stainless-steel mixer ranging from $7,000 to $10,000, Bowser said. “It was incredible!” Russ said. “It
saved, literally, hundreds of hours of time and countless dollars.” To this day, Russ uses a cement mixer similar to the one FAPC first tested when making her pretzels. “With the help of FAPC employees finding the best deal or rates on equipment for clients, they are ultimately helping potential small business owners save money while producing a product,” Graves said. FAPC also helps clients like Russ develop and market these products through various outlets, including new media, Graves said. The center can help anyone, as long as his or her business involves food or agricultural products, she said. Russ sells her seasoned pretzels in 350 stores in 35 states. To continue to expand her business, Russ said she attends nationally and internationally known food shows
in Dallas, Atlanta and New York. She said the company also plans to attend the San Francisco Food Show. “These markets will help us identify new customers and continue to expand our availability nationwide,” she said. Stonegate Gourmet also has a fundraising program and, based on interest from international buyers, may expand the business globally, Russ said. “The Basic Training class and FAPC have been instrumental to our success,” Russ said. “We absolutely could not have come this far this quickly without their assistance and support.” CJ
Jordan Cash Owasso, Okla. Public Relations & Marketing
Pam Russ showcases her two lines of pretzels FAPC helped her to produce. Photo by Jordan Cash. COWBOY JOURNAL | 23
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From the Olympics to professional sports, Oklahoma State University covers ground.
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uilding a solid foundation for excellence is nothing new to Oklahoma State University. The OSU departments of plant and soil sciences and horticulture and landscape architecture have sustained this standard through the development of grass breeds. The departments have gained a reputation for their excellence in breeding and evaluating at their research stations located in Stillwater, Okla. “The OSU turf grass breeding program has been working on new generations of bermudagrass for more than 27 years,” said Dennis Martin, OSU professor and turf grass extension and research specialist. “While the turf program dates back to the early 1950s, the bermudagrass breeding program began in 1986,” Martin said. The progress of the turf grass research program improves through extensive research on a 15-acre grass plot research center, he said. “The breeds grown at OSU’s research center are compared to the industry stan-
dard, and most are trashed,” Martin said. by an OSU turf breeder. The breeder selects “Only the most elite types are kept. the most promising varieties based on per“The grasses we release are at least great formance for further testing, Martin said. enough to get a shot at being on the profesAfter an additional three years of testsional stadium surfaces,” Martin added. ing at OSU, the best lines are sent for A breed of OSU three to five years of bermudagrass was used I was drawn to OSU because national testing for for the baseball field of the scientific and beneficial quality, tolerance and at the 2006 Beijing visual performance, research being done. Olympics. The pro— Chrissie Segars Martin said. Horticulture Master’s Student gram’s bermudagrass Before the combreeds also have been mercial release of the used on numerous NCAA, National Foot- breeds, researchers test how well they tolerball League and Major League Baseball ate and recover from traffic similar to that fields, Martin said. seen in football and baseball games. “These venue managers typically have “A traffic simulator is used on the plots the resources to purchase and install any va- to duplicate the traffic of an NFL game,” riety as they have the budget to obtain the Martin said. best grass,” Martin said. Chrissie Segars, an OSU horticulture “They have extremely high perfor- master’s student, uses the Cady Traffic Simmance expectations,” he said. “It is a vote of ulator at the OSU turf center. confidence to know OSU bermudagrasses Segars majored in agricultural educaare being chosen for such facilities.” tion at Clemson University then received Before the varieties are considered for her first master’s degree in sports manageuse at athletic facilities, they are developed ment at Louisiana State University.
Chrissie Segars, OSU horticulture master’s student, uses the traffic simulator across the turf grass plots. Photo by Kendsy Vincent. COWBOY JOURNAL | 25
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Naba Amgain, OSU horticulture master’s student, collects soil test samples. Photo by Kendsy Vincent.
“I was drawn to OSU because of the scientific and beneficial research being done in the turf program,” Segars said. Segars uses the Cady Traffic Simulator on the plots weekly from May through November to test the traffic tolerance of the grasses, she said. An original traffic simulator was developed at Michigan State University to imitate the number of cleat marks and force on the grass during a game. The design has since been refined by Segars to conduct her traffic tolerance research. “Data is taken on four different blocks of bermudagrass plots,” Segars said. “I take pictures weekly to measure the amount of live green cover on the plots.”
Based on the findings of her research, she will be able to rank available bermudagrass varieties on their traffic tolerances at the test site. This data will aid in decisionmaking concerning further use of fertile breeding lines, Segars said. “Our recent grasses, Latitude 36 and Northbridge, have been rated highest among other grasses around the U.S. in the 2007-2012 national trial,” Segars said. “Those ratings attest to the quality of the research team at OSU. “These findings should prove useful in directing athletic field managers toward selecting a variety they can use to the fullest ability on their fields,” Segars said.
Ultimately, this may allow for more efficient use of resources by minimizing the amount of time and money required to maintain a high-quality facility, she said. “NFL coaches and equipment managers spend a considerable amount of time gaining information about field conditions before games,” said Sean Considine, retired eight-year NFL player. “Stable footing is critical in football,” Considine said. “Teams that have poor turf seem to have more injuries and costly mistakes and turnovers. “Turf grass is easier on your body,” Considine said. “To ensure players are healthy and well prepared, they should play on fields that are of top quality.” As a part of the OSU turf research program, Segars said having OSU’s bermudagrass chosen for use on an international scale is a big step. “The fact OSU’s grasses have been used at the Olympics as well as at the NFL level shows the quality of the grasses produced at OSU,” Segars said. CJ
Kendsy Vincent Dover, Okla. Marketing & Public Relations
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CASNR students help take an elementary classroom outdoors.
Ellen Lew, a Sangre Ridge fifth-grader, enjoys reading her book in the outdoor classroom. Photo by Carrie Horsley.
n a crisp, 50-degree Saturday morning, most college students use their time to sleep and catch up on rest they lost studying during the week. Instead, 11 College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources students chose to put on their work boots and make their way to Sangre Ridge Elementary School in Stillwater, Okla. Wasting no time, the students put on their gloves and started using their shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows and chain saws to begin cleaning the elementary schoolâ€™s outdoor classroom, the schoolâ€™s interactive learning tool. These students, who major in biosystems agricultural engineering at Oklahoma State University, are members of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and Cowboy Waterworks, a newly recognized club on campus. These students have chosen to focus not only on the clubs but also on helping their community, said Garey Fox, Cowboy Waterworks adviser. The ASABE and Cowboy Waterworks students clean up trails, cut branches and do general upkeep. Fox demonstrates to his students it is OK to stop, take a step back, and remember the importance of volunteering, said Lisa Brooks, an enrichment teacher at Sangre Ridge Elementary. The Sangre Ridge Outdoor Classroom, established in 1995, contains a half-mile circular trail on 20 acres of land behind the COWBOY JOURNAL | 27
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elementary school and Stillwater Middle School. Along the trail, spaces exist for teachers to give lessons and for students to sit and read. The classroom allows students to see a range of landscapes from woods to meadows to open waters. The investment OSU students have in the community is something Brooks said she has never seen anywhere else. While teaching at Sangre Ridge, Brooks takes her class outside to read. She can tell the students are more engaged when she reads “Tuck Everlasting” outside than when she reads the story to them while surrounded by white walls, she said. “At first, it was difficult to get some of the teachers to see the importance of getting the students outside,” Brooks said. “Once they did, they soon realized how important it is for the students to be more engaged in their environment.” Students also learn about their environment through the school’s Outdoor Day each spring. This event specifically uses the outdoor classroom, Brooks said.
Teachers register their classes for differ- they have learned as biosystems agricultural ent stations throughout the day. These 20 engineering students. In June 2014, the to 30 stations consist of all types of exhib- team will compete in Montreal. its, including bugs, animal footprints, exer- At the contest, the team has two hours cise and water. to build its model, 30 minutes to adjust The stations usually coordinate with anything and 45 minutes to test the model each grade’s curriculum, Brooks said. to see if it works, said Shelyn Gehle, biosys The elementary tems agricultural engistudents enjoy seeing They soon realized how neering senior. When college students bethey do not have time important it is for the cause they are easier to get all of the parts students to be more engaged to relate to than their together, they have to teachers, Brooks said. in their environment. work with what they — Lisa Brooks The idea of college and have, she said. Sangre Ridge Elementary Teacher higher education be “As a team, we have comes more appealing to think on the spot,” to elementary students once they see the Gehle said. cool things the OSU students are learning, In 2013, the Cowboy Waterworks she added. team developed a display to suspend a ball Cowboy Waterworks uses the Outdoor using water with Outdoor Day as the first Day as a mock contest before their national trial run with an audience. competition, Fox said. “The elementary kids were excited to The national contest, called the Foun- see it,” Gehle said. tain Wars Design Contest, brings students In a video recorded by Cowboy Waterfrom across the world to demonstrate skills works, the elementary students were chant-
Enrichment teacher Lisa Brooks (facing class) takes her students to the outdoor classroom for a more engaging experience. Photo by Carrie Horsley. 28 | WINTER/SPRING 2014
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ing, “Go, ball, go! Go, ball, go!” When the ball fell, the elementary students all gasped in disappointment. Along with Cowboy Waterworks, multiple OSU departments help with the Outdoor Day, said Amanda Fox, head of the Sangre Ridge PTA Outdoor Classroom Committee. The volunteerism of ASABE and Cowboy Waterworks members to help clean up the outdoor classroom makes all of it possible, she said. “If OSU stopped doing Outdoor Day, it would crumble,” Brooks said. The biosystems agricultural engineering students usually go to the outdoor classroom twice a year to help clean up, but depending on the year, sometimes they come out more, she said. “We wouldn’t be using the outdoor classroom if it wasn’t for these students,” Amanda Fox said. CJ
Carrie Horsley Galva, Ill. Graphic Design & Marketing
Cowboy Waterworks and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers members help clean the outdoor classroom in late September for the start of the new school year: Nicole Carter (left); Matt Rogers, ASABE president; Carson Depew; and Lizzie Hickman. Photo by Carrie Horsley.
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Planting a future OSU professor strives to make a worldwide impact.
A farmer plants seed by hand in El Salvador. Photo by Bill Raun.
shirtless man from El Salvador with a sack of treated corn secured around his waist walks the fields, planting the seeds by hand. William “Bill” Raun, regents professor of soil fertility at Oklahoma State University, said the picture of the man from El Salvador, which both haunts and motivates him, is the reason for his success. From ages 3 to 17, Raun lived in Colombia and parts of Mexico. During high school and college, he spent the summers working in Nebraska on a farm. Raun said he always has held a passion for agriculture. He attended OSU where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agronomy. After graduating from OSU, Raun earned his doctorate in agronomy from the University of Nebraska. In 1985, after graduating with his doctorate, Raun returned to Mexico and ac-
cepted his first job. He worked with a team of agronomists for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, commonly known as CIMMYT, for six years. Located just outside of Mexico City, CIMMYT started as a pilot program sponsored by the Mexican government and the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1940s. The mission of this program is to raise Mexico’s farm productivity. While working for CIMMYT, Raun lived in Mexico City for two years; then, he worked in Guatemala for four years, assisting in both the wheat and corn programs. At CIMMYT, Raun worked alongside historic agriculturalists such as Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work in improving farming practices. Raun said he loved the work he was able to do with CIMMYT, but after six years he accepted an assistant professorship
at Oklahoma State University. Raun said he was given some freedom and the opportunity to start work on projects for which he had a real passion. Raun said he has a great passion for agriculture and strives to help others feed themselves. Giving people things is not enough, he said. They need to be taught better practices so they will be able to make their lives better, he added. When Raun described the man from El Salvador, shirtless, walking the fields, and planting each field by hand, he was describing a normal procedure in many foreign countries. The corn the farmer is planting is high-quality treated seed, comparable to seed available to U.S. farmers. The problem is the man touches the seed with his bare fingers, Raun said. This contaminates and exposes the
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man to poisonous substances, he said. The seed-coating insecticides are needed to control root-worm in corn production, Raun said. The farmer does not wear protective gloves, and the chemicals make the man sicker after every planting. However, he cannot stop planting the seed because that field is his livelihood, Raun said. With tears in his eyes, Raun puts a hand to his head. “There is a better way for things to be done, and it is my responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves,” he said. Raun, one of the men behind the revolutionary GreenSeeker technology, is being honored with the 2013 PrecisionAg Award of Excellence Legacy Award. One of the first to push the development and implementation of ground-based optical sensors, which led to the crop sensor GreenSeeker, Raun emphasized the importance of working with cross-disciplinary groups. Raun has collaborated with a diverse group of professionals consisting of mechanical engineers, agronomists, electrical engineers and agricultural engineers. Raun serves as a project leader in nutrient management, supervising 10 graduate students
working in a variety of precision agriculture tices for those who do not have the techresearch projects annually. nologies that we take for granted here. He Raun’s wife, Tanya, said her husband is really just wants to feed the world.” dedicated to giving young people the power Raun is dedicated to helping the farmto accomplish great things. er and agriculture become “He finds brilliance in more productive. He said It is my responsibility to he currently is perfecting everyone,” she said. He will find gradu- help those who can’t help a hand planter that could ate students’ strengths and themselves. help the agricultural indus— Bill Raun try, specifically in developthen make sure they work Regents Professor in Plant & Soil Sciences in an area that will help ing countries. The 56-yearthem grow, his wife said. old said he considers the “He will go out of his way to use and hand planter the most important thing he find connections all across the nation to has done in his career. make sure his students get the best experi- Besides the photo of the farmer on his ence available,” she said. “He loves his job, computer, Raun has seven pictures in his and his graduate students are like our kids.” office, which he calls his “wall of fame.” A woman filled with the same heart The men on the wall include Norman and passion as her husband, Tanya Raun Borlaug and OSU agricultural engineer contemplated the best way to describe the Randy Taylor. Raun said these men are the importance her husband puts on his job. reason he has been able to do the things he She said Raun is up early, eager to continue has done. his work in Ag Hall. As a professor now primarily dedicated “Even when he is not at work, he is to research, Raun said at one point in his thinking and talking about work,” she said. career he taught four classes in a semester. “When he comes home, our conversations Teaching is the hardest job at a univerare about his work at the university or sity, he said. about how he can better agricultural prac- “If you are doing a good job teaching,
Bill Raun (front left) treats his graduate students like family: Raun, Natasha Macnack, Candi Candibyani, Sulochana Dhital, Peter Omara, Jacob Bushong (second row left), Eric Miller, Ethan Wyatt, Rajen Bajgain, Lawrence Aula, Jeremiah Mullock (back left) and Andre Cortinas. Photo by Kailey Sullins. COWBOY JOURNAL | 31
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then you should be exhausted at the end of every lecture,” Raun said. “It takes a lot of work to teach a class,” Raun said. “It takes a ton of excitement and energy to keep lectures entertaining in order to reach the students. “Students deserve the excitement and energy it takes to run a good lecture,” he said. “If you are not willing to deliver the energy needed to reach the students, then you should not be teaching.” Peter Omara, a graduate student from Uganda working with Raun’s team in developing the hand planter, said Raun’s enthusiasm has influenced him the most. “I have never in my life met a hardworking person like him,” Omara said. “His commitment and energy in getting work done has made me look at any assignment only from a positive perspective.” Responsible for testing and evaluating, Omara said he was proud to be a part of the
team working on the hand planter. Omara said Raun’s enthusiasm and caring attitude influenced his work. “He is more than a father to his students,” Omara said. “He delegates tasks with no hand in control. He always wants his students to take leadership roles.” OSU and Oklahoma provide an incredible working environment and great resource to work on the hand-planter project, Raun said. “Oklahoma is a great state to work in,” Raun said. “Oklahomans are upbeat. Oklahomans are survivors. Oklahomans are workers. OSU has given me an opportunity to do what I want to do. What a gift.” CJ
Kailey Sullins Red Rock, Okla. Writing & Publication
Handy Help After 12 years of development, Bill Raun, Randy Taylor and their Oklahoma State University graduate students have developed a hand planter they believe will help corn production in developing countries. “We want the hand planter to be versatile, and we want it to be cheap,” Raun said. “We want the new planter to go a million cycles without failure. This will be equivalent to one hectare for 10 years.” The hand planter is a unique mechanism to integrate previous tools with new technology. The specialized drum mechanism within the hand planter distributes the seeds from the shaft of the planter to the ground. The importance of this mechanism is the single-action technique, Raun said. The planter will allow only one seed to be planted at a time. Taylor, a biosystems agricultural engineering professor and extension machinery specialist, contributed to the success of the planter, Raun said. Recently, AGCO has partnered with OSU to market the hand planter. This is a great opportunity because they have the ability to manufacture and market the product on a larger scale than OSU can, Raun said.
Benefits of the hand planter • • •
Rajen Bajgain (left), Chris Raun (Bill Raun’s son) and Peter Omara test the hand planter. Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.
• • •
Increase yields by 25 percent Remove chemically treated seeds from producers’ hands Reliably singulate seeds in various soil textures, moisture and tillage systems Versatile and cheap Sturdy enough to last Easily manageable
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s summer turns to autumn, Oklahoma wheat farmers work the soil, hopeful for a good harvest next year. In the extreme drought conditions of 2012, wheat producers had a dry, cracked beginning to their planting, but as 2013’s planting began, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed the soil moisture at abnormally dry to moderate drought levels. Conditions at the Oklahoma State University Wheat Pasture Research Unit near Marshall, Okla., were no exception. Wheat pasture gives cattle and wheat producers an extraordinary opportunity in Oklahoma and the southern Great Plains area, said Gerald Horn, professor of animal science and director of the wheat pasture research unit. Grazing cattle on wheat can be beneficial to Oklahoma and the surrounding areas because of the growing season of wheat, he said. “Wheat pasture in the southern Great Plains is very unique in that regard,” Horn said. “If you are in Montana and weaning in the fall, there really isn’t any option for growing those cattle unless you put them
in backgrounding programs in drylot. In we put on cattle and the grain that is harOklahoma, we have the option of growing vested,” Horn said. When wheat reaches the first hollow those cattle on wheat pasture.” As OSU’s only wheat pasture facility, stem stage of maturity in late February to mid-March, producers rethe Marshall wheat pasture move the cattle to prevent research unit serves the Approximately 40 to 60 yield damage from grazing, southern Great Plains, if percent of Oklahoma’s not the nation, Horn said. 5 million wheat acres are Horn said. “If you move the cattle The 600-acre unit grazed at some point. to just a third of the wheat opened in 1989 with devel— Jeff Edwards opment assistance through OSU Small Grains Extension Specialist for graze out, the wheat will produce enough fora U.S. Department of Agriculture grant. Its 400 acres of wheat are age in the spring and still add gain [to the cattle], but you will still be able to keep divided into 20 pastures for research. Horn said several departments in two-thirds for grain harvest,” Horn said. Jeff Edwards, professor and small the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources cooperate in the unit’s grains extension specialist in the OSU Deresearch programs: plant and soil sciences, partment of Plant and Soil Sciences, works animal science, agricultural economics, and with the production management of growing wheat at the unit. entomology and plant pathology. “Approximately 40 to 60 percent The departments test wheat varieties and yields as well as the various stages in of Oklahoma’s 5 million wheat acres are the growth process. Using wheat pasture grazed at some point,” Edwards said. “The dual-purpose system allows profor grazing makes it a dual-purpose crop, giving producers two different yields from ducers to diversify their income stream and spread risk across multiple enterprises,” Edone crop, Horn said. “Income comes from both the weight wards added.
Photos from left: Planting dual-purpose hard red winter wheat in Oklahoma occurs predominantly in September. Producers allow cattle to begin grazing wheat pasture in November for gain. Cattle will be rotated to a third of the pasture at first hollow stem. All cattle should be marketed in May before harvest. Producers will harvest the wheat in June. Photos by Todd Johnson.
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Producers use wheat for both crop yields and cattle gain.
The majority of calves in the United States are born in the spring and weaned in the fall, causing a demand for backgrounding facilities. In turn, wheat pasture serves as a resource for growing the calves to heavier weights before placing them in feedlots for finishing, Horn said. “Wheat’s unique from a timing standpoint,” Horn said. “It’s unique in how it influences the market for fall weaned cattle across the U.S., it’s unique in the highquality forage, and it’s highly digestible. “We have grazed calves as light as 300 pounds, and they gained around 2.25 pounds a day on straight wheat pasture without supplements.” Because wheat offers an outlet for fallweaned cattle, it has a positive effect on the fall cattle markets for producers, said Derrell Peel, OSU Cooperative Extension beef marketing specialist. “The availability of fall and winter grazing provides demand for those calves at a time of year when much of the country has no forage available for grazing,” Peel said. “Winter wheat grazing is not only im-
portant in the southern Plains as a regional production enterprise, but it does also have national impacts as calves from many regions migrate to the southern Plains for stocker production.” Peel also said grazing is vital to distributing cattle throughout the year. “Those calves that are bunched up due to spring calving need to be spread out for a more uniform distribution of cattle at slaughter throughout the year,” Peel said. “The stocker industry provides that value to the market.” A variety of wheat used for pasture must grow rapidly, produce abundant tillers, and reproduce green leaf area quickly in the spring that was lost to winter grazing. OSU offers a handful of varieties as options, Edwards said. “Duster is the most popular variety in Oklahoma, and its popularity probably stems from its ability to meet all three of these requirements,” Edwards said. “It is no coincidence that grazing varieties such
as Endurance, Duster and Gallagher were identified as such at the wheat pasture research unit proving grounds.” Using wheat pasture for weight gain also gives a positive effect to the accessibility of beef across the country, Peel said. The Marshall wheat pasture research unit is also a key resource in Brett Carver’s wheat breeding program and allows new improved wheat varieties to be selected under grazing conditions, Horn said. “If not for Marshall’s wheat research facility, most likely selection would happen on small, non-grazed plots,” he said. Through the development of additional varieties, OSU’s wheat research team gives Oklahoma producers new options to raise the state’s No. 1 agricultural crop. CJ
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This Yorkshire barrow is housed at the OSU swine farm, which opened in 2004 and is located two miles north of the old swine barn. Photo by Danielle Robinson.
klahoma State University has had a business partnership with Ralph’s Packing Co. since the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center opened in 1997. The Perkins, Okla., company has purchased hogs from the OSU swine barn and meat products from FAPC for more than 20 years. “This relationship with Ralph’s is one example of how FAPC fulfills its mission of working with the value-added agricultural industry,” said Chuck Willoughby, FAPC business and marketing relations manager. “It allows us to add value to Oklahoma.” In the early years, Ralph’s Packing harvested and processed hundreds of OSU hogs while FAPC employees processed about 30 hogs per year to use for teaching, research and extension. To recover a portion of the labor costs to harvest its hogs, FAPC sold the carcasses to Ralph’s. Then, Ralph’s closed its harvesting floor and focused on processed meats. “For 54 years, the nature of [Ralph’s] had been harvesting animals,” said Gary Crane, owner of Ralph’s Packing. “More
meat processing plants have gotten special- and have FAPC harvest them as it would to ized, and that’s what we did.” harvest the hogs at Ralph’s Packing, Crane When Kyle Flynn, FAPC meat pilot said. By purchasing carcasses from FAPC, plant manager, heard Ralph’s Packing was Ralph’s is able to provide pork and other closing its harvest floor, he said he became meats to customers looking to purchase concerned about what OSU would do with OSU products, he said. its hogs and carcasses. “We’re here to help Oklahoma busi “We decided we nesses grow, not to could slaughter the We’re here to help Oklahoma make money off of new hogs [at FAPC] and business grow, not to make business start-ups,” Wilcharge Ralph’s a miniloughby said. money off of new business mal price,” Flynn said. FAPC has develstart-ups. “The pigs wouldn’t oped more than 3,000 — Chuck Willoughby have to travel as far as FAPC Business and Marketing Relations Manager products for more than if we sold them to an1,000 companies, Flynn other company. They would be within the said. Companies have approached him to OSU system, and Crane could bring his produce products on a larger scale, but they truck and pick them up once a week.” were turned down because it cannot inter Flynn said he considered other op- fere with the teaching, research and extentions but decided this would benefit both sion that FAPC does, he said. OSU and Ralph’s Packing the best. Ralph’s “We don’t have the resources or the would continue to provide pork products need to process and market products comto its customers, and OSU would continue mercially,” Flynn said. “We don’t want to to have an end market for the swine farm compete with food processing companies and carcasses harvested at FAPC. in the marketplace. Teaching, research and It costs Ralph’s Packing the same extension are more important than turning amount to purchase the swine from OSU into a custom harvest floor.”
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FAPC, Ralph’s Packing Co. join forces to send OSU pork to market. To assist OSU with its programs, Ralph’s Packing donated a state-of-the-art automated hog scalder to FAPC. “Our previous hog scalder was outdated and unreliable,” Flynn said. “We could not afford to purchase a new one. Gary was sensitive to that, so he donated a new one to us.” The $27,900 computer-controlled machine allows FAPC to remove the hair from the carcass with safer and more efficient practices, Flynn said. “The hog scalder is a more traditional way to skin the carcasses,” Crane said. “It appeals to certain customers. Donating the scalder was a way to continue receiving our hogs from OSU.” Flynn said this partnership benefits Ralph’s Packing, FAPC, the OSU swine farm and OSU students. OSU’s livestock judging team practices judging the hogs before they are harvested. Once processed, the OSU’s meat judging team practices on the carcasses. The carcasses also play an integral part of animal science graduate student research projects. FAPC employs eight to 15 undergrad-
uate students during the school year and five students during the summer to harvest animals. While working at FAPC, students gain experience in meat processing. “[Working at FAPC] allows students to become proficient and responsible,” Flynn said. “It teaches them a skill and how to work as a team.” The hogs harvested at FAPC generate revenue for OSU and Ralph’s Packing; any research and teaching on the hogs and carcasses is an additional benefit to OSU, Flynn said. One of the award-winning products Ralph’s Packing processes is sugar-cured bacon, which won grand champion at the 2013 American Cured Meat Championships held at the American Association of Meat Processors’ annual convention. “All the bacon we use in contests comes from the OSU swine farm and is harvested at FAPC,” said Erica Hering, Ralph’s Packing marketing director. Ralph’s Packing picks up the carcasses from FAPC every Tuesday and will continue to do so. During holidays when OSU is closed,
Flynn ensures Ralph’s Packing has enough meat available for its customers through the holidays. When OSU closes down for multiple days or weeks, Ralph’s Packing will be closed only for a day or two so it can continue to serve customers. Willoughby said working with Ralph’s Packing has been a pleasure. “Our relationship with Ralph’s goes beyond providing assistance to a processor,” Willoughby said. “Ralph’s is one of those companies you can point to as an example of success when working with entrepreneurs,” he added. “They exemplify that successfully running a business goes beyond skillful quality production or good salesmanship. “Being forward thinking, having an entrepreneurial spirit and having a good relationship with your customers can be what sets your business apart from others,” Willoughby said. CJ
Ivy Hill Coyle, Okla. Public Relations COWBOY JOURNAL | 39
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OCES Master Cattleman Program teaches producers industry fundamentals.
n 2004, two Oklahoma State University faculty members saw a need to provide useful information to Oklahoma’s cattle producers in a direct, hands-on manner. Nearly a decade later, the Master Cattleman Program continues to serve a role in Oklahoma’s beef industry. “County extension educators and directors from around the state had heard about master cattleman programs in other states, and we decided it was time to implement [a program] in Oklahoma,” said Damona Doye, acting agricultural economics department head. Doye and David Lalman, OSU animal science extension beef cattle specialist, evaluated programs in other states, including Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, to learn how to make a successful program. “We took what we thought were good ideas from other states and implemented some of our own ideas,” Doye said. The purpose of the Master Cattleman Program is to enhance the profitability of beef operations and provide timely information to producers on all aspects of beef operations, according to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. “The Master Cattleman Program is a county-based educational series designed
for people wanting to learn fundamen- “The industry, especially genetics and tals of beef production,” Lalman said. nutrition, has evolved so much since I was in “The program is open to anyone in school,” Gillenwaters said. “From an educaOklahoma, and each program varies tional standpoint, the program has proved to from county to county.” be valuable.” Master Cattleman Program gradu- The program curriculum and functionalate Harold Gillenwaters said the pro- ity differ among counties. The Gillenwaterses gram is valuable in traveled to four different many aspects. He Anything we can do to help county programs to learn and his wife, Don- producers make informed the curriculum most imna, are both graduportant to them. decisions adds value to ates of the program. Since its start, the Mas “With the re- our economy. — Damona Doye ter Cattleman Program has cent updates and Acting Agricultural Economics Department Head had nearly 1,000 particiinnovations in the pants. Doye and Lalman industry, it is important for cattle pro- wanted to provide Master Cattleman particiducers to be a part of the [Master Cattle- pants more educational opportunities and orman] Summit as well as the program,” ganized the Master Cattleman Summit, held said Gillenwaters, a 1964 OSU animal on OSU’s campus every other year. science alumnus. “We have tried to use the summit as a The Gillenwaterses operate a 50- way to get Master Cattleman participants head cow-calf operation near Chickasha, back together and try to offer educational opOkla., and market weaned calves to the portunities they cannot get in their county Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation In- programs,” Lalman said. tegrity Beef Program. During the two-day summit, participants While spending his career in the listen to industry speakers and participate in U.S. Air Force, Gillenwaters was absent hands-on activities. The $30 registration fee from the cattle industry for nearly 40 helps cover costs of the event as well as the years. He thought the program was a entertainment and prime rib dinner hosted by good way to re-enter the industry. the OSU animal science graduate students.
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“On the county level, we do a lot of classroom-type teaching,” Lalman said. “The summit gives participants an opportunity to get out and do some hands-on activities to teach them how to become better cattle producers.” Gillenwaters said he appreciated the blend of classroom and hands-on activities offered at the summit. Summit coordinators arranged for participants to travel to OSU’s North Range Research Center to be involved in electric fence setup demonstrations and herd-selection exercises using live cattle. “The summit gives producers great updates on research topics and hot issues within the beef industry,” Gillenwaters said. “It is also great to get back on campus to be able to enjoy the ambiance, good food and entertainment.” Doye said the Master Cattleman Summit engages people with different experi-
ences and provides them with the latest research and information. “In Oklahoma, though we have a lot of part-time operators, beef is our most important agricultural enterprise,” Doye said. “Anything we can do to help producers make informed decisions adds value to our economy. We want to challenge their thinking and help them come up with ways to be more effective and efficient in what they do.” Participants in the summit and the program are diverse in age, experience and operation size. Doye said they use the diversity to their advantage by learning from each other. Terry Carpenter, a cattle producer from Arapaho, Okla., received his graduation certificate at the 2013 Master Cattleman Summit. Carpenter helps his mother run a 75-head operation. “Not helping with day-to-day opera-
tions on the farm for years, I saw the program and summit as a good way to build a network and enhance my skills as a producer,” Carpenter said. Carpenter said building relationships with the OSU faculty, industry leaders and other cattlemen is sometimes a greater benefit than direct knowledge. Gillenwaters said networking with people going through the summit and the program is valuable. “We are able to bring in speakers people may never have the opportunity to hear elsewhere,” Doye said. “Doing this gives participants the opportunity to network with industry leaders as well as producers from around the state.” In 2013, the summit had nine speakers covering topics such as genetic improvement for forage growth, forage risk management, grazing management, improving profitability, forage utilization, electric
Al Rutledge of Stillwater, Okla., a Master Cattleman Program graduate, runs a 100-head Angus and commercial cattle operation. Photo by Jamie Baumgardner. COWBOY JOURNAL | 41
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Mark Green, district conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, teaches Master Cattleman Summit participants about different techniques for fencing. Photo by Jamie Baumgardner.
fence technology and flexible enterprises for stable incomes. “The speakers have a wealth of talent and experience while proving successful in whatever endeavor they are doing,” Gillenwaters said. “After the summit concluded, one speaker spent an hour in the parking lot showing people different techniques and practices.” In the future, summit coordinators hope to increase participation and registra-
tion, especially among the Master Cattleman Program graduates. “The summit is not just for people needing a refresher on industry topics or practices,” Gillenwaters said. “Highly experienced people are profiting from it.” CJ
All cattle producers in Oklahoma can benefit from the Master Cattleman Program, said David Lalman, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service extension beef cattle specialist. Available in all 77 Oklahoma counties, the program requires participants to pay a $75 base fee. These fees are used for instructional materials, a producer certificate, Master Cattleman farm gate sign and a logo-embellished padfolio. Additional fees may be charged at the county level to cover costs of other materials supplied. If you are interested in participating in the program, call your county extension educator at your local Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service office or visit www.agecon.okstate. edu/cattleman.
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OSU veterinarians help heal equine athletes. n the growing field of equine sports medicine, a team of four Oklahoma State University veterinarians work to provide treatment to equine athletes from Oklahoma and surrounding states. Housed at the Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, these sports medicine-certified veterinarians use their expertise to diagnose and treat problems in performance horses. Because of the variety of work performance horses are asked to do, equine veterinarians see a wide assortment of sports
medicine issues. Each unique performance horse discipline can lend itself to different types of problems. “[Performance horses] have very unique problems that are discipline-dependent problems, and that’s what makes it challenging,” said Dr. Todd Holbrook, associate professor and equine section chief. Reining horses and cutting horses tend to have more hock and stifle issues, said Dr. Michael Schoonover, assistant professor of equine surgery, and racehorses tend toward more knee and ankle problems. Horses in
English disciplines are more prone to injuries of the sacroiliac, the joint that attaches the pelvis to the spine, he said. The veterinarians use a variety of tools to diagnose lameness, respiratory diseases and poor performance. The team normally sees around 20 cases each week. Radiographs, ultrasounds and CT scans all can be used in diagnosing lameness. Other lameness diagnostics include the use of a force plate and a lameness locator. “The force plate accurately measures the percent of body weight a horse applies
A horse is worked on the treadmill at the OSU Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital by Brittany Fanning, OSU animal science alumna. Photo by Gary Lawson. COWBOY JOURNAL | 43
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to a particular limb when it strikes the ground,” Schoonover said. The lameness locator uses three externally mounted sensors to connect the horse to a computer wirelessly. When the horse moves, the sensors report the data to the computer, which generates a chart describing the lameness. The lameness locator also can be used to measure the difference in the amount of pressure a horse applies to a limb before and after a nerve block of an affected area, Schoonover said. “We certainly don’t rely on the lameness locator exclusively,” Schoonover said. “Most of us have been doing subjective lameness evaluation for a long time and are confident in our assessment, but the lameness locator can be an adjunct. It also provides us an objective assessment for the patient’s medical record.” For respiratory conditions, veterinarians use an endoscope to examine how a horse’s lungs are performing. In cases where respiration is affected during work, horses are put on the treadmill and are monitored for indications of respiratory condition. “Horses are spectacular athletes due to their ability to increase their lung, heart and circulatory function up to 20-fold at peak exercise and when fully conditioned,” said Dr. Michael Davis, professor and Oxley Chair of Equine Sports Medicine. “A normal, well-conditioned horse at rest may only be using 5 percent of its total capacity,” Davis said. “A disease process that robs the horse of the top 10 percent of that capacity will have a profound impact on the horse’s racing performance, but [it]
may be difficult to detect at rest because the ask these equine specialists to build on horse can simply tap some of that massive what the animal’s regular veterinarian has resting reserve and appear perfectly fine.” done or to provide a second opinion. The high-speed treadmill allows OSU Once diagnosed, every issue has its veterinarians to simulate the demands of own time frame before the equine athlete actual performance. The treadmill creates will be back to performing at 100 percent. a controlled environ Orthopedic isment for the horse to This rather unique situation sues usually require run on so the horse’s allows us to do things that are six months or less, legs, lungs and heart Schoonover said. very difficult, if not impossible. are working as if the — Michael Davis, DVM For soft-tissue injuhorse is in a natural Professor and Oxley Chair in Equine Sports Medicine ries, healing can take performance setting, roughly six to 12 Davis said. months, he said. “This rather unique situation allows us Ancillary treatments can include lowto do things that are very difficult, if not level laser, extra corporal shock wave and impossible, to do on a track-running horse, light treatments, cold compression, and relike hooking up instruments, taking blood search therapies, Schoonover said. samples, and making other measurements “There’s a class of treatments that that can tell us exactly what is working we refer to as regenerative therapies,” properly and what might not be working Schoonover said. “Regenerative therapies properly under conditions very similar to are used to stimulate or manipulate the the conditions that matter the most to an body’s repair mechanisms to provide a betequine athlete: maximal exercise perfor- ter way of healing. mance,” Davis said. “The laser interacts with soft tissue on For cardiac causes of poor perfor- a cellular level to stimulate the healing promance, veterinarians have many options in cesses,” Schoonover said. “The shock wave how they diagnose issues. therapy we tend to use more to stimulate “The workup starts with listening to healing in tendons, ligaments and bones.” the horse’s heart and defining [rate and OSU currently does not have a reharhythm],” Holbrook said. “[From there we bilitation facility, but OSU veterinarians move on] to an exercise stress test where we design rehabilitation programs for their pacan evaluate with an ultrasound the horse’s tients to implement. heart function. We can hook them up to a Rehabilitation can be more effective recorder and leave them hooked up for 24 on acute cases, Schoonover said. to 48 hours and go through different exer- Owners can take their horses home cise stress tests.” and complete the program themselves or Referrals to the OSU BVMTH often move their horses to a specialized rehabilitation facility, he said. “Owners who are very involved with their horses are more likely the ones who will take the horse home and do the [rehabilitation] themselves,” Schoonover said. Lisa Gallery, co-owner of Cowgirl Training Center in Cushing, Okla., To become board certified in equine sports medicine, veterinarians must apply with brought her gelding Sogo Khemo to OSU the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. If their apfor treatment in September 2012. plication is approved, they take a two-part exam. The first half is a general exam and The horse became lame following a the second half is a species-specific exam focusing on either equine or canine. Upon training session for the reined cow horse passing the exam, they become diplomates within the college. class at the 2012 Arabian Nationals. “This college or this specialty allows someone to get training in both specialties Gallery said she was unaware of the [medical and surgical] as it relates to the athlete,” said Dr. Michael Schoonover, an treatments offered through OSU BVMTH assistant professor of equine surgery at OSU. until Sogo was injured. “He had moderate inflammation of his
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A vet student examines a horse’s hoof for signs of tenderness. Photo by Alannah Castro.
Veterinary technician Blake Higgins (left) assists Dr. Michael Schoonover (right) in attaching a wireless sensor to a horse’s head bumper. The sensor is one of three sensors located on the horse: one on the horse’s head bumper, one on the horse’s hip, and one on the horse’s right front leg. The sensors wirelessly connect to the lameness locator, which reads data on the horse’s movement and generates a chart on the horse’s lameness. Photo by Alannah Castro.
stifle joint following a training session on cattle,” Gallery said. Sogo received three intra-articular injections of interleukin receptor antagonist protein, a research therapy, before attending the Arabian Nationals. The injections were spaced two weeks apart and performed by OSU veterinarians. “He came back from his injury even stronger and performing better than before,” Gallery said. At the Arabian Nationals, Sogo won the reined cow horse class and earned Top 10 honors in working cow horse. Gallery credited OSU veterinarians for Sogo’s quick recovery. “This could have easily been a careerending injury if not treated promptly and correctly,” Gallery said.
Sogo did not compete this season due to an unrelated serious ligament injury, but Gallery is looking forward to having him back in the show ring in 2014, she said. The teaching hospital’s veterinarians have high hopes for equine sports medicine at OSU. “The thing that sets us apart from private practices is our time dedicated to teaching and research,” Holbrook said. “Hopefully, our role in evaluating different products that can be applied to athletes to improve their function grows.” They also see an important specialty in which recently graduated veterinarians can train, Schoonover said. “By getting [equine sports medicine] certification, we can develop a residency training program here where we can take
someone with a passion for athletes who is a graduated veterinarian and has completed an internship,” Schoonover said. “Maybe they don’t want to be a surgeon and maybe they don’t want to see sick horses, but they want to see a lot of athletes. We can offer that program to that type of individual,” Schoonover said. For these OSU veterinarians, this is a way to pass on their passion and expertise in treating performance horses. “I’ve always been interested in equine athletes because they’re such phenomenal athletes,” Holbrook said. CJ
Oregon City, Ore. Marketing & Sales COWBOY JOURNAL | 45
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Travel. Repeat. CASNR students leave an impact on the lives of Central Americans. f the study-abroad programs offered by the Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, few are quite like the study-abroad trips Jeff Sallee leads each summer to Central America. Sallee, an assistant professor and extension 4-H specialist, coordinates trips to Guatemala and Nicaragua, selecting the country he feels has the biggest need for education about subsistence farming and other agricultural-related topics. He said his trips offer an aspect not offered through most study-abroad experiences. “We are more hands on with the work and teaching,” Sallee said. Before students leave for their 10-day trip to Central America, they conduct research so when they arrive they can teach the local families about subsistence farming and provide them with information they need to better feed their children. “We go to use our hands for the projects, not to just be a tourist,” said Corbin Dewitt, an agricultural education master’s student and graduate teaching assistant in 4-H youth development. Dewitt traveled with Sallee to Nicaragua during the summer of 2012. Sara Young, an undergraduate animal science senior, has been on two studyabroad trips with Sallee, both to Nicaragua and to Guatemala. Clockwise from left: Michael Puckett (right of young girl), Emily Sallee, Nicole Puttman and Corbin Dewitt help families in a greenhouse. Sarah Lancaster teaches a local about seed planting. Jennifer Jensan (left) and Adam Cobb prepare for a day of work. Sara Young talks to a young boy in Nicaragua. Photos courtesy of Jeff Sallee.
“It is more of a service-abroad trip,” “Teaching other people in a language Young said. you don’t know is difficult,” Young said. The plans for each study-abroad trip Like Young, Dewitt said he also enbegin six to eight months before the groups joyed the teaching aspect of the trip. leave for their Central America destination. “We took our knowledge and made “We partner with non-governmental an impact,” Dewitt said. “We translated agencies that already have ties in the area our knowledge in a way that when we left, to see what is needed,” it stayed.” Sallee said. “Our job We translated our knowledge Sallee said his favoris to bring research- in a way that when we left, it ite memory associated based information.” with the trip is the abilstayed. Sallee has led the — Corbin Dewitt ity to see the projects as study-abroad trips to Master’s Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant a whole. Central America since “In 2009, we built the summer of 2009. He said the planning a garden in an orphanage,” Sallee said. “In starts with the non-governmental organiza- 2012, we were in the same place, and it tions giving him a list of the topics needing had grown from a garden that no one knew the most help. The students then conduct anything about into a functional educaresearch and prepare to teach the subject tional center.” they choose with minimal guidance. Sallee said people were able to take On past trips, students have taught the vegetables they were growing back into soils and composting, gardening, bread their kitchens to feed their families. making, and watering projects. Dewitt said his favorite memory came Dewitt said students must be knowl- the day before the group left when they edgeable about what they teach because the were showing the locals how to bake. local families believe the students are com- “As we were getting ready to leave the pletely accurate. kitchen for the last time, a lady told our “They looked at us like we were ex- translator they wanted to pray for us,” Deperts,” Dewitt said. “What we said they witt said. “We all held hands and got into thought was 100 percent right.” a circle. We did not know what they were In 2012, Young assisted in teaching saying, but when we opened our eyes they poultry science in Nicaragua, and in 2013, were all crying.” she taught composting in Guatemala. Young said one of her favorite memo “I had never touched a chicken until ries of the trip was when she helped a lady the trip,” Young said. “Now, I think I want in Guatemala. to get my master’s in poultry science.” “We got to help install a drip-irrigation Young said teaching was the most edu- system in her garden,” Young said. “She cational, difficult and rewarding part of her took us in as granddaughters for the week.” trips in Central America. While the students do the majority of COWBOY JOURNAL | 47
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the teaching, Young said they also learned a few things from the local citizens. “While we were in Nicaragua, we were making hanging bags to fill with water and soil for lettuce,” Young said. “We were going to teach them how the system worked, and they ended up teaching us how to sew.” While the main focus of the trip is to feed families by educating them about subsistence farming, the students also have some free time to explore the country. Young and Dewitt both said they remember one night in particular. “We rode horses for little to no money on the beach one night,” Dewitt said. “It was suppose to be for 30 minutes, but we had them for a little longer.” Dewitt said when they noticed the local citizens had started looking for the horses, the group decided to race back to where the horses were supposed to be. Sallee said his favorite part of work-
ing with the students is seeing them return with a greater appreciation for the opportunities and lifestyle they have. “Because of the places we visit, students return with an appreciation for what they have,” Sallee said. “Some switch their major or add an international dimension to their degree because of the experience.” Young is one of the students who changed her degree option after her experiences in Nicaragua and Guatemala. “I changed my focus in animal science and added a minor in Spanish,” said Young, who once planned to be a veterinarian. Dewitt did not change his major, but said he went on the study-abroad trip because of the trip’s extension component. “What we did plays with the role of extension,” Dewitt said, “which is what I want to do.” Sallee said he takes freshmen, Master of International Agriculture students and
every level in between, but they all respond the same. “By the time they leave, the students are empowered by what they have taught,” Sallee said. Young said as a result of the trip she grew both professionally and personally. “Regardless of your background, the trip is a good experience to get you out of your comfort zone and change your life,” Young said. Dewitt said after the trip he realized students have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. “Students can really make an impact,” Dewitt said. “We didn’t go to be tourists or sightseers. We went to make a difference, and we did.” CJ
Dakota Chambers Stratford, Okla. Marketing & Public Relations
A young boy creates an OSU logo made of water bottles in Nicaragua. Photo courtesy of Jeff Sallee. 48 | WINTER/SPRING 2014
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Do you have a current, valid will that accomplishes everything you want it to do? We at the Oklahoma State University Foundation want you to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a valid estate plan. We want you to have a will that works well for you. And, frankly, one that works for us by including a bequest to the OSU Foundation. People often say, “I never thought about making a charitable gift through my will. It just never occurred to me.” When you name the Oklahoma State University Foundation in your will or living trust, you make a crowning gift to an organization you have supported during your life. Your Last Will and Testament declares that you believe in OSU’s mission and you want a portion of your assets invested in this worthy cause.
If you plan to share your legacy with the OSU Foundation through a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan or other estate provision, we invite you to join the Heritage Society. When we know about your generosity, we can meet your wishes for its use. We want to express our appreciation and we will honor requests for anonymity. As always, we urge you to consult with an estate-planning attorney or other qualified advisor regarding a will, living trust or whatever best suits your needs. Sound professional help will contribute to peace of mind for you and your family.
For more information about opportunities to benefit the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, contact the DASNR Development Team at 405.385.5618 or visit OSUgiving.giftlegacy.com.
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A farm family cultivates strong connections with Oklahoma State University. or an Oklahoma farmer and rancher, coming back to run the family operation seems like the dream of a lifetime. For Scott Dvorak, his dream was exactly that. By operating Dvorak Farms, Scott has made his mark in the Oklahoma agricultural industry, and with the help of his family, the Dvorak name is well known at Oklahoma State University. “It’s really incredible how much our family values the university and the people there,” said Carol Dvorak, Scott’s wife. The Dvorak family has a long-standing tradition of attending OSU, including Scott and Carol’s three children and their spouses. Now, the couple’s grandchildren are part of the OSU Alumni Association Legacy Program.
“The connections we have built at OSU go beyond the campus and outside the buildings,” Carol said. Growing up in Perry, Okla., both Carol and Scott attended OSU in the late 1970s. Although they graduated from the same high school, they did not begin dating until they were in Stillwater, Okla. Scott was an agronomy major, while Carol studied business. “After graduating from OSU, we knew we wanted to be lifetime members of the alumni association and have been for at least 30 years,” Carol said. Carol was the fifth of six children who all attended Oklahoma State, and her parents were both graduates. She said she knew OSU was the right decision. “My high school business teacher got
me interested in studying business, and I knew from early on OSU would be my choice,” Carol said. “It was familiar, and I was used to the campus.” Scott also had family members who attended OSU. “My older brother attended school there in animal science, and we grew up knowing many of the faculty there, so it made sense to follow along,” Scott said. “It’s a good school, and the decision was easy for me.” After beginning their family, Scott and Carol allowed their children to choose their own destinies and make personal decisions on where to attend college, Scott said. “OSU became familiar to all of our family, and even though they had opportunities to go to other places, all of them decided on OSU,” Carol said. Their older son, Joe, was a National Merit Scholar in high school and could have gone almost anywhere, but he kept with the family tradition of OSU. He graduated with a degree in biosystems and agricultural engineering with minors in agricultural economics, accounting and German in 2005. He earned his master’s degree at OSU in 2007. He went to Kansas State University to receive his doctorate and is now a faculty member at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. His wife, Tanya, originally from Texas, earned her doctorate in agricultural education from OSU in 2009. Joe and Tanya have two children, Justin Dvorak plants wheat on his family’s farm near Perry, Okla. Photo by Blaire Boyer. COWBOY JOURNAL | 51
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AnneMarie, 3, and Karsten, an infant, who are both part of the OSU legacy program. The Dvoraks’ daughter, Allison, graduated with a journalism and marketing degree from OSU in 2007 and married Robert Stevens, an alumnus of the engineering college. They reside in Oklahoma City. In 2011, the Dvoraks’ younger son, Justin, graduated in animal science and his wife, Jessica, completed her degree in accounting the same year. One year later, Jessica completed her master’s degree in accounting at OSU. Justin works with Scott and Carol on the farm in Perry and has a 3-month-old daughter, Ruth, who is an OSU legacy. Having families like the Dvoraks attending OSU and being part of the CASNR family really shows how special the traditions and legacies we have are, said Mike Woods, interim vice president, dean and director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Farming in Noble and Payne counties and having land adjacent to a portion of the university’s North Range Research Center, the family became familiar with OSU employees through the years, Carol said. “We always have been part of the field days, and we have gotten to know many of the herdsmen, faculty and staff through that,” Carol said. The Dvoraks’ connections to Oklahoma agriculture are nearly as strong as their ties to OSU. After graduation and through the first years of their marriage, Scott and Carol began establishing what is known today as Dvorak Farms. Today, Scott and Carol, along with the daily help from their son Justin, farm more than 3,500 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat as well as manage 500 stocker cattle and 200 commercial cows. “Even though the other children are not directly involved in the day-to-day operations, they are involved in some way,” Scott said. “Allison helps Carol with the books, and Joe gets a weekly update on what is going on.” In addition to the work on the farm,
Scott has represented Oklahoma agriculture on the Oklahoma Farm Bureau board, served as a member of the OSU DASNR Dean’s Advisory Council and served as chairman of the Oklahoma Beef Council. “Getting to be part of these organizations has allowed me to share my passion of agriculture with like-minded people and share ideas across the board,” Scott said. “I have gained more than I have given back.” Recently, Scott accepted a position on the OSU Food and Agricultural Products Center advisory board. His experience and involvement with various aspects of agriculture, along with farming and ranching himself, has given him the skills to be a leader in the Okla-
homa agricultural industry, said Roy Escoubas, FAPC director. Coupled with experiences on and off the farm, the Dvoraks’ roots run deep with agriculture and OSU. “With all of the opportunities I have had and the wonderful people I’ve been able to meet, none of it would have been possible without my foundation at Oklahoma State,” Scott said. “That university is a special place for my family and me and a part of who we are.” CJ
Blaire Boyer Tipton, Ind. Public Relations
Scott and Carol Dvorak have been OSU Alumni Association lifetime members for at least 30 years. Photo by Blaire Boyer. 52 | WINTER/SPRING 2014
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Congratulations CASNR’s 2013-2014 Seniors of Significance Jacy Alsup, Gravette, Ark. Marty Jones, Ramona, Okla. Katherine Keil, Little Rock, Ark. Whitney Lisenbee, Jenks, Okla. Ashton Mese, Kingfisher, Okla. Morgan Neilson, Meeker, Colo.
Tyler Price, Laverne, Okla. Rebecca Purvis, Houston Karen Roberts, Douglas, Ga. Samantha Smith, Amorita, Okla. McKenzie Walta, Kingfisher, Okla. Lauren Wells, Bonfield, Ill.
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Katelyn Juenger (left) leads park visitors on a guided hike of Grand Teton National Park during her 2013 summer internship. Photo courtesy of Katelyn Juenger. 54 | WINTER/SPRING 2014
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An OSU senior experiences the summer of a lifetime in Grand Teton National Park. summer in Grand Teton National Park is a dream few experience. However, Katelyn Juenger lived this dream through a summer internship as an interpretive ranger. It began when she opened one of the dozens of emails Oklahoma State University undergraduate students receive daily, said Juenger, a natural resource ecology and management senior from Fort Worth. After working the previous summer for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, she said she was confident she had an interest in outdoor education. When she learned the location of the internship, she was amazed, she added. “When I applied for the position, I thought it was a long shot,” Juenger said. “I saw the position posting but thought, ‘There’s no way.’” She applied for the internship during the winter break between semesters. She said she began to worry when she had not heard any news about the internship by spring break. “I started bugging them with emails, and I was afraid they were going to think I’m super annoying,” she said with a laugh. Eventually, her persistence paid off when she received the opportunity to interview via the phone. She received a call during the final week of the spring semester and was offered the position. “I was super nervous,” she said. “All my family is from Oklahoma and Texas, so picking up my stuff with two weeks notice and going to Wyoming was crazy.”
She said she was nervous about not “I encouraged her in her evaluation to knowing anyone in that area as well as jump into one of the lakes, and she did it,” meeting and fulfilling the expectations of Maki said. “I challenged her, and she was her supervisors. However, she said she was willing to experience the park. She definiteexcited to learn about a new ecoregion and ly was excited about it.” to have the opportunity to experience the Juenger said the jump was not someGrand Teton National Park for a summer. thing she would have considered on her “They sent me own, but she was glad some books, and I read She learned so much about to have been chalconstantly on the wild- the Grand Teton National Park lenged to experience it. life and flowers, try “The lakes are glacial and about herself. ing to prepare myself — Karen Hickman lakes, so they’re pretty because I knew it was Natural Resource Ecology and Management chilly,” Juenger said. Professor “Even at the warmest going to be a ton of information to memorize part of the summer, I quickly,” she said. “I knew I was going to had to force myself to jump. Thankfully, give it my all.” there was an amazing view of the Tetons Her mentor, Karen Hickman, a natu- that kept me somewhat distracted from the ral resource ecology and management pro- stinging cold.” fessor, was not surprised Juenger received Juenger said she felt like she could have the position. hiked 10 miles after the exhilarating jump. “I was one of her references,” Hickman As an interpretive ranger, Juenger ansaid. “We knew it was out of her comfort swered questions from park visitors in the zone, but she wanted to do it.” visitors’ center, taught bear safety and his Hickman said Juenger is a joy to be torical programs, provided information on around, eager and hard working, so she wildlife, and took visitors on guided hikes. was happy to be a reference. Her passion is “The purpose of her job was to make evident through the growth she has experi- connections between the park resources enced during her time as an OSU student, and the park visitors,” Maki said. “Her job Hickman said. was to bridge the gap between the park and “Katelyn was one of the most passion- the people visiting.” ate and excited interns I’ve ever hired,” said The main objective was communicaElizabeth Maki, Moose District interpreter tion, Maki said. Interns are exposed to a at Grand Teton National Park. “She came professional career in interpretation and with enthusiasm and a positive attitude.” given valuable experience, Maki added. Her excitement, passion and energy “My favorite part was interacting with made Juenger stand out, Maki said. the public,” Juenger said. “You really had to COWBOY JOURNAL | 55
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be patient because people got antsy being on vacation and wanting answers.” One of Juenger’s favorite activities was guiding hikes, she said. “I loved the guided hike because it gave you more time to make a better connection with people,” Juenger said. “I got to see them make connections with resources, and they shared their experiences with you. “Also, the junior rangers were so eager and genuinely excited,” Juenger said. “They were funny. One of them asked if I saw werewolves in the park.” As a ranger, she had patrol days where she hiked to a place of her choice in the park with the goal of interpreting for visitors. These experiences allowed her to interact with visitors and answer questions on the spot. She said on one hike with a newlywed couple they discovered a bear cub, which was an amazing experience. Juenger said the most stressful part of Katelyn Juenger teaches a young park visitor during her internship at Grand Teton National Park. Photo courtesy of the job was answering questions during her Katelyn Juenger. daily desk shift in the visitors’ center. “During the middle of summer, we Grand Teton National Park and about her- go out of their way to help students get a had up to 3,000 visitors a day,” Juenger self. She’s blossoming. She’s now a leader in permanent job.” said. “You got a lot of the same questions. the Range Club. She has stepped up and Juenger said the most rewarding part of the internship was learning to help othYou had to be able to communicate with become a tremendous asset.” them without making them feel like you Maki said she also noticed a change in ers make a connection between themselves were talking at them.” Juenger during the course of her time at the and the park’s natural resources. The experience helped her learn to handle a great Hickman said Juenger was a different national park. person when they met for the first time. “One of her biggest improvements deal of information in a short amount of “When I first was her confidence lev- time, she added. met [Katelyn] as a The experience I gained this el,” Maki said. “She in- “The skills she learned here will benefit freshman, she was creased her confidence her, no matter what career path she goes summer was invaluable to extremely shy and level by being in front with,” Maki said. “She was able to build the my future. reserved,” Hickman of the public and teach- confidence to speak in public. She learned — Katelyn Juenger said. “She became Natural Resource Ecology and Management Senior ing them about the park, skills about how to be in front of people active in the [OSU] which she knew nothing but also how to capture the audience.” Juenger also gained an appreciation Range Club, but she held back. about when she first got here. “Last year at a professional meeting, “It helped her grow as a person, not about the national parks’ role in protecting she saw OSU alumni who were juniors and just professionally,” Maki added. “She be- our natural resources, Maki added. seniors in the Range Club when she was came more sure of herself and believed in “The experience I gained this summer a freshman, and they couldn’t believe the herself more than she did originally. She was invaluable to my future, especially if I do pursue a career in outdoor education,” transformation in her confidence, drive, became aware of who she was.” personality and ability,” Hickman said. The opportunities this experience has Juenger said. “It was a life-changing experi “That’s why it was so cool she went opened for Juenger shows how beneficial it ence, and it had a huge influence on me. out of her comfort zone and applied for a is for students to take part in an internship, Outdoor education definitely has a place in my heart.” CJ naturalist position because naturalists talk Hickman said. to people,” Hickman added. “She was ner- “She realizes the career options she Samantha Stanbery vous about it, but she did it. has,” Hickman said. “It’s opened some “She had a fabulous experience,” Hick- doors. Those internships expose students Granby, Mo. Livestock Merchandising man said. “She learned so much about the to agency personnel who seem to want to 56 | WINTER/SPRING 2014
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3800 N. Classen Blvd., Suite C 40 • Oklahoma City, OK 73118 Phone: 405-608-4350 • Fax: 405-848-0372 • www.wheat.state.ok.gov
International Programs Division of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Dr. Adele Tongco, Interim Director firstname.lastname@example.org 158 Ag Hall • 405.744.6580
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An environmental science freshman crosses the ocean to ‘dive in’ at OSU. itting in the Student Union at Oklahoma State University with people chattering in the background, one lone student leans back in his chair. I walk up, slide into a seat, and introduce myself. His accent is thick, but he looks like any other OSU student. Antonis Sepos is Greek, or Cyprian to be politically correct. He is an international student from Cyprus, a small island located on the east side of the Mediterranean Sea. The 21-year-old said although Cyprus is an independent country, its people consider themselves Greek. They speak the same language, have the same culture, and use the same national anthem. “We are a really close society and a little bit old-fashioned,” Antonis said. Antonis, who is an OSU environmental science freshman, did not begin his college career in the United States. A long road took him from his home in Cyprus to the United Kingdom and eventually to OSU. His journey began at age 17 with 24 Antonis Sepos studied two years in the United Kingdom before transferring to OSU. Photo by Danielle Robinson.
months of mandatory military service as soon as he graduated from high school. Since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the Turks have occupied the northern one-third of the country. As a Cyprian soldier, Antonis spent most of his time on the watchtowers that surround the Turkish line. He led a five- to 10-man team in charge of two towers. “Basically, I spent time on the watch towers because I didn’t get along with the lieutenants,” said Antonis, who was a corporal. “I really don’t like the army.” During his 24 months of service, Antonis did not have a lot of free time, but he said he was on a free-marksman squad, which is equivalent to OSU’s shooting team. He said he competed and won shooting contests around the country against different army camps. Antonis’ best friend of 10 years, Alex Christou, who is an OSU business management sophomore, also competed on the shooting team. Alex said being in the army and then moving to England to start college brought Antonis out of his shell. “If we start talking about it, he’ll re-
member the good times, appreciate them, and laugh about them,” Alex said. After the service, Antonis said he had to decide where he wanted to study. Many Greeks go to England because it is cheaper and closer to Cyprus, he said. He chose the University of Southampton and selected a degree in computer science. Antonis said the first year was a foundation year, meaning he needed remedial credits because he lacked the appropriate credits from high school. By the end of his second year, Antonis said he had 57 credits toward his degree, but he was rethinking where he wanted to continue schooling because of England’s lifestyle and weather. “There is no sun there, only clouds,” Antonis said. “I was used to 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Cyprus.” At the same time, Alex was planning his transfer to OSU from Albany, N.Y. Antonis said his friend showed him pictures and told him stories of OSU. “I was in New York and transferring,” Alex said. “He was over in England, and he was fed up with the whole scene, done with it, and wanted something new.” COWBOY JOURNAL | 59
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Friends since age 11, Antonis Sepos (right) and Alex Christou served two years together in the Cyprian military. Photo by Danielle Robinson.
Alex said convincing Antonis was easy. “I told him, ‘Dude, come to America with me,” he said. “I’m going to OSU. It’s a good school, my parents are alumni, and [the university has] good sports. It’ll be fun. It’s America.’” That was all it took, Alex said. Already an American citizen, Antonis said he did not have to make any last minute calls for a visa. “I automatically have three citizenships and three passports,” he said. “I have triple citizenship by birth. My mom is Greek American, and my dad is Cyprian.” Antonis said he applied to OSU in February and the university accepted him at the end of July. He had two weeks to book tickets, find somewhere to stay, and decide on a major. “I changed my major to environmental science so I had to start from the beginning,” Antonis said. He said he thought he would be able to take agricultural classes his first semester. “I was a little disappointed that I had to go over history and composition again,” Antonis said. “I just want to finish them and go into my major.” Alex said his friend has impressed him with his work ethic. “He got into it pretty quick,” Alex said.
“I think he really enjoys this major. He is actually into the agricultural science and environmental stuff.” Transferring to OSU did not come without trials. Antonis said it was more of a culture shock to come to the U.S. compared to the U.K. He said he had trouble locating certain buildings and finding his way around campus in the first week. “I didn’t think it was going to be this harsh, this overwhelming,” he said. Antonis said he still struggles speaking English. He said English was the first language he heard because his mother always spoke it, but after stopping private lessons when he was young, he did not practice enough and only spoke Greek. “My mom would talk to me in English, but I would answer in Greek,” he said. Writing in English is not difficult, he said, but he needs practice speaking. Alex said in Cyprus, they learn how to speak a certain way of English. “It’s the British/American, Cyprian, Greek way of English,” Alex said. “So, it’s completely wrong. “Everything you say, you think about in Greek, translate it to English, and spit it out,” he said. Along with the language barrier, Antonis also must overcome a lack of finances.
At home, Cyprus is dealing with a severe financial crisis, he said. He said he has money for the first year as well as a loan but needs other outlets. Antonis said his older brother, Solis, plans to move to the U.S. in a few months and plans to help him financially if he can. “I’m planning on coming to Oklahoma for a master’s degree,” Solis said. “It is going to be a bit easier for the both of us to have each other close by.” For Antonis, life in the U.S. is a big adventure, Solis said, but part of the adventure was adjusting to life at the start. As of right now, Antonis said he is doing student work on a team collecting data for climate change. “They give me a bunch of numbers, and I have to find the average and put them on spreadsheets,” he said. Antonis said he has always worked outside of an office and he does not like working inside four walls. “It’s too depressing,” Antonis said. He said in the future he wants to do something for the environment. “I’m in love with the ocean,” Antonis said. “I want to work on environmental projects based on forest or ocean life. I enjoy doing field studies and research.” He also has ambitions to see other states and travel, he said. “I’m thinking Florida or California,” Antonis said. “Maybe after that, I will go to Latin America to Brazil and Argentina.” Before he can begin a new voyage and travel the world, Antonis still has threeand-a-half years of college left, he said. Antonis said he made the right choice coming to OSU and feels this is where he needs to be. The institution and opportunities to succeed are better than anywhere he has gone, he said. “The people here are very friendly,” he said. “You don’t encounter this behavior very often in different countries. “I definitely bleed black and orange,” Antonis said. “That is a pretty cool thing to say.” CJ
Danielle Robinson Wichita, Kan. Writing & Copy Editing
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CASNR celebrates Homecoming 2013 â€Ś Cowboy style. Clockwise from top left: The sign competition, including this sign by FarmHouse and Kappa Kappa Gamma, covers library lawn every year to showcase different student organizations from across campus. Photo by Kevin Meeks. The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources decorates the halls, windows and entrance of Agricultural Hall with orange and black. Photo by Jamie Baumgardner. Spirit Rider Samantha Mitchell, an animal science junior, engages with the crowd during the 2013 Sea of Orange Homecoming Parade on Main Street. Photo by Samantha Stanbery. As winners of the 2013 Homecoming Student Organization Sweepstakes Award, OSU Dairy Science Club members show off their homecoming parade float. Photo courtesy of Jessica Miller. Marty Jones (front), agricultural education senior, became the sixth College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources student and Alpha Gamma Rho member be to named OSU Homecoming King. Jones is joined by former kings (clockwise from back left): Tyler Powell (2009), Austin Horn (2008), Wyatt Swinford (2010), Riley Pagett (2012) and Randy Gordon (2011). Photo by Lauren Pagett.
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CASNR Alumni News The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Alumni Board of Directors Ky le Hu g hb a n k s Pre sid e nt A lv a , Ok l a . Ja me s Fe r re l l Vic e Pre sid e nt Yu k on, Ok l a . Br i a n Vowe l l S e c re t a r y St i l l w at e r, Ok l a . St e ve D a m ron E xe c ut i ve S e c re t a r y St i l l w at e r, Ok l a . Me c he l le H a mpton Tu l s a , Ok l a . K e nt G a rd ne r Ok l a hom a C it y G le n Wi nt e r s A lt u s , Ok l a . C ole m a n H ic k m a n S a pu lp a , Ok l a . D on R ob e r t s E n id , Ok l a . Tre s a R u ny a n A rd more , Ok l a . Joh n C ot h re n St r at f ord , Ok l a . K e n Sp a dy H i nton, Ok l a . D a n a B e s si n g e r Waton g a , Ok l a .
Letter from the President Dear CASNR Alumni and Friends, Join your fellow agricultural and natural resources alumni and friends at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center as we kick off the CASNR Alumni Reunion and Gala on May 3, 2014. CASNR alumni are a strong and relational group who want to stay in contact with and honor each other. The Gala will provide an opportunity to meet, mingle, and reminisce with former classmates, colleagues, professors and friends. The reunion and gala will honor our Early Career Achievement Award winners, past board presidents and members, and the College of Agriculture Alumni charter members. This event will be the annual meeting of the alumni chapter. Look for more details on your invitation in the mail in the Spring of 2014. Save the date–May 3, 2014–for the OSU CASNR Alumni Reunion & Gala at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. Sincerely, Kyle Hughbanks CASNR Alumni President
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OSU Mortar Board recognized 12 CASNR sophomores as 2013 Top 20 Outstanding Freshmen.
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Prospective Student Outreach • Academic Success Support • Career Development Services 103 Agricultural Hall • Stillwater, OK 74078 • 405.744.9464 • casnr.okstate.edu
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Cowboy Journal Volume 16, Number 1 Winter/Spring 2014 College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources