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In this issue ... CASNR helps students Fl OSU's Rodeo Team ' i

the Brand~

CASNR student rece Environmental sciences student survives



Representing Oklahoma's Pork Producers • Producer Services Annual Pork Congress Area Meetings Newsletters • Youth Education Internship Programs Jr. Pork Quality Assurance Oklahoma Junior Pork Producers • Producer Education Environmental Assistance Program On Farm Odor I Environmental Assistance Program Pork Quality Assurance • Research On Farm Odor Control

• Advertising Print Radio Television Executive Director .................................... Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr. MarRef ng & Promotion ........ .. .......... ........ ..... .. Andrea R. White EducatioAa_l Programs .... ....................................... D . Bill Luce Youth Programs ............... .................................... Melissa Dick Office Manager ............................ .,_...... ......... Donna Jackson

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Contents 10 He has small town roots OSU's newest Truman Scholar says roots ~re the key to his success.

14 Destination success ... CASN Rfreshmen benefit from the knowledge of upperclassmen through three unique programs.

18 They' Ride for the Brand' Thanks to "sweat equity" and much-needed funding, the OSU Rodeo Team has a new home.

2 2 Another chance Shannon Elledge makes his way back to school after a near-fatal accident.


6 Networking forsuccess 8 From the lab to the plate 12 He upholds the tradition 20 Wetsocks?GetaSPUR 24 Wheat studyadds value 2 7 Studentlearns firsthand 28 Working with marbling 30 OSUplants a new vanety

On the Cover... Jennifer Sconyers, agricultural education graduate student and CASNR SAM, assists Zac Givens with last minute test preparation. Throug h the CASNR orientation class (AG 1011) and the Freshmen in Transition program, upperclassmen assist freshmen with advice and academic support. (Photo by Kaleb Hennigh and Skye Varner McNiel)


Letter from the editors ... In the life of a student, some days are better than others, and some people make a bigger impression. This issue of the Cowboy journal is dedicated to the teachers and peers who make a difference in our lives. Whether they are helping us to reach our destination ofsuccess or giving us another chance, it becomes obvious rather quickly that, without our mentors, we would never be who we are today. From encouraging us to "ride for the brand" to upholding OSU's tradition of"bringing dreams to life," our mentors give us more than merely someone to look up to. They give us assurance and the confidence in ourselves to succeed. The Cowboy journal gives us a chance to showcase the skills we have learned throughout our college careers. We represent the tradition of excellence OSU's agricultural communications program strives to uphold, and we are grateful to our professors, administrators and sponsors for the opportunity to make a difference in the life of someone else.

The Cowboy Journal would like to thank: Fred Causley Jon Dickey Todd Johnson OS UAgricultural Communicatiom Services Bonnie Milby Jefferson Miller Elizabeth Whitfield Department ofAgricultural Education, Communicatiom &4-H Youth Development Matt Wright

Quebecor World

Brad Cost Department ofEntomology &P/_ant Pathology For information about OSU rodeo scholarship opportunities, contact Dana Cooksey at (405) 744-6686.

BUILDING BETIER MEN!!! • Five top 20 freshmen men • Homecoming, sweepstakes winner, five of the last six years • Spring Sing, champions, 1998-99 • Freshman Follies, 2nd place, 1999 • Greek Week, champions, 1998-2000 • Toys to the Game, 1998-99 • Achieved seven of nine 1998-99 national chapter awards 4

224 S. Washington Stillwater, OK 74074

Staff Editors • Nikki Coe and Sarah Catalano Graphics Editor • Skye Varner McNiel Photo Editor • Yantcy Pinkston Sponsorship Coordinators • Clay Francis and Erica Cook Circulation Coordinator • KimberlyClark Staff • Lindsay Wt/Iiams • Colin Autin • Michael Jackson Kaleb Hennigh • Allison McKinster • Sara McGaha

Managing Editor • Shelly Peper Sitton Support Staff • Elizabeth Wh!lfield Founding Sponsors • Limousin World Oklahoma Farm Bureau Quebecor World

The Fall 2000 Cowboy Journal staff: (front row from left) Erica Cook, Kaleb Hennigh, Sarah Catalano, Kimberly Clark, Colin Autin, (back row) Lindsay Williams, Nikki Coe, Michael Jackson, Yantcy Pinkston, Clay Francis, Allison McKinster, Sara McGaha and Skye Varner McNiel

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 I 990. and other federal laws and regulations. does not discriminate on the basis of race. color. national origin, sex. age. rel.igion. disability. or status as a veteran in and of its policies. practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions. employment. financial aid, and educational services. This publication is printed and issued two times a year by agricu ltural communications seniors in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources an d has been prepared and distributed at no cost to the

taxpayers of Oklahoma.

l0SU1 5


Networking for success Oklahoma State University students will soon have a new tool to help them make more informed career decisions. The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources student career services will unveil the Alumni Career Network in the 2001 fall semester. "The Alumni Career Network is a pilot program designed to encourage and facilitate a more professional way to develop relationships between CASNRalumni and current agricultural students," said Louann Waldner, director of CASNR student career services. Waldner said the idea for this networking program developed because students were looking for a more formal method to approach alumni It's okay not to know what to do with the rest who have established a caof your life, but it's unacceptable not to reer in a particular field. "Alumni will complete some adempt to figure it out general paperwork describ-Louann Wa,tiner, CASNRCalrer~Ma?S ing their career and job," said Waldner. "We can then match students with the alumni who have similar career interests." Waldner said that in the past there was no formal program in place to provide students the opportunities to network with alumni. Students would often come to her office interested in connecting with alumni who had graduated in their field. Without prior consent from the alumni, she could not always give out their information. "With this program, we will have a more structured way to assist students in their career exploration," Waldner said. "It is also an effort by our office to get alumni involved in a different way." The Alumni Career Network will include a database that provides information about the careers of recent CASNR graduates as well as alumni who have been working for many years. Students looking for summer jobs, internships or full-time careers can use this database to find alumni who are willing to help them take the necessary steps to explore career areas. Waldner said the Alumni Career Network at OSU would be structured similarly to a program at Cornell University's College ofAgriculture and Life Sciences. "Last summer when I visited Cornell, I came up with several ideas for the program we were starting up at OSU," Waldner said. "They have a very established program, and the concept is very similar to the one we were developing here; I just borrowed some of their ideas," she said. "For instance, I liked how they incorporated it into their classes." Waldner said she would like to see younger students, By Colin Autin Stillwater, Okla.


particularly freshmen and sophomores, develop the necessary networking skills in a controlled environment. "Our goal is to pilot it in the fall in an orientation class," Waldner said. "I would like to see the students have an actual assignment to contact these alumni." "This program is just in the beginning stages," Waldner said. "The only limiting factor to this program is that we need alumni to work with us to get the program started." In addition to the database, the Alumni Career Network will feature a shadow program. Students will have the chance to get a firsthand look at what a typical day is like for a professional with a career that interests them. "The most important thing about this program is that it really prepares the students for the work force," said Casey Bell, CASNR graduate and unit supervisor in human resources with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "It prepares you because you are actually interacting with such a diverse group of people." CASNR graduates also can provide help to students from outside their offices. Alumni can offer job search advice specific to their expertise. "A lot of students need perspective on what is out there," Bell said. "I can offer some advice toward a career path because I have been there and made many of those same decisions." The program also will encourage alumni to relate their own experiences and observations to potential OSU agricultural students and their parents. Alumni can call these prospective students or their parents to discuss how their experiences at OSU helped them to find a career. ''Alumni are great resources to describe what entrylevel jobs are out there and what career choices are out there," Waldner said. However, the Alumni Career Network is not just for students. The program can also offer alumni of the college a way to rekindle or maintain contact with fellow graduates. "That is the basis for why alumni groups stick together-we all have a common thread," said Don Roberts, CASNR graduate and agricultural business management training coordinator with Autry Tech in Enid, Okla. "The OSU alumni group really is a small family." Roberts said. "There are times when I wonder what happened to an old friend. With this kind of system, it can be really easy to just pick up the phone and find him." "The program really is a win-win situation. Students benefit from the advice of the alumni, and the alumni benefit from the ability to rekindle relationships with CASNR and OSU," Waldner said.

CASNR graduates searching for a new job can also use the network in the same manner as the students would. "Right now it is nor uncommon for people to change careers two or three times. You don't have to be a 21-yearold student to use a system like this one," Roberts said. "It really can be a networking possibility for anyone who wants to use ir," Waldner said. Waldner said students have a tremendous advantage when searching for a job just by networking with alumni. However, she said students should not rely solely on the Alumni Career Network, or CASNRstudent career &:J:Via:s. "Students must do things on their own," said Waldner. "They should research companies in the library, go to club meetings or look at industry magazines. This program is just another piece of the puzzle." According to career services, whether students use this program or another method of job searching, one key to a successful job hunt can simply be forming relationships with alumni. "When you are a freshman or a sophomore in college, you never know who you are going to meet and what relationships you will develop," Bell said. "That is why networking is so important. It's about developing relationships with people, which will prove to be positive for you."

The Alumni Career Network will help those students who have not previously concentrated on networking with alumni develop relationships that can be advantageous in their career explorations. 'This program is a tool for the student who might be a little less networked," Waldner said. Finally, Waldner said that waiting until the end of the student's senior year to begin the career search process can put that person at a disadvantage. "Career development begins the first day students walk on campus, not when they are seniors," Waldner said. "It's okay not to know what to do with the rest ofyour life, but it's unacceptable not to attempt to figure it out." CJ For more information: Louann Waldner or Amy Gazaway CASNR Career Services College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources 136 Ag Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078 (405) 744-5395 • Fax: (405) 744-5339 louann@okstate.edu • ajgaz@okstate.edu

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From the lab to the plate By Lindsay Williams Powell, ~o.

pizza, because he only has 15 to 20 minutes to decide what to cook and then to make it. However, Oklahoma State University college students are not the only people who want fast and easy meals. Recognizing the consumers' demand for quick-fix products, the National Cattlemen's BeefAssociation's research and development staff works to produce and invent beef dishes that will appeal to both the appetites and schedules of"on-the-go" people. "We take product development through all phases, starting with the concept and brainstorming, all the way through to making prototypes. We're helping to sell beef in a different way than we are right now," said Ed Orozco, NCBA coordinator of new product development. "NCBA's mission is to create new beef products that will subsequently increase beef demand in the long run," said Jake Nelson, manager of the meat pilot plant in the OSU Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center, or FAPC. NCBA is working in conjunction with OSU's FAPC to test new products they have created. "It seems that when people cook, they don't have time to find the beef roast recipe in their morn's 1958 Betty Crocker Cookbook," Nelson said. "We are testing dishes designed for families who only have 30 minutes to eat a meal before soccer practice." N CBA is creating a majority of the new value-added products from undervalued cuts of beefsuch as the chuck and the round. The first product tested was a bone-in shank roast and the second was a Rotiss-a-Roast comparable to rotisserie chicken. N CBA invented the products in their development center. To find out if the products are practical to produce, N CBA tests them in higher capacity plants. "Testing" means cooking the dishes in the pilot plant to mimic how processors will eventually prepare these items. After a successful test run, a product is marketed to processors. With the bone-in shank roast, NCBA sent samples to potential processors. Two to three processors are marketing the roast in the Chicago area, Orozco said. By using Oklahoma State, NCBA saves money because researchers may learn they should go back to the drawing board before taking the product to extensive production, Nelson said. "Sometimes we find out the products we test won't MeatpilotplantmanagerJake Nelson (secondfrom left)prepares beefjerkydunilg the BeefQuality work for large-scale production because they cost too much Summit Nelson is assistedby RobertMerrifield(left), ownerofThe Polo Grillin li.Jlsa;John Patn'ck Lopez(secondfrom n'ght), directorofproductdevelopmentforLopezFoods iii Oklahoma City; and to make or take too much time," said Kendra Henry, animal science senior and meat pilot plant employee. BradMorgan (n'ght), OSUassociateprofessor. (Photo byMkkiCoe)


Ben rushes home for lunch, fumbles with his key in the lock, throws his books on the couch, and from the living room cranes his neck to look at the kitchen timer on his refrigerator. Five more minutes. The smell wafting through the cramped apartment pulls him toward the oven. He decides to peek in only to find out his pot roast isn't close to being finished, and it probably won't be for another 45 minutes. Somewhat disappointed in the recipe his mom gave him before leaving for college, he vows to start earlier next time. Yeah, right! A more realistic scenario would probably involve Ben cooking up some Ramen noodles or reheating last night's

NCBA chose to work with OSU because of the convenient location, qualified staff and top-notch facilities, Orozco said. "OSU has a very complete meats lab and a very nice faciliry," Orozco said. "It's one of the best I've ever seen." In the meat pilot plant, Nelson employs 11 students to work with him. They work on various aspects of these new products along with their regular work. Because of this situation, OSU students and employers have the opportuniry to see, taste and test products before anyone else in the country, said Brad Morgan, animal science associate professor. "This situation exposes students to 'real world' experience and potential employers," Nelson said. Henry said she likes working in the pilot plant because it increases her knowledge base of what's happening in the industry and what employers will expect. Projects like these also lend more credibiliry to the instructors, Morgan said. "We talk about convenience and increasing beef demand in class," Morgan said. "It's not only important to talk about it, but to let students see the entire process of product development and testing. They see we're not just reading about the meat industry in some magazine." Recognized as the largest department on campus, the animal science department offers food science and food

industry curriculum options. More students are choosing or switching to these options because of interests and employment opportunities, Morgan said. "Students in their sophomore and junior years start out wanting to be veterinarians and then take Chemistry 1215 and decide it's not for them," Morgan said with a laugh. "Seriously though, I have meat industry employers calling in October, wanting to know ifwe have students for them to hire." Amanda Jordan, animal science sophomore, switched her option from veterinary science to food science. "I had wanted to be a veterinarian ever since I was four.Then, I took a biochemistry special problems class and found out I really enjoyed the research, but I wanted to work with food safety and development," Jordan said. Having opportunities to work with projects like the N CBA product testing allows students the chance to find out if they would enjoy a career in the food science or food industry field. This is a win-win situation for the NCBA and OSU students and staff. Research and development conducted within organizations like NCBA also make it possible for students like Ben to make it back to class on time. Instead of wondering what to cook, then deciding ifhe has the time to cook it, he can pop a complete beef meal in the microwave, maybe a Rotiss-a-Roast, and be eating in less than 15 minutes. CJ


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He has small-town roots Inperiods where there is no leadership society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -HanyS ffllman By MichaelJackson Burlington, Okla.



Scillwacerf KentGardner(right) talks with his adviser, Joe WIiiiams. (Photo byMkkiCoe)


Today, Truman's words come alive through the Harry STruman Scholarship, which recognizes skills in communiry service, education, premier leadership and competition. In 2000, the recognition included Oklahoma State University's Kent Gardner. Gardner, an agriculcural economics senior, became OSU's sixth Truman Scholar in the past seven years, and the third Truman Scholar from the agricultural economics department, following in the footsteps of l 997Truman Scholar Shannon Ferrell and 1998 Truman Scholar Chris Stephens. "Chris Stephens, Shannon Ferrell and I were all involved in FFA and 4-H in high school," Gardner said. 'Those organizations gave us a good work ethic and a good base in community development." Gardner grew up in Sharon, a small town in western Oklahoma. He has three older sisters and one older brother who attended Oklahoma State University. Gardner's parents still live in Sharon. His father is a high school math teacher at Sharon-Mutual High School. "I have the best family in the entire world," said the 22-year-old. "They're a big part of my success. I give chem all of the credit." Gardner's diversification in high school contributed to his success in college. Gardner's activities in college prepared him for the Truman Scholarship. After graduation, Gardner plans to return to the rural area where he grew up. He said he has many rural development ideas and wishes to help farmers. "I really want to work with farmers and ranchers as a financial adviser," he said. "I chink farmers should have the same information and opportunity to achieve financial success as the next person in the business world." When Gardner began his college career at OSU, the Truman Scholarship hadn't even crossed his mind. "I never planned to apply for the Truman Scholarship. It just happened," Gardner said. Wes Holley, College ofAgricultural Sciences and Natural Resources assistant dean, approached Gardner and encouraged him to participate in the program. "Kent is a well-rounded, impressive individual," Holley said. "His dedication to public service as a college student and before he came to college is very important to the Truman Scholarship committee." The OSU agricultural economics department's dominance has piqued the interest of the Truman Scholarship committee. Truman Foundation Executive Director Louis Blair visited the campus and said he hopes to find out how the department is so successful with the Truman Scholar-

ship. Blair honored OSU as a Truman Honor School in December. Oklahoma State is one ofonly five institutions in the nation receiving chis honor, including the University ofKansas, the University ofTexas, the University ofMinnesota and the University ofMillamette, Ore. "It has been thrilling for the agriculcural economics department to have so much success," said Robert Graalman, director of the OSU Office of Scholar Development and Recognition. "It shows the talent of the students and the support of the ag college. It is unusual for one department to be so dominant in the award." The preparation process for the scholarship is extensive. Candidates have to first become the Truman candidate for the university. After chat process, each candidate writes a public policy analysis, goes through mock interviews and fills out the application. 'The application process is a very long, extensive process," Gardner said. "Dr. Graalman provided help without the pressure. He is very good at his job, and he made the process easier for me." Graalman said his office is designed to be in a leadership role for each prestigious scholarship. The department encourages all applicants to be well-rounded in school and community service and have a broad education base. "We have had great success with the Truman," Holley said. "Right now we have young people who know where they want and ought to be in their collegiate careers. We want all of our students to achieve all chat is possible. We want to encourage all of chem to follow through." Even though Gardner was well-prepared for the process, he still could not believe he received the award. "I was in shock!" he said. "It is awesome chat OSU is being nationally recognized as a Truman Honor School. Each student knows chis is the best school. Now we're getting the recognition we deserve." Gardner commented on all the support he received from the agricultural economics department and his academic adviser, Joe Williams. "Every agricultural economics professor I ever had in class was in the room when it was announced chat I had received the Truman Scholarship," Gardner said. "That shows how much our professors care about our education. It makes me proud to be a Cowboy." Truman's words still ring true: "Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better." With leaders like Gardner, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University will be at the forefront ofchange throughout the 21st century. CJ


He upholds the tradition By Nikki Coe Hydro, Okla.

A friendly face is a welcome sight among the challenges of college life. For 25 years, Joe Williams has been a friendly face and helped Oklahoma State University students through challenges. last fall, the College ofAgricultural Sciences and Natural Resources awarded Williams the first Academic Mentor Award in honor of his commitment to helping students. 'The College ofAg has a strong tradition of mentoring its students," Williams said. "I am extremely honored to be among a group offaculty and staffwho care about students, and it's very special to be the first recipient." Williams said he believes mentoring students is a lifestyle, which includes being a positive force in the environment in which students learn, work and live. He has been the academic adviser to many OSU agricultural economics students since 1975. He was the financial adviser for Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity for 13 years and advised CASNR Student Council for two years. He advised Alpha Zeta honorary agricultural fraternity for eight years. Williams also advisedAggieX club, the 10th and 12th floors of Kerr Residence Hall and the Latin American Student Association. "Dr. Williams does an excellent job of getting to know potential students on a personal level and then presents the opportunities that will appeal to that particular student," said Shannon Ferrell, OSU agricultural economics graduate and Truman Scholar. Kent Gardner, agricultural economics senior and Truman Scholar, said he appreciates Williams. "Dr. Williams always has been very supportive of me," Gardner said. "He's more like a parent, because he's quick to let me know ifI ever need anything, he'll be there."

Joe W!lliams, agriculturaleconomicsprofessor, instructs his farm andranch management class. (Photo by loddJohnson)


Williams, a native of Roswell, N. M., received his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics from New Mexico State University and then spent two years in the U.S. Army. He returned to New Mexico to work as an agricultural lender for his hometown bank for a short time and then accepted a research position at NMSU while his wife, Sue, completed her college education. After earning his doctorate in agricultural economics from Iowa Stare University, Williams began teaching at OSU in 1975. Sue Williams is an extension specialist for the College of Human Environmental Sciences. They have two daughters, Anna Langley of Oxford, Miss., and Heather Williams of Tulsa. Both daughters graduated from OSU in agricultural economics. Williams was academic adviser to his daughters and said, while he was hesitant at first, it was a wonderful experience. "I would not have chosen a different adviser," Heather Williams said. "We were always able to separate home and school, and I studied hardest for his classes." Williams' desire to be a mentor began because of the mentors who helped him during his college experience. His NMSU academic mentor, James Gray, allowed him to work each summer as a research intern. Williams went on to complete his master's degree under Gray's supervision. Because of Gray's influence, Williams participates in OSU's Freshman Research Scholar Program. Agricultural economics undergraduate students work with a faculty member in actual research, allowing them to develop economic research skills. Williams said he learned it is important to help students outside the realm of academia while working for NMSU University Housing and Food Services. Ed Rapp, food services director, inspired Williams with the way he cared for students' welfare. This experience led Williams to believe the university experience should be a total package that includes academic instruction, student organizations and living centers. "Dr. Williams' vision for students does not end with completion of their academic program," Ferrell said. "He keeps in close contact with graduates of our department, helping them with career development challenges far beyond graduation." Williams keeps up with former students having maintained a list of advisees' names from 1971 to present. The chalkboard in his office displays pictures ofagricultural economics graduates with their children, whom he calls his "grand-advisees."

Williams also has contributed to the teaching and research sectors of the agricultural economics department. He is head of the agricultural economics scholarship committee, which under his direction has raised more than $525,000 during the past 10 years. Williams advised two of the three Truman Scholars from OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He developed and maintains a business card listing of all OSU agricultural economics graduates, which allows students to research various job opportunities. He teaches a course in farm and ranch management, as well as a seminar for agricultural economics seniors, which helps prepare them for the work force. He also has researched various aspects of the Oklahoma swine industry. The door to Williams' office is always open to students, and he said every phone call is important to him. This open-door policy, along with his teaching and research duties, keeps him busy. However, he said seeing students find success and hearing thanks is rewarding. Williams also has seen many students struggle with college life. His personal goals for advising are to encourage and provide students an opportunity to develop to their greatest individual potential. "I advise CASNR students to set high goals, work to achieve those goals, develop academically, identify what you want to do in a career, and develop leadership and social skills," Williams said. Next time you are in Agricultural Hall and see Joe Williams' smile, you can't help but know he is there to help and that he cares about CASNR students. CJ

CASNR honors mentoring tradition

Joe Wt/Iiams (center) accepts the Academic Mentor Award from Dean Sam Curl (/eh) and Associate Dean Ed MIiier. (Photo by loddJohnson)

OSU's College ofAgricultural Sciences and Natural Resources administration takes great pride that its faculty and staff are committed to helping students, said Wes Holley, CASNR assistant dean. The administration turned to the CASNR scholarship and awards committee to help them develop a way to recognize annually a faculty or staff member who has gone beyond the call of duty to help students. "We were looking for someone who exhibits the whole package of club involvement, academic advising and individual mentoring," Holley said. Joe Williams, agricultural economics professor, received the first CASNR academic mentor award Sept. 13 at the fall Division ofAgricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty meeting. When presenting the award, Ed Miller, CASNR associate dean, said Williams "fit the prototype of who this award was supposed to honor." In rhe nomination process used, applicants wrote an essay and received support letters from students, faculty and their respective department head. The scholarship committee then reviewed all the applications and selected the outstanding mentor. An award of $1,000 and a statuette will be given to the recipient each year. Holley said the recipient does not have to be an academic adviser, bur should be highly involved with students in some capacity. Holley said he would like to see this become the top award for CASNR faculty and staff.

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CASNR focuses on .freshman preparation Faculty and advisers of the College ofAgricultural Sciences and Natural Resources take tremendous pride in ensuring student successes, said Ed Miller, CASNR associate dean. "This means we must help to provide a successful transition from high school to college life," Miller said. To focus on a student's first year at Oklahoma State University, the college has implemented three developmental programs. Agricultural orientation, Freshmen In Transition and the Student Academic Mentor program familiarize freshmen with on-campus activities and collegiate coursework to help students succeed in the college environment.

AG 101 1: getting the right start "I want to ensure every one of our freshmen students is successful," said Wes Holley, CASNR

assistant dean. "We want a 100-percent retention rate of freshmen returning in the spring and eventually receiving their degrees from OSU." To help ensure student success, the college offers agricultural orientation, better known as AG 1011. "Ag orientation'' has become known as one of the most beneficial classes to rake at OSU because it is designed to introduce freshmen to collegiate life and allow them to familiarize themselves with the changes and challenges they will face as college students. The course teaches students the skills, procedures and services useful and necessary for an outstanding academic program, thus improving chances for a successful college career. Through the class, students gain tools allowing them to improve study habits, time management skills, attitudes toward collegiate classwork, and academic goal setting, Holley said.

Wes Holley (center) oversees SAMJenmfer Sconyers (n'ght) while she assists hersister andFITstudent Jessica Sconyers.


Looking at the course objectives and fundamental purpose of this class doesn't do justice to the impact ir makes on students. Holley brings a teaching style that creates a high level of energy and excitement in the classroom, encouraging and motivating freshmen to get enthusiastic about life at Oklahoma State. "As a reacher, I have to show students I'm truly concerned about their general welfare from the moment they arrive," Holley said. The high emphasis on an upbeat classroom atmosphere and open-door policy are ways Holley shows he cares for students. Holley said he has four basic teaching philosophies he implements in the classroom: responsibility, time management, note-taking techniques and the importance of reading effectively. The first is responsibility. Students learn the importance of taking their collegiate work seriously and putting in the time and effort necessary to succeed in the classroom. "Students have to realize that they are their own people now. Mom and dad are at home, so it is up to them to take an initiative and focus on the joys and challenges of college," Holley said. Time management skills are relayed as a viral component to accomplishing goals and establishing a well-rounded collegiate experience. New reading methods and note-taking skills also are introduced to help the adjustment from high school to the more challenging and accelerated coursework of college. "When I look out at the class, I don't see students sitting in a room. I see opportunity and the potential for incredible talent," Holley said. Students agree this class is useful. Ross Hudson, agricultural economics freshman, said he enjoyed Holley's diverse teaching style. "He keeps the class interesting by incorporating a highly motivating teaching style and discussing issues important to me and my success at OSU," Hudson said. "This class is the reason

I'm offon the right foot. I'm looking forward to several more great years here." AG 1011 's course objectives help students focus on preparing for their future, whether it is college or the years beyond.

Ft/ting in at OSU: Freshmen In Transition Although AG 1011 has been around for years, Holley developed the idea for FIT about three years ago, after studying a similar program at the University of Missouri. He wanted a program that would test OSU on its effectiveness in developing young leaders. Seventy-two students are FIT-ting in at OSU. The new program is giving students the opportunity to improve their academic skills, leadership abilities and social skills. "I wanted to determine if we (CASNR) were doing everything we could for students," Holley said. "I believe that by increasing the expectations of the students they will stay in school, graduate and succeed." All components ofthe program were in place to begin, except the facilities for the residential learning community. When OSU decided to expand campus living residences, Holley said he saw a tremendous opportunity for FIT "The timing was right," Holley said. "It was an opportunity to find a place to provide incoming freshmen with the options ofliving in an agriculturally themed community." Holley presented his ideas and goals to campus leaders and the OSU Department of Residential Life. As a result, the third and fourth floors ofJones Hall were allotted to agricultural theme living. This was the beginning ofwhat is presumably one of the most comprehensive programs ofits nature in the country, Holley said. Following permission granted by Residential Life and university officials, no time was wasted in informing students about FIT Fliers and letters were sent to incoming CASNR students to let them know about the new program. Out of 132 applications received, 72 were randomly selected to be involved in the pilot year of Freshmen in Transition. The FIT program began right away. The 72 students attended Camp Cowboy at OSU for one week in July. It was a week filled with ropes courses, spirit sessions, question-and-answer sessions with professors, small group activities Julie Coulter(top), takes a breakfrom classes with AmyHoyle, JenniferSconyers andZac Givens.

and even meeting Pistol Pete. Derrick Davies, agribusiness freshman, said Camp Cowboy was "really where we got to bond with each other as FIT students." Camp Cowboy was a way for students to meet, so when they moved into the residence halls they were not complete strangers. One of the perks of being a FIT student was having priority choice of a room in the new suite-style residential hall. Each suite has four single bedrooms and two full bathrooms which are joined by a living room and kitchenette. "Coed living is a great environment to be in. It works very well because you learn to interact with many different people," Davies said. "The commons area, on the third floor, is a great place to hang out. It feels like home and makes the transition easier." One of the goals of the FIT program is to challenge every aspect of the student's development. To ensure OSU is doing everything it can to help students, Holley developed a list of expectations and requirements that encouraged success in college and life. Alison Sexten, agricultural education graduate student and FIT coordinator, said students must take an active role in 11 different areas. Activities range from community service and becoming involved in college and university organizations to attending Allied Arts events. Each of the areas has a minimum level of participation. Holley said the program was designed in this way to give students some structure in their lives as well as responsibility and accountability. Academics are, of course, a high priority. Students are encouraged to maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average in the fall and a 3.0 during the spring. Tutors are provided to help students maintain required GPAs. Once a week, students have access to tutors in chemistry, biology and several levels of math. In addition to the tutors, students have access to study groups and faculty assistance. Since this is the pilot year for FIT, it is being monitored and evaluated closely. Sexten and FIT evaluator Kathleen Kelsey are collecting data and monitoring students' progress. Research began at Camp Cowboy when FIT students filled out pretests. To monitor further progress, students turn in weekly reports. To complete the research, Kelsey and Sexten will administer post-tests. When the students return in fall of 2001, they will be interviewed about their experiences in the first year of the program. Kelsey


DuringAg Roundup, Collegiate Farm Bureau members Zac Ham's (left) andJon Marc Holt vt'sitWtth freshman studentBlaine Spencer (right) aboutthe advantages ofclubparticipation.

and Sexten said they want to know exactly how FIT affected students. Sexten said their research is covering several different areas, including academic achievement, how students get involved in community service, how they develop and take leadership roles, and their retention rate. The FIT students are compared to non-FIT freshmen who also took the pretest and will take the post-test. "I expect we will find the students will have had a great experience at OSU because they have bonded to a social group," Kelsey said. 'They should be more focused, have above average GPAs, and have enhanced community living skills." Holley said he hopes the FIT program "will develop the students into excellent citizens who will have wonderful career opportunities." There may be some expansion made to the program in the future, but for now there is excitement about helping students FIT in at OSU.

SAMs: students helping students SAMs are a key component in ensuring that freshmen FIT in at OSU. A great security for students enrolled in the FIT program is knowing a SAM lives right down the hall.They know they have a friend to discuss worries with or who will be a 24-hour tutor. Holley said he believes the transition from high school to college would be easier if freshmen had mentors, people close to their age who already had made the transition successfully.

Four years ago, the Student Academic Mentor, or SAM program, was introduced to CASNR via the university-wide SAM program. SAMs are students who volunteer their time to various student development programs such as AG 1011 and FIT. Holley said SAMs "lead by example." They are older students who have displayed high academics, proven themselves to be leaders through involvement on campus, and possess a desire to help others. SAMs are there not only to help students through the trials of being freshmen, but also to help them grow and develop. SAMs have a tremendous opportunity to make positive impacts on freshmen by serving as teachers, mentors, friends and role models. Being student teachers in AG 1011, SAMs play a vital role in preparing freshmen for a productive college life. Every SAM is assigned about 10 to 12 students to be in their small groups. The groups focus on intense interaction between SAMs and students. The freshmen are given opportunities to ask questions about OSU or visit about problems they are having during their first semester. Holley helps prepare the SAMs for group sessions by conducting weekly meetings in which SAMs are given topics to discuss with the freshmen. Topics range from time management and club and organizational involvement to collegiate goal setting and adviser/student relations. Jamie Walker, agricultural communications junior and second year SAM, said she thinks the

FITstudents andSAMs meeteach week to discuss class challenges andcollege opportumties.

FIT program is a great way to help new students who come to OSU. "This is a great way to help them learn about OSU," Walker said. "I remember my struggles during my transition from high school to college, and I want to make sure new freshmen have some guidance during this time." One of the greatest responsibilities of a SAM is detecting student problems. "Noticing behavioral changes and catching concerns early, before they become major issues, helps in maintaining a positive collegiate experience for these students," Walker said. An appropriate balance ofsocial opportunities and class work is an issue with which SAMs help. Kim Davis, animal science senior and third year SAM, said she wants to make sure her students get involved in universiry activities, maintain high academic standing, and enjoy the pleasures ofestablishing friendships while at OSU. "I set up study sessions for my students who want to come over and ask questions about classes or homework," Davis said. "I also have cookouts to encourage social interaction and allow the fun part ofcollege to be introduced to them as well." Jennifer Sconyers, agricultural education graduate student, said she became a SAM because she wanted to help younger students. "When I was a freshman, I was shy and not involved on campus. My goal is to help others become involved early in college so they can see what OSU has to offer," Sconyers said. SAM Melissa Majors, agricultural communications and animal science sophomore, said she believes the social requirements are a positive aspect of the FIT program. "Itwas hard for me to get involved in clubs and organizations," Majors said. "The FIT requirements immerse the students into OSU. They become part ofOSU instead ofjust going to school here."

The implementation of these three programs provide freshmen with necessary skills to help fulfill their potential. With help from AG 1011, the FIT program and their SAMs, freshmen will have fewer problems obtaining their goals and reaching "destination success." CJ

FITstudents James Wells (top left), Dustin Vann (bottom right) andJessica Sconyers meet w!lh Wes Holley (bottom left) before class.

Story andphotographs by Skye Vtzrner McNiel, Bristow, Okla., and Kaleb Kyle Hennigh, Laverne, Okla.



The Oklahoma State University Rodeo Team's much-anticipated dream ofworking practice facilities is now a reality. In an effort to"Ride for the Brand," their new motto, the team members are now officially supported through funding from donors across the state. The team received $200,000 to help fund the facility and accepted it as an earned privilege. "These student athletes are OSU's real cowboys and cowgirls," said Terry Hyman, OSU coordinator offreshman programs and volunteer rodeo coach. "They are reflective of the western heritage that represents this university's founding and are certainly deserving of this opportunity." Sam Curl, dean and director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and Don Wagner, animal science department head, made available 27 acres at the corner ofWestern and Lakeview as the new site. The team conducted a groundbreaking ceremony March 3, 2000. More than 15 university officials, rodeo supporters and team officers used shovels to break ground for the new facility and kept their shovels as mementos. ¡

"On behalfof the entire Rodeo Association, I would like to extend our highest thanks to you for your belief in us and what we represent," said Jennifer Roberts Cunningham, 1999-2000 OSU Rodeo Team president. The OSU Rodeo Team, started in 1947, has not been a university scholarship-sponsored sport. Lou Watkins, chairwoman of the Board of Regents for OklahomaA&M Colleges, said rodeo facilities were proposed years ago to the university, but no steps had been taken to complete the effort. However, in summer 1999, the dream was brought back to life. In an attempt to increase support of the team, Cunningham said she traveled and spoke to several prospective supporters, including the OSU and A&M Board of Regents, proposing aid in funding. To help begin the effort, OSU administrators challenged the team to raise $10,000 and said they would match it. The team held two fundraisers:

Beauty and the Beast, a bull riding and barrel racing jackpot, and the Ride for the Brand auction. The team raised $16,000 and received $10,000 in matching funds. Along with this success, Cunningham's effort helped convert an initial 9-0 Board ofRegents vote in favor of the proposal. The Wes Watkins family along with Cunningham's father, Ernie Roberts, aided the team in its struggle for support. Other regents, OSU faculty, community supporters, rodeo team members and Booster Club members met at Peaceable Acres, home of Lou Watkins, to share information about the proposal. "My family and I feel positive this is a good group of kids and are willing to help them in any way we can," said Sally Vielma, Booster Club member and daughter ofWes and Lou Watkins. Roberts attended every meeting concerning this issue and prepared a concept design of the facilities with several draftsmen from his company. He presented it to OSU administrators, and then OSU Physical Plant Services prepared a blueprint. Students, parents and Rodeo Booster Club members continued to donate their time in helping with the facility construction. "It will be the 'sweat equity' of the students

and their contribution of time that will help bring these facilities to life," said Harry Birdwell, OSU vice president for business and external relations. The 2000-2001 OSU Rodeo Team President, Jennifer Link, is following Cunningham's steps in the club to continue in this successful time. "I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a dedicated club in this project," Link ,said. "I believe I speak for everyone when I say that we appreciate this chance." Brad Bailey, president of the Rodeo Booster Club, said he is in contact with 300 former rodeo team members and feels certain they would be willing to provide rodeo stock and hay to support the program. In the last 54 years, the OSU Rodeo Team has maintained a reputation ofgreatness in intercollegiate competition. Competing and ranking among the best, OSU had three students, C.R. Bradley, Wade Hudspeth and Rosie Cooper, go to the Collegiate National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., last year, and two students went the year before. Dubbed the "Rose Bowl ofcollege rodeo" and broadcast on ESPN, the CNFRawards more than $200,000 in scholarships. Among this reputation of greatness are former OSU Rodeo Team mem-

bers, including former U.S. Congressman Clem McSpadden, former Dallas Cowboy Walt Garrison, prominent race horse trainer Gary Walker, and International Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Saddlebronc Rider Jet McCoy. Without facilities, OSU risked losing McCoy, l 999's premier rodeo recruit in the nation, as a team member along with others such as an incoming freshman, J.R. Magdeburg, Cunningham said. Magdeburg, who said he was attracted by the academic opportunities at OSU, initially debated accepting rodeo scholarships from five other institutions. McCoy said he considered leaving OSU to join a college rodeo team in the Panhandle that is supplied with a facility and scholarship assets. Although Magdeburgjoined the OSU Rodeo Team, McCoy left after one year, just before the funding for the facilities. He now attends Southwestern Oklahoma State University, in Weatherford, Okla. "Now with the facilities at OSU, my decision was easy," Magdeburg said. "I am able to have my choice in education and rodeo opportunity, all in one school." Of the Big 12 schools, eight have organized rodeo teams. OSU is a member of the Central Plains

Region. This region includes 22 colleges stretching through Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri and has 339 rodeo members. OSU was, but no longer is, one of the few schools left without working facilities and university support. Facilities will consist of a 300 feet by 100 feet barn, an arena, chutes, holding pens, restrooms, a hard-surfaced road, electricity and water. The facilities are to be completed by summer 2001. As a follow-up, the OSU Foundation has created an endowed scholarship program designated for rodeo students. A full-time paid coach is a future goal of the rodeo team, as Hyman is not reimbursed for his traveling and coaching expenses. Team members have said they feel grateful for OSU's demonstration of pride and support. "No longer will these dedicated, young athletes work to 'Ride for the Brand,' with absolutely no support from the brand," Roberts said. As a result oflong hours, dedication, dreams and ability, OSU's rodeo athletes will continue a winning tradition as they "Ride for the Brand."CJ Story and photo by Yantry Jo Pinkston Locust Grove, Okla.


Wet socks? Get a SPUR By Clay Francis Piedmont, Ok/,a.


Those familiar with the Oklahoma State University campus know what spring can bring: lots of rain and debris that can make streets on campus ankle-deep with water that can carry pollutants into streams and rivers. That could all change thanks to three biosystems and agricultural engineering students. The Solution for Pollution from Urban Runoff, or SPUR, was designed and assembled by Jeff Adams, Jay Jantzen and Diana Loudenslager in a departmental capstone class. The students are specializing in environment and natural resources and named themselves Engineers Using Reliable Erosion Control Alternatives, or EURECA. Unlike most capstone courses, the biosystems and agricultural engineering course spans two semesters. In the first semester, students were given several possible projects. EURECA chose urban run-off as its project. Urban run-off pollution consists ofsoil sediment, floating organic matter, floating man-made debris, chemicals and other residues carried by water. "We spent most of the first semester brainstorming the possibilities," Adams said. After the students chose urban run-off as their project, they met with their adopted client Gary Shockley, storm w;ter quality manager for Oklahoma City. Shockley brought the team up to speed on the issue of urban run-off and what was being done to resolve the problem. ''After Shockley informed us of the issues at hand, we believed we could design an apparatus that would have the potential to be a positive attribute to society," Adams said. The team knew the purpose ofa storm water system is to remove run-off from the interior of a city as efficiently and effectively as possible, Adams said. They also knew Stillwater's system consisted of area inlets, curb inlets, underground conduit and open channels. However, rhe team realized the problem was too big to handle in the rime they had to design an apparatus and complete their engineering curriculum. They decided to concentrate on designing an apparatus for curb inlets. After choosing this issue, the ream set its objectives. "Our objectives included removal of soil sediment, floating debris and a limited amount of floating residue before they reached the sewer system," Adams said. Once the problems were addressed and the objectives were set, the real work began. The students realized the device would have to be simple so ir could be implemented. Maintainability was another issue to be considered. Along with these issues, the design had to be compatible with those systems already in place.

"We wanted to design an apparatus that could be installed quickly and that was economically and aestherica!Jy appealing," Jantzen said. "The final and foremost issue was a successful design. " When they mer with Shockley, they discussed devices and practices currently in use. A patent search was necessary to avoid designing anything that had already been done. Team EURECA discovered temporary devices used for construction sires had been somewhat successful, bur the devices were nor feasible for urban settings. With the standards set and the previous designs identified, they worked to achieve the best design possible. The team faced two barriers in creating their design: the size of grate openings in curb inlets and the depth variations in sewer systems. After reviewing the previous designs and barriers, the team set out to design SPUR. They came up with a series of prototypes. The parameters led to a rectangular device, which serves multiple purposes, including removing pollutants, lengthening the flow path, reducing re-suspension of material already trapped and allowing an overflow path for high-flow conditions. After the ream rested the SPUR design and made adjustments, they constructed a two-piece structure with a bottom portion that could vary in depth to control pollutants from entering the water system. In May 2000, the ream entered the design in the annual American Society ofAgricultural Engineers design competition held in Milwaukee. The SPUR placed second at the competition sponsored by AGCO Corp. "The experience with teamwork I gained from rhe competition and the class was invaluable,"Adams said. The SPUR design patent has been filed with OSU's Office oflntellectual Property and Technology Transfer. The team said the project could never have been attained without support from the biosysrems and agricultural engineering department, especially from capstone course instructor, Ronald Elliott. The ream also received assistance from Kerry Robinson, research hydraulics engineer for the U.S. Department ofAgriculture hydraulics lab in Stillwater. "The SPUR is truly an outstanding invention with an exciting future ahead of ir," Elliott said. So on the next rainy day in your community, when the streets are draining freely during a heavy downpour, you can thank three OSU students for keeping your socks dry and your streams clean. CJ

:First ~tiona[ 'Bani( of Mountain 'View ') 1899-2000

fllST NHIONH BANK~'\_;. Slwnrcn: ~ h.:

:fu{{-service 'Ban( Loans • Deposits • Investments • Friendly Service Serving Mountain View and tfie Surrounding Ylrea for 101 Years Bill Sims, President (580) 347-2801

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r-:-or 73 years a t Oklahoma State University, we have maintained a proud tradition of awards and achievem ents. we have a longstanding tradition of winning the Dean Troxel Award for the o utstanding fraternity on campus. we have maintained the highest GPA among the fra ternities for 7 1 years . Our p ledge .. classes have started their own tradition of w inning the Jr. Iron Man Award for the outstanding p ledge class. In I 999, we were named the National Outstanding FarmHouse Chapter.





L 21

Jesse (left), Shannon andBngitte Elledge enjoya sunsetatBoomerLake.


uly 27, 1999, began as a normal day for Shannon Elledge. He went through his normal routine of work and was looking forward to a softball game that night. That evening, however, Elledges life- his wife, his new baby girl, his job and furthering his education at Oklahoma State University-was put on hold. Monday night's softball game began as any other; it was the Spare Tires versus the Simons. In the third inning, Elledge's hit landed him on first. Elledge waited for his teammate to send him to second, not knowing what was in store. As the batter hit to the short stop, Elledge took off for second base. The second baseman received the ball from the shortstop, touched the bag and went to turn a double play, but as he threw to first, the ball was slightly off target and hit Elledge on the right side of the head. When he was hit with the ball, he was only about five feet from second base. "He was knocked down instantly," said Tim Ruckman, coach of the Spare Tires. "Shannon screamed, yelled and rolled on the ground while holding his head. "It took about three to four minutes for the players on the other team, who happened to be emergency medical technicians, to calm Shannon and get him to relax," Ruckman said.


When Elledge finally stood up, he asked,

''Am I safe?" When he was told he was out, he walked off the field and sat in the dugout. After a couple of innings, he informed Coach Ruckman he was ready to play again. The coach suggested he sit out the rest of the game, because he still had a headache. Later that evening, Elledge's head still hurt so he decided to go to the hospital. Because he showed no signs ofa serious head injury, the doctors set up an appointment with an ear specialist in case of damage to the eardrum. Elledge was sent home with some pain medication. Around 2:30 a.m. he began vomiting and stumbling around the house. He knew he had to get to the hospital. He tried dialing 911 but realized he had lost his senses and could not dial the phone. "My brain was not communicating with my body," ELiedge said. He said he felt as ifhe was standing on the edge of a cliff and falling. His wife, Brigitte, called Ken Bosma, a friend, to come and rake Elledge to the hospital. Bosma said Elledge was sitting in the kitchen incoherent and unresponsive when he arrived. Bosma carried him out to his pickup and drove him to the hospital. Once at the hospital,

Bosma began describing Elledge's symptoms to the doctor, who immediately began treating him. After Elledge was stabilized, he was transported by medi-flight to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa where he underwent immediate surgery for a blood clot on his brain. The blood clot, which was one half-inch thick and the size of a softball, was compressing his brain. After surgery, Elledge's brain returned to normal almost immediately, however, he did not wake up. Doctors informed family and friends that Elledge was in a coma, and they were not sure of the outcome. He was in the intensive care unit for a week. While he was in critical condition, doctors informed Elledge's family that the outcome could go either way. All that was left to do was wait and pray. "One of the hardest things about Shannon's accident was not knowing what to expect from his recovery and no one being able to tell me for sure," said Brigitte Elledge, who at the time of the accident was a new mother. For six weeks Elledge had been caring for both his wife and 6week-old daughter, Jesse. Brigitte Elledge had always been the kind of person who did not rely on others. Although she still did not want to depend on others, she realized thatwithher husband in a coma she had no other choice. One of the things she said she learned after the accident was that she has to be able to trust in God and in herself. "Sadly, you have to think ahead to what would happen if you lost your spouse," she said. "Every day is precious, and you have to treat it like ir's your last." Elledge was in a coma for about two weeks, partly from drugs and partly from the injury. Doctors had to keep him on coma-inducing drugs because he was getting upset trying to wake up and respond when people would talk to him. Slowly they brought him off the medication, but he didn't respond as they had hoped. He stayed in a coma a few more days after the medication was discontinued. Once awake, Elledge's left side was unresponsive, and he had little to no control of his arm or leg. He spent two months in rehabilitation trying to get his left side to work. "One of the hardest things about what happened was that I lost over a month with Jesse," Elledge said. "She was six weeks old when this happened, so I missed out on some development." For months after the accident, Elledge was still not able to hold his daughter.

"I wasn't confident char I could hold her, more beneficial for the field in which Elledgeplans bur eventually they integrated holdingJesse into co work. my rehab," Elledge said. "One thing char I learned from chis acciDuring rehabilitation, Elledge said the sched- dent is char people should wear helmecs in spores," Elledge said. "I learned more about my spiritual ule wore him our. "I had aggressive therapists. They really selfand char I had patience I didn't know I had. pushed me co do things I was nor capable of The biggest thing is the value of people. We cake doing," he said. chem for granted. You learn the value ofa friend, Noc only did he have co overcome crying co and friends become more important." use his left side again, bur he also had co lee his Many people showed how they cared and body heal so he could ear solid food and talk. He helped Elledge while he was in the hospital. 'There was so much comm uni cy involvehad a weak larynx because doctors had co give ment," Bosma said. "In coral, they were given him a tracheotomy co help him breathe. One of Elledge's goals is co gee his physical $6,400 from friends and family co help with a ability back. While in the coma, he lose 34 hotel room for Brigicce, food and hospital bills." pounds. As a lieutenant in the Army National The church Elledge accends, Scillwacer Guard, he has a physically demanding job, and Church ofChrist, raised $6,000 co assist the famhe wanes co gee back co his former level ofperfor- ily, which allowed Brigicce Elledge co stay in Tulsa mance and finish his military career. dose co her husband. The National Guard unit raised $400 co Luckily, because the accident occurred during the summer, Elledge did nor miss any classes. help the Elledges' with expenses. "The guard also was patient as Shannon reHe said he is thankful char he did nor lose any ground while crying co earn his master's de- cuperated, and they lee him sec his own recovery time," said Bosma, a fellow guard member. "The gree in environmental science. Elledge said since he had already invested general of Oklahoma's guard even wrote Shantwo semesters ofwork into the program, it would non a letter. "Ir's amazing the number ofpeople who pull be good co finish. In addition, a masters degree is

Shannon Elledge takes notes duringa class.

together and cry co help our when a life-threatening situation occurs," Bosma said. Today, Elledge still does nor have 100 percent function of his left side. However, he is working co gee back his full function. This fall he started back co school co finish his degree and said he hopes co graduate by 2002. "Mose of the rime I feel like I'm lucky because I chink it could have gone the ocher way, so I feel very fortunate," Elledge said.CJ By Erica Cook, Newkirk, Okla.

Shannon (!eh) andBrigitte Elledge teach theirdaughter, Jesse, howtoplaysoftballwhile on a visit to BoomerLake in Sttllwater. (Photos by En'ca Cook)



Wheat study adds value By Kimberly Clark Hume,Mo.

In only45 days, Patricia Rayas and an Oklahoma Scace University research team compiled detailed data never before available co Oklahoma wheat buyers and sellers. Rayas is the cereal chemist for the Oklahoma Food and Agricultural Produces Research and Technology Center. The support of the FAPC and the Oklahoma Wheat Commission made chis published survey report possible. The detailed survey report on the quality of wheat establishes a way to help market the value of wheat. le became available July 24 in a publication for buyers and sellers of Oklahoma wheat. Elevator managers also may use the survey report as a selling cool co lee domestic and international buyers know early the quality of chis year's hard red winter wheat crop.

Jan Uriyapongson, Ph. D candidate, uses a grain dl路v1der to get a representative sample for specific analysis. (Photo by Kimberly Clark)


"Premiums and discounts are established by the market, and this report will be used as a marketing tool co tap the potential premiums and discounts of this year's crop," Rayas said. ''Also, when a buyer has more information on how the wheat will perform in the mill and bakery, a trust is established with the elevator and a sale may be made. When buyers have co guess, they're naturally more cautious." Ocher states rely on the U.S. Wheat Associates' quality report chat contains composite averages of all wheat producing states. The U.S. Wheat Associates report is distributed in October, six months into the crop year. The Oklahoma hard red winter wheat survey contains information on individual samples and averages by region and the whole state. This particular report is much more derailed and timely, Rayas said. "FAPC has the mission ofadding value co agricultural products in Oklahoma. This report aided in illustrating the value of the hard red winter wheat crop," Rayas said. Rayas said she is excited about the availability of chis information and especially about the reaction it will bring from wheat buyers. She said this will be a positive change not only for Oklahoma's wheat industry, but also for the nation as a whole. Seven OSU individuals made up the research team. Rayas was the primary investigator. Maurice Brannan, field collaborator, collected the samples that were used co conduct the report. Xiaowu Liang was the wheat research special isc at FAPC. Graduate students Christina Francisco, Boonyeam Nobnob and Jan Uriyapongson and undergraduate Carlos Silva also helped with the testing. Brannan and Rayas cook composite samples, 14 co 15 pounds each, from the five most statistically important wheat producing areas as deemed by the Oklahoma Agricultural Statistics Service. Samples were taken twice during harvest. Collection began May 30, when about one-third of the harvest was completed, and then again at the end of harvest. The collection process continued until June 26. The first samples were taken from truckloads as they delivered wheat to selected county elevators within a twoday to four-day span, Rayas said. Wheat samples were then poured into buckets, mixed, bagged and delivered co the Enid Grain Inspection Office for grading. From Enid, the samples went co FAPC for analysis. The process was repeated for second samplings. 'The grading process is important because it determines if the wheat is grade 1 through 5, with 1 being best," Rayas said. "This is one of the specifications chat determines the price of wheat."

After milling the wheat, researchers tested the flour, determining the ash, protein and moisture content. Then the researchers measured the mixing and extension properties of the dough. "Mixing and extension properties are important cools co predict functionality, or how the dough is going co perform during the processing stage of baking, and the quality of the final produce-bread," Rayas said. For baking tests, individual samples were measured using equal weights at three ranges of protein: high, greater than 12.5 percent; medium, 11.5 to 12.5 percent; and low, less than 11.5 percent. The samples were baked for evaluation of physical characteristics such as crumb texture, color, grain, volume and ocher properties. Wheat and grade data were collected, and flour research was performed on the samples. All methods were completed with official U.S. Department ofAgriculcure procedures and official U.S. Standards for Grain. After completing the research, Rayas traveled co conference meetings in Lawton, Enid and Ardmore co meet with millers. She presented the Oklahoma crop report as an effective marketing cool of the growth of value-added food and agricultural produces in Oklahoma. "The audiences learned about the methods and strategies used co analyze the quality of wheat and what chis

quality data means co sellers and buyers as well as co bakers," Rayas said. Colombian wheat buyer representatives visited FAPC chis summer and heard results of the quality survey. The visit was part ofa hard red winter wheat growing area tour hosted by the U.S. Wheat Associates and This report a1dedin 1!/ustrating the value of funded by the Oklahoma the hardred winter wheat crop. Wheat Commission. Ir gave -Patncia Rayas, cerealchemist the visiting buyers a glimpse at how the Oklahoma wheat looked and what they might expect from production co quality co shipment. On Sepe. 26, the first actual sale and shipment of wheat from Oklahoma co Colombia was confirmed, said Gary Gilbert, Oklahoma Wheat Commission director. Gilbert said the report is a seep forward, nor just because it addresses characteristics of the wheat, bur because of its timeliness. Through the efforts of Rayas and the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, final reports were distributed co grain companies across the United Scares and co export customers. With continued support of the wheat industry professionals, Gilbert and Rayas said they anticipate chis co be an annual publication available co support and improve the Oklahoma wheat industry. CJ

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Student learns firsthand Learning does not just involve a classroom and the library. The opportunity to be part ofa research study gives a student the ability to have the hands-on learning that most strive for on the collegiate level. Animal science graduate students at Oklahoma State University are able to organize and conduct research studies that will affect the equine industry. Donna Patterson came to OSU knowing she wanted more than a bachelor's of science in animal science. Her choices for advanced education were veterinary medicine or equine nutrition. She said she decided on equine nutrition because of her interest in the equine industry and the wide variety ofemployment opportunities. As part ofher graduate research for her thesis, the 23year-old is studying Phyrase supplementation. Manufactured by BASF, Phyrase is a phosphorus enzyme that aids in the digestibility ofcalcium and phosphorus.The enzyme also has a positive effect on crude protein digestibility, according to BASF. "I called BASF, because we knew that they produced Phyrase, and one of the members on the research committee had a contact within the company," Patterson said. "The result was the donation of Phyrase in the amounts I needed to conduct my research." The next step in setting up the study was deciding what to research about Phyrase. "I decided to collect research for the purpose of finding the results of calcium to phosphorus digestibiliry in horses," she said. "This is because these are the two major minerals that are responsible for normal bone growth and development ofyoung horses." Steven Cooper, OSU assistant professor, is the lead adviser on Patterson's graduate research committee. "I have been conducting studies on the calcium and phosphorus subject myself, and this is just another possibility that needs to be studied," Cooper said. Cooper, along with Patterson, decided what to collect and how to collect it. They also decided the number and kind ofhorses that should be used in the study. They then developed a feed ration that met the National Research Council requirements for the specific type ofhorses used. Four Quarter Horse geldings between five and seven years of age were used in the study. Patterson monitored the horses on four different treatments of Phyrase: zero (the control group), 300,600 and 900FrU/kg. The reason for the different amounts of Phyrase is to see what level is most beneficial, Patterson said.

Each gelding received a different treatment during each By Allison McKinster of the four rotations. As each rotation changed, so did the Stillwater, Okla. amount of Phyrase in each horse's diet. At the end of each rotation, urine and feces were collected from the horses for the next 72 hours. During each of the four separate rotations, Patterson spent three consecutive days at the OSU horse barn scooping up feces and collecting urine in her own homemade urine collection harness. It didn't matter if it was freezing or 100 degrees outside, Patterson had to be there to collect data and record the times that each gelding urinated. She studied in the barn, slept in the barn, ate in the barn, played cards in the barn and, when she got really bored, she swept the barn. 'This is not the most glamorous job," Patterson said. "Bur I want the education and experience. This is what I have to do to ger it." Afrer every 24 hours ofcollecting data, Patterson gathered each horse's manure, took samples out of the each individual's collective pile, and placed the smaller sample in a plastic bag in the freezer. The urine collected was combined for all three days in smaller duplicate samples and frozen for testing at a later date. "The research done on these mature Quarter Horse geldings will give us the chance to look at the enzyme itself, once the findings are known," Cooper said. "From here we can go on to studies in growing horses to see if there are any significant outcomes." Cooper said he plans to have additional equine nutrition students continue Patterson's research. "This one study isn't going to change the industry," Patterson said. "Hopefully, from this point, more research will be done on Phyrase supplementation to determine whether or not Animalscience graduate student Donna PaUerson measures it is beneficial to the equine equineun'neoutputdun'ngherreseardz (Photo byAllisonMcKinster) industry."CJ



Working with marbling bling) works, then we could manipulate it, and chat's our long-term goal," Geisen said. The program is funded by the Oklahoma Beeflndustry Council through the checkoff program. A considerable need exists for producers to develop new ways to raise higherquality animals co meet consumers' demands, said Brad Morgan, OSU animal science associate professor. Each year, production inefficiencies in the beef industry account for a loss of approximately $7.4 billion, according co Childs' research study. According co the 1995 National Beeflnduscry Council Quality Audit, the beef industry lost nearly $280 for every fed animal marketed in 1991. Most of the loss was caused by excess fat, lack of marbling and ocher defects in the cattle carcass. However, the OSU project is crying to manipulate the genes of cattle co save producers time and money. "This project could be extremely beneficial," Morgan said. 'The people who will be affected most are the producers who feed scocker steers or heifers. It will help the entire industry in the long run." Whether producers raise scockers or show cattle, chis program will help chem by developing the rype of cattle the industry needs, Morgan said. Marbling, however, is not the only aspect the research program explores. Also included are the genes associated with feed efficiency and calving ease. "Some health-related problems have genes associated with chem," Morgan said. "Ifwe could turn chem on, turn chem offand regulate things, it would make us more efficient as a beef cattle industry." This program is designed to identify the genes chat are associated with a specific problem and co disJerry Ma/ayer, associateprofessor ofphysiologicalscience (center), discusses the latest cadie marbling results With two research cover ways to regulate chem assistants, Zach Stevenson (left) andKalyn Brown. (Photo bySara McGaha) ma posmve manner. By Sara McGaha Tecumseh, Ok/,a.


Consumers want to be overwhelmed when they bite into a juicy steak. To gee chat sensation, the steak must have adequate marbling, and researchers at Oklahoma Seate University are working to "meat" consumer demands. Three faculty members and three students are using genetic selection and management in caccle co address the development of marbling in the caccle industry. Their research program is called "Identifying the Stages of Marbling Development in Beef Cattle." In 1991, Kirby Childs started chis project as part of the research for his master's thesis. Childs, now a doctoral student at Colorado Seate University, began studying the genes of cattle in an effort to speed up the marbling process. "Research began about two years ago," said Rod Geisen, OSU animal science professor. "We are trying to understand how marbling actually occurs." The researchers are crying co determine why some cattle marble faster than others. Marbling is the last stage of fat development in the muscle. "If we could understand how the process (of mar-

"Right now, 58 percent of people in the United States are cooking beef medium well or well," Morgan said. "If you cook a product to a high degree of <loneness, one thing you do is increase roughness. " Several studies on the importance of marbling and its impact on tenderness are underway around the world. "Marbling in beef serves somewhat as an insurance policy," Morgan said. "You can cook it to higher degrees of <loneness while still maintaining a very tender product." To please customers and improve the quality of beef, producers should realize problems associated with the lack ofquality marbling, Morgan said. "Sometimes you get a steak that's just not good and nobody knows why," said Jerry Malayer, OSU associate professor of physiological science. If the beef industry is going to survive, the consumer is going ro have to become the most important thing. The industry must realize the cattle business in Oklahoma is a major economic component in the state, Geiserr said. "You have ro meet what consumers want," Geisen said. ''They want a uniform product, so that when they buy a steak, they know it's going to be good." Understanding the biology of marbling could lead to a

better understanding of tenderness in beef and better management practices of cattle during the feedlot stages. "If we could produce carcasses high in quality from a marbling standpoint, it would make beef a lot more competitive against other types of protein sources in the marketplace," Morgan said. "We could get the best of Marbling in beef serves somewhat as an both worlds: efficiency from insurance policy a growth standpoint and, af-BradMorgan, OSUanimalscienceprvfessor ter we harvest the animal, a high-quality product. "The beef industry must find ways to put animals in the feedlot and get them to marble faster," Morgan said. "If the program will get cattle to marble faster, then it will save producers money by cutting the number of days on feed. " As marbling develops sooner, facrors such as breed type, quality grades, post-mortem aging and geographical source of cattle can influence consumers' overall taste and palatability of the beef, Morgan said. "All breeds have individuals that work," Morgan said. "We just have to identify the individuals that actually will contribute something positive to the cattle mix." CJ

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OSU plants a new variety By Sarah Catalano Ada, Okla.

This year's all-female variety ofOklahoma State University crop judges is currently sowing the seeds ofanother national ranking. To compete at national levels, members of the crop judging team have to practice at regular times, be able to identify more than 300 seeds and plants and complete weekly assignments, however, they receive no scholarships or class credit. Both the 1999 and 2000 OSU national competition crop judging teams consisted offour women, said Jonathan Shaver, plant and soil sciences assistant professor and new team coach. "Of this year's practicing participants, five out of twelve are female," Shaver said. Crop judging at OSU started in 1923, and for 49 years, Oklahoma State has been dominant in both national competitions, one taking place in Kansas City, Kan., and the other in Chicago. "We're the most consistent team," Shaver said. "We've gone to more contests than any other team and participated more years. Over half the years, we've been in the top three teams in the nation." This year, Kerry O'Neill, Sheila Cross, Kylie Vincent and Deena Bushong placed second in the regional competition at Manhattan, Kan., Oct. 28. They competed in nationals Nov. 14 in Kansas City, Kan., and placed fourth.

Deena Bushong, plantandsoilsciences senior, practices seedanalysis for competition Oct 28 The teamplacedsecondin regionalcompehtionandfourth in nabonalcompeblion. (Photo bySarah Catalano)


Although crop judging is strictly an extracurricular activiry, all the crop judgers agree that being a part of a team is rewarding. "It's hard getting everybody together to practice and be responsible. But it's worth it," said O'Neill, plant and soil sciences senior with a crop science option. Shaver said being a team member in many cases requires more academic skills and more effort than some classes. Additionally, team members must learn self-discipline and specific knowledge relative to their field. Crops team members competing at nationals must first prepare for three different events. The first part involves identifying seeds and plants from across the United States. The crops and seeds the students must identify include grain crops, forage crops and weeds. "Ir's very useful to the students to be exposed to new plants and seeds that are grown in other parts of the country," Shaver said. The students are required to correctly identify 200 different plan rs and seeds with their correct spelling in 90 minutes, Shaver said. "Ir's a learning Olympics," Shaver said. "Not only do you have to be able to identify something, you have to be able to recall the names. It takes a special skill." Additionally, the students learn and identify "historically-important varieties" of crop plants such as wheat, barley and oars. For example, they are required to know what plant characteristics separate different varieties ofhard red winter wheat from one another, Shaver said. For the first year on the crop judging team, students primarily learn to identify plants and seeds, because the seed information a student learns is used in the other two parts of the contest, Shaver said. "Plant identification is good stuff to know because it's things I'll be dealing with when I'm in a 'real world' job situation," said Cross, plant and soil sciences senior with a . . crop sCience opnon. Competitors get down and dirty in seed analysis, where the crop judge physically examines the seed sample and identifies contaminants such as other crop seeds and weeds. Ifweed seeds are in the sample, the student determines whether the weeds are common weeds, prohibited weeds or restricted weeds. Seed analysis gives the students experience with what is done in a commercial setting when the purity of a seed sample is analyzed. "In the seed certification industry, when you want to

sell a load ofcowpeas or wheat that's certified, that sample is actually analyzed for contaminants," Shaver said. O'Neill said seed identification is a useful activity. "It takes a lot of time, but it's good to know the plants and weeds that I see, and whether or not they're restricted or noxious weeds. It really helped me as an intern this summer," O'Neill said. Students are required to grade grain samples based on test weights, moisture contents and information given to them in the third part of the contest. The students learn to use Federal Grain Inspection Standards for grain grading to determine the quality of the samples they are given. "The students must be familiar with the process of grain handling. They have to understand how a sample is handled when it's brought in to an elevator, how a sample is taken, and what processes that specimen goes through," Shaver said. Judges are allowed to use a summarized workbook for this part of the contest to make sure grain samples are of a particular quality. "The grain grading part of the contest is really complicated," O'Neill said. "You have to practice all the time to get good. Every crop is different, so there's a lot to know."

While studying for competition takes a lot of time and effort, it's a good outlet for students' creativity and competitive impulses, Shaver said. "Many students who participate are simply doing so because they enjoy competition," Shaver said. "We have a very strong history of crop judging and winning in crop judging at Oklahoma State. I want that to be a motivator for students, but mostly I want them to do the best they possibly can." While they are gaining valuable experience with team spirit and performing under pressure, crop judges also have the added benefit ofimpressing prospective employers when they interview for jobs or internships. "There are a lot of company officials out there who know what being a member ofa crop judging team means. They know what level of discipline it takes to compete at national levels," Shaver said. It takes discipline to participate in a crops team like Oklahoma State's, but the pride of being on a winning team also is a motivator for the students, Shaver said. The team members agree. "It's hard but it's also useful," O'Neill said. "I know that as much time as I spend studying plan rs and seeds I'U never forget them." CJ


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Cowboy Journal Volume 3, Number 1 Spring 2001 College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Journal v3n1  

Cowboy Journal Volume 3, Number 1 Spring 2001 College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Oklahoma State University


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