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Oklahoma Farmers Union Proud sponsor of Ag Night and other OSU activities

Oklahoma Farmers Union 6200 N.W. 2nd St.

Oklahoma City, OK 73124

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Oklahoma State University. In compliance with TIUe VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Executive Order 11246 as amended. T!Ue 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. sex. age, religion. 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 limes a year by agricultural comm u nlcallons seniors In the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and


has been prepared and distributed at no cost to the A taxpayers of Oklahoma. _


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Growing the grapes of wealth Law school: How do I get there from here? A tale of two Jami(e)s Who put the Pep in the mustard? Exploring new worlds A temporary change of color Okla-home-a: Their home away from home OSU researchers shoot into the future

Fall 2001 .& 3







OPPORT UNITIES Study Abroad In the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources ' International Agriculture Program David Henneberry Assistant Dean for International Program s 139 Agricultural Hall 405-744-5398 • Fax: 405-7 44-5339 hhh@okstate.edu http1/www.dasnr.okstate.edu/international

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The Spring 2001 Cowboy Journal staff: (front row from left) Kim Kisling, Summer DeHart, Jolynn Enlow, Carolyn Wedman, Jennifer Sconyers, (middle row) Becky Walker, Abby Payne, Andrea Geis, Sommer Robbins, Amy Wallace, Tamara Beardsley, (back row) Rod Walker, Fred Minnick, Jacquelynn Boyd, Brad Casey, Richard Conner and Sarah Shaddox

Editors • Tamara Beardsley and Abby Payne Graphic Editors • Sommer Robbins and Sarah Shaddox Photo Editor • Jacquelynn Boyd Web Editor • Rod Walker Sponsorship Coordinators • Brad Casey and Jennifer Sconyers Circulation Coordinator • Andrea Geis Staff Richard Conner • Summer DeHart JoLynn Enlow • Kim Kisling • Fred Minnick • Becky Walker Amy Wallace • Carolyn Wedman Managing Editor • Shelly Peper Sitton Support Staff • Elizabeth Whitfield Founding Sponsors Limousin World • Oklahoma Farm Bureau • Quebecor World Fa ll 2001 ..._ 5

Can we make a deal?

Real-world market invades Ag Hall "How many pens of cattle you got?" "Depends on the weight. " "1150s."

"Some. How many you need?" "Ten pens." "What will you give me for 'em?"

This may sound like a business transaction in an office at Hitch Feeders. Actually, it ' s a conversation between students gathered in Oklahoma State University's Agricultural Hall. The students are enrolled in Agricultural Economics 3990, the Fed-Cattle Market Simulator, which is better known as the packer-feeder game. This class uses real-world scenarios to teach students about the fed-cattle market. Four agricultural economics professors developed the class during the summer of 1990. Clem Ward, Jim Trapp, Derrell Peel and Steven Koontz developed the class as a research tool to help students better understand what happens in the market place. Ward said the class uses experimental economics to show students what will happen when certain aspects of the market change. Students said the class is a great teaching tool because the concepts they learn in other classes come alive as they participate in real-world situations. "The class is really interactive," said Brandon Payton, agricultural education senior. "We learn firsthand how feedlots work." In the classroom, eight feedlot teams made up of two to four people market their fed cattle to four meat-packing teams, which also consist of two to four people. The packer teams negotiate to

cultural economics senior. "We don 't purchase the fed cattle at a price that is most profitable for them, while the feedhave to regurgitate stuff - we learn from our mistakes. The game can be ruthless." lot teams wait for a price that will give them a profit. Ward said the real rewards come Each class session begins with stufrom seeing the "teachable moments dents trading and is stopped only when when the light bulb comes on. " mini-lectures are needed to help the Another reward is the way the stuclass move forward . dents interact when trading. Within the 90- - - - - -- - - - - - - "It ru ns really minute class, 10- to 15- This is a hands-on learning class smooth," Payton said. minute mini- lectures "We get to meet more are used to enhance where you get out as much as people and do somethe students ' learning you put into it. thing. We are part of by giving them supple- Clem Ward the class." mental informat ion professor To make the class they need to get the - - - - - - -- - ~ ~ - - closer to the real-world market , a grid-pricing se tup was cattle traded . incorporated into the class in the 2001 The packer-feeder game takes what the students know and builds on it as spring semester. the semester progresses. OSU students are not the only par"This is a hands-on learning class ticipants in the class. Seven other uniwhere you get out of it as much as you versities have followed OSU's lead and put into it," Ward said. adopted the game by purchasing a liThe class is taught at OSU during cense to operate the software for teaching or extension purposes. The game is the spring semester and mainly consists played in universities from South Dakota of juniors and seniors who are working on degrees in agricultural economics, agto Texas and from Colorado to Kentucky. ricultural education or animal science. Since 1992, the class also has been Few underclassmen take the course beused as a cooperative extension workcause they haven't been exposed to the shop, where industry leaders, agriculconcepts that are used in the class. tural producers, educators and student Ward said he wants the students to groups increase their knowledge and uninteract with each other, try new ideas derstanding of the fed-cattle market. The addition of a grid-pricing setup and see if they work. Therefore, grading will allow the workshops to be closer to for the class is fairly simple. It is based the market that the participants deal on attendance, homework and participation, because if students are not acwith daily. tively involved in class, they will not gain Since the beginning, more than 80 workshops, which are from a half-day anything from the experience. "It doesn't bother me that there are to two days in length, have been conno tests," said Chandra Ratcliff, agriducted. The first industry workshop was

"Are we making anv monev vet?' is a question frequently heard from students involved in agricultural economics' packer-feeder game.

6 • Cowboy Journal

held by Excel Corp ., which has since sponsored 12 workshops . The workshops turn the tables, allowing industry leaders to experience what the other side does. This gives them a better understanding of how they affec t everyone around them. The workshops also help producers gain insight on what feedlot operators do, and they can use this information to get the best prices for their cattle. Research is a big part of the class as data collected is u sed to address beef industry issues. The class provides useful information in a short time - the same data would be hard for researchers to compile from the industry. One area researchers have investigated was how management affects packer industry mergers. Ward said this type of data is hard to collect in the industry Keeping up with each sale transaction helps students gain understanding of the real-world market. because no two mergers are alike. research, the packer-feeder game is a good into the packer-feeder industry and made In the classroom, however, researchers examp le of implementin g the land learning "real-life" fun for all. have found that management skills are grant's mission. That quality combinasometimes more important to a merger By Jennifer Sconyers tion has helped the game move from than industry position. Bristow, Okla. Agricultural Hall to other universities and Involving teaching, extension and


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hateau de Oklahoma? That's what most Oklahomans are asking about the state's newest agricultural enterprise, viniferous grapes. That is, grapes that are good enough for making wine, right here in the state made famous by John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. How wonderfully, sweetly, ironic. Dean Mccraw, extension specialist in Oklahoma State University's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, doesn't think it is ironic at all. In fact, he has become aware of the growing passion for grapes and wine in Oklahoma in the past few years. He said the interest significantly' increased with the passing of state legislation last year that allows Oklahoma wineries to sell their product directly to restaurants and retail liquor stores, bypassing the wholesale route. A few of the wines are already being featured in liquor stores. The new interest is the r eason McCraw currently teaches a Cooperative Extension course called "Oklahoma Grape Management." The course started in February and will end in October. The objective of the course is to familiarize present and potential Oklahoma grape growers with grape management requirements throughout the growing season. Although he originally limited the class to 50 participants, the demand was so strong the class size was increased 50 percent to 75 participants. Even so, McCraw said, there are still a lot of people being left out. "We are kind of trolling with the grape program right now, " McCraw said. "The administration has committed to support the program for five years to see where these individuals will go with it. " Mccraw said interest in growing grapes has been partly increased by farmers who are looking for an alterna-

8 ,. Cowboy Journal

tive crop, or even something that is more visually pleasing than Oklahoma's traditional cas h crops. He said the backgrounds and intents of those taking the class are, however, "about as diverse as you could get." Take Ralph Kremier, for example. A self-titled semi-retiree, he is looking for another source of income in addition to his cattle. Aware of the pricey setup cost per acre of a vineyard, his primary purpose in the class is to find out if grapes will grow well in the soil and microclimate where he lives, near Lucine, Okla. "I think in Oklahoma most anyone can grow these grapes . It just depends with what quality," Kremier said. he president of the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association, Bob McBratney of Haskell, Okla., said people who are interested should definitel y "go into it with their eyes open." " It behooves people to get a good educational background in this before they invest any amount of time, because it's really capital-intensive and labor-intensive," he said. While it ma y appear that making wine for years got him the position of president of the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association, the truth is that he retired just last year from his "real" career. He was a physician for 25 years, only hobbying in grapes and wine for the last three years before he officially launched his family business, Stone Bluff Cellars Inn, located 10 miles southeast of Bixby, Okla . Alongside the vineyard and the winery, the McBratneys also own and manage a bed and breakfast, formerly called Trinity Farms. "We wanted something at the farm that would be interesting to [guests] while being economically viable at the same time," he said.


His wife, Sandy, and son, Brendan, keep up with the accounting and sales/ marketing responsibilities, respectively. The workload, Bob McBratney has learned, is much heavier than he had originally expected. Although the work is somewhat seasonal on his three and one-half acre vineyard, as with any other type of agriculture, grapes req uire attention year-ro und. Maintain ing trellises, pruning, spraying, shoot tying, cluster positioning and thinning, and pest monitoring are just a few of the chores, and then, of course, there's harvest. Brendan McBratney, a 1998 graduate of the OSU College of Business, said he thinks everyone in Oklahoma's grape and wine industry knows about McCraw 's class. Bob McBratney, one of McCraw's students, seems to already know a lot about the business, as evidenced by the awards Stone Bluff Cellars has won. Stone Bluff's wines stand up to nationwide and international competition. In addition to winning two gold medals and the "Best in Oklahoma " award in the year 2000, they also received a silver medal in the Taster's Guild Interna tio nal Competition in August 2000 . They have had success with the Vignoles variety grape, which yields semisweet white wines. One Stone Bluff specialty, for example, is a light port or dessert wine called Royale, which is made from Vignoles grapes and blackberries. Stone Bluff produced about 1,500 gallons of wine last year, about onefourth of the 6,000 total gallons produced across the state. f that sounds like a lot, just hold your corks, because Oklahomans drank 11 million gallons of wine last year. "The market potential is large," Mccraw said. "Some producers will be successful, some won 't. We tr y to


provide as much information as possible so they will be able to make educated decisions about it." The key role the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service has in this course, he said, is to help identify which varieties will be s uccessful with Oklahoma's microclimates and which cultural practices will ensure long-term growth in the industry. " It will be an evolutionary industry," he said. "Oklahoma grape growers and wine makers will evolve to meet the needs of the Oklahoma consumers." There may even be a niche market for some specialized regional wines that are commemorative of the state's great history, he said. As far as the money to be made in this business, Mccraw said the grape program is a large investment and the risk is great, since the capital is focused in such a small area. A small hailstorm, he said, could ruin an entire year's crop of grapes . This depth of knowledge is not entirely McCraw's responsibility to share with students in the course, however. He has a partner, Keith Striegler, who has the position parallel to Mccraw at the University of Arkansas. McCraw and Striegler became acquainted during the time Striegler worked at OSU. Also involved in some parts of the class are Sharon von Broembsen and Phil Mulder, both from the OSU Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. As the newest extension course being taught by OSU, it may also be the most needed, according to OSU instructor of beverage education, Bob Kane. "I am proud to see a 21st century industry in its infancy - Oklahoma wine making - striving to produce vinifera wines," Kane said. "The challenges are great: forbidding soil, hot growing seasons and young vines . "The key element is the determination of the local wine makers to work within their limitations and not sacrifice the desired quality standards," Kane said. "The Oklahoma restaurant indus-

try will line up to buy our local products, once they meet the necessary quality standards with competitive pricing." Despite the uphill road ahead, many are already reaping some of the rewards of growing grapes. "There is a great deal of satisfaction that goes way beyond traditional agriculture," McBratney said. "There is a lifestyle behind winemaking that is full of beauty and culture, and it goes back thousands of years." And for Oklahoma, this is just the beginning of a new story in agriculture.

By Carolyn Wedman Yukon, Okla.

Fall 2001 _.. 9

OSU strives to protect drinking water W

ater. We need it to exist, yet we all take it for granted. However, clean water is becoming more difficult to find. Cities all across America obtain drinking water from local reservoirs, rivers, lakes and groundwater. However, agricultural runoff is a main source of phosphorus pollution in surface waters, said Libby Dayton, soil and environmental chemistry graduate student at Oklahoma State University. Dayton said several different agricultural sources might contribute to the phosphorus pollution. "It may be caused by an over-application of phosphorus to soil," Dayton said. "It's typical in concentrated animal feeding operations, but can also come from an over-application of phosphorus fertilizer." The problem occurs when rain washes nutrients, containing phosphorus, from pastures or nearby concentrated animal feeding operations into surface water bodies. Dayton said the phosphorus is not toxic, but it promotes the growth of unwanted algae. Nevertheless, scientists at osu just might have potential solution to the phosphorus runoff problem. "If you keep the phosphorus on the field with the animal waste, you have less risk of polluting streams that eventually run into source water," said Nicholas Basta, associate professor of soil chemistry at OSU. Scientists at OSU, the State Department of Environmental Quality and drinking water treatment facilities across the state have been working together to solve this problem . The process of treating water for safe drinking requires the removal of sediment from the water. Large amounts of residual are generated when treating drinking water, and treatment plants are faced with the problem of disposing the residual. Basta, along with another OSU scientist, is working to find beneficial uses for those wastes. Basta said the residuals collected from drinking water plants throughout the state were characterized and were found to have varying adsorption capacities. "We collected materials from all over the state and characterized them," Basta said. "They all have different potentials for adsorbing phosphorus."


l O .._ Cowboy Journal

Josh Pittman, plant and soil sciences senior, tests a water sample in the soil science lab.

Dayton said the sorption capacity is related to the amount of amorphous aluminum in the residual. "We've found most aluminum residuals trap phosphorus," Basta said. Nevertheless, some experiments had to be performed. OSU scientists conducted a small-scale experiment using poultry litter and the water treatment residuals. The experiment consisted of four box plots in which different amounts of the residuals were applied on top of poultry litter. Two plots contained different amounts of the residuals broadcasted evenly, a buffer strip was placed on a third plot, and the final plot served as the control for the experiment on which poultry litter was applied but no residuals were applied. A heavy rain was simulated over the plots with the use of a rain simulator built at OSU, and the water runoff was collected for testing. Just as the scientists hoped, the water samples collected from all the tests plots, except the control, showed significant decreases in the amount of phosphorus in the runoff. "This was the first time this material was used to remove phosphorus from runoff," Basta said. "With these treatments you can cut the phosphorus runoff in half. " This experiment showed potential for protecting drinking water supplies from phosphorus contamination. The test plots were a success, but the test needed to be performed on a larger scale. Earlier

this year, OSU applied water treatment residuals to a 10-acre pasture near Miami, Okla. The pasture was located near a poultry operation and had a massive amount of litter present. A pond downhill from the pasture had been contaminated by phosphorus and was covered with algae. Basta said water tests revealed the runoff water contained three parts per million phosphorus, an excessive amo unt. The team applied water treatment residuals to the pasture in the amount of 10 tons per acre, simulated a heavy rain, and collected water samples. According to the Miami study, the sample revealed a 70-percent reduction in phosphorus, but there is still potential for even better results. "If 20 tons are applied per acre, you would reduce the phosphorus by 90 percent, " Basta said. OSU plans to work with other universities in the future to protect drinking water. "We're hoping to put together a multi-regional study with other universities and environmental consulting firms and do something on a larger scale, taking what we learned with our preliminary studies and do something a little more comprehensive, " Dayton said. This may not be the entire answer to keeping drinking water safe from phosphorus runoff, but it is a step in the right direction, Basta said. ef

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Fall 2001 .&. 11

Law school

How do I get there from here? College is a training ground. It is a place for students to prepare for the professions they choose. While the goal for many is to graduate in four years and begin their careers, some choose a different path. Many of Oklahoma State University's College of Agricultural Sciences a nd Natural Resources students choose to further their education by going to law school. While some students began college with this goal in mind, others made the decision later in their college careers. Amy Pierce, juris doctorate and 1996 OSU agricultural communications graduate, had the goal of being a lawyer since she was a young girl. " I have known it was what I wanted to do since I was in the fourth grade," said Pierce. "I realized in high school and college that I had a talent for oral argument and for writing. I intended all through college to attend law school." On the other hand , Jason Rogers, juris doctorate and 1996 OSU agricultural education graduate, said one class made him decide on law school.

"I took an agricultural law class and became very interested in law," Rogers said. "After that, I just did it [went to law school], and it has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done." Even though all departments in CASNR can successfully prepare a student for law school, a student's choice of an academic major is still an important decision. "T he term prelaw refers to a student's intentions to pursue law school following their undergraduate degree," said Keely James , prelaw adviser at OSU . "No one major best prepares all students for the study of law. " Although no one major is preferred, a degree in agriculture can effectively prepare a student. "Many classes offered in CASNR require you to give oral presentations and write reports," said Rogers . "By taking these classes, you are honing the skills that will best assist you in law school." In addition to class work, Pierce said the faculty also play a big role in preparing students. "The professors, deans and advisers in CASNR expect nothing less than the best from the students," Pierce said. "They expected us to work hard and pushed us to perform at a top-notch level. Law school professors expect the same type of excelJenee and commit ment."

Not only can an agricultural degree prepare a student for law school, it also can prove beneficial later. Since Oklahoma is primarily an agricultural state, lawyers have dealings with agricultural issues on a regular basis. "I am a general practice lawyer, " said Rogers. "However, I deal with people in agriculture every day. As a resuit, my knowledge and background in this field gives me an advantage that many lawyers don't have when dealing with these issues." With this information in mind, students need to ask themselves a few questions that can help them determine a major. What subjects do I enjoy studying? Are these subjects academically challenging? Will they allow me to demonstrate high levels of academic success? In addition, students should have a backup plan. "You need to ask yourself 'What would I do if I did not attend law school?' and pick a major that best suits both options," James said. Once a major has been selected, the journey begins. Students must understand that even though they have selected the major that will best prepare them, they still have to perform. The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools suggests that while preparing for law school, students should acquire a well-balanced education through which thinking, reading and writing skills are developed. They also advise students to maintain a rigorous course load in whatever major they choose. James said students need to have skills in language, reading and oral comprehension, and critical thinking as well as knowledge of computers. If the major a student chooses does not offer classes in their core curriculum that provide these skills, they may be obtained through different avenues.

"When I find out a student is going to law school, I try to use their controlled electives to better prepare them," said Shelly Sitton, agricultural communications adviser at OSU. "I usually try to enroll them in critical thinking, writing and other courses that will provide them with the skills they need to be prepared." Undergraduate grade point average is important when applying to law school but is not the only factor taken into consideration. Law schools also look at a student's other activities . "Through my internships I learned how to handle responsibility and to work under pressure," Pierce said. "I also learned how to deal with others in a professional manner. Through my activities I was able to hone my communication skills which gave me a distinct advantage over other law students. " Law schools want students who are well rounded. They look for individuals who have a reason to study law, who have overcome in the face of adversity, who have extracurricular activities and who have work experience, James said. Once students have done their best to prepare themselves for law school, the next step in the process is applying. "Admission requirements for law school include completion of a bachelor's degree and a competitive undergraduate grade point average, " said James . "A competitive score on the Law School Admissions Test is also required. " When a student has completed the undergraduate work and been accepted into a law school, the journey to becoming a lawyer is only about half over. "Law school is nothing like college, " said Pierce. "It requires levels of concentration and commitment that will rarely have to be displayed in college." Rising to the occasion is not just suggested, it is expected from students . "Law schools expect nothing less than 100 percent from their students," said Owen Anderson, professor at the University of Oklahoma's law school. James said for most students who go to school full time, law school is a three-year program. Upon finishing , a student receives a juris doctorate, which is a general law degree. If a student chooses to specialize in one particular area, they may further their legal education by pursuing a master of legal studies. The first year of law school typically includes a set of required courses . Second-year students usually have choices among a predetermined list of courses. Most students focus on courses needed to prepare them for the bar exam.

During the third year, most students complete preparatory courses for the bar exam and have several free choices. They may choose to develop an area of emphasis or take courses that meet their interests and diversify their knowledge or practical experience. James said one factor that potential law students need to be prepared for is teaching style. "Many law schools use a Socratic method of teaching, " James said. Under this method, lecturers utilize an exchange of questions and answers from readings and assignments. "Students need to be prepared to do lots of reading," said Anderson. "In addition, they need to be able to discuss what they have read." Discussions are not a mere portion of the classes students will have to take, they are the main emphasis. "In law school you will be called on by your professor, and you will be expected to participate in a meaningful and intelligent discussion regarding the legal cases you reviewed the night before," said Pierce. In addition, many law school classes take only one test per course per semester. This test is typically a threeto four-hour essay exam. "If you are a procrastinator, I recommend you save your money and find another profession," said Pierce. "You cannot put off opening a book until a few weeks before an exam." If a student survives these three years, their options are endless. Having a juris doctorate does not mean that a studen t has to be a lawyer. "Students with an agricultural background might be interested in working for governmental agencies such as the Department of Environmental Quality or the Department of Agriculture," said Pierce. "In addition, an agricultural law student could seek employment with many of the numerous agricultural-related corporations and provide legal counseling." Although these careers may be attractive to some students, other options exist for those who dream of returning to a small town . "The agricultural law student could consider practicing in a small community," said Pierce. "In this position, they could assist the small farmer with numerous issues he may encounter." Whether it involves court cases or simply giving advice to a farmer, being a lawyer can be a fulfilling career. Pierce said on the first day of class a professor told students that having a

Thinking about law school? • Begin preparing for the Law School Admission Test. • Explore your law school options. • Consider who you will ask to provide letters of recommendation. • Register and take the Law School Admission Test. • Review your law school possibilities. • Visit the law schools in which you are most interested. • Request catalogs, applications, and financial aid and scholarship information from law schools. • Contact the faculty or employers you are asking for recommendations. • Prepare a personal essay or statement that demonstrates your best writing and shows your unique personal characteristics. • Have transcripts from all higher educational institutions you have attended sent to the Law School Data Assembly Service. • Complete the application for Federal Student Aid. • Accept what you consider to be your best offer and send deposit to reserve your spot. Information proV1ded by OSU College of Arts and Sciences www.cas.okstate.edu/services/campus/law.html

law degree was like having a tiger on a leash . It gives you the power and the ability to do anything you want to do. It gives you specific knowledge and skills that few people have, and for that reason, it is a powerful animal at your beck and call. Though the road is long and difficult, students who have the desire and determination to succeed can achieve the dream of "possessing a tiger."


By Brad Casey Kiowa, Okla.

Fall 2001 _. 13

Peruvian exchange begins tradition F

ram the sunny, mountainous regions of Peru to the icy plains of Oklahoma, nine students and two professors came as part of a Peruvian studio exchange program. This program is designed so Oklahoma State University seniors in the landscape architecture Design IV class have the opportunity to work together on a design project with architecture students from the School of Architecture and Urbanism at the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias in Lima, Peru. Rebekah Kerwin, OSU landscape architecture senior, said she looked forward to being involved with the project for more than a year. "The Peruvian exchange program is part of the star on the cake icing of the things that we do. We really want to work with the architecture program," Kerwin said. The idea for the exchange program began when Charles Leider, professor and program director, was approached with the idea of student exchange by Renaldo Agama, a friend from graduate school, who lived and taught in Peru. Leider, along with department head Dale Maronek, presented the idea to the college before the agreements were signed in October 1993. Since the landscape architecture and architecture programs are not in the same college at OSU, landscape architecture students

do not always get the chance to interact with architecture like they will do from day to day as a professional, said Leider. The Peruvian studio exchange program gives the students an opportunity such as this . "Landscape architecture students are going to be working with consulting firms, " Leider said. "Many of them are doing projects that are related to Latin America, such as resorts in the Caribbean and the South American coast." "The architects will also work for these firms," he said. "The Peruvian exchange program is a great opportunity for them to work together." This year was the first time the students worked together on a real project in the United States. Matthew Kirkwood, landscape architecture Design IV professor, developed the Oklahoma project to bring the two disciplines together. In past years, the Peruvian students have brought a project with them, and OSU students have worked on that design in Oklahoma and then in Peru. " It is new for us to work on a project here," said Oscar Borasino, Peruvian professor. " It was an exciting experience to leave our country."

The 2001 project was a water amusement park in Tahlequah, Okla. The Peruvian students evaluated the proposed site during a field trip to Tahlequah. They took pictures and gathered information that was helpful during the design of the park. The nine bilingual Peruvian architecture students worked on designing the hotel, motel, restaurant and all other buildings on the site. The 13 landscape architecture students worked on the waterslides, plaza, roads, the design of the park landscape and plant material to be used. The students were broken up into nine teams. Each team designed the site plan to best fit the specifications of the investor, Hassan Ziyada. " It was interesting to work with landscape architecture students," said Adriana Navarro, Peruvian exchange student. "We worked together and learned how to work as a team." At the end of the four weeks, the nine teams presented their completed models and building plans to a jury. The jury consisted of architects and landscape architects, who gave each team suggestions on how to improve their plans. The importance of this project is widespread. Not only is this a wonderful learning experience for the students, but the water park, which will be constructed over a five-year period, is expected to be good for the Tahlequah area, said Kirkwood. The planned economic impact on the Tahlequah community is positive, Kirkwood said. Barbara Abercrombie of the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce said she agrees the water park will be great for the area.

OSUstudent Teri Andreas and Peruvian exchange student Andriana Navarro work together on the plans for their water-park design.

14 A Cowboy Journal

"It is estimated the park will bring in around $100,000 per year during the first five years," she said. Kirkwood said the benefits for the program are twofold. "Students will gain knowledge in international dimensions and become exposed to other professions, which is important to their future as professionals," Kirkwood said. The design was measured in metric units, which measured the students' abi li ty to adapt. "The whole project was measured in meters and then there was the language difference . It was a challenge, but we shared things about our cultures," said Kerwin. Leider said the benefits are valuable. He also said he believes in the significance of communicating with

other countries, especially because of the North American Free Trade Agreement. "Since NAFTA has been established, contact with Latin American countries has become more important. It is beneficial to know your neighbors, their cultures and how to interact with them, " Leider said. OSU students make a return visit to Lima , Peru, every other year. There they work for three weeks on a design project provided by the Peruvian class . This trip enables OSU students to become more familiar with the Pre-Incan, Spanish colonial cultures and modern design. So in a sense, the journey has just begun for these students. The Peruvian exchange program will help them on their way.


• :2 ~


~~.§! Qj

OSU landscape architecture student Mandy Thomson puts last minute touches on her team 's water-park model.

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A tale of two Jami(e)s


n 1979, when Jami Mcveigh entered his first year of college at the University of Oklahoma and Jamie Liston's disposable diaper bills skyrocketed, nobody could predict how these two Jami(e)s would cross paths and eventually join the agricultural education family.

Night and day McVeigh's fat her was a carpet salesman, who moved six times before Jami graduated from high school. Liston was born, raised and schooled in Moore, Okla. Her father, Larry, was her agricultural education teacher, and her .mother, Sharon, was her math teacher. She learned how to ride a bike in '82, when McVeigh's calloused hands grappled oil wells for a living. He was running top-secret missions as an Army Special Operations soldier from '83 to '86, when Liston colored, read books and fell in love with learning. In '88, McVeigh , who at the time was an Oklahoma State University animal science student, watched Barry Sanders break the NCAA's single-season rushing record, while 10-year-old Liston received a green corduroy jacket with 4-H embroidery. In the '90s, Liston became one of the state's top agricultural students, winning FFA and 4-H contests across the nation. McVeigh owned a landscape business and sold real estate for most of the decade. In '97, McVeigh decided to go back to school, detouring away from the corporate life for good. Liston graduated from West Moore High School in '97, was valedictorian of her class and was on her way to fulfilling her dream of attending OSU. McVeigh, 40, a husband with two kids, has absolutely nothing in common with Liston, 22, the All-American girl with an astonishing grade point average and

16 A Cowboy Journal

Jamie Liston draws a sheep diagram for Amber-Pocasset students during her student-teaching session. She was the 1996 Moore FFA Sweetheart, West Moore's 1997 valedictorian and has always wanted to teach.

the smile of a beauty queen. The two are as different as night and day with the exception of one thing: agriculture.

The passion they share McVeigh recalls shar pen ing a peach-tree branch on his gra ndpa's grinding stone as his first memory. He ran around the farm, causing a ruckus with other you ngsters . " You know, we were just being kids," he said. " It was fun. I have a lot of great memories on grandpa's farm that's where my passion for agriculture originated." Liston's first thoughts are similar. After her grandfather harvested wheat, 4-year-old Liston climbed in the back of his truck and rolled aro und in the

freshly cut bushels. For hours at a time, she and her brother, Brad, innocently wreaked havoc on future bread loaves. "That's where I first fell in love with agriculture," she said. "And now, I could never see myself doing anything else." The same can be said for Mcveigh, only his road had a few potholes. "Ag has always been my passion; there's no doubt about that," he said. "But I was living a roller-coaster lifestyle with my own landscaping business. There was just no stability, and you had to depend on the weather all of the time. "I tried selling real estate, and that was a change. " In real estate, McVeigh no longer had occupational ties with his passion. "I knew I needed to get back into





al <l:: C!i

Jami McVeigh teaches a horticulture class while student teaching at Washington High School. McVeigh sold real estate and owned a business before choosing a career in agricultural education.

ag, but I needed a job that I could be with my kids more. I knew I was meant to be in agriculture, and I knew I needed something that was more flexible with more financial stability. I knew I definitely needed a change." He chose agricultural education.

The shortage When McVeigh took classes with students Liston's age, he said he often thought, "Man, I'm old enough to be your father." He said those classes with the 18year-old freshmen were the best preparation he had prior to his student teaching debut at Washington High School. "I didn't have the contact with young people as the younger students

did," he said. "Kids are so much different today than when I was their age. I relate with them very little and the more exposure I get with them, the better teacher I will be." Liston, however, could relate to her Amber-Pocasset students. After all, she was Moore's 1996 FFA Sweetheart. "I love being around kids and teaching them," she said. "The greatest thing is when one of them raises his hand and answers a question that you had just thrown out for discussion. "It's so amazing how anxious they are to learn. And they're full of surprises. You never know when one is going to say something that totally changes your day. You can see it in their eyes. They're all very, very special. "

It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher, too - especially in a competitive job market where only 63 percent of agricultural education graduates teach . The rest are attracted to more lucrative occupations. For example, chemical salesmen one of the more popular occupations for agricultural education graduates - can potentially earn anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 in their first year out of college, making the teaching profession seem less lucrative. Actually, agricultural education teachers receive a set salary of $35 ,000, which is $10 ,000 more than the earnings of a rookie general education teacher. Nonetheless , there is a shortage of 400 agricultural education teachers across the nation , according to an agricultural education supply and demand study. "Oklahoma has always been thought highly of as an ag education state, and we've never had a problem with a lack of teachers like the rest of the nation. But, this past year it's really gotten scary," said Eddie Smith, state FFA adviser. "There are just so many things that pay so much more. Granted, you have to work hard and it doesn 't pay real well, but it's really rewarding. " Just ask Liston. When she speaks of her students, she 'll spout off a 10minute description of each one, bragging about how smart they are and how much potential they have. "Students like Jamie are a rarity," said Bill Weeks, OSU professor of agricultural education. "If she could live off of it, I think she would probably do it for free . "Many have her desire to teach, but, unfortunately, not many people have her academic preparation. There are a lot of people who think they want to be teachers and they just can't hack it." To become an agricultural education teacher, a student must have a 2.5 GPA, pass a foreign language competency exam and a slew of teacher tests that cost $400. They also work 12 weeks without pay as a student teacher. Weeks said these requirements have resulted in fewer teachers being certified. "We don't need to lower the standards, however," Weeks said. "I would rather a program close because we don 't have a teacher than keep it going by hiring a teacher who is not qualified. "

Fall 2001 .&. 17

The answers for tomorrow

Above: Jamie Liston assists Amber-Pocasset sophomore Ryan Prather on the computer. Liston was Prather's student teacher for the spring semester of 200 I. She taught several agricultural subjects, including horticulture, animal science and agronomy. Liston is a second-generation teacher. Below: Jami McVeigh teaches an in-depth class on horticulture. Since he owned a landscaping business for IQ years, horticulture is McVeigh 's specialty. During his student teaching session, he taught horticulture as well as animal science, agronomy, welding and public speaking.

The future of agricultural education is in the hands of today's agricultural teachers, literally. "We now have a program totally dedicated toward the recrui tment of tomorrow's ag teachers," Smith said, "and it starts in the classroom." Each year the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education sends brochures to agricultural education programs to recruit students. A portion of the department's summer conference is dedicated to recruiting. Current teachers discuss which high school students would make good teachers and FFA advisers. "We mail them information periodically and call them year-round, " Smith said . "We've got to start recruiting more heavily, because it's tomorrow's students - my grandkids - who will be without an ag ed program if we don't." Enrollment in OSU 's agricultural education program is actually up, graduating anywhere from 50 to 75 annually. The problem is about half are not teaching and several teach out of state while the Oklahoma high school agricultural education enrollment has increased by 20 percent over the last three years. This gives graduates like McVeigh and Liston - agricultural education graduates who want to teach in Oklahoma - a tough challenge to tackle. "J don' t know how all of my classmates feel, but I joined agricultural education to become a teacher, not a corporate saleswoman, " Liston said. "I take teaching so serious because it's an honor for me to be my parents' peer." And for McVeigh, who's 18 years older than Liston and is entering his sixth occupation , the pride in the teaching industry is evident, too . "Teachers are the backbone of a communi ty; they're people yo u can trust," McVeigh said . "When I was in business, I worked hard for that extra commission check. And I really didn't have that feeling of security like I do with teaching. " As was Liston's, McVeigh's career decision was influenced by fa mily. "I began this deal so I could spend more time with my family," he said. "But now I realize I'm something special. I'm an ag teacher." And that's one of the closest families in the world.


By R. Fred Minnick Jr. Jones, Okla. 18 .._ Cowboy Journal

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0 ,p) J


ill Pepin came to campus with pep in her step, a dream in her heart and a recipe in her pocket. And in less than one year, this enthusiastic neophyte graduated into a world of opportunity to become one of Oklahoma State University's most inspirational entrepreneurs. Pepin, retired at the age of 35, had always planned to establish some sort of self-help facility such as a bed and breakfast or retreat house of sorts where people could escape when they needed life tools and refreshment. However, after a summer's visit to St. Peter's Cathedral in Austria, Pepin emerged with a better idea. Only it was more than an idea - Pepin had a dream. "When I stepped out of that cathedral, I knew I was going. to Stillwater. I didn't know why, it was just a feeling, " Pepin said. With her dream as her guide, the Florida native left her lifelong family involvement in the beer industry and followed her heart to Oklahoma. For 10 years Pepin had made a spicy, bittersweet dipping mustard for her friends from an old family recipe. It seemed she couldn't go anywhere without either taking a batch or all the equipment to make her special potion. Eventually Pepin grew tired of traveling with her double broiler and took her friends ' advice: She would market her mustard in retail stores nationwide and finance the dream she was chasing. All profits from her specialty mustard would be dedicated to establishing a working ranch for abused and neglected children. "I want my mustard out there because it is a good product. But after I really got into doing the mustard, I learned what this is truly all about, and it is the kids that I'm going to help, " Pepin said. It was Pepin' s service with her brother in the Stillwater community' s Court Appointed Special Advocates pro-

20 ..&. Cowboy Journal


gram for abused and neglected children that initiated her desire to create a selfhelp haven for Oklahoma's children. "The abuse in the world today just turns my stomach. I know it has always been there, but since I've been exposed to it, I know it is more prevalent today than ever. " So, dedicated to her dream, Pepin wasted no time in starting her mission. While driving through her new Stillwater neighborhood, Pepin took the first step toward her goal. She pulled into Meridian Technology Center in search of advice and direction, where she was referred to the OSU Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center, or FAPC. It was during her first visit to FAPC that Pepin gained real confidence and direction for her project. She presented her mustard to the marketing specialists at FAPC, and, with much of her dream hinging on their advice, she anxiously awaited their response. "They tasted it, and they liked it," Pepin said. "This isn't just mustard that you put on a ham sandwich," said Corey Stone, FAPC business and marketing specialist. "Unlike many of the products we see, the uniqueness of this product, especially in this region, will allow this mustard to be successful," he said. For products like mustard or other condiments, a natural sales spike occurs in the summer, which coincidently is when the mustard hit the market. This peak in condiment sales carries through football season and phases out near the holidays . However, with this being a gourmet product, sales will pick back up during the holiday season, said Stone. Pepin's mustard is a multipurpose product that can marinade hams, dip pretzels, devil eggs, top crackers and easily compliment a score of homemade recipes, Stone said. As Pepin's grandmother used to say, "This mustard is a lot like my personal-

ity: really sweet at first, then something in it bites you and you just keep coming back for more." Prior to Pepin's mustard venture, she had sold beer and Eagle Snacks following her career as a flight attendant. Her father never liked the idea of her working, so she retired at the age of 35. After 10 years of retirement, Pepin caught up on her computer skills and immersed her heart and soul into the production of her new product: Pep in the Mustard. With the assistance of FAPC, Pepin's next step was to recreate a recipe that could be produced by a co-packer in bulk quantities of 500 gallons while maintaining its distinct taste. Three cooks were hired to tweak the recipe to perfection, which actually was the longest process in Pepin's adventure. "After talking to co-packers I found out I had to find a substitute for the real eggs in my recipe. Then, because we couldn't create a suitable substitute for the name brand dry mustard in my recipe, I made arrangements to use Coleman's name brand product in bulk," Pepin explained. "There is a lot more that goes into this business than I ever knew about," she said. From the start of her venture, Pepin was overwhelmed by the helpfulness and expertise of FAPC's staff. "I can't believe how good OSU has been to me. I never thought a university would help me the way they have helped me," Pepin said of her experience with FAPC. "I just didn't know universities did this stuff." However, Stone insists FAPC's staff is committed to providing assistance to Oklahoma's entrepreneurs. "The immediate and foremost mission of FAPC is really to add value to Oklahoma products and keep the money from them here in Oklahoma's economy," said Stone. "FAPC works with clients in a 49/ 51 relationship. That means if a client

? will do 51 percent of the work, we will be happy to pick up the rest, just as Jong as the client retains ownership of the product." From building business plans and conducting workshops to performing recipe tests and marketing home products, FAPC's services are available to any Oklahoma entity, whether it be Oklahomans, Oklahoma companies or national companies marketing in Oklahoma. "My time and other marketing specialists' time is always free for Oklahomans, " said Stone. "You can be assured it is always covered ." FAPC was established in 1996 by Oklahoma legislation to add value to Oklahoma commodities and keep the revenue in the state. Therefore, FAPC's services are based on a client's ability to pay. Equipment and facility usage is charged at cost unless it is used by a large established company, who then pays full price for the facilities, equipment usage and utilities. However, in any case, FAPC's services always will be less expensive than private services, said Stone.

With the guidance of FAPC's specialists, less than a year has passed since Pepin 's vis ion in Aus tria. Pe p in the Musta rd is already a hot item in private homes throughout Oklahoma with the potential to be on store shel ves in the nea r future, but Pepin admits the biggest challenge of her venture is patience. "I ha ve my drea m. Now I just have to slow down and let it happen," Pepin said . Pepin continues to follow the philosophy instilled in her by her fath er tha t has guided her throughout her ven ture: "You have to sell yo urself before yo u can ever sell a produ ct. Ma king fri ends is our business, a nd you can sell 10 fo r $4 before you can ever sell one for $40." Although it is im portant to Pepin that

he r trademarked product is sold under a "Made in Oklahoma" label, her work to market he r produ ct across the Uni ted Sta tes is fa r from done. " Budweiser sells itsel f, m u s tard doesn't," Pepin said , reminiscing of her famil y heritage in Anheiser-Busch and her work as a beer saleswoman. "If I have to sell this out of the tru nk of my car, I w ill do that," Pepin said.

(Continued on page 45)

Right: Jill Pepin hos mode her mustard in her kitchen for more than 10 years. Below: Pepin's product is a unique dipping mustard FAPC helped put on the market. Below left: Pepin enjoys her specialty product in the backyard at her home in Stillwater.

Fall 2001 .A. 21

While still in operation, the dairy processing plant distributed milk in several different bottles and used ice cream molds for 'special holidays.


ornings come early at the old Dairy Building, just like they have for more than 70 years. While the hours have not changed much and the outside still looks the same, the former home of the dairy science department has changed from a dairy product processing plant and classroom into a main stay in Oklahoma State University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The building is the oldest within the college and has overcome time and technology to become a center of growth. "The Dairy Building, at the time it was built, was on the fringe of campus. It has survived a long time," said Stanley Gilliland, food microbiologist formerly housed in the building. The outside has not changed much since it was built in the 1920s. The threestory, rectangular building still has window-lined walls and some of the original landscaping. The east entrance still has the ornate scrollwork and name plaque above the door. It almost gets lost in the surround-

22 _... Cowboy Journal

ings of more modern buildings, but the Dairy Building maintains the sense of dignity it had in 1928 when the dairy science department moved in. The pride of OSU's dairy department, the state-of-the-art facility housed work areas for dairy manufacturing, refrigeration equipment and laboratories. The second floor held offices, teaching and research laboratories , and classrooms. The top floor was shared with the agricultural economics department and included an auditorium with motion picture and slide equipment. " It was a pilot plant designed to provide service to the dairy industry," Gilliland said. In the '20s and '3 0s, the dairy industry in Oklahoma was booming, despite financial trouble from the Depression, and Oklahoma A&M officials noticed a significant increase in dairy course enrollment. Arthur C. Baer, head of the dairy department, found a way to incorporate the high number of students in the department and the need for hands-on

teaching and experience into the daily demands of a dairy. Students could learn about and work in the production and processing areas of the dairy industry. Experience and weekly pay were just a few of the benefits. They also enjoyed sampling new batches of milk and ice cream as they were finished. "There were a lot of students who went through the department," said Gilliland, also a dairy science graduate. Over the next 20 years, the Dairy Building became a staple in OSU society. When the new dairy barn was built west of campus, the dairy plant was able to increase the amount of milk processed. At one time it provided most of campus with fresh milk. "For a long time, we sold it in halfpint bottles," said Curtis Richardson, retired dairy extension specialist. "We would gather them back up, wash them and use them again." But milk was not the only product needed to satisfy student and staff appetites for fresh dairy products . Former

faculty members said ice cream was sold on the first floor for "next to nothing," and during the summer, sometimes given away to keep it from spoiling. "They had chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, " said Freddie Gant, retired departmental secretary. As far as the rest of the building, classes were held on the second and third floors, and the dairy department had several offices there. Not much changed in the Dairy Building until the current Animal Science Building was built in the '?Os. The dairy science department was merged with several others to form a new animal science department. According to former departmental staff, when the Animal Science Building was built, there was some concern about the future of the dairy product sales room. The products were as popular as ever, and many OSU faculty and alumni were worried about it closing. "The milk was wonderful, refreshing and only cost a dime," Gant said. The sa les room stayed open for a few more years until the Student Union converted it into the snack bar which present students know as the Dairy Bar. Today, the Dairy Building is home to part of the horticulture and landscape architecture department.

The second and third floors hold studios and graduate student offices that moved across the street a few years ago because of space problems in Agricultural Hall. The layout of the rooms works well with the needs of the department and brightly colored models and diagrams can be seen through the windows. Fire protection services and the geology department have equipment and records stored throughout the building. Perhaps the most well-known element in today's Dairy Building is the little snack bar. Located in the southeast corner of the building, the Dairy Bar, as it has been affectionately named over the years, is run by Student Union Food Services. Nelda Henry, manager of the snack bar, said OSU students and employees were asking for a place to eat on the western side of campus. She became manager of the Dairy Bar in the '80s and has been there since. "This is the best kept secret on campus," Henry said. The faces behind the counter at the Dairy Bar are fami li ar and never anything but friend ly. This may be part of the reason the customers are so loyal. "We just about know what they drink when they walk in the door," Henry said. The Dairy Bar has become a popular

place to eat, study and socialize during the breaks between classes. Not only is there a continuous stream of students, but OSU faculty enjoy the Dairy Bar's atmosphere as well. Frequent visitors to the snack bar know all about the cinnamon rolls dripping with frosting and are always ready to tell you about Friday's lunch special. The Dairy Bar has breakfast and lunch five days a week, and the staff always serves with a smile. "I enjoy going to the Dairy Bar. It is a good place to grab a bite to eat or to study," said Jeff Weeks, agricultural education senior. Weeks also likes to watch a game of cards every now and then. The card games are popular in the Dairy Bar. It is rare to go in and not see students playing cards. Whether it is just one hand or the continuation of a tournament which started days ago, patrons can always find a card game in the dining area. Now, biscuits and gravy and Frito chili pies have rep laced fresh milk and ice cream. But students still flock to the Dairy Bar. Whether they come to eat, to meet people or to read the O'Colly, they can't help but feel at home in this friendly corner of OSU's busy campus .


By Sarah Shaddox Tecumseh, Okla.

OSU 's dairy department made many breakthroughs in dairy products research. In a field on the edge of campus when it was built, the dairy building is now surrounded by buildings and parking lots. The cheese room is still in the Dairy Building and has not changed much since the '30s. Student workers in the '50s and '60s learned how to operate dairy machinery as part of their course work in dairy science.

Fall 200 l .& 23

opportunities available to them now than ever before. The college offered six study-abroad trips last year, including trips to Japan, Mexico, Turkey, Honduras, Australia and New Zealand. "In the back of his mind, everybody has somewhere that he'd like to visit," said Bart Fischer, agricultural economics, accounting and finance senior who was among the seven who visited Australia and New Zealand. "There's got to be somewhere on earth you'd like to go, and with the expanding opportunities, you 'll be able to go there one day," he said. "There might already be a program for you, and if there's not, I'm sure the international programs office would work with you if it was a good idea and other people wanted to go also . "When I came to OSU, I didn't realize you could travel like this. I know most students don't realize it either," Fischer said. "Most students have never thought about it, and it's so extremely easy to get involved . There are so many opportunities and so much to gain. " By studyi ng abroad, students are becoming more cu lturally diverse and in higher demand by employers, said David Henneberry, CASNR assistant dean of international programs in agriculture. "International experience is highly valuable," Henneberry said. "It is such a memo rable experience that allows students to grow and learn, and it's a definite advantage when they begin looking for jobs." Plant and soil sciences senior Yancy Wright has taken full advantage of CASNR opportunities, traveling to Mexico during Christmas Break 1999 and to Australia and New Zealand during Christmas Break 2000. "At first I thought I was crazy for investing in these trips," Wright said. "I took out a loan and used some of my scholarship mo ney to go. "But I am so glad I went. You just get a w hole new perspective on the world G when yo u get out of the country and see ~ different things. 0 "If it weren' t for these trips, I probably would have never gotten out of the ~ country," Wright said. "Now I realize how Vamos ver el mundo! (Translation: Let's go see the world!) OSU students Bart Fischer (top), Andrea Pellegrini, easy it is to get a plane ticket and go." Melissa Rickey, Regina Rowe and Yancy Wright enjoy the New Zealand countryside. Fischer said he never dreamed about getting to travel internationally before he hi le most Oklahomans were at Oklahoma State University spent 10 days came to OS-lJ. exploring Australia and New Zealan to trapped in their homes last De"No one in my family has gone anycember with snow and ice coverlearn more about internal' nal griculture where overseas, " Fischer said. "I've gone ing the ground , seven students as part of one o ti many study-abroad to four countries now, and I'm only 20 stepped off an airplane into sunshine and opportun.ities within the college. years old. 85-degree weather. ith CASNR's International Programs "Getting to visit other,places and learn The students from the College of Ag111 Agriculture quickly expanding, agriculabout their cultures ~ what they go ricultural Sciences and Natural Resources tura l students have more s tudy-abroad through every day is so lUtel'.eJtitg, Sven




24 ,a. Cowboy Journal

Leff: Tribal performers entertain CASNR students at a luau in Hawaii. Right: CASNR Associate Dean Ed Miller feeds a baby kangaroo at a zoo in Australia.

though there are some similarities, there On th e study-abroad trips, students key this summer spent some time relaxhave the opportunity to tour li vestock opare a lot of differences, too ." ing on the Mediterranean coast and visiterations, agronomic and horticultural opCASNR Associate Dean Ed Miller said ing museums with art and historic monuwithout an international experience, stuerations, and processing plants. They also ments dating back to 3,000 and 4,000 B.C. dents do not realize how different the rest visit local farms and successful agricultural For CASNR students, experiencing a of the world is from the United States. en terprises and learn about the country's similarly memorable and beneficial trip " Tr ave 1in g culture and hi story. abroad is easier now than ever before, " It was interesting to see abroad broadens WHEN I CAME TO OSU, I DIDN'T REALIZE Henneberry said. The international proyour view on how how farming practices in Ausgram is growing and continues to offer the world works . YOU COULD TRAVEL LIKE THIS. I KNOW MOST tra li a and New Zealand commore travel opportunities each year. STUDENTS DON'TREALIZE IT EITHER. pared to Oklahoma," Fischer You learn how Miller and Henneberry said they are people in other trying to stimulate international experience - BARTflSCHER said. "We go t to see what evparts of the world within the college and recently set a goal CASMR SENIOR eryday life was about there, think and behave, - - - - - - - - -- - - and I really liked that. that 25 percent of CASNR students have as well as how other cultures operate," "We stayed a t a working farm, which some kind of international experience bewas really neat. They treated us like part Miller said. fore they graduate. of th e fam ily," he said . "We were ab le to Exploring different countries is espeAny student is eligible for a CASNR cially important if yo u 're pursuing a calearn about their crops, growing seasons study-abroad trip and may earn up to reer in agriculture, said Dan Tilley, agrian d government supp ort." three credit hours for participating. cultural economics professor and leader However, for CASNR students it's not Interested students may participate of a CASNR trip to Turkey. just work and no play. They always find time to squeeze Tilley said students need to und erso me fun into every trip. stand different cultures because agriculture is truly international. On th eir way back to "So much of U.S. agriculture in volves Oklahoma, the Australia and international trade and development as a New Zealand group stopped source of markets," Tilley said. "I think in Hawaii for three days it's extremely important that students ha ve where they sailed, snorkeled an international experience." and learned to hula dance at Henneberry said students learn a lot a lu a u . While in Hawa ii , from seeing the different applications of Miller impressed th e group agriculture overseas. Students who have with his surfing abilities. experience abroad are valuable to employThe group also visited a ers because agriculture is such an intersmall island near Australia, national industry. where they were surrounded "It's an assurance for employers to b y mor e than 70 miles of hire a graduate who's had an interna tional open, white-sand beach. experience," said Henneberry. "Employ"The beach on the isers see an experience, a new sense of culland was beautiful. There ture and responsibility." weren't any o th e r people there, so it was so natural Wright said h e beli eves employers will and pretty. And there were ta ke a sp ecial in terest in him beca use h e has studied abroad. k a n garoos everywhere," "Most companies dea l intern atio nally, Fi sch er sa id . "We chartered an eight-man pla ne a nd flew and they are going to look favora bly upon those of us who h ave experience in difaround th e is l a nd and ferent countries, especially in agricultu re, " la nded back on th e beach." A group traveli ng to Tur- Yancy Wright learns to hula dance at a luau in Hawaii. Wright said.

Fall 200 I



weeks and cost from $1,000 to $4,000. Currently, only minimal financial assistance is available for students. Each student who traveled to Australia and New Zealand received a $500 scholarship. However, Henne berry and Miller said they are working to develop additional funding so more students will have the opportunity to travel abroad. Fischer said he enStudents board a charter plane to fly around Fraser Island in Australia. co urages any students who creases, some of the "onetime only" trips wife], the trip just wouldn 't have been a re thinking about participating to seize the opportunity. may be scheduled again. the same. "V isi ting Australia was one of my "Regardless of who you are, you Agribusiness senior Melissa Rickey also was among the students who vislifetime goa ls. And seeing the agriculshould travel abroad," Fischer said. "Evited Australia and New Zealand. She said ture was just a plus," Rickey said. " I erybody should travel to another counshe was scared to go at first, but she is try some time in his life, and the sooner never thou ght I'd have the opportunity glad she went. to actually do th a t. the better. It' s just a great experience." "I didn't know a single so ul going "I a lways thought a st udy-abro ad To all CASNR students who are now on the trip ," she said. "But I got to know course was over a semester. I never reready to take advantage of the college's everybody, and it was really neat meetalized yo u co uld just take a short twostudy-abroad opportuni ties , "Hasta ing new people. week trip. I probably wo uldn ' t ha ve luego amigos!" "It was also neat getting to know gone if it lasted the whole semester." By Jo Lynn Enlow Dr. Miller, who was one of the advisers Most trips within CASNR's interKellyville, Okla. on the trip . Without him and Nancy [his national program last from two to three

in a variety of trips. CASNR offers annual trips such as the Mexico and Honduras tour, as well as trips that occur only once such as those to Japan , to Peru, and to Australia and New Zealand. Henneberry is currently working to schedule trips to Tanzania and Costa Rica . Henneberry said he is always looking for a new travel opportunity for the students and tries to create new trips almost every year. If stu dent demand in-


To learn more about international agricultural opportunities, students should visit Henneberry in 139 Agricultural Hall or call ( 405} 744-5339.

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or a moment, the 10,000 people inside Freedom Hall were silent. It was Saturday of the 73rd National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., and on stage were five newly announced 2000-2001 national FFA officers. With suspense draping the arena, these five waited in tears of awe and excitement for the last member of their team to be called. Only the one position remained, and Trent McKnight of Throckmorton, Texas, was still in his chair. ''And your new 2000-2001 National FFA President ... " "At that point I just had to rely on my faith, and I felt completely at peace. It wasn't a feeling of ' l know that I'm going to get this so it's OK,' but more of accepting that there's a place where God wants me. Whatever happens is the best thing for me and for him. Yeah, I was nervous, but yet l was at peace." "... from the state of Texas ... " "It was like someone punched me in the stomach. Did they really say Texas?"

''. .. TRENT MCKNIGHT!" "Then they grab you and run you up on stage, and you're pinching yourself wondering if this is real." It was real, and for McKnight, his junior year at Oklahoma State University would be postponed as he began a year serving as national president of the organization he loves. This opportunity is a capstone achievement for McKnight, who has put his heart and his work into FFA in many ways. He served as Texas state vice-president his freshman year of college a nd as Throckmorton FFA president his senior year of high school. In addition, from the time he joined FFA, he was involved in almost every event his chapter offered, including public speaking, livestock judging, horse judging, parliamentary procedure, public relations and his supervised agricultural experience program - beef and sheep production. "My ag teacher, Leslie Harris, was one of those individuals who would take the time out to work with students on a one-ono n e basis. l know there are a lot of s upportive ag teachers, but I still feel very lucky to

have someone like him backing me and always believing in me. "I think all good FFA chapters stem from a good ag teacher. That's what can make or break a chapter." The respect McKnight has for his adviser is a mutual one, however. "Over the years, I have had several state FFA presidents come to Throckmorton to talk to classes, and I would always introduce them to Trent, even when he was a freshman. When Trent was a sophomore, I told one of the visiting presidents , 'This kid is good enough to be a national president.' He said, 'Are you sure?' and I said, Tm dead sure,"' Harris said. "Trent was capable of being a national officer when he was a sophomore in high school. He just knows that much about it and has that special something about him, " he said. Dustin Kinder, 2000-2001 Texas FFA president, has known and worked with McKnight through the FFA for the past four years. "He just has the most amazing people skills," Kinder said. "When you're around him, he makes you feel like you're on top of the world." Although McKnight has always been very active in FFA, it wasn't until the 1999 national convention, a year prior to getting elected, that he set the concrete goal of becoming a national officer. "I think that all FFA members, from the time they're freshmen in high school or see the national officers for the first time, think 'Man, I want to

do that.' And I had that perception from the beginning, but it's not realistic until you reach a certain point where it starts to become something more tangible." After serving as Texas FFA vice-president his freshman year at OSU, McKnight decided to take a year off and not be involved with the FFA. "Many people tend to think, 'Well, I've been a state officer, so I guess the next step is running for national office.' But I wanted to see if my intentions were correct, to see if I really wanted to change members' lives, or if I was just taking the next step." His year of thinking brought him to the conclusion that FFA was not yet out of his system, so McKnight declared his desire to be Texas' candidate for national office. He was nominated, and then the Above: Emotions overflow as Angela Browning, Trent McKnight, Doug Kueker and Ronnie Simmons are work began. named to the 2000-200 I National FFA Officer team. Other officers are Katy Poth and Jennifer Edwards. "I started preparing about three months in advance, for three hours evLeft: Trent McKnight, at home in front of OSU's Agricultural Hall, comes from a town where national FFA ery day, five days a week, leading up to presidents are somewhat legendary. Ten years ago, Donnell Brown of Throckmorton, Texas, was national the convention." president. He then married another former national president, Kelly Evans, so there were two in town. Then began the "most stressful McKnight now makes three - unique for a town of only 1,000 people. week" of his life, as he went through a "Between the six of us, we'll hit all ever, the arena used for the FFA conprocess of seven interviews and a test vention is also used for hockey. All they over the FFA, parliamentary procedure, 50 states at least once. It's great to see agriculture and education issues. do is cover the ice with boards. These how different ag education programs and boards had developed condensation that "When you work so hard for someagriculture industries differ from state thing, and put three intensive months to state," McKnight said. made it really slippery - especially if you're wearing leather-bottomed shoes! into training and preparing, it's hard beTaking a year off to serve the FFA cause you begin playSo right as we get to has given McKnight what he said is a ing the 'I wish' and Then they grab you and run you "second gift." the stairs going up on 'what if' games. 'I stage, we bust it big hear so many people, once up on stage, and you're pinching time . At that point they "You graduate, say there are things they wish I could have studied more for yourself wondering if this is real. though, I really didn't regret not doing, and they wish they had - Trent McKnight care. It was like, 'Hey, this,' or 'What if I the chance to go back. For me, it's alcould have prepared most like I have been given this chance National FFA President I'm here and there is nothing that can to go back and do those things. " a little more in this area.' Everything that you have done for embarrass me now.'" During his two years at OSU, the last three months is behind you, and McKnight has been active in organizaMcKnight's year as president began it all comes down to one week. by taking fall semester finals early, then tions such as Agriculture Ambassadors, jumping into a month of intensive of"There was tremendous pressure, Student Alumni Board, President's Leadnot just to succeed for myself, but also I ership Council, Overflow praise and worficer training at the National FFA Center didn't want to let my state association in Indianapolis. February brought a twoship, Sunnybrook Christian Church and or anyone else who had supported me The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta. week tour of Japan for the national ofalong the way down." ficers to better understand the agriculThough it's unlikely that he won't ture industry and culture. Support was something that stay involved on campus, McKnight said McKnight definitely had. the most important one of "those things" "I stayed with a Japanese family for "We always knew Trent was very for him will be just hanging out and two days. They didn't speak English, and I didn't speak Japanese. It was amazintelligent and could make it through the spending more time with his friends. ing, though, to realize how much you nominating committee," said Kinder. "I really look forward to coming "You can sometimes expect it, but you can communicate without speaking, " back to school and focusing on just buildsaid McKnight. just don't know for sure. When he was ing those relationships and making colannounced, we just went crazy." lege the best years of my life," he said. Following their international trip, the But for all the glory of being named team of six spent several days at the U.S. McKnight's "little brother" in his to a national office, there was a moment fraternity, Robert Rademeyer, put it simDepartment of Agriculture job shadowfor McKnight that made it "just a little ply: "We miss him, but when he comes ing. From there, business and industry tours to promote partnerships and learn more memorable ." back, it'll just be like he never left. " "Chris Vitelli, last year's national more about the industry followed. Then After graduating with his degree in president, grabbed me, and we were speaking engagements began at state FFA agricultural economics, McKnight plans running up to the stage together. Howconventions and leadership camps. (Continued on page 45)

Fall 200 l .& 29

His palms were sweating as he looked over his notes for the last time. "I shouldn 't be nervous. I've done this hundreds of times," he thought. But as he tried to calm himself, the butterflies began fluttering in his stomach. Suddenly, the door opened into the room before him. It was time. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and entered. Once inside, the room seemed to close in around him. He moved into position, and the reasons taker signaled for him to begin. He opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out. He thought, "Hey! Get it together. You can 't let your team down! " Then suddenly in his mind he could see the four steers before him and he began. "I placed this class of market steers 2, 4, 1, 3 . ... "


ew experiences in college prepare students for life like participating on a judging team . Judging livestock, meats or horses is fun and a great way to see new places. For some, it becomes a way of life that continues long after their college days are over. The experiences and memories made during that one year of judging are forever glued in their minds. Some can still vividly remember this experience more than SO years later. While each team is unique, a few special teams stand out, among them the 1953 Oklahoma A&M livestock judging team.

30 .& Cowboy Journal

The team consisted of 10 members, all male. They are unique because all 10 plus their coach became leaders in their careers and because most of them stayed within the livestock industry. "We were truly dedicated to the livestock industry. We each had a farming and livestock background, " said team member Ron Blackwell. "This is the sole thing that made us successful. " The team was challenged that year when their original coach, Glen Bratcher, became head of the animal science department in the middle of the judging season. Robert Totusek took over.

"Coaching was a new venture for me," Totusek said. "It was my first year as a coach, and these guys taught me so much. They were really a fun bunch to work with." The team won at contests in Ft. Worth and Oklahoma City, but it was hard having a new coach in the middle of the season, especially a first-time coach. However, in spite of not winning the championship at Kansas City and Chicago , the team won a number of individual and team trophies . "The guys were very, very capable, and all had great livestock backgrounds ,"

Totusek said. "After college, they were all successful in their careers and most of them stayed in the livestock industry. They had a great sense of humor and had a lot of fun with each other." Blackwell said Totusek took over as coach at a contest in Oklahoma City. "It was a pretty hard transition to make," Blackwell said. "But it didn't affect us as a team. It worked out." Team member Grady Ford said being on Totusek's first team was really a highlight for them. "I remember going to a contest in Chicago," Ford said. "We used to travel in a station wagon. As you can imagine, with seven team members and a coach it was very crowded. We practiced judging all the way to Chicago, stopping off at various places to practice such as the University of Illinois and Purdue. It took us about a week to get there." Team member Gene Kuykendall said the personality of the team was really great then and still is today. "Every few years we get together for a reunion that mainly consists of fishin' and golf and a lot of visiting and reminiscing," he said. Kuykendall also said the 47-year reunion in 2000 was very special, because all 10 team members and their spouses were able to attend. Totusek said each of these men learned from being part of the team and this experience has proven beneficial throughout their respective careers. "College taught me how to think, and the team opened my mind to being able to make quick, appropriate decisions," Ford said. "This really helped me with my fast-paced business. " Ford said having to give oral reasons on the classes - a one-to two-minute speech defending the way you placed a class of animals - helped him to get up in front of people and be able to explain himself in a believable, positive way. Blackwell said he learned that nothing takes the place of hard work. He also said that even giving oral reasons gave him a sense of individuality. Kuykendall said his experience on the team was unbelievable. "Judging helped me learn how to make decisions," Kuykendall said. " It taught me how to speak in front of people and not be afraid. By giving oral reasons you are able to express yourself in a convincing way. This really helped me in my career because I sometimes gave two or three speeches a week." "So many people out of college today have a problem communicating," he said. "Judging helps us overcome that."

Totusek said judging today only differs from that of 1953 in terms of the desired type of animal, where there have been drastic changes. Ford said being on the team helped him adapt to these changes. He said livestock has changed during the last 60 years and continues to do so in the areas of marketing and production. When asked what today's teams can learn from their example, Kuykendall replied, "Work ethic is very important. " The 1953 team members have used this work ethic to be successful in their careers. Kuykendall is the former executive vice president of Beefmaster Breeders Universal and Blackwell is the former executive vice president of the American Quarter Horse Association. Ford worked for Wilson Meat Co. in top-level management along with Buddy Bonfy. Leon Freeze was a fieldman for the American Hereford Association. Melvin Greeley established his own worldwide nutritional consulting and manufacturing company. John McKnight is the former president of the American Hereford Association and the American Brangus Breeders Association. Art Knox was successful in the steel

business. R.J. Cooper taught and did research at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and Dale Wooderson was successful in the livestock and seed industries. Kuykendall, McKnight and Blackwell are graduates of distinction in the OSU Department of Animal Science. In addition to teaching and research, Robert Totusek successfully coached the OSU livestock judging team for eight years. He later became head of the animal science department. Totusek summed up the team's importance: "They illustrated to the highest degree that commitment and dedication can be carried over from the judging team to lifelong professions."

''. .. and for these reasons I placed this class of market steers 2, 4, l , 3." He breathed a sigh of relief. "It's over! I did it, " he thought. As he walked back to greet his coach and team, he smiled and thought, "This has truly been an amazing year." e!

By Summer DeHart Chickasha, Okla.

j I 0


Bob Totusek (left) coached the 1953 livestockjudging team: Gene Kuykendall, Leon Freeze, Melvin Greeley, Art Knox, Grady Ford, Buddy Bonfy, R.J. Cooper, Dale Wooderson and Ronald Blackwell (not pictured John McKnight).

Opposite page: The 1953 team won the Ff. Worth contest: Ronald Blackwell (front from left) Art Knox, Dale Wooderson, Gene Kuykendall, (back) Buddy Bonfy, Grady Ford, John McKnight and coach Glen Bratcher.

Fall 2001 .&. 31

Okla-home-a: Their home away from home Oklahoma State University is home to many students who are proud to wear the OSU brand . For some of them , mo ving to Stillwater meant moving to a new state and being hours away from family, friends and the security of home. Martin Sanders, an agricultural economics senior, chose OSU not only for the prestige of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources but also for a place to explore new options and new freedoms . Sanders and his fraternal twin , Phillip, both decided they wanted the chance to go to new places and meet new people before returning to Spearman, Texas, to run the family ranch . Phillip Sanders chose Texas A&M to pursue a degree in agricultural business, and Martin Sanders chose to wear the orange and black of the Cowboys. "I had narrowed my choices down to three colleges, OSU being one of the three ," Martin Sanders said. "College reputation, out-of-state waivers and personal influences all had a part in helping finalize my decision." Sanders said it was the reputation of CASNR and the atmosphere around the college that made him decide to make Stillwater his home. "CASNR has a family feeling about it. The professors care about their students," he said. "Not only do they care about the success students have in the classroom, they also care about personal issues students are going through." In the fall of 2000, OSU enrolled approximately 1,800 out-of-state undergraduates. Of those 1,800, about 320 were freshman. The bordering states of Arkansas, Texas and Kansas account for nearly half the nonresident undergraduate enrollment.

32 .&. Cowboy Journal

Melissa Majors, agricultural communications/animal science double major, decided she wanted to go to OSU the minute she walked on campus. "I just knew it was where I wanted to go," she said. "Although I had already decided I would go to the place that offered the best scholarships, OSU was where I wanted to be." Majors, a junior, said she is paying for college herself, and financial assistance is important to her. After looking into other colleges and applying for all the scholarships OSU offered, she was excited when it was OSU who offered the most financial help. "My parents and I love OSU , but my dad always teases me about being 300 miles too far away from home," she said. 'Tm from Sutton, Neb., which is actually close to 350 miles from Stillwater, but the University of Nebraska is about 50 miles from home," Majors said. "One day when my dad was teasing me, I told him I was actually 350 miles away. He responded with, 'I can handle 50 miles, but 300 is too far."' Majors said the personal attention she receives in CASNR has made her love it even more. "Everyone is so nice, and the faculty and staff really care about their students," she said. "The students are also caring, everyone gets along and it is easy to make new friends, which is very helpful when you are as far away from home as I am." Sophomore Matt Vicinus from Chicago chose OSU and CASNR for the reputation of the college and the degrees it offered. " I want to do something with environmental sciences," Vicinus said. 'Tm still not quite sure what route I'll take, but with all the career

recruiting students from across the nathe College of Agricultural Sciences and development activities CASNR offers, Natural Resources, " said Miller. tion. The proof is in the number of outI'm sure I'll be able to find the direction With extended travel time and long of-state students enrolled at OSU. ej I'm most interested in." road trips , OSU recruiters work to reach Vicinus said he learned about OSU By Jacquelynn Boyd the nation's best agricultural students. from a high school teacher, who later Guymon, Okla. OSU truly does reach farther than played a great part in influencing Stillwater, thanks to CASNR. The pride Vicinus' decision to attend OSU and of being a Cowboy and the prestige major in environmental science. CASNR carries hold strong for CASNR director of student services Louann Waldner said the college makes a point to recruit out-of-state freshmen and transfer students. "We keep a database of students who have contacted us," Waldner said. "From that database we try to keep in contact with the prospective student through mailings ." Another helpful outof-state recruiting tool for CASNR is the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., she said. "Out-of-state students are particularly impressed with OSU's out-of-state tu••• ition policy, " Waldner said. In addition to CASNR, • the university's high school and college relations office also plays a large role in the recruitment of many students from all over the nation. They have three out-of-state recruiters who work recruiting specifically in Oklahoma's bordering states. "I know the recruiter from Texas does a great deal of recruiting in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area," Waldner said. Don Pitchford of the high school and college relations office said proximity to home and scholarships offered to outof-state students play the biggest roles in recruiting. "We always go to the major cities in bordering states such as Denver, Kansas City and Amarillo," Pitchford said. This extra effort by OSU always proves beneficial for CASNR, said CASNR Associate Dean Ed Miller. "Having a rich complement of out-of-state students adds greatly to the diversity of Melissa Majors, Matt Vic/nus and Martin Sanders came to OSU to major in agriculture.


. ..

Fall 2001 • 33

CASNR honors its own, its best staff, there's no way I would have been cultural communications major from able to receive this honor," said Enis, Laverne, Okla.; Jamie Liston, agriculwho plans to become an OSU plant and tural education major from Moore, Okla.; soil sciences graduate student and purMegan McElroy, animal science major sue advanced degrees. "There's no doubt with a pre-veterinary option from Snyder, that it's an honor to be considered a Top Okla.; Regina Rowe, biochemistry and 10 Senior, especially knowing some of molecular biology major from Stratford, Okla.; Elizabeth Siefert, biochemistry my classmates are so bright." Perhaps the and molecular biolbrightest star of the ogy major from The reason agriculture will graduating 2001 class Vancouver, Wash .; always succeed is because is Kent Gardner, the Rosslyn Spencer , 2000-2001 CASNR agricultural eco of family values. Outstanding Senior. - Paul Hummer nomics major with a Majoring in agriAssociate Dean Emeritus veterinary business cultural economics, management option the Sharon, Okla., nafrom Chickasha, tive was an OSU legacy when he enOkla.; and Kimberly Stuart, agricultural rolled, having three siblings who gradueconomics major from Stillwater, Okla. ated from the university. "The talent in this college is excitNow Gardner has built his own ing, " said Ray Wulf, president of Oklalegacy, one that will more than likely homa Farmers Union, the organization not be duplicated. He received everythat sponsored activities during OSU Ag thing from 1997-1998 CASNR OutstandWeek 2001. "The problem is getting them ing Freshman to the prestigious 2000 to stay in agriculture. Harry S Truman Scholarship. "Farming is absolutely, positively the Along with Gardner and Enis are most rewarding and honorable occupaeight other outstanding seniors to comtion in the world. But the word 'farmplete the year's Top 10. They include ing' detours a lot of kids because they Christopher Azbell, environmental scithink it's less lucrative. We need to show ence major with a policy option from students agriculture is the way to go. Tecumseh, Okla.; Kaleb Hennigh, agriWe need to keep OSU's talent in agriculture, " Wulf said. "People who choose agriculture as a career are normally good, wholesome folks - people who are family oriented. " Hummer agreed. "The reason agriculture will always succeed is because of family values," said Hummer. "You 'd be ha rd-pressed to find a student in another college who has the family values that college of agriculture kids have. "Your more successful students have had their parents behind them the entire way." Like Melissa Majors. Majors' parents, Duane and Patricia Majors, came from Sutton, Neb., to surprise her and to watch her receive the highest honor bestowed upon a CASNR underclassman, the Charles and Magda Browning Outstanding Freshman award. "The entire time I sat there thinking, 'If I get this thing, I sure wish Mom and Dad could be here,"' said Majors. Until after the banquet, Majors was unaware that her parents saw the enKent Gardner receives the Outstanding Senior award from former CASNR Associate Dean Paul Hummer. tire thing, even when she and 220 other In the presence of distinguished alumni, supporters and students, the 2001 Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources banquet honored the college's best March 30. The majority of CASNR honorees were students recognized for their academic success. These dedicated students took home $685,000 in scholarships, a $10,000 increase in scholarships from last year's banquet. There's a reason for the increase in scholarships, said former associate dean Paul Hummer. "Year in and year out OSU produces the top agricultural graduates in the country, which is a tribute to OSU's outstanding faculty," said Hummer, who retired in 1998. "It gives me a new burst of energy to see the students I used to work with do so well. " One of the students Hummer helped is plant and soil sciences graduate James Enis, a 2000-2001 Top 10 CASNR Senior. Enis, a former Navy serviceman from Wilburton, Okla. , served OSU well in his four-year stint, receiving Phi Theta Kappa and Golden Key honors along with a slew of crop-judging awards. But he doesn't take credit himself. "Without the plant and soil sciences

34 .&. Cowboy Journal

CASNR students received Fleming continuing student scholarships. Majors was not the only person to be surprised. Elizabeth Whitfield received the college 's Outstanding Support Staff award. " I cou ldn 't believe it ," said Whitfield, senior secretary for the department of agricultural education, communications and 4-H youth development. Whitfield was one of three faculty and staff honored at the banquet. Other honorees were horticulture and landscape architecture assistant professor Greg Bell as 2001 Agriculture Ambassadors' Outstanding Adviser and animal science professor Dave Buchanan as Alpha Zeta's Outstanding Teacher. Alpha Zeta also honored agribusiness major and Morrison , Okla. , native Ryan Leuter as the organization 's outstanding freshman. Alpha Zeta, the honorary agricultural fraternity, received honors of its own. The organization earned the Outstanding Club award based on its leadership, community service, fund-raising, social and educational activities as well as its activities above the local level. In addition to awards and scholarships, a few deserving students received recognition for their internships . Agribusiness major Ryan McMullen of Burns Flat, Okla. , was honored for his work as this year's agricultural legislative intern. The Frank Lucas Agricultural Policy Internship was presented to Julie Arntz of Lawton, Okla., environmental science major and CASNR's most recent recipient of a Truman Scholarship. A night like the 2001 CASNR banquet is possible thanks to the support and hard work of CASNR faculty, staff and students. OSU honorees and future honorees have many to thank. "The hardest job is that of the scholarship selection committee. This year the committee and college departments reviewed 920 applications," said Louann Waldner, CASNR director of student career services. As more scholarships become available and CASNR students continue to succeed, the annual banquet will honor its own, its best.


By R. Fred Minnick Jr. , Jones, Okla. , and Amy Wallace, Altus, Okla.




0 -,


~ Representative Frank Lucas recognizes Julie Arntz for her agricultural policy internship.

2001 CASNR Awards Kent Gardner Melissa Majors Ryan Leuter Alpha Zeta Greg Bell Dave Buchanan Elizabeth Whitfield

Outstanding Senior Browning Outstanding Freshman Alpha Zeta Outstanding Freshman Dean's Outstanding Club Alpha Zeta Outstanding Adviser Alpha Zeta Outstanding Teacher Outstanding Support Staff

Top Ten Seniors Christopher Azbell James Enis Kent Gardner Kaleb Hennigh Jamie Liston

Megan McElroy Regina Rowe Elizabeth Siefert Rosslyn Spencer Kimberly Stuart Fall 200 l .6. 35

.2' ~

~ Colleen Sweeney and David King work to prepare the tissue for the plant transformation process that is done by the OSU plant and soil sciences' gene gun. The gene gun machine isn 't the only way to transform plants, but Sweeney said it works best for the projects they are researching.

OSU researchers shoot into the future Shhhhhhhhhhhh - pop. The gene gun sounds off as Colleen Sweeney works to engi neer a tiny speck of wheat to resist disease and fungi. She meticulously maneuvers the newly developed wheat gene out of the machine and quickly recaps it to prevent dust particles and airborne microbes from spoiling her new creation. "The gene gun isn't the only way to transform genes, but it's the most successful with certain kinds of material," Sweeney said . "The gene gun has been a great tool to allow students to learn the basics of biochemistry and molecular biology." From an idea of Cornell University scientist John Sanford, Oklahoma State University is able to use the gene gun to genetically enhance wheat to be resistant to fungi, viruses and drought. Plant and soil sciences senior David King takes part in the project and has

36 A Cowboy Journal

gained valuable experience by genetically enhancing wheat. "With the gene gun, we can begin to understand how the process works," King said. "The hard part of genetically engineering a plant is that only one out of a thousand of the cells will actually take the gene in and incorporate it into the chromosome." The process of transferring genes is a controversial topic. "We try to stick to the basics in order to stay away from the moral issue of whether it's right or wrong to genetically engineer genes," Sweeney said. To get a gene that is resistant to a specific disease or fungus, researchers have to find a variety of wheat or grass that already contains the gene of interest. Then, they take it out and insert it into tissue of the plant they are trying to make resistant. "We are currently doing research to

insert a gene that is a quality improvement project to enhance the gene capabi li ti es of wheat that are already present," Sweeney said. What OSU researchers do in their labs are just the basics of science and the beginning of the cycle to create a genetically engineered product. "Other researchers use our engineered plants to produce new varieties of wheat which the farmer grows," Sweeney said. Sweeney said OSU researchers are using the $10,000 gene gun machine as a tool to accelerate a gene of interest into wheat tissue culture cells. "The gene gun allows us to genetically engineer any plant by regenerating whole plants from cells or small pieces of tissue," said Arron Guenzi, associate professor of plant and soil sciences, who also conducts research with Sweeney. Although it does not resemble a







When the DNA-coated gold particles are injected into the plant tissue, they appear fluorescent green under the lab microscope.

Plant and soil sciences senior, David King, is researching wheat and learning how to genetically enhance genes of interest that already exist in plants.

handgun or shotgun, the gun consists of a highly pressurized upper chamber and a low-pressure lower chamber with a diaphragm in the middle. When the diaphragm is punctured, pressure from the upper chamber emits a shock wave that hits the projectile, discharging it forward until the projectile hits a porous screen, which stops the plastic disk. The DNA-coated gold particles hit the targeted cells at a velocity high enough to puncture the cell wall and membrane. The genes are released and diffused into the nucleus of the cell. Once the gene enters the nucleus, it is incorporated into a chromosome, which gives the plant a new genetic trait. Gold or tungsten particles are used because they are strong enough to pierce the cell wall, but are not toxic to the plant cells. However, individual gold particles have a tendency to stick together and crush the cell, creating pit damage. Sound complex? King said the most complex part is actually getting the gene prepared for the gene gun. "Getting your gene put together with your marker genes and onto the gold particles is the complex part," King said. King said the process of transforming a gene could happen in nature; however, it doesn't happen often. "With the gene gun, it makes the intake of the DNA into the genome more likely to happen," King said. After transforming the gene, King places the plastic container containing

the coated genes under a light with a filter that allows him to view the areas of the tissue that have been engineered with the gold particles. "After bombarding the gene, " King said, "we put it through a tissue culture process, which is a primary step to being able to tell which plants have been transformed." The tissue culture process includes putting the tissue into numerous media that stimulate shoot and root growth. Eventually, the small plant is moved into a pot, where the DNA is tested to see if the transformation was successful. With such a promising future, the plant and soil sciences department is working to qualify for grants that will help further research. "It is expensive to operate the facility," Sweeney said. "There has to be money in order for the research to continue in the lab." The National Science Foundation and the State Regents for Higher Education in Oklahoma board provided the Experimental Program to Stimulate Com-

petitive Research grant that was used to establish the lab . That money is almost exhausted, and now faculty members are probing for new ways to keep the laboratory in operation. "By having to close the facility, it would slow down or stop some of our basic and applied research on trying to utilize biotechnology to improve the productivity and utilization of plants of economic importance to Oklahoma, such as wheat," said Guenzi. OSU isn't the only one that has a gene gun. Some laboratories use the gun to do research on genes that can fight against cancer and other diseases. For example, results from a study done in 1997 indicated that human cancers such as melanoma might be useful candidates for gene gun therapy on targeting skin tissues . In fact, private biotechnology companies produced some corn and soybean varieties already on the market using a gene gun. Even though the process is distrusted by some environmentalists who oppose tampering with nature, proponents say genetic manipulation holds out the promise of producing crops that will not just grow faster and bigger and be capable of delivering vaccines, but will also thrive without high doses of chemical pesticides. "Because of everything the machine is capable of," Sweeney said, "the possibilities are endless." ~

By Kim Kisling Burlington, Okla.

OSU's Gene Gun Chamber that contains the gold and the gene of interest - - - - - + - - . Pressure gauge --+----tll+ Plate that holds the-----+-- -_...,.___. plant tissue

Fall 2001 Ji. 37

Pinkston 'takes care of bug business' R

eal bugs, plastic bugs, wooden bugs, bug coat racks and toys with bugs in them. Bugs are everywhere . Bug, bugs and more bugs are what you see when you enter the office of Ken Pinkston. When you meet Pinkston, it does not take long to discover he is full of energy, with a quick wit and a humorous side and is serious about teaching students about bugs. The idea that good bugs are not necessarily dead bugs is a philosophy he learned working weekends and school breaks for his father's pest control company in Oklahoma City. "I figured out there was something better than killing bugs," said Pinkston. After high school, Pinkston applied and was accepted into Oklahoma State University's entomology program with the idea that people should try to get along with insects because insects will always be here. "I got into entomology more or less trying to figure out a way to help people better understand and solve problems with insects," said Pin~ston. Pinkston's first academic adviser told him he would not pass his first semester at OSU. It was an experience that set a desire in him to succeed. He went on to be one of the top students in his class. After receiving his bachelor's degree in entomology, he spent four years in the military as an Air Force communications officer. Upon completion of his military career, Pinkston returned to OSU to pursue a doctorate in entomology. With his new degree in hand, Pinkston went to Muskogee, Okla., in 1970. He worked for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service as an area entomologist, working in integrated pest management and with students in eastern Oklahoma. In 1975, he went to work in the entomology department at OSU where he worked in the Cooperative Extension Service, helping county extension offices with programs and developing extension literature on insects and their control. In 1992, when instructing staff fell short in the entomology department, he was asked to teach Entomology 2003, Insects in Society. Since his first semester, the course

38 .A. Cowboy Journal

has continued to grow. It is popular because it provides a natural science credit and because Pinkston is known as a teacher who cares about learning and keeps the class entertained with his humor. His style came from watching and evaluating his instructors. "An instructor told me the primary way to be a successful teacher is to have the desire to teach, " said Pinkston. "I watched and learned from the teachers I had in class." Russell Wright, professor and department head of entomology and plant pathology, said Pinkston's success in teaching is due to his charisma. "The students tell other students about his class and about Dr. Pinkston's teaching style, so more kids want to take the class, " said Wright. The students agree Pinkston is full of energy and makes class fun, reminding them to TCB Quick with a smile, Pinkston takes a break from class. Take Care of Business - one of widely known for his entomology class, his favorite cliches. Pinkston's life is not just about insects. "He wants to keep you awake so "I used to fish and play golf in my he keeps you laughing, " said Lindsey spare time," said Pinkston. "But as you VonTungeln, an agricultural communican see, this class takes a lot of time." cations sophomore at OSU. However, Pinkston has found time Pinkston said learning about bugs to be involved in the building of four may not be the most interesting thing houses since he has moved to Stillwater. students do, so he finds different things Pinkston has decided to retire, but to keep the class interesting. is going to teach on a contract basis for Pinkston's build-a-bug project one more year to allow the department allows groups of students to build time to find his replacement. a bug that is different than today's " It is really a shame to see Dr. bugs . The students must make it Pinkston retire," said VonTungeln . from every day things and explain how "There will be a lot of students who will it is different. miss out and not be able to enjoy his "You don't just build the bug but teaching style." you have to describe the bug and what When asked what he wants to do makes it a bug in a paper, " said when he retires, Pinkston pulled out a Pinkston. "This bug cannot be like any list of things he plans to do. normal bug. It must be different. " "I plan to golf, take classes and learn Another thing that Pinkston does is to play the guitar. I can pick some now, have his students participate in the Bug but I want to play well, " said Pinkston. Bowl. This quiz bowl is just like any other "I have been thinking about this for a except it is all about - you guessed it - bugs. while so whenever I think of something "He is really cool," said John Koesler, to do, I write it down." agricultural education senior from Vinita, By Richard Conner Okla. "It is a really good class." Pawhuska, Okla. Despite the fact that Pinkston is


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Cheaper fills possible in the future

Grass to gas: opportunities abound One thing Oklahoma State University researchers know for sure - opportunities are knocking, especially for agricultural producers. They will soon have the opportunity to grow and harvest grasses that may be in your car' s gas tank in the future. Four years ago, former Gov. Henry Bellman spearheaded a movement to get OSU involved in converting biomass products such as switchgrass and wheat straw into ethanol through a gasification/ bioconversion process. He believed Oklahoma was ideal for the project because of the vast amount of rural area and grassland. "This project is a huge opportunity to provide a demand for a product [ethanol] that is not in surplus, " said Bellman, who foresees the plants located in small communities where production of biomass products abounds. Following Bellman's lead, researchers at OSU got busy. They began work and recruited an investigator from the University of Oklahoma and a researcher from Mississippi State University to help them in their endeavors. The project, which ,researchers believe could bring an estimated 150 jobs per plant to Oklahoma, could have a major economical impact on states that use ethanol as a fuel additive.

farms and then converting those grasses "We' re concentrating on th e ethainto ethanol. nol because of the need for additional Grasses, like switchgrass or perenliquid fuel in the United States," said nial ryegrass or even wheat straw, are Raymond Huhnke, coordinator of the processed down to a relatively small parproject and professor in the biosystems ticle size and then metered into a gasand agricultural engineering department ifier. The gasifier, which operates at a at OSU. "This way, we can decrease our temperature of 1,200 to l, 700 degrees dependency on foreign oil. " Fahrenheit, converts the biomass into a Decreasing the dependency on forsynthesis gas, or syngas. This syngas has eign oil may be one positive outcome of the components necessary for the biothis project. conversion to take place. When gasoline prices skyrocketed Carbon monoxide, carbon in the summer dioxide and hydrogen of 2000, many This process will give farmers and products of the gasification people began process - are then cooled, looking for an ranchers another avenue for a It e rn at i Ve revenue. cleaned and bubbled into a source of fuel. - Raymond Huhnke bioreactor. Microorganisms Ethanol is one professor called acetogens act on the gases and convert them into such solution to ethanol. Once the conversion this problem. is complete, the ethanol is separated Huhnke said there will always be a out, filtered and distilled into a fueldemand for ethanol, which is currently grade product. utilized as a fuel additive in the upper With the help of OU researcher Midwest. Ethanol is used as an oxygenRalph Tanner, investigators at OSU have ate in gasoline because it boosts octane identified unique microorganisms they levels, burns cleaner and reduces conplan to use in the bioconversion process. taminants . This gasohol is a blend of "We are tailoring these bacteria and gasoline that contains 5 percent to 15 optimizing them so they'll grow to make percent ethanol. alcohol from these gases," said Randy Huhnke said OSU is taking a holisLewis, chemical engineer at OSU who is tic approach on this project by utilizing in charge of the bioreactor. grasses that can be grown on Oklahoma However, researchers are using bottled gases - not syngas - to simulate likely results, as the gasifier has not yet been connected to the bioreactor. Timothy Bowser, assistant professor in biosystems and agricultural engineering, is working closely with food processing engineer and fellow colleague Danielle Bellmer on this research project. Bowser said researchers are close to connecting the gasifier to the bioreactor and predicts the two processes may become linked within the year. Researchers have come far in their investigation of biomass to ethanol, but not without struggles along the way. One challenge that had to be overcome had to do with the excess oxygen in the syngas. In most cases, excess oxygen can be burned. However, because of the type of product trying to be obtained, oxygen is a liability instead of an asset in the case of the bioreactor. The bioreactor requires an anaerobic environment, one that is oxygen-free. ThereMamas/ "Bernie路 Lela loads switchgrass onto a conveyor belt in the agricultural engineering annex. Lela is o doctoral student from South Africa in the biosystems and agricultural engineering department. fore, excess oxygen has the potential to

42 _. Cowboy Journal

kill the microorganisms needed to convert the syngas to ethanol. Obtaining funding has also been a challenge for the people involved in this project. But grant money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture made it possible for researchers from MSU to work on several different aspects of the project earlier this year. Huhnke said getting MSU involved will enhance the program. "If we bring in more people with more expertise, then we'll likely be able to generate higher-quality research results at a higher rate," Huhnke said. Student involvement is one area, however, that could use some growth, said Bowser. Currently, Bruno Cateni and Mamosi "Bernie" Lelo are working with Bowser, who is in charge of the gasification process. Cateni and Lelo are working as technicians on the gasifier part of the project. Both are biosystems and agricultural engineering department doctoral students whose emphasis is in the area of bioprocessing. Bowser said a need exists for more dedicated and hardworking students like Cateni and Lelo to become involved in the project. Huhnke anticipates completion of the project will occur in five or six years. However, he hopes a pilot plant will be ready within just fo ur years. Meanwhile,

researchers are working on scaling up everything one step at a time. Right now the bioreactor holds four liters, or a little more than a gallon. Lewis is working on scaling it up to a SO-liter model. Their goal is to produ ce more than 75 gallons of ethanol per ton of dry matSwitchgrass is fed into the ter when the project goes commercial. "We're confident that we will be able to achieve a level that will be cost effective," Huhnke said. This is something the researchers have been aware of throughout the entire process . Agricultural economist Francis Epplin has been crunching the numbers all along the way. If something is not economically feasible, the researchers find an alternative solution. "Producers have the resources," said Huhnke, who predicts a full-scale plant

hopper then processed through the gasifier.

could utilize as much as 250,000 acres of grassland or rangeland. "Th is process will give farmers and ranchers another avenue for revenue." In the meantime, researchers are regularly tending to the research seeds Bellman planted in hopes they will someday grow into a plant that will harvest Oklahoma's natural resources. ej

By Andrea Geis Okeene, Okla.

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Pep in the mustard (Continued from page 21) But Stone insists, with Pepin's business savvy, that will never be the case. "With her enthusiasm and business sense along with her great personality, there is no way she'll have to sell this out of her car," Stone said with a laugh . "With a product like Pepin 's and with her level of commitment, it is pretty easy to get her product into the marketplace," he said. Pep in the Mustard has been targeted to a wide variety of outlets ranging from Pratt's grocery chain to gourmet shops such as House of Flowers and Harry and David magazine as well as to local restaurants such as Eskimo Joe's and Kyoto Sushi House. "I don't want to be so high priced that not everyone can buy my mustard. I want the average Joe to be able to have my mustard," Pepin said. 'Tm not in this to make a buck. I'm in it for the kids." Once the project takes off, research for the ranch will begin. Pepin will go through training to learn how to deal with and provide for abused and needy chi ldren and will begin the search for a ranch, counselors and other staff. Mustard Seed Ranch will be a haven for Oklahoma's abused children. The working ranch will be a place where they can receive self-help tools and stay as long as it takes them to learn the skills they need to face life. The ranch will be complete with horses, chickens, dogs and

other animals that will be used to teach children how to nurture not only themselves but also other living things. Although Pepin is uncertain where the ranch will be located, she does know it will be somewhere in Oklahoma. "The people in Oklahoma are absolutely wonderful," Pepin said. "There is incredible energy in Oklahoma and it is a positive energy. "Everyone has been so nice. This has been a fun and The recipe for success: mustard seeds, hard work and FAPC. interesting experience, but it wouldn't have been like this in Florida. a whole new meaning to Pepin's recipe "I am working so that kids won't of success. be thrown back into the system. They A Jot of products come through the center, and many have been successwill leave with the tools they need to ful, but this venture and Pepin's heart look into themselves and find happiness for philanthropy gives uniqueness to her in this mean world," Pepin said. business, said Stone. Mustard Seed Ranch will be funded However, much like the old cliche, by Pep in the Mustard and will house a a woman's work is never done. gift shop where the mustard will be sold, "Someday, I want this thing to be along with other products that the chilon Oprah ," Pepin exclaimed. dren have made. Pepin foresees no end in sight to "I always knew there would be kids her already successful project. Her genuin my life and now there will be, " said ine love and concern for children along Pepin, who has never had children of with her peppy persona lity and demonher own . "This is my mission in life. I strated business sense will allow many just know it. " of Oklahoma's children to turn the bitWhile Pep in the Mustard has ter knocks of life into sweet success. proven to be one of FAPC's favorite She put the pep in more than just home-to-shelf success stories, it is the purpose of the venture that gives her mustard. ~

By Abby Payne Beaver, Okla.

Change of color (Continued from page 29) to someday return to his hometown and his family business. "I want to stay involved in rural banking and keep in touch with the agricultural way of life," he said. McKnight's agricultural and leadership roots run deep. His parents, Ross and Billie McKnight, raised him and his younger sister Meggan in th e small western Texas town of Throckmorton. The McKnights run an oil and gas company and are involved in rural banking. They also have a family ranching operation where Trent McKnight gained experience with cattle, sheep and horses. Although they call Texas home, both of his parents attended OSU, and from the time he was a little kid, McKnight never planned on going to school anywhere else.

"I've always had a connection with their love for the university and the campus, " said McKnight. During his high school years, this loyalty grew as he spent "a lot of time " at OSU practicing with his horse judging team , said Harris . "He's always wanted to go to OSU, nowhere else. It has such a strong ag program, and although it's a college that may not be the biggest in numbers, it's one of the highest quality programs, and that's what he's interested in." McKnight said he has people all over the nation tell him what a great ag program OSU has, and it really speaks well for the college. "But I do catch a lot of flack from my Texan friends about coming here," he said.

For McKnight, the biggest reward of serving as a nationa l FFA officer is the chance to interact and connect with the students . "It 's the neatest thing to see that light come on in their eyes," he said. "And to think that through the FFA maybe I've had a part in making a difference in that person 's life. " He has and will make a difference, not only in FFA members ' lives, but also in making OSU a better place. Which is why we're proud to say that although the national FFA president wears blue and gold this year-deep down, he still bleeds orange.


By Tamara Beardsley Miles City, Mont. Fall 200 l .A. 45

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Profile for Cowboy Journal

Cowboy Journal v3n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 3, Number 2 Fall 2001 College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Journal v3n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 3, Number 2 Fall 2001 College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Oklahoma State University


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