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Co:w:sov JoURt::,IAL s dta Volun1e

A Nun1ber 2 • Fall 2003

From the Editors In this issue of the Cowboy Journal, we hope to walk you through some of the cutting-edge research projects at OSU and give you a glimpse of some ofour outstanding students and alumni. We welcome the Agricultural Alumni Association to our group of readers. We hope we remind you of your home at OSU. A special thanks goes to our contributing editors, Dwayne Cartmell, Julie Cox, Alan D'Souza a°nd Sheri Ishmael-Waldrop. This publication could not have been possible without our managing editor, Shelly Sitton, and her dedication and expertise. We also thank the following people for their special assistance: Misty Wright and Matt Wright at Quebecor World Pendell; Todd Johnson of OSU Agricultural Communications Services; and Richard McCollough at MotoPhoto of Stillwater.

Fall 2003 Cowboy Journal staff: (back row fro111 left ) Katie Reim, A111y Hanewic/1, Jyl Waldschmidt, Jenny Hardi,,, Kristin Owens, A111y Jenkins, (middle row) Holly Elliott, David Miller, Ross Walker, (front row) Elizabeth Karn s, Rachel Crawford , Candace Dobson, Chandra Orr, Sha,,non Webb, Sarah Sargent and Luke Teuscher.

Editors

Photo Editors

Rache CraV\ ford Shannon Webb

Candace Dobson Amy Jenkins

Graphics Editors

Sponsorship Coordinators

Am1 I ane ·ich Ross Walker

l\.ris i O ens Katie Reim

Web Editor

Circulation Coordinator

uoll1 ~l io

C and1c. Orr Staff

Jenny Hardin + ElizJbedi. :k.aMs + David Miller Sarah Sarg

• r uke Teu~he • J) Waldschmidt Managing Editor

Rachel Crawford and Shannon Webb, Editors

Shell) Pe e S1 · on Founding Sponsors

Limousin W01 l • Okie oma arm B

au • Quebecor World

Visit Cowboy journal on the Web at http://cowboyjournal.okstate.edu 4

COWBOY JOURNAL ... FALL 2003


Cowsov JouRNAL \ o ume 5 A Nun1ber 2 A l :-all 2003

On the Cover 12

Ranching 101 I ten<;1on educators rm·idc the 'basics' in a new format

48

Not your average 'computer bug' ew d1g1tc I techno O~\ sa, es riml. ana mone\

20

A faith born not of words ... but of deeds Wes \'\atkms takes c different look at ltte

26

OSU drives the standard C A.S R sends gr, ds to greener pastures

Features 8

The foundation for leadership C <\S R st 1ctems e cc:1 auos.· campus

10

Wanted: OSU Graduates (. S R ht! ssh. ctrnts md 1obs

16

Adding value I APC g0t · mternat o 1al, •ith re eard1

18

Wisdom shines bright S mctus b, 1 gs un qt est\ le to cl, sroom and e tension

24

Oklahomans lead the way 0

28

I P s eni;then · agri<. 1ltL "l. n Ok ahoma

From the hen house to your house Pot.It , s t dE::nts get More than hands· one p "rtence

31

Gifts of joy f:imth sees b1 ght side of tragedv

36

Servant heart drives change \

38

u rnn Hood 1mprm e Oklaho111a one community at a time

Anything but minor S udents bu1e1 t f1 om e tra coursework at OSU

40

A class act Koup en k ds agriculturc1l alumni a. sociation

44

CASNR takes seven OSL, tau It, 1ect: ·, c

46

'\CT'\ a\\, rds

From Mexico to Oklahoma StuCl. 1ts le

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ht, o opente ood products center

COWBOY JOURNAL

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The foundation for leadership CASNR students excel across campus What do you think of when you hear the word leadership? Students and faculty at Oklahoma State University have at least five good reasons to think of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. When OSU chose the 2003 Top 12 seniors from across the university, five CASNR students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership and campus activities received the honor. Bart Fischer, Cathy Herren, Trent McKnight, Chas Robbins and Carrie Trentham are the outstanding students who possess strong leadership qualities that started as early as junior high school. "Many students from our college have great leadership skills because of the training and experience they gained while in 4-H, FFA and other youth development organizations," said Ed Miller, CASNR associate dean. "When these individuals come to OSU, they continue to serve in leadership positions, and this practice makes perfect." Leaving the days of blue and gold jackets and 4-H Roundup behind, these students have embarked on new leadership challenges. Organization and activities such as Freshman in Transition, Agricultural Ambassadors, student academic mentors, Agricultural Student Council and numerous departmental clubs have allowed them to continue being leaders while attending OSU. Fischer of Frederick, Okla., who earned de-

Bart Fiscl,er (center) wit!, Associate Dean Emeritus Paul Hu111111er (left), Dean Sa111 Curl, Mary Curl and Mary Hu111111er after Fiscl,er received CASNR's Paul and Mary Hu111111er Outstanding Senior Award. (Photo by Katie Reim ) 8 â&#x20AC;˘:â&#x20AC;˘ COWBOY JOURNAL

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FALL 2003

grees in agricultural economics, accounting and finance, received CASNR' s Paul and Mary Hummer Outstanding Senior Award. Fischer demonstrated leadership by serving as president of Aggie-X, as Ag Student Council vice president for business affairs and in Blue Key National Honor Society. "Serving as a leader in club activities gave me the opportunity to lead a group of students and see how it was to serve," said Fischer. "These programs allow you to put things into perspective and help show you what you want to do in life." Herren, agricultural business alumna from Ramona, Okla., was also recognized as one of the top five seniors in CASNR. She attributed her experiences in 4-H activities to be part of her success at OSU. "The 4-H club gave me life skills that prepared me for the responsibilities I faced in college and gave me the chance to work on projects and know the feeling of success when they are finished," said Herren. While at OSU, she was involved in Ag Ambassadors, Ag Council, Collegiate Farm Bureau and Blue Key. "The faith that people had in me while I was in these organizations has given me the confidence to achieve the goals I set for myself," said Herren. Leadership opportunities are not limited to CASNR, they extend across the campus. Trentham, agricultural economics alumna from Balko, Okla., displayed her leadership as homecoming executive director and was recognized as a Leadership Legacy. She was also a member of the National Agricultural Marketing Association, Ag Ambassadors and Blue Key National Honor Society. "The college of ag does a great job preparing students for leadership roles within the college and across campus," said Trentham. "The preparation I gained through CASNR helped me with positions I had while at OSU." CASNR students always play an active role in homecoming, either through student organizations or individual executive and steering committee members. CASNR is contributing to Homecoming 2003 festivities, with five of eight executives and 22 of the 67 steering committee members from the college. "I can always count on students from the


$746,445 The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources awarded $746,445 in scholarships for 2003-2004. Scholarships went to incoming freshmen, as well as transfer and continuing students.

CASNR

Top Ten \. ~ CASNR honored its top students at its annual awards banquet, including top seniors Shannon Webb (back left), Chas Robbins, Bart Fischer, Ryan Luter, Catina Barnes, (Front) Cathy Herren, Amy Hoyle, Carrie Trentham and Cheryl Boyer. Not pictured, Sarah Potter. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

college of agriculture to bring a lot of leadership to the homecoming committees," said Anne Scott, director of awards, travel and student programs for the OSU Alumni Association. Students also have leadership responsibilities represen ting CASNR and OSU in national organizations. McKnight, agricultural economics alumnus from Throckmorton, Texas, played such a role in the National FFAOrganization. "Having the honor of serving as National FFA president was a great opportunity," said McKnight. "Being a representative of our college, OSU and the American agricultural industry was an experience of a lifetime." McKnight served as an Ag Ambassador and was involved with the Student Government Association and Blue Key while at OSU. "I really like how the college encourages leadership and gives students the opportunity for growth," said McKnight. "These skills have helped me to extend my leadersh ip skills across the nation." Opportunities for leadership are not limited locally or nationally. CASNR also has ties internationally. The study abroad program gives students the opportunity to show their leadership in an international setting. Robbins, agricultural economics alumnus from Spiro, Okla., was also

recognized as a top five CASNR senior. As a student, he had the opportunity to study abroad and share his experiences with others. Robbins has received the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship that allows students the opportunity to study internationally. "I will study at the University of Manchester in England and look forward to taking the leadership skills that I have learned at OSU and applying them in an international setting," said Robbins. While at OSU he served as president of both Blue Key and Ag Ambassadors, in addition to being a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor fraternity. Robbins said he is prepared to continue using his leadership skills as he studies abroad. "It will be a wonderful experience to go abroad, not only be a representative for our college and university, but to learn about other countries' cultures, as well," said Robbins. CASNR gives students a plethora of opportunities to practice their leadership skills and excel when those skills are applied in leadership positions. When students seize these opportunities it allows for personal growth and a chance to become a leader for a lifetime.+ By Katie L. Reim, Billings, Okla.

Catina Barnes Animal Science Cheryl Boyer Lan dscap e Archi tec ture *Cathy Herren Agribusiness **Bart Fischer Agricultural Economics Accounting /Finance Amy Hoyle Animal Science *Ryan Luter Agricultural Economics Sarah Potter Agribusiness *Chas Robbins Agricultural Economics Carrie Trentham Agricultural Economics *Shannon Webb Agricultural Communica tions • indicates CA SNR top f ive seniors •• indicates CAS NR top senior

Awards Bill Shelby Agricultural Economics Outstanding Freshman

Shelly Sitton Agricultural Education, Communications & 4-H Youth Development Alpha Zeta Outstanding Teacher

Gordan Holley Forestry A gricultural Ambassador Outstanding Adviser

David Hillock Horticulture & Landscape Architecture Agricultural Ambassador Outstanding Support Staff COWBOY JOURNAL

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Wanted: ISi Craduatcs CASNR helps students find jobs

As students prepare to walk across the stage on their final day at Oklahoma State University, feelings of pride and excitement are often overwhelming, leaving them to wonder if they will get their dream jobs and how far they will have to move to pursue their goals. While pursuing their dreams and goals, most of the students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources have the opportunity to work with Amy Gazaway, career development coordinator for CASNR Career Services. "The majority of students I see in my office prefer to locate a job in Oklahoma," said Gazaway. "The main reason students want to stay in Oklahoma is family." For students looking for jobs in Oklahoma, there is good news. Despite the current economic conditions, in-state jobs are still available. "Many Oklahoma employers are small to mid-sized organizations that traditionally do not use on-campus interviews or career fairs to fill their hiring needs," said Gazaway. "Also, employers are operating with reduced recruitment budgets compared to past years. Therefore, students must be more proactive to find job opportunities." While some employers may not like their recruiting budget, many still like to hire OSU graduates. "We come to OSU and hire graduates for several reasons," said Lisa Binger, Excel employment manager. "They have a good work ethic, are well educated and have good people skills." ·

How do I go about finding the right job? Gazaway suggested networking, direct company contacts, job listings and referrals from CASNR and OSU career services, on-campus interviews, Internet searches, state employment offices, employment agencies, career and job fairs, professional organizations, employer Web

sites and job listings in newspapers as a few sources to use in the job search. Louann Waldner, director of CASNR Career Services, said working with third party or professional recruiters is an option if the employer pays for the service. "There are so many recruiters who are free to students that paying for one is just not necessary," said Waldner. "Students receiving graduate degrees use recruiters more frequently. While recruiters can be helpful, students should be cautious and read all contracts thoroughly before making any commitments." Gazaway recommended students follow seven steps to having a successful job search, whether searching in Oklahoma or in other states: • Research yourself. • Identify targets. • Research prospective employers and positions. • Develop your job-search tools. • Identify and use job-search resources. • Request and prepare for interviews. • Follow up after the interview. Before beginning the job search, individuals should research their lives and career goals, said Gazaway. Additionally, students should know the career areas and types of positions are similar to their interests, abilities and values. The next step is to identify targets. Write down types of organizations, names of specific employers and titles of specific positions where you are interested in working. After identifying potential employers and positions available, learn as much as possible about employers and job opportunities, including how the employers recruit new professionals. "There are no limits on what one should know about employers and positions that are under consideration," said Gazaway. Equipped with information, students should develop job-searching tools. "Developing a network with employers, alumni, faculty and fellow students is crucial," said Gazaway. "During this time, students also need to target resumes and correspondence in addition to practicing interviewing skills." With knowledge and the appropriate tools in hand, it is time to begin identifying and using the resources acquired through the job search. Students should organize their job-search resources, plan the process and get resumes in circulation. Potential employers' awareness of the candidate's availability and qualifications signal the beginning of the interview process. To prepare for an interview, ask the following questions: How do I fit into the organization and position? What are my career goals? "Knowing the answers is not enough," said


Gazaway. "Candidates must be able to articulate the answers." After each job interview, following up with the employers is essential, said Gazaway. Initiative and genuine interest in the position are demonstrated through polite persistence after the interview. Job seekers can remind employers of their qualifications by sending thank-you notes and follow-up letters to express appreciation for interviews. Phone calls and e-mails also can help candidates keep in contact with employers about the selection process.

When should I start? "It takes most people about six to nine months to find their ideal jobs once they actively begin pursuing positions and mailing out resumes," said Gazaway. "Students who are graduating in May really need to begin actively looking for most jobs at least by September, even though a few employers might not advertise or begin recruiting until later in the year."

How much is enough? Multiple factors must be consid-

ered when negotiating a salary. First and foremost is the market value for individuals graduating in a student's area of study and planning to work in the student's identified career. Location and cost of living also affect a salary's value, said Gazaway. A bigger check does not always mean more money. Additionally, benefits should be closely evaluated as part of the total compensation package. "Students with bachelor's degrees earned an average starting salary of $31,600 last year," said Gazaway. "This number usually increases by 3 percent to 5 percent every year, so students this year could average $33,300. I would encourage all students to visit with career services about more accurate numbers for their career choice." The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the mean annual income of Oklahomans as $28,630 compared to the national average of $34,020 in 2001. While the average salary of Oklahomans is lower than the national average, the 2000 U.S. Census cites the median value of homes in Oklahoma as being considerably less than the average national value. An average home

in Oklahoma should cost about $70,700, whereas the national average is almost $120,000. Doing employer research also can help students determine what kind of starting salaries are realistic for them to expect. "It might also help to visit with fellow students, alumni, co-workers, faculty, advisers and other members of the student's network to gather this information," said Gazaway. Additionally, CASNR Career Services provides a Web site designed to help students efficiently access career information and job-search resources. "The Web site helps me to look into companies and employers a lot quicker than looking them up individually," said John Eric Denson, agribusiness jwuor. "It has really helped me pick out some of the better companies I would like to work for." The CASNR Career Services Web site is located at http: / /www.dasnr.okstate.edu/ casnr I career.html. For more information about career development or assistance with finding a job, call Waldner or Gazaway at (405) 744-5395. + By Amy Jenkins, Bethel, Okla.


Extension educators provide the 'basics' in a new format Urban citizens are trading in their condos and sports cars for ranch houses and pickup trucks. Will this "new generation" of ranchers be able to flourish in the struggling agricultural economy? No one can say for sure, but Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service personnel and researchers at Oklahoma State University are working to ensure their success. "People with 20 to 120 acres need information in a different format than traditional cattle ranchers," said Roy Ball, Craig County agricultural extension agent. Creating a way to provide that information is exactly what OCES is trying to accomplish. By developing a relaxed, fun-filled program of "People with 20 to facts, valuable infor1 2 0 acres need mation, food and music, extension personinformation in a nel are hoping to different format than attract the new and inexperienced recretraditional cattle ational cattle rancher. ranchers." "Extension educators felt there was a group of nontradi- Roy Ball tional landowners Craig County who we just weren't extension agent reaching," said Kent Barnes, OSU area livestock specialist. "Our information was presented in a format that was too lengthy and detailed for their needs and varied backgrounds." To fix this problem, OCES teamed with the Oklahoma legislature to create the Cherokee Prairie farm and ranch management program. The program incorporates new letters, sale barn cards, seminars and demonstrations targeted at the new cattle producer and rancher. "We want to use the same information as before, just repackage and present it in a different format," said Barnes, Cherokee Prairie program coordinator. Once the problem was identified, reaching the new target audience became the next obstacle. Extension educators 12 •:• COWBOY JOURNAL •:• FALL 2003

visited county courthouses to ob tain names based on the size of a landowner's known acreage. Barnes said it was not an easy undertaking. After approximately 6,000 to 7,000 names were identified in Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Ottawa and Rogers counties, each extension agent had to narrow his list to approximately 450 target producers. This final group became the mailing list for the Cherokee Prairie newsletter, an informational piece that focuses on one main aspect of ranching in each edition. "We are looking at the bottom line," said Barnes. Glenn Selk, OSU livestock specialist, said the intention of extension educators is to provide ranchers with basic information in as many formats as possible. This new type of cattle and ranch enhancement program, specifically geared for the Cherokee Prairie area of northeastern Oklahoma, was designed with the new generation of producers in mind. The program is structured with a special emphasis on providing insights and answers for producers with smaller acreage operations. "We want to make it easier than ever for smaller producers to access information made available by OSU specialists and researchers," said Ball. "Practical tips, profitable solutions, presented in an atmosphere of fun, food and facts; that's what the program is about." Many cattle producers on the Cherokee Prairie have two jobs: one in town during the day and the other on the ranch at night. Obviously, this can create serious challenges. Traditionally, extension meetings and seminars are held during regular business hours. Because many new Cherokee Prairie ranchers hold full-time positions, finding time to attend extension meetings presented a problem. Barnes said many of these landowners concede that profit isn't their biggest goal on the farm; these ranchers prefer aesthetic value. "They are much more concerned about the lifestyle," said Barnes. "Ranchers' (and Spouses') Night Out" was designed to provide helpful ideas for improving the pastures, the cattle that graze those pastures and the quality of life for the people ranching on the Cherokee Prairie. Ball said the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and


Natural Re ources has focused on providing straight-forward, w1biased and researched-based answers to important question that are frequently asked by cattle owners. During the evening's events, participants were introduced to three "storefronts" - a feed store, a fertilizer store and a veterinary medicine store. Each store was designed to provide information and answer questions farmers and ranchers face on a daily basis. When visiting the "feed store," producers found answers to their questions about what type of livestock feed to use and why. A trip to the "fertilizer store" answered questions about fertilizers and herbicides, such as how much to apply and when to use them. An actual veterinarian was on hand at the "veterinary medicine store" to explain the importance of vaccinations, to show how to inject livestock, to demonstrate types of needles to use and to describe possible effects of re idues. Because farming and ranching is often viewed as a family affair, Selk said couples had the option of attending the conference together, so both could learn about the challenges and opportunities involved in the ranching industry. To date, approximately 300 people have attended the oneevening seminars. "The conference has been well received," said Barnes. "The entire purpose of this program is to make our information more readily available to meet these producers' needs. We also want to market extension." The cost of the program is $5 per person. The registration fee includes the cost of the conference, a beef dinner, informational materials and a night of entertainment. Barnes said he hopes this program will help to move many nontraditional producers into the main stream of traditional extension programs. "We have a lot to offer," said Ball. "You've got questions; we've got solutions." For more information about the Cherokee Prairie program, contact your county extension office, or visit the OCES Web site at http:/ /www.dasnr.okstate.edu / cherokeeprairie. + Story and photo by Shannon Webb, Cordell, Okla .


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14 •:• COWBOY JOU RNAL •:• FALL 2003


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FAPC goes international with research Picture delicious, warm pizza. Look closely and you'll possibly notice tiny pieces of leaves in the rich, red tomato sauce. You probably never notice them, but they add an aroma and a zesty flavor, and research is underway to improve them. "The idea with the oregano research is to look at the composition and the amount of oil in the leaves," said Nurhan Dunford, an oilseed chemist at the Oklahoma State University Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center, or FAPC. The oregano plant has many uses for its oil or leaves, including enhancing breads, meats, chili, salad dressings, Italian and Mexican foods, cosmetics, pain relievers, fragrances and chewing gum. Pizza, however, is the food item commonly associated with

oregano. The herb is often paired with garlic or other strong-flavored herbs. "[Oregano] works well with foods that already have a fairly strong flavor, or something you're mixing other strong flavors with, like garlic," said Barbara Brown, food specialist at OSU. "This is why we see it in pizza sauces. The garlic and the peppers already have strong flavors. It would probably not work well with a mild flavored fish. It would be too pronounced and that's all you'd taste." Most of the oregano sold in the United States is grown in Mexico. For nearly 10 years, Ramon Silva Vazquez has studied oregano at the Federal Research Center for Natural Resources, or CIReNA, located in Chihuahua, Mexico. He recently completed a one-year sabbatical from CIReNA to study at FAPC. Silva Vazquez, the head of the oregano research program at CIReNA, began his interest in oregano because researchers in Mexico believed wild oregano was becoming extinct. "That area's soil is very poor, and the people were abusing the plants," said Silva Vazquez. "They were cutting the plants for an extra income from the wild plant. I began the research on oregano beca use I wanted to save the wild plant and try to reproduce the plant." At CIReNA, Silva Vazquez researched ways to ave the wild plant. He harvested seeds from wild plants and planted a new oregano crop. This was very difficult to do, Ra111on Silva Vazquez examines oregano at nn OSU plant and soil he said. sciences greenhouse. "The first research 16 •:• COWBOY JOURNAL •:• FALL 2003

project was trying to pretrea t the seeds from the wild plant," said Silva Vazquez. "Only 18 percent of the seeds would germinate. We used different controlled conditions to try to increase germination." With the pretrea ting method Silva Vazquez developed for the seeds, 86 percent now will germinate. It took three years to get approximately 200 acres to grow using the harvested seeds. Although the oregano plant can adapt to other areas, work continues today to adapt the plant to the desert soil in Chihuahua. "We harvested the seeds from the wild plant to grow more," said Silva Vazquez. "The most important thing was to start growing it. We are still working on adapting the plant to the soil in Mexico." The next step in the research was removing the oregano oil from the leaves. Once removed, the oil is in a crude form. Crude oregano oil contains hundreds of compounds, each emphasized to perform a certain task. The oregano must be refined through a process called hydrodistillation, which removes the undesirable components of the oil, said Dunford. A company in the United States expres ed to CIReNA an interest for oil containing higher percentages than normally found of the two most important components in oregano oil, thymol and carvacrol. "They are looking at the bioactive compounds or compounds that contribute to the food or to their product," said DU11ford. In Mexico, Silva Vazquez tested the effects of water stress to research changes in the percentages of these compounds. He also looked at ways the water amount affects the oil composition in the leaves. The equipment at CIReNA was not as accurate as he needed. Silva Vazquez said he heard about FAPC from his


younger brother, Jose Lorenzo Silva Vazquez, who attended OSU. The elder Silva Vazquez contacted Dunford about researching in her laboratories at FAPC. Dunford had more accurate equipment than he had access to in Mexico, and he could better control the variables at FAPC, he said. He came to FAPC and used the equipment, some of which Dunford designed. His year spent at FAPC and his research were funded by a group of oregano producers in Mexico. Dunford and Silva Vazquez worked together using FAPC's equipment to separate the components of the oil harvested from leaves in Mexico. They then tested the effects water had during the growth process on each of the components. He learned using FAPC's equipment allowed him to increase percentages of thymol and carvacrolnaturally. However, upon comparing the results to the plants grown in Mexico, Dunford and Silva Vazquez learned a few things were not done properly. "Their experiments were done in the field, in the open," said Dunford, "so they didn't have really good control of the amount of water the plant gets. It all evaporates out, and they were trying to limit the amount of water one plant gets, but if it rains what are you going to do? That plant is going to get water." Dunford and Silva Vazquez started a new test and grew oregano plants at OSU plant and soil sciences greenhouses where they could better control the variables. They extracted the oil and compared the results with the previous outcome. Oregano leaves are small. They are a couple of inches in length. It takes a lot of leaves to make a small amount of oil. This, in addition to its many uses, makes the oil valuable. "Companies mix the oil with different things to make their products,"

said Silva Vazquez. "A liter of oil can sell for as much as $1,500 to $1,700." "Right now the only thing we are selling is the dried leaves, ogy with oregano can lead to future but the research here is to extract the benefits for Oklahoma agricultural oil and the different components of the oil," said Silva Vazquez. "All of them products. This could create more products locally produced for the consumer have different properties." in addition to revenue for the Silva Vazquez and Dunford plan Oklahoma producer. to find a way to sell the components of So next time you eat a slice of pizza, the oil individually. This is important take a moment to look closely and apbecause each component serves a spepreciate the value of the flavor and the cific need for different companies. He said his goal in his research is work and effort going into improving to develop wild plants so that the every bite you take. + By Jyl Waldschmidt, Waldron , Kan. people in the desert region of ChihuaAll comments by Ramon Silva hua can produce a value-added prodVa zquez are via an interpreter, E. Paloma uct to make a profit. Cuesta Alonso. Silva Vazquez and Dunford conFor more information on FAPC or tinue to work together long distance to oregano research, call (405) 744-6071 or look into the probabilities of other uses visit http://Japc.okstate. edu. for oregano. Dunford said she would like to make the technology and knowledge gained from this research available to Oklahoma products. "We can use that technology for other plants such as cedar or other herbs, " said Dunford. "For example, we have a client interested in lemon balm oil, which is very similar to oregano oil. This year they are going to grow one acre of lemon balm plants. They are going to use the same technology to help them extract the oil from lemon balm. It's all really interconnected." Although this international research does not directly involve Oklahoma at this time, work- N11rlw11 Ou11ford (right) and Ramon Silva Vazq uez collect a sa mple ing through this technol- of orega110 oil. (Photos by Jyl Waldsch111idt) COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003 •:• 17


Agricultural Economics

Wisdom shines bright Sanders brings unique style to classroom and extension A tropical print shirt, sandals and khaki pants may not fit into a student's image of an agricultural economics p rofessor, but Larry Sanders is not a typical p rofessor. His clothes may not reflect the depth of his wisd om, but the salt tones in his salt-and-pepper-colored beard barely begin to tell his story. Sanders was born into a working-classfamily in Carlsbad, N.M. His fa ther, Lawrence, worked in the potash mining and refining industry, and his mother, Lillian, was a homemaker. Despite his parents' lack of formal education, they instilled in their son the value of higher educa tion. Sanders refers to himself as a second-generation non-farmer because his father left the fa rm behind. When Larry Sander finished high school, he went to college, but he also took a job as a newspaper reporter. "I didn' t have formal reporting classes," Sanders said. "I was given a journalism text to read and then had to go out and act like I knew wha t I was doing." Sanders worked as a reporter in Carlsbad for two years before he m oved to Laramie, Wyo., to work full-time as a newsp aper rep orter for a semester. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army. Sanders said he w anted to serve his country in the military like his father, a World War II veteran. He aid he thought this service was the best choice he could make. He spent 18 m onths in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, where he learned many tough lessons about life tha t gave him some of the wisdom he uses in his classroom today. "In every crisis you are put in, you are given a gift," said Sanders. "When you find that gift you will begin to get better." During the war as a lieutenant, he learned how to think critically, lead others and think quickly in critical situa tions. "Probably the biggest thing I learned was to know myself and that I could perform in a crisis situa tion," said Sanders. Sanders returned to the United Sta tes, bu t he stayed in the military for almost seven years. "I never intended for it to be a career, and I never intended to be in as long as I was," he said. "But I hadn't decided what to do for a career, soit was a good place to be tmtil I decided." He took night and weekend classes in California to finish his bachelor 's degree in sociol18 •!• COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003

ogy while he continued service in the military. "I wanted to better understand how the people in institutions around me worked," said Sanders." I also w anted to learn how to improve the way we live with each other." Sanders then m oved back to New Mexico and worked as a firefighter in the southern New Mexico mountains for one year before he went to New Mexico Sta te University. He studied for his master 's degree in agricultural economics there and received his teaching certificate. In 1973, Sanders married. His wife, Linda, helped him "heal from the war." He said she was the only person who understood exactly how he felt. "My wife was m y anchor," Sanders said. "She was the one who helped me when I got back from the war." Sanders opened his own insurance agency and worked for the next few years selling insurance in New Mexico. He then left N ew Mexico for Colorado to work on his doctoral degree in economics. H e focused his studies in the area of natural resources and took advantage of a job opportunity that allowed him to chart scenic rivers in Colorado and do research to complete his disserta tion. "It was a rough job - hiking, kayaking, fishing and mountain biking - bu t somebody had to d o it," Sanders said with a chuckle. After completing his doctoral disserta tion in 1985, Sanders was recruited by Oklahoma Sta te University. "I w as intrigued with the challenges of the job," said Sanders. "I had been helping extension in Colorado as p art of my assistantship to help farmers in the farm crisis in the early 1980s, and I saw an opportunity to do the same thing in Oklahoma." Sanders has worked at OSU for 18 years, spending part of his time teaching and part of his time working for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service addressing policy issues tha t affect people in rural communities. "I develop educational programs to help those audiences become more aware of the p ublic policy issues tha t affect them," said Sanders. "I work with Congress, the state legislature and farm organiza tions to consider improvements in legislation ." When there i a new farm bill, Sanders helps


coordinate educational programs about the bill. Farmers, ranchers and legislative aides contact Sanders to ask questions about pending legislation or legislation recently passed. Sanders travels professionally to other states and countries including Russia, Turkey, Japan and Mexico. "My first love is the students in the classroom, but I also love working with real world problems and the people of Oklahoma who are in the food and fiber sector," said Sanders. Students can easily see Sanders' love for teaching through the energy he brings to his classes. "If you have the opportunity to take one of his classes, you better jump on it," said Jeff Blake, agricultural education senior from Perry, Okla. "He is just a great person and a great teacher." Sanders teaches agricultural policy and ethical issues in agriculture and the environment, but said he enjoys teaching his natural resources class the most. "I want to try to help other people solve problems," Sanders said. Students agree Sanders is full of wit, knowledge and wisdom.

" ot only did Dr. Sanders challenge us academically, but he also challenged us morally to be the best people we can be both academically and personally," said Afton Jameson, agricultural communications senior. Sanders said learning about agricultural economics might not be the most interesting thing students do. That is why he finds different ways to keep the class interesting. "I try to bring speakers into the class to make sure the students are aware of what is going on in the real world," said Sanders. He also tries to have team projects and encourages his students to bring in current event issues, which help him make real-world applications. "I used to hike and write for enjoyment in my spare time," said Sanders, "but as you can see, class and extension work take a lot of time." Sanders has no plans to retire soon. Instead, he will continue to surprise students when he arrives in relaxed clothes, equipped with knowledge that will help students for a lifetime.+ By Ross Walker, Lancaster, Ohio

Above: Larry Sanders teaches his natural resources class. Below: Sanders discusses a paper with William Walther. (Photos by Amy Hanewich)

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A faith born not of words •••

Wes Watkin s at his home in Stillwater, Okla. (Photo by Kristin Owens)

A man of courage ... faith ... trust ... wisdom ... and respect. These words tell the story of a great leader, who for the past 20 years has dedicated his life to serving Oklahoma, and now Wes Watkins is stepping down. The OSU alumnus retired Jan. 3, 2003, from the U.S. Congress. Today, Congress may have lost one of its leaders, but Oklahomans will always have a life-long friend.

The early years Wes Watkins was born Dec. 15, 1938, in the small town of Dequeen, Ark His family suffered poor economic conditions, which directly affected his life. Before Watkins was 9 years old, his family had moved between Arkansas and California three different times. "Like a lot of people who had left the area in search of economic survival, I picked cotton, cut grapes and gathered potatoes and onions in the field," said Watkins. Traveling back and forth took its toll on the Watkins family. Like many other families, the goal was to find work and make money, but sometimes all they found were hardships. "My mother and father ended up in divorce, 20 •!• COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003

and after settling in Bennington, Okla., my father left and went to California," said Watkins. Watkins and his family- mother Mary Etta; older sister Althea; and older brother L.V.; decided to beat the odds. They wanted a new start, and they found it on a small farm in Bennington, Okla. "It was probably one of the greatest things that happenedto me," said Watkins. "My mother had very little formal education, but she had a world of wisdom. She knew that our future did not lie in the fast-paced big cities." In Bennington, the Watkins family worked hard to make ends meet. Mary Watkins was determined to provide a future for her children. "My mother did not want to go on welfare," said Watkins. "During that time, it was a stigma that she didn't want so she worked, and we worked, and we managed to stay off welfare." Bennington was then, and is still today, a small town, and like many small towns in Oklahoma, it is home to a friendly community. "You knew everyone, and everyone knew you," said Watkins. "It was a great place to grow up. Everyone looked after everyone, and basically, they were just good neighbors." While attending school at Bennington, Watkins' first love was agriculture, but he also showed the signs of an aspiring young athlete. "I was on the baseball and basketball teams," said Watkins. "I tell people I started as point guard on the basketball team and second baseman on the baseball team, and it wasn't that I was that good, it was because they needed me. I guess that's how you know when you're in a small town." When Watkins was in the eighth grade, a program was added to Bennington's curriculum had a profound affect on his life. "A fellow came to our community and started the vocational agriculture program and along with that, a little organization called the FFA," said Watkins. "My brother first enrolled in it, and I followed, and from there we began to pave the way." Becoming involved in the FFA, and then realizing where it could take him, was just the first step in a long staircase of blue-and-gold history for Watkins. It started with the first trip to Stillwater, Okla., to attend the State FFA Convention. Watkins was a naive 13-year-old boy when he


attended that first convention. Watching an organization come together under one roof was a marvelous sight for the young man. While sitting in the audience trying to take it all in, he came to the conclusion that from this organization leaders were born. "I marveled at the leadership qualities of a young man who, at the time, was serving as the state FFA president. His name was Barton Ridling from Sentinel, Okla.," said Watkins. Watkins was seated in the far northeast corner of Gallagher Hall, really by himself, because he didn't want anyone talking to him because of his speech problem. Watkins was born with a speech problem that impaired his ability to sound out words. After leaving the convention, Watkins was overcome with a heart full of excitement and determination, but he wondered if his speech impediment would stand in the way of his dreams within the FFA. "My vo-ag teacher drove the bus back from the convention, and I sat behind him telling him how I would like to be a state FFA president some day," said Watkins. "He didn't laugh or show too much emotion one way or the other, but he was probably thinking 'What kind of dream is that?'" The following Monday Watkins' agriculture teacher helped him by placing an Oklahoma Farmer-Stockman magazine on his desk. "He asked me to pick out an article and getup and talk about it," said Watkins. "He did that for several years and four years later, I became a state FFAofficer."

Coming to OSU During the fall of 1956, Watkins embarked on a new chapter in his life. He set foot on the campus of Oklahoma State University as a college freshman and as the southeast district vice president for the Oklahoma FFA. He was excited about the chance to make agriculture a full-time career. "Coming to OSU and literally stepping onto this campus, being accepted and helped by people who didn't even know me, and the students not judging me because I didn't have anything, truly opened up the world to me," said Watkins.

During his first year at OSU, Watkins set and accomplished many goals. One of those goals was fulfilling the dream of a boy who wanted to be a state FFA president. In April 1958, Watkins was elected as the OklahomaFFA president. For college Wes Watkins enjoys spending time on his ranch. (Photo by Kristin Owens) freshmen today, living in the dorms is common, and began working for the OSU infirmary, where he received some added benefits. on some college campuses it is mandatory. For Watkins, however, it was a dif"I thought it was a great job," said Watkins. "I had all I wanted to eat, ferent story. clean sheets and a clean place to live." 'The summer before I came to OSU, I took a job in California working on a Not only did Watkins have a new poultry farm," said Watkins. "The address, but he also had new responsidrought had hit, and I had to sell my bilities. He was elected president of the livestock because I needed the money." Agricultural Student Council and president of Blue Key. And if this Because of this experience, during his first semester at OSU, Fred wasn't enough, he also decided to run LeCrone, assistant dean of resident infor student senator. "I wanted to run for student senastruction, sent him to work for Delbert Black on the school's poultry farm, and tor, but they didn't know where to put me," said Watkins. "I wasn't a Greek, I little did Watkins know this new job didn't live in town, and I wasn't in the would also be his new home. "We had moved the chickens out dorm. It was amusing to me that they didn't know where I could run, but I of one of the chicken houses, and I asked Mr. Black what he was going to was actually in the middle of campus, only I was living in the OSU infirmary." do with the building," said Watkins. "He said they were going to tear it Through all of the confusions, down, so I asked if I could move in." Watkins was able to run as town senator and won. Watkins cleaned and sanitized the While in Kingfisher, Okla., as a stuhouse, and pretty soon he and his brother, who was a year ahead of him dent teacher, Watkins received an interesting phone call. A friend from OSU at OSU, moved in. They slept on GI bunk beds, used a hot plate for cookwanted him to run for office, but this time it was for student body president. ing and spent the early hours of the "It was my last semester, and it was morning collecting eggs in exchange for rent. This once chicken-manurequite a race," said Watkins. "I was runand-dirt-filled house would be home ning against a man named Dan Draper, for Watkins and his brother for the next who later became Speaker of the House in the Oklahoma Legislature. My camtwo years. As college progressed, so did paign revolved around an idea called Wesley 'Statehood Days' Watkins, and Watkins. He left the poultry farm and

â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘


the bottom of my business cards read 'I'm a poor boy; give this to a friend."' The election was the talk of the campus; in fact, it was the largest one the campus had ever held. There were twice as many votes cast than had ever been cast before. Watkins said on the night of the election, April 12, 1960, Bob Hope was on campus giving a big show, and during his show he made the announcement that Wes Watkins was the new student body president. While serving as student body president, Watkins was asked by someone when he was going to run for political office. "I had always thought of my involvement here on campus as just student leadership activities," said Watkins. "I didn't know it was really preparing me to go into political office. I reflected on what that person said to me and I thought, 'You know if I ever did run for political office, what would I really want to do?'"

Watkins meets his life partner

Wes Watkin s in 1946 while in Bennington (top), as Oklahoma FFA president in 1958 (center) and serving as Oklahoma Congressman in Washington, D.C. (Photos courtesy of Lou Watkins) 22

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COWBOY JOURNAL 0:- FALL 2003

It was 1961, Watkins had just finished his bachelor of science degree in agricultural education and was working on his master's degree at OSU and needed a better paying job. While keeping his job at the infirmary, he also took the position of head doorman at the OSU Edmon Low library. Little did he know this job was going to change his life. It was Christmas break and the library was practically empty, except for one young lady. "I had to make rounds checking on the library a couple of times during my shift," said Watkins. "Since it was Christmas break, I had let most of the employees go home except for a guy who wanted to stay. He made the rounds one evening and when he came back he said there was a cute-looking gal up on the second floor. I told him to man the door because I was going to go upstairs to see if his story was true, and that's where I met my life partner." Sitting alone with her face buried in a book was Lou Rodgers. Rodgers grew up in Cushing, Okla., and attended college at Park College, Mo. She was home for Christmas and was studying at the OSU library. "He waited until I had started to

leave," said Lou. "He asked me if he could come to Cushing and take me out for a soda and I said, 'No."' Watkins did not let this stop him. He knew her father was the minister at the Presbyterian Church in Cushing, so he did a little digging. Watkins found out where her house was, and the next Sunday afternoon he was at her house to try one more time. "He showed up that Sunday," said Lou. "He had somehow gotten the information about my dad and was able to find my house. I think that there is probably a law against that today." Watkins knew that he had met a very special lady. "I was raised in a broken home, and I used to pray that I would meet a young lady like Lou," said Watkins. In 1962, Rodgers was studying at the American University in Washington, D.C., on an honors political science semester, and Watkins was a student at the University of Maryland working on his doctorate in rural development. That Christmas the two became engaged, and in June 1963, the two were married in the Presbyterian Church in Cushing, Okla. "A couple of days before we got married, I was in Whitehurst Hall and OSU President Oliver S. Willham asked me about coming back to OSU to assist in setting up a high school relations program," said Watkins. After the Watkinses were married, they moved back to Washington, and in August Watkins received a call from Willham saying the job was available. The newlyweds packed their belongings and headed for Oklahoma in what Wes Watkins calls their "first home." "Our first home was an eight foot wide by 22 foot long travel trailer," said Watkins. "On the way back the trailer hitch broke, and I had to chain and wire it back to the car. So the whole way back from Washington, I could only go 30 miles per hour. People were mad at us, even cussing us. I couldn't stand it. We stopped for lunch, and I grabbed some paper and crayons. I put a sign in the back of the trailer that read, 'Just married -Oklahoma or bust.' Even though we had been married for two months, the sign worked, and it changed the attitude of the trip." While in Oklahoma, the two made


the travel trailer their home for two years. For four years, Watkins visited every high school in the state of Oklahoma. He was promoting OSU, and he was also inspiring young, eager minds. "You don' t preach the gospel of OSU with three to five speeches a day unless you mean it," said Watkins. "I would say to myself before I would go give that last speech, 'God, if I could just say one thing that would help at least one young person go on to college, it's worth it.' I would tell students, 'I don' t care who you are. If you want to go to college at OSU, I'll get you there, and I'll get you a job."' Being with young people every day gave Watkins a glimpse of the pressures and problems some students face. Someone once asked Watkins what words of encouragement he shared with young people. "There is one word that everyone should hold in their heart, and that is the word joy," said Watkins. "Put Jesus first, others second, and yourself last, and I assured them it would be rewarding. They could have a sense of peace, and take that with them in their lives."

Watkins enters politics During that first year at OSU, Watkins not only was the director of high school relations, but he also did some important research. He wrote a paper titled "The Need of a Multicounty Organization for the Economic Growth of Southeast Oklahoma." "In 1963 I presented this paper in Washington to the Commerce Department. They used part of the paper to enact the Economic Development Adminis tra tion Act of 1965," said Watkins. "There is a section about multi-county planning districts, or the economic growth of poverty areas." Because of this paper, in 1966 Watkins left OSU and took his career in another direction. He began working for the first economic development district in southeast Oklahoma. "I was able to write the overall economic development plan for southeast Oklahoma, which included seven counties," said Watkins. Lou Watkins said her husband is motivated to help people and has made it his life's passion. "The one constant focus I have seen

hearts and their pocketbooks and give. in Wes is job development," said Lou. "In fact, he is absolutely obsessed with We didn' t have a paid employee, but we had the people with us, and we were helping people find jobs. I think that it very grateful." goes clear back to his mother, because she always told him, 'Where there's a Coming out of the primary, Watkins will, there's a way."' had a 10,000 vote lead over Watkins "I took politics as Charlie Ward, Speaker Wes worked for two years in Albert's administrative assisnot the end in tant. economic development before he decided to itself, but rather "I'll never forget coming go into the home buildout of that primary," said as a vehicle." Watkins. "That's when the ing and land development business. Wes Watkins people realized I could win. Watkins remained The momentum was so strong in the home building that I could not have turned business for a number of years, and in the election back even if I had to." that time he and his wife were blessed Watkins won the Democratic priwith three children, Martha, Sally and mary with 63 percent of the vote. He Wade. went on to win the general election with In 1974, state Sen. George Miller more than a 100,000-vote margin. He retired during the middle of his term. became the U.S. Representative for the Earlier, when Watkins had considered third district of Oklahoma. politics, he was more interested in "It was a great election, one that I will never forget," said Watkins. Congress, sow hen this seat came open While in Congress, Watkins served he was skeptical. "The odds were probably against on the Bank and Finance Committee us, but we decided to run anyway," and the Science and Technology Comsaid Watkins. mittee. He also became the whip of the Even though Watkins and his famfreshman class, where he was responily had only been living in Ada, Okla ., sible for getting votes for legislation. for two years he had made a difference, Through these committees, Watkins and because of that, he was elected as established Rural Enterprises Inc., a state senator. which had a direct impact on south"I went into the state Senate and eastern Oklahoma stayed there two years on the unex"Rural Enterprises is an ongoing, pired term," said Watkins. "However, day-to-day group that helps with finance, innovation, housing and a nummy business began to suffer because the state Senate didn't pay very much. ber of different things," said Watkins. As a result, I felt like I needed to leave, "Rural Enterprises was set up to take mainly because I couldn't make a livcare of the third district of Oklahoma, ing there." and it has become the envy of most After Watkins' made his decision, places throughout the country." Watkins had only been in Consomething unexpected occurred. On gress for two years, but he had made a June 5, 1976, U.S. Speaker of the House, Carl Albert, announced he was not difference. In 1978 he ran unopposed. "I said I was elected to serve all of going to seek re-election. This left an open congressional seat the third disthe people, and the people responded trict of Oklahoma. by not giving me an opponent," he said. "Without hesitation and without Watkins said he knew he could do looking back, my wife and I said 'Yes, more for Oklahoma if he could serve we are going to run,"' said Watkins. on the appropriate committees. "I wanted to be on the AppropriaIn his heart, Watkins knew this tions Committee," said Watkins. "So, I was what he was meant to do. The opgot on the Steering and Policy Comportunity arose, and he grabbed it. "We weren't the chosen ones, we mittee, which allowed me to help make didn't have the political bosses and we appointments to committee . I then got didn' t have the political parties, but we on the Appropriations Committee and had the people with us," said Watkins. served on the Agricultural and Rural "We asked the people to open their Continued on page 42 COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003 •!• 23


'

Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Ol<lahomans lead the way OALP strengthens agriculture in Oklahoma With the growing gap between the dirt roads of the rural sector and the skylines of the urban interests, Oklahoma agriculture is in a state of constant change. For 21 years, the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program has addressed the growing issue of leadership in the agricultural industry. The OALP encompasses all facets of the agricultural industry. Class participants may originate from many different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: agriculture. "The changes and concerns about agriculture were the reasons behind the development of OALP in 1982," said Joe Williams, OALP director at Oklahoma State University. "The program is designed to provide each class with the training and experience that will enable them to assume leadership roles in the state," said Williams. "Their leadership will help determine the future strength of Oklahoma agriculture and the part this important industry plays in the total economy. "The program also provides participants with the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills to solve problems and explore new possibilities for Oklahoma agriculture." Class participants are kept on the cutting edge of changes within the agricultural industry by being part of the OALP. The program was developed with the assistance of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1982. Each class is a two-year program consisting of 13 educational seminars ranging from three days to two weeks in length. Class members tour and study agriculture across Oklahoma and Kansas and visit Washington, D.C. The last seminar for each OALP class is a 24 •:• COWBOY JOURNAL •:• FALL 2003

two-week international experience. Participants tour one to several countries in this twoweek time. The current class will travel in February or March 2004. In the past, members of OALP have journeyed to many countries, including China, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Poland, Czechoslovakia, England, Holland and Argentina. Williams said members spend a lot of time with the federal government and the U.S. Department of Agriculture while in Washington, D.C. They are able to experience how agricultural policies are formulated and witness governmental regulations that occur. They visit agribusiness firms, credit agencies and agriculture-related manufacturing firms. "Only seven months into the two-year program, I have gained much knowledge, and I have a list nearly a mile long of agriculture leaders we have met," said Susan Lively ofEdmond, Okla., a member of OALP Class XI. Lively said she hopes to enhance her partnerships with agricultural producers and agribusinessmen, to enhance her leadership skills to better serve Oklahoma's beef producers, to strengthen her knowledge of the Oklahoma agricultural industry, and to better understand and appreciate the legislative process as it relates to agriculture. Williams said the curriculum is not limited to production agriculture but also stresses the total economic and social side. It emphasizes the part agriculture plays in the cities, the nation and the world. "The program is a stepping stone toward developing future leaders in Oklahoma agriculture who will become valued assets in the community and across the state as they become involved in civic groups, school boards and agricultural commodity groups," said Kyle Worthington of Oklahoma City, a member of OALP Class XI. Class members enjoy the lifelong friendships that can be developed through the program, while learning about agriculture. "The program gives you a chance to see agriculture in a whole different way in Oklahoma and the world," said Lynn Ann Dietrich of Carnegie, Okla., a member of OALP Class V. She also said it is a wonderful opportunity to develop lifelong friends.


The OALP program was developed and continues to operate under policies set by an advisory council comprised of recognized agricultural leaders working in cooperation with the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "Our main goal is to take members to the next level of leadership and make them more aggressive and well trained," said Bob Terry, program director of OALP from 1994-2002. "If we can do this, leadership in agriculture is going to improve." Terry has been involved with the OALP from the beginning, desiring to improve agriculture in Oklahoma. He said he feels the need to get young people involved is important because they hold the future of agriculture. Joseph Burtrum of Stillwater, Okla., a member of OALP Class XI, said being involved in the program not only helps expand his views of agriculture within the state of Oklahoma, but also outside the state. "This class will help me improve my leadership skills and be a springboard for other leadership opportunities," said Burtrum. The OALP has established the following objectives and hopes to reach them with every class: • To increase participants' awareness of Oklahoma's agricultural industries; • To expand the participants' understanding of U.S. economic, political, cultural and social systems and how they affect agriculture in Oklahoma; • To broaden the participants' perspectives on the major issues affecting agriculture and U.S. society; • To increase the participants' abilities to analyze and react to the complex problems affecting Oklahoma agriculture and its rural communities; and

To increase the participants' leadership involvement and activities at the local, state or national level for the benefit of Oklahoma agriculture. For each new class, the OALP recruits individual members from across the state to participate in this once-ina-lifetime opportunity. The process is selective. The candidates must actively engage themselves in production agriculture or in a related agribusiness occupation in Oklahoma. Production agriculture applicants employed part time off the farm are eligible. At least two-thirds of the class is selected from applicants involved in production agriculture. "I highly encourage individuals to apply for the program and to not get discouraged if they don't make it the first time," said Tom Manske of Yukon, Okla., member of OALP Class XI. "Several individuals I know made it in on the second opportunity. If a person is selected, I would challenge him or her to take the information gained throughout the program to become an advocate for agriculture," said Manske. Manske said too many of Oklahoma's constituents and elected officials are unaware of the challenges that face agriculture and rural America. "It is our obligation as leaders in this great industry to keep them informed," said Manske. "If we don' t step to the forefront on behalf of our own beliefs and background, who will?" Each OALP class consists of a maximum of 30 individuals involved in agriculture with preference given to those from 25 to 45 years of age. Interested individuals may apply or be nominated for the program. Don Schieber of Ponca City, Okla., a member of OALP Class I and a member of the OALP advisory committee, said he encourages interested individuals to speak with alumni, extension agents and OALP staff to become involved in OALP.

"I think most people would be proud to say they are involved in this organization," said Schieber. "The program has gotten better," said Schieber. "The reason for the program improving is each class learns from the one previous what to do and not to do." He said the quality is consistent among the individuals, yet every class is unique. "The program has gained more support from around the state, and the image is a lot better than in the beginning," said Schieber. Williams said more than 300 graduates from the program within the last 20 years have made their way into some important positions at the county, state and national levels. Terry said changes he hopes to see in the future include sound financial backing. According to Terry, money from the Kellogg Foundation is no longer available. Currently, the cost for each class is approximately $250,000; each member pays $1,500. Additional funding is made up by appropriations throughout the state as well as alumni and several private industry groups. "If you are ready to start thinking outside the box and gain a network of friends and contacts, this program is definitely for you," said Lance England of Woodward, Okla., member of OALP Class XI. New recruitment begins in the spring of 2004 for OALP Class XII. For additional information, write: Joe Williams, 308 Wes Watkins Center for International Trade Development, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 or call (405) 744-5132. + By Amy Hanewich, Rensselaer, Ind.

Members of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program travels to many places learning about agriculture and government. One place the group travels to is Oklahoma's State Capitol, as shown on opposite page. (Photo by Amy Hanewich) COWBOY JOURNAL •!- FALL 2003 •:• 25


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Poultry students get more than hands-on experience Students enrolled in the poultry production class at Oklahoma State University can tell you there is more to these birds than just their eggs. Joe Berry, extension poultry specialist, teaches the poultry production class, as well as poultry judging and special problems. Berry, who received his doctorate from Kansas State University, taught at Purdue University for 10 years before coming to OSU in 1980. Animal science majors are required to enroll in two animal production courses from a variety of species, with one being poultry. The average enrollment in this class is 35 students each fall semester. "Some students have never even seen a live chicken, while others have handled them most of their lives," said Berry. "Despite these differences, everybody starts from the same place." The students learn the history of the poultry industry, the process of raising, breeding and taking care of chickens, as well as the commercial side of the industry. After learning about the industry, students experience it firsthand as the class takes field trips to some of the top poultry producers, such as Peterson Farms, Mahard Egg Farm, Simmons Foods and Tyson Foods. During the semester, the students also have a little hands-on work of their own. Each student cares for and feeds the layer hens that are delivered to the farm. They feed, water and clean the houses on a daily basis. In addition, students feed the broiler chickens they raise from chicks until they are 6 weeks old to 8 weeks old and ready for harvest. The students then have a processing lab and learn the harvesting process. The grand finale for the class is an old-fashioned chicken barbecue at Berry's house. "I really enjoyed this class," said Joshua Posey, animal science alumnus. "It taught so much new information 28 •:• COWBOY JOURNAL •:• FALL 2003

that I was unaware of. I would recommend this class to anyone." Apart from the class, OSU students also have the opportunity to be a part of the poultry judging program. Unlike the livestock, meat or horse judging teams, the poultry team only attends one contest each semester. In the fall, members attend the National Collegiate Contest at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., and in the spring they travel to Baton Rouge, La., to the Southern Collegiate contest.

While competing in the contests, the students are scored on how they judge both live birds and poultry products. "I had a great time this semester on the judging team," said Thomas Loafrnan, business junior. "We had a great time at the contest, and I learned a lot through this entire semester." The judging team and production class have helped students learn about the industry and prepare for careers that aren't for the birds. + By Elizabeth Karns, Stillwater, Okla.


se to our ouse OSU research

sets standard for the poultry industry

Arkansas might be known for its poultry production, but Oklahoma State University is known for poultry research unlike any other in the world. At OSU's poultry farm, you can see rows of what look almost like large water bottles with different gadgets hanging inside of them. However, looks can be deceiving, as these happen to be some of the la test technology in poultry research. Known as metabolic chambers, they help provide insights into factors influencing feed conversion under a variety of environmental conditions, heat stress, altitude and vaccination regimens, as well as "normal" Oklahoma conditions - whatever those are. All in all, the data is evolving toward the development of a new poultry production system. Bob Teeter, professor of animal science, and his graduate students are conducting unparalleled research in this area. "One of my former students and I were at a scientific meeting in Atlanta and had looked at several presentations and discussions," said Teeter. "We discussed how nice it would be if we could really measure what's going on inside the bird in terms of energy metabolism. So, we sat down outside in a little corner of the hallway and designed the whole system in about half an hour. We got so excited about it that by the time we got back to campus, we were looking for ways to implement it." And implement it they did. Teeter and his students sat down and discussed how they could build the chambers. "We were having a brainstorming session. At that time I had eight graduate students, and we were trying to figure out how to build the metabolic chamber," said Teeter. "I had one student say that he had worked with Plexiglass in a glass shop, one had worked with wiring and electronics, and another one said he hadn't worked

with anything but was willing to work. The students all chipped in and were able to get some grants to purchase the equipment. Everything you see has been built by students and used by students." The Rosalyn Institute in Scotland is the only other facility that houses these chambers. However, the facility is much smaller with only six chambers compared to OSU's 60 chambers, making OSU, the largest project in the world. "It takes them [the Rosalyn Institute] 10 weeks to do what we can do with our 60 chambers in two weeks," said Teeter. "The amount of data we can produce is quite large." Researchers run from 10 to 15 studies in the chambers each year, the shortest test runs around a week and the longest spans about 49 days. These studies place a lot of emphasis on Oklahoma. They develop technology for Oklahoma first, as well as developing an array of environmentally orientated technologies that can be applied throughout the world.

The latest use of these technology applications is for a top poultry company, Cobb-Vantress. It has used some of these technologies in its broiler production manual. OSU's goal with this research is to illustrate to poultry producers in Oklahoma and around the world why they need to treat the birds the way they do under stress. "It's one thing to tell someone that when this happens do this or if this happens do that," said Teeter. "It's another thing to give them the information that explains to them the physiological and metabolic base for what they are doing and then let them fine tune it in the field. That is what we are trying to do." Teeter currently has 15 open grants. In addition to past grants, more than $3.5 million has been generated. Four to 10 graduate students work on projects at any given time. These grants also helped remodel the poultry farm, bring in new equipment and maintain a post-doctoral research fellowship.

OSU's metabolic chambers are used in a variety of experiments, including research of environmental conditions and feed conversion. (Photos by Elizabeth Karns) COWBOY JOURNAL â&#x20AC;˘:â&#x20AC;˘ FALL 2003 â&#x20AC;˘:- 29


One area of research OSU is currently working on is the effect of altitude on feed efficiency in the chickens. Using the metabolic chambers, they can simulate altitudes up to 10,000 feet. "In each of the three rooms, we are able to go from sea level to as high as 10,000 feet in mimicking altitude," said Teeter. "We have also had a student try to produce birds at 500 feet below sea level, so we had an oxygen-enriched

Joe Berry and Jake Grinnell analyze a class of live birds. (Photo by Elizabeth Karn s)

environment for those animals with a little bit of a higher pressure for those animals to grow in." The chambers are also able to simulate weather conditions from the deserts of Saudi Arabia to the jungles of Columbia. They measure the bird's ability to produce a product with minimal energy waste. As a result, one might say the bird is more environmentally tolerant and friendly in that it produces less greenhouse gasses, said Teeter. While conducting trials on heat stress of the bird's whole body, researchers record metabolic measurements as well as changes in respiration rate and evaporative cooling. The normal respiration rate of a chicken is 30 to 40 breaths per minute. However, when heat stress is induced, researchers recorded rates of up to 300 breaths per minute. The latest piece of equipment is one that you could see at any hospital. It is a bone Hologic X-ray densitometer. It is used in hospitals to measure bone density in humans. However, it is used for a slightly different purpose at the farm. "The unit that we have has an algorithm in it whereby we can compute the lean and lipid content on an ani-

mal," said Teeter. "We have our own equations for taking this data and converting it into a reality for broiler composition. We are able to get an intermediate composition and then put them back into their cages and let them grow. Then, we are able to get another composition of them and get the actual tissue gain in various increments of time throughout their growth curve." There are currently five students who are involved with poultry research. "Our research is only as good as the students we have," said Teeter. "It's been a long time since I have put my name first on a research article. I believe in letting the students get all the credit for what they do." All of the research done by Teeter and his students has been recognized on national and international levels. Teeter has a true sense of teaching, as he desires his students receive the credit they deserve and get the right education. "It's my goal to put the students first," said Teeter. One of his students was recently asked to give a presentation about his research at a scientific meeting in Hamburg, Germany. Along with research, Teeter, who has his doctorate in ruminant nutrition, teaches two graduate courses. He teaches vitamin and mineral nutrition, as well as advanced non-ruminant nutrition. He has been on the faculty at OSU for 20 years. This program has been successful because individuals and companies have trusted OSU in their vision and have had the opportunity to see the work that has been produced by Teeter and his graduate students. "This program was built by the students of the past," said Teeter. "The students of the present s tand on the shoulders of the ones of the past, and our pyramid keeps getting taller." + By Elizabeth

Karns, Stillwater, Okla. The 2003 spring poultry judging team: Brett Frye, Jake Wilkins, Joe Berry, Jake Grinnell, Dan Harrigan, Dallas Hindman and Thomas Loaf111an. (P/10/0 by Elizabeth Karns) 30 •!• COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003


0

Family sees bright side of tragedy A phone call in the late 1980s began the string of losses Nadyne Ice would face. But even after the loss of her two sons and husband, Nadyne would find joy in life through giving and a golden romance. On a Sunday afternoon at the dawn of harvest, Donald and Nadyne Ice were preparing for the next day on the farm near Geary, Okla. Nadyne said she saw her sons, Larry and Jim, finish their work for the day and get their cow dogs and inner tubes ready to go and relax for the night. After eating dinner that evening, Nadyne said she and Donald were too tired to read the newspaper and decided to go to bed early. "It was 20 minutes before 11 p .m . when thephonerang,"Nadynesaid. "My husband answered it, and I heard this woman chattering. Then, I heard him say he doesn't live here, he has a home of his own, and she just kept chattering. That's when I got up and started getting dressed because I knew it wasn't good news. The phone call was that Jim's truck had been in a head-on collision and was on fire." Nadyne said she could see her son Larry's mobile home across the river bottom and the lights were on there. She said Larry and Jim were together all the time, and they wanted to tell Larry what was happening to keep him from driving to the wreck site and putting himself in danger. "Larry wasn't home," Nadyne said. "The horses were in the horse trailer hooked to the pickups where the boys left them after roping that afternoon, but no one was there." Donald and Nadyne then drove a few more miles to the site of the wreck, she said. "I ran toward the wreckage, but they stopped me," Nadyne said. She said a few minutes later officials told them four people were in the truck, but they were unable to identify them. Nadyne said Donald told the police he

Merrill and Nadyn e Burruss discuss the day on their fa rm near Geary, Okla. (Photo by Rachel Crawford)

and his wife were almost positive they knew who the victims were. Jim hit another truck, which had no lights and was parked in the middle of the road. The accident killed Larry and Jim Ice, their cousin Tim Bums and his girlfriend Cathy Love that late spring night. After the tragedy, Nadyne said she and Donald wanted to remember their sons and what their sons stood for with a memorial scholarship at Oklahoma State University. Nadyne said Larry graduated from OSU with a degree in animal science two years before the accident, and Jim was almost finished with his agricul-


tural education degree when he was killed in the accident. "Their wish was to carry on the names of Larry and Jim Ice and to memorialize them in some manner at Oklahoma State University, and they wanted to support the OSU Spirit Rider Team," said Milford Jenkins, senior director of development for the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the OSU Foundation. "My boys were not the top students, but they were hard-working, funlov ing, caring people," Nadyne said, as a tear rolled down her cheek. "We wanted to honor someone who is like that." Nadyne said she and Donald decided to support the OSU Spirit Rider Team because the Ice boys were interested in horses and because team members had no financial support and worked in their spare time. Three years after the boys were killed, Donald died of a cancerous brain tumor he fought for a little more than six months.

Romance Nadyne said she decided she could manage the farm alone if she sold some big machinery and grazed her crops with cattle, and she was in the bank depositing money when Merrill Burruss came into her life. Merrill said he was at the Geary bank in early 1992 because his company had just purchased it. He traveled from his office in Kingfisher, Okla., to meet with the Geary branch manager. Merrill said while he was there, the branch manager took him to meet a customer - Nadyne Ice. "I didn't know Nadyne or any of the Ice family, but I knew she was the lady who had lost two sons," Merrill said. "I didn't know she had lost her husband." She was busy and left quickly. But Merrill said the branch manager took him back to her office and began to tell 32 â&#x20AC;˘:> FALL 2003 â&#x20AC;˘!+ COWBOY JOURNAL

him about Nadyne's mother, her sister and other family members and finished the conversation by talking about how beautiful Nadyne was. "Nadyne did not know me or that my wife had died," Merrill said." And the next time I ran into her she tried to sell me something for my wife." About a month after that meeting, Nadyne said she had a challenging business situation she did not know how to deal with and called Merrill hoping that he could help. Merrill said he met Nadyne at her house and they drove together to the farm site she wanted him to look at, but the ground was so wet they could not get off the road. "We drove back to her house, and about half way, I said 'Can I call you up and take you out to eat some time?', but my question surprised her I think," Merrill said. He said she hesitated, but he asked again and they set their first date. "I didn't intend to marry the first time, and God had been so good, I certainly didn't intend to push my luck," Nadyne said. Merrill and Nadyne married Jan. 1, 1994, a little less than two years after the first time they met. "God took care of me in two different ways," Nadyne said. "Not only did he give me a wonderful husband in Merrill, but he also gave me two sons who had lost their mother."

Hard work pays Ironically, before Merrill and Nadyne met, Merrill had also provided scholarship support for students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU. Merrill and Nadyne said they have a unique idea about who should receive their scholarships. "There are scholarships for those who do make straight A's, and there are scholarships for those who need

assistance, but many times the middle person is left out of scholarship plans," Nadyne said. Merrill said a number of students work their way through school and manage to get decent grades and he feels like those are the people who do the majority of the work in the country and pay the majority of the taxes. "It's not that we don't feel other people can't come out and be the backbone of the nation, but we know this is proven," Nadyne said. "They have to work for everything they get." Jason Wright, OSU Spirit Rider for the 2002-2003 school year, is one of those people who worked his way through school. In addition to serving as the Spirit Rider, he worked 20 to 30 hours at the OSU horse farm. "I worked to pay my bills and a large part of my tuition," said the 2003 animal science alumnus. "If it wasn't for my job, I couldn' t have stayed in school at OSU." The Elmore City native said he has worked on the farm for a long time building fence and hauling hay. A recipient of the Larry and Jim Ice Memorial Scholarship, he said he dreamed of being the Spirit Rider as a small child when he watched Bullet run onto the field. Jason Wright said he worked on the Spirit Rider Team ground crew for a year before beco ming the Spirit Rider. "It gave me a sense of pride in the university, the athletic department and the team," he said. "I actually felt like I was part of everything that was going on."

A nurturing impact Members of the Spirit Rider Team are not the only ones who have felt the giving nature of the Burruss family. When Merrill retired from his position as bank president in 1996, he endowed two scholarships in academic depart-


ments to help other students who are working toward college degrees. Merrill said he received his bachelor of science in agronomy, now known as plant and soil sciences. That is where he met Frank Davies, a faculty member from 1937 to 1971. Davies researched grain sorghum, but Merrill honored him with a scholarship for the deep impact he had on students' lives. "Not only did he mean a lot to me, but he meant a lot to so many kids, " Merrill said. "It was all boys in agronomy then, but he loved every one of us as if we were his sons. That kind of professor is rare." Merrill also endowed a scholarship in the Burruss family name in the OSU Department of Agricultural Economics after his youngest son, Charlie Burruss, graduated with a de-

gree in agricultural economics. In addition, Merrill contributed to the Betty Jo and Daniel D. Badger Scholarship fund in 1991 in response to the impact Badger had on his son's life. "The week my youngest son started to college, he found out his mother had cancer," Merrill said. "Through good times and bad, Dan Badger loved Charlie through school." Merrill and Nadyne consulted Jenkins regarding their gifts to OSU. Jenkins said people can choose from a variety of ways to give and meet their needs. Gifts range from cash donations to life insurance policies, estates and gift annuities. Depending upon the donor's wishes, the money can fund various things including scholarships, classroom facilities, endowed chairs and professorships.

"Most people think corporate or foundational support comprises the majority of gifts to OSU, when in all actuality, 60 to 75 percent of charitable giving to OSU is from individuals," Jenkins said. Jenkins said many people choose to give gifts of land or appreciated stock, which can fund sizeable scholarships or university causes of their choice. However, one-time gifts of $25 or $100 fund important causes at OSU because they are often not designated for specific purposes. "No matter what their resources, donors are people like Merrill and Nadyne Burruss who are unselfish, very generous, very kind and willing to give of resources so others will have the opportunity to receive their education from OSU," Jenkins said. + By Rachel Crawford, Dill City, Okla.

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Passion is easily found in p ersonal gain, but hidden deep inside the heart of a servant is the passion that drives the world to change. Though many would not notice, hidden in a hallway of offices, that world-changing passion seizes the opportunity. Autumn Hood, a 2002 December graduate of the biosystems and agricultural engineering department at OSU, works to change the world, one rural community at a time. As business coordinator of the New Products Development Center, Hood helps rural communities create jobs and spark economic growth, giving her good experience as she completes a master's degree in business administration. Hood takes care of the publications, markets the center to manufacturers, loca tes and secures funds, and develops materials to improve the center in the future, s uch as applications and business plans. "It is terrible to see small towns in Oklahoma · withering away because they have nothing to keep people there," said Hood. Growing up in Westcliffe, Colo., a town of about 300 in a county of only 3,000, she unders tand the importance of rural communities. The NPDC has given her the opportunity to impact the life of small towns. "I want to see people stay in their hometowns because they have a job that is rewarding," said Hood, with a sense of determination. Her home is just four miles from the base of the Rocky Mountains on a 2,000-acre ranch. Growing up, life revolved around the family's commercial ca ttle herd and native grass hay. Her love for agriculture and rural areas took root as a child. "I spent my life on a ranch with my grandpa and my father," said Hood. While wandering back in her mind to those days, her eyes glossed with the memories of her late grandfather and love for a time when being from the country was not so hard. "A summer day on the ranch began with hot cereal or 36 •!• COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003

eggs and toast while watching cartoons with my father," she said as her smile began to show. "I would find a job where I could ride the horses, which usually meant checking cows and then off to the hay field in the afternoon ." Her passion to preserve agriculture and the rural way of life was easy to understand as she shared another heartfelt memory from her childhood. "Our life virtually came to a halt when the yearly county fair rolled around," said Hood. "We persevered through everything, including my grandmother 's kitchen remodel. "We moved the entire baking operation to the dining room and worked around the contractors to make our blue-ribbon muffins that year." Her devotion to agriculture and the rural way of life grew as she got older. Hood graduated with 26 students as one of three valedictorians from the only high school in Custer County, Colo . While looking at colleges, OSU's BAE department offered the challen ge sh e was looking for. "I am very analytical. For as long as I can remember, I have always looked for a challenge," aid Hood. "When I was 8 years old I chose my first dog," said Hood. "I sorted through a book of dog breeds tha t I carefully selected from the library. Though my dream dog was a Grea t Dane, I decided the smart choice was a Terrier." It was the desire to solve problems and the challenge in science and math that brought her to OSU. "Autumn is a bright young woman, and we recognized tha t while she was in high school," said Bill Barfield, who was head of the BAE department while Hood was considering OSU. "When Autumn came in, we knew she had an interest in business," said Barfield. "We set up a program where she could take business and industrial engineering courses as part of her major to get more manufacturing components."


With the courses she took and her experiences in rural America, Hood easily became the perfect fit for the position at the NPDC. "If we could get her to work with us, we knew she would be a great asset," said Barfield. "She is doing a great job for us. We will be leaning on her like an associate director of this center to make things happen for us. It was very clear that she could do it." Hood's passion drives the effort to see rural communities like her own hometown grow stronger so others can have the same great memories as she. "Agriculture has a lot of tools that we are not using," said Hood. "We are losing land and other resources but we have a lot of technology. "The questions are how do you integrate new technology into the farm? How do you use farm records to make your business more productive? And, how do you get farmers comfortable with the new technology," said Hood. She seeks to make a difference by working to develop the communities of rural Oklahoma through her efforts in the NPDC. Unbelievable as it sounds, she has not stopped there. Her passion has taken her into her own research to improve agriculture. During an internship with John

Deere, Hood developed a program agriculturalists can use to keep track of data and use the information to enhance performance in their operations. "There are a lot of programs to help farmers manage their financial records, but there aren't many that help them keep production records," said Hood. She is developing a production database for hand-held computers. This database will enable farmers to keep production records and management decision information in the palms of their hands, through the user-friendly hand-held database program. "Let's say you are in a tractor and you want to keep track of the fertilizer you put on a field, but you don't want to drag out your laptop, or you don't want to pull out your notebook, write it down and lose it," said Hood. "Instead you can use your handheld to enter the number of acres and amount of fertilizer applied, she said. Then, take it home to download in your computer. At the end of the year, you will have all of your records in a database that gives information to help increase yields and save money." In the next five years, Hood will continue to work with the PDC to gain real-world experience while finishing her master's degree. In the fu-

ture she wants to stay in management and marketing and continue consulting and developing agriculture. What is it that makes people like Hood so driven to see the world become a better place? Barfield has worked with Hood since she came to OSU and he seems to know. "If you have the grit in your soul, it doesn't matter if you come from a town of 10 or 10 million. If you have that, it is the key to succeeding," said Barfield. "In my 30-plus years [as a professor], I have seen students with money, ones without money, ones with high ACT scores and some with low ACT scores, but the one ingredient that is chief to them succeeding in college is the grit in the soul, just the determination to do it. If they have that, they will make it. Autumn has that," said Barfield. Today, hidden somewhere in a hallway of offices on the campus of OSU is a young woman named Autumn Hood. Though many will never notice, hidden deep in her heart is the passion that drives the world to change.+ By David Miller, Indianola, Okla. Hood is pictured with her horse near Stillwater, Ok/11. (Ph oto by Da vid Miller)

NPDC revives rural Oklahoma The New Products Development Center is a joint program between the OSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and the OSU School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. Its major focus is to increase salaries for rural Oklahoma jobs. "We work with small manufacturers in rural Oklahoma because manufacturing jobs pay more than other jobs," said Bill Barfield, BAE regents service professor and director of the NPDC. The center is a new idea on the department's established Application Engineers program. Seeing a need, Barfield and L. L. Hoberock, head of mechanical and aerospace engineering, began a program for small manufacturers in rural Oklahoma. Last year, the NPDC received $400,000 from the Oklahoma legislature to fund the center. They then

received proposals and screened four products to develop. The proposals ranged from building machines to electronic communications systems. "We think these four products have real potential to make a difference in those companies and communities," said Barfield. "One of them could double the employee base of the company." The center takes established manufacturers who are committed to Oklahoma and helps them develop and market products that work. The market-ready products are projected to generate $8.5 million each year in economic impact. "This ultimately is jobs for rural Oklahoma," said Barfield. "We will only consider ourselves successful when a product goes into production, is marketed and brings new jobs or saves existing jobs." + Story by David Miller, Indianola , Okla.

COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003 •!• 37


'- -c,

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources •

Anything but minor Students benefit from extra coursework at OSU If you want to add extra credit to a bachelor's degree, look no further than an academic minor. "A minor indicates specialized education and training in a discipline that complements your major," said Ed Miller, associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "The requirements for all minors have been formally designed and approved by the faculty to provide a solid introduction to the minor discipline. "Minors formally show how Extended knowledge graduates have broadened their skills through the completion of a and skills can be a set of courses in specialized areas," said Miller. "It is a great opportubig advantage in a nity, an organized way to enhance competitive job your career opportunities." Miller earned his bachelor of market. science degree in forestry and a minor in soil science at Iowa State University. - Ed Miller "Minors displayed on diploAssociate Dea n mas show graduates have planned for their future by expanding the know ledge necessary to meet or exceed the demands of a job," said Miller. "Extended knowledge and skills can be a big advantage in a competitive job market." An incoming freshman can declare a minor when deciding on a major. The degree plan is discussed with an adviser, said Bill Weeks, professor of agricultural education. If the student is interested in an agricultural minor, the adviser will send the student to 136 Agricultural Hall to pick up a minor information sheet, said Weeks. Students may then choose to have a degree plan developed by the adviser or be referred to another adviser in the field of their minor. If currently enrolled, students may decide at any point to add minors to their degrees. This decision must be discussed with an adviser, and sometimes courses used to meet major requirements also can be used toward a minor. If a course is required for the student's major, it also can be counted toward a minor, thereby reducing the number of extra courses a student must take for a minor. Heather Smnner, an animal science senior, added a minor in agricultural economics. 38 •!• COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003

The minor only added three credit hours to Sumner's degree program. She plans to pursue a master's degree in business administration upon completion of her bachelor's degree. Sumner's economics minor gave her additional sales experience she said will be useful for her future career. "Agricultural marketing and sales was my favorite class," said Sumner. "It gave me reallife experience, and this was the class I learned the most in." Sumner said she almost had enough hours to complete a minor, so she did it. "To an employer, a minor may look good on a resume," said Miller. "In some cases, the salary may be higher, if the minor skills are highly valued by the employer." The resume establishes your profile for a company and will be a factor when hiring decisions are made. "A minor may help a graduate find a job; it depends on the student," said Amy Gazaway, CASNR career development coordinator. "You should look at your options and see what it can do for you." A minor that complements or relates to the major may make a student a unique resource to companies hoping to market themselves in today's competitive industry, said Miller. "When.I was getting my degree in biochemistry, it only made sen e to pursue the minor in microbiology," said Ben McLarty, 1999 alumnus from OSU. "Many of the course requirements for the two majors were identical, and I felt like I'd be wasting money if I didn't secure that extra piece of recognition on my diploma." Various universities like Texas A&M University and The Ohio State University require students to have a minor in some fields of choice. OSU does not require a minor in a degree program, but it offers a variety of minors to prepare students to compete for jobs against graduates from other schools. CASNR offers 11 different minors, including agricultural economics, horticulture, soil science, rangeland ecology and management, leadership education, forestry, food science, entomology, biochemistry and molecular biology, animal science and agronomy. Added in Fall 2002, the leadership education minor is the newest to the college. The university's decision to add this minor was


based on developing skills for personal growth in a leadership role, said Miller. The university's decision to approve this minor was based on the need for graduates to better understand the basics of leadership development and to be able to apply this knowledge professionally, said Miller. The leadership education minor gives specialization to someone who wants to add a leadership focus to an academic program. "The leadership educa tion minor serves as an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of leadership theory while teaching others about leadership," said Penny Pennington, assistant professor of agricultural education. A minor requires fewer hours than a double major. According to the OSU catalog, a second bachelor's degree requires students to take 30 additional hours. Most minors require 22 hours, whether additional or as part of a major. CASNR students can also earn minors from curriculum areas outside the college. "A completed minor in a field quite different than the major field of study can be a big advantage if graduates wish to continue their education through graduate degrees in the minor field," said Miller. "The minor course will provide a necessary foundation for advanced graduate co urses to build on in the future." To add a minor, talk to your adviser and add ex tra credit to your degree. + By Jenny Hardin, Ponca City, Okla .

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d€ct Kouplen leads agricultural alumni association Sean Kouplen is someone worth admiring. Elected in October at the Agricultural Alumni Association Homecoming Barbecue, Kouplen became the new Agricultural Alurrmi Association president in January. The 1995 graduate in agricultural economics said the focus of the association will be on the students. "Ag alumni have always been supporters of the students, and I want to get us back to the point where our focus is mostly, if not Ag alumni have entirely, on helping s tudents," always been Kouplen said. "Whether through encoura ging alumni to provide supporters of the or through menstudents, and I want scholarships, torship and internship programs, we want to focus on the students." to get us back to the Kouplen, who also serves on point where our the Oklahoma State University focus is mainly, if not National Alumni Association board of directors, said students entirely, on helping fail to realize the involvement the Agricultural Alumni Association students. has in the college, including prov iding hamburger s at Ag Roundup, sponsoring the Agricul- Sean Kouplen tural Alumni Barbecue, helping to Ag ricultural Alumni President select new deans and faculty, and sponsoring scholarships. "The Ag Alumni Association is really broad in terms of what it is involved in," Kouplen said. "I think our exposure to the students in the past few years has not been where I would like to see it. My guess would be that students know very little about the Ag Alumni Association, and my goal is to correct that." One thing students may not realize is that membership in the Agricultural Alumni Association is free the first year after graduation . "Students can come by the OSU Alumni Associa tion office in the Student Union and receive a membership during senior week," said Melinda Tharp, former coordinator of publica tions and media relations for the OSU Alumni Association. "Students get a free gift and free one-year membership to both the Ag and OSU Alumni Associations." After the first year of membership, the cost is $35 a year for individual membership in both organizations. Joint membership is $45. "My focus is to work with faculty and staff 40 •:• COWBOY JOURNAL •:• FALL 2003

to figure out how we can benefit both the college and the students," Kouplen said. Kouplen's awards and activities while at OSU are nothing short of impressive. He was an OSU Top Ten Senior, the Outstanding Senior in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the Outstanding Agricultural Economics Student, the Outs tanding Greek Man and the Outstanding National Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity Member. He served as president of AGR, Inter-fraternity Council and Agricultural Student Council. In addition, he was a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society. This small-town boy from Beggs, Okla., never dreamed of his future success at OSU. "For me to go to a major university and be involved in so many activities and with so many people was just overwhelming," Kouplen said. "I just couldn' t believe that somebody from a little town would have that many opportunities, so I'm very grateful. " Ironically, Kouplen's first choice of schools was OSU's rival, the University of Oklahoma. "I went to OU out of high school and in the summer between my freshman and sophomore years was serving as president of the Oklahoma Junior Cattleman's Association," Kouplen said. "I was going to various field days talking about the association and meeting people from OSU." One of those people was Mark Johnson, associate professor of animal science, who encouraged Kouplen to consider OSU. Johnson had an impact on Kouplen that day, and after some soul searching, he decided OSU would be a better fit. "OU just wasn' t quite what I wanted," Kouplen said . "I transferred to Oklahoma State that fall, and it was the warmest and most endearing place. I feel like I can uniquely appreciate OSU. It's just a phenomenal w1iversity." Kouplen, who earned his master's in business administration from OSU-Tulsa in December, serves as senior vice president and chief opera tions officer of Citizens Security Bank in Bixby, Okla., where he is responsible for marketing, customer service, personnel and business development. Kouplen decided on banking after an internship with MidFirst Bank in Oklahoma City. "The thing that really drew me to banking is that it's really a win-win profession,"


Kouplen said. "If you' re coming in and you want to buy your first house, we can help you do that which is a win for you, while at the same time a win for us because we draw interest on that loan." Beyond the business development side of it, Kouplen's favorite part of the job is motivating employees. "I feel like my gift is helping employees realize that they really are important and we really want to help them grow and develop," Kouplen said. "I want to get them excited and ready to come to work every day." Kouplen said people sometimes fail to realize they have a gift. "Every person has a gift. It's just a matter of knowing what that gift is," Kouplen said. "I think the best feeling in the world is marrying your talents with an organization and an industry that can use those talents." Stressing the importance of handson experience, Kouplen encourages students to pursue internships. "I think nothing takes the place of experience," Kouplen said. "Coursework and academics can tell you to some degree what you're meant to be and the direction you may head. But I think that until you actually work in a job, there's just no way to know." Kouplen still travels back to his hometown on weekends to help with his family's 2,000-acre Hereford ranch. His father, Steve, serves as president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and his sister, Shanna Gomez, resides with her family in Beggs. His mother, Salli McCormick, works alongside Kouplen at Citizens Security Bank in Bixby. An active member of the community, Kouplen serves as president of the Bixby Chamber of Commerce. He and

Sean Kaup/en, 1995 agricultural economics a/u1111111s, became the new Agricult11ra/ Alu111ni Association president in January. (Photo by Sarah Sargent)

his wife, Angela, an OSU graduate in business management, are expecting their first child in September. Kouplen said he counts his blessings daily. "I feel blessed to be at the right organization that can really utilize my talents and allow me to grow," Kouplen said. "I feel blessed to be aligned with OSU and the ag college, and I feel very blessed to have found the right wife. It's just a blessing." Kouplen challenges alumni to stay involved with students. "I really believe that all alumni can look back at some key figure who helped them get where they are. I think that as alumni, our obligation is to help students live out their dreams." Thinking beyond himself is something Kouplen strives for each day. "A lot of times we, as adults, can

become very self-absorbed," Kouplen said. "You've got bills to pay, mouths to feed, a job to do, and it's very easy to think of yourself and yourself alone." Kouplen admires those people in his life who take the extra step to look around and help other people. "When I've worked with people in my life who I really admire, they are people who are selfless," Kouplen said. "So, my goal as ag alumni president over the next couple of years is to encourage alumni to help students live out their dreams. Even if I just reach one alumnus who helps mentor students that otherwise wouldn't have, I think the job has been done." And that's something worth admiring. + By Sarah Sargent, Bradford, Ohio

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Wes Watkins: Continued from pg. 23

Development Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. I served 10 years on the appropriations committee." Through these committees, Watkins concentrated on the economic infrastructure project in southeastern Oklahoma by assisting with industrial parks, roads, water and sewer systems, water quality, money for vocational schools and for economic and job development. "It was a network of infrastructure that would allow us to do more," said Watkins. "We were able to tum the tide in some areas from welfare to providing private sector jobs." During this time Watkins came up with the idea to construct a building of international trade. The concept to build the Center for International Trade and Development on the OSU campus in Stillwater, Okla., arose in 1981. Construction began in the late 1980s. The CITD building became the Wes Watkins CITD building during the mid1980s because of the influence of a past college classmate, roommate and friend. Robert Robbins, who was serving on the board of regents, was the deciding factor behind the change. "Some people ask why international trade, and I say for every $1 billion worth of exports we sell from Oklahoma, it will create 15,000 to 20,000 jobs," said Watkins. For the next 10 years, Watkins continued to serve as congressman for the third district of Oklahoma. "I took politics as not the end in itself, but rather as a vehicle," said Watkins. "I felt like the mission I was trying to do was build a future for the people of Oklahoma." Watkins wanted to use his passion to make an impact in the lives of Oklahomans. "There's so much that can and needs to be done in Oklahoma, and I felt like I could do more," said Watkins. "I believed tha t if I could become the governor of Oklahoma, I could use my commitment and vision and accomplish more." In 1990 Watkins left Congress in search of the governor's sea t of Oklahoma. James White, professor of agricultural education at OSU, remembers the race quite well. "I was on his campaign field staff," said White. "It was definitely a high piont in my life, and even though we didn' t win, it had a dramatic impact on many lives." Watkins lost to David Walters. "I didn't cry over spilled milk," said Watkins. "I just thought there was a reason that this wasn' t meant to be." In 1994, Watkins decided he would again run for governor of Oklahoma, only with a different approach. "I thought I could bring Democrats and Republicans together, so I became an Independent and ran for governor," said Watkins. "I knew it was going to be an uphill battle because this had never occured in Oklahoma." That year Watkins received more votes than any other person in the United States who was running as an Independent. However, it was not enough. "I didn' t make it, but I had become an Independent, and I liked it," said Watkins.


A windozo of opportunity Bill Brewster had become Watkins' successor in Congress and on Dec. 17, 1995, he gave Watkins an important phone call. "I really hadn't thought about running for office again, but when the phone rang, and it was Bill Brewster telling me that he was not going to seek re-election, I began to consider it," said Watkins. Because the U. S. House of Representatives had been taken over by the Republicans, Brewster said as a conservative Democrat, he was a minority in the minority. He was stepping down, which gave Watkins the chance to nm for Congress again. "I felt like I still had a lot of energy, the right vision and the commitment, but if I wanted to be effective, I couldn't go back as an Independent or as a Democrat," said Watkins. Watkins assessed the odds and followed his instincts. "My motives were right, and the agenda that I was trying to do for the people was right," said Watkins. "I put my faith and trust in the people, and I changed my party and became a Republican." Watkins ran against Darryl Roberts, the majority leader of the tate Senate. "We had a tough race, but the people were good to us," said Watkins. "We literally put our trust and faith in the people, and they voted for 'WES' as a Republican. " He won by earning 51.8 percent of the votes. During this term, Watkins served on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over all taxation. His dream was to make a difference in Oklahoma, and that dream came true when he wrote a bill that qualified a portion of the state for accelerated depreciation on former Indian lands. This new tax law would affect 64 counties in Oklahoma. "I look at this as the No. 1 thing I was able to achieve to help with economic and job growth for Oklahoma," said Watkins. "That one provision on former Indian lands provides more incentives for businesses and industries to locate here than all the state incentives combined." Watkins was passionate about economic development, and during his involvement in politics he made that passion a career. "It's been 20 years, and as I look back I realize I've been in the arena," said Watkins. "I've hit a few home runs, but I have also struck out. I feel like I have stayed true to trying to help build the economy and opportwuties for Oklahomans." + By Kristin Owens, Fort Supply, Okla.

When I left my interview with Wes Watkin s, I anticipated a friendly handshake, but instead of extending a hand, Watkins extended a hug. I thought to myself "He truly does care about the people, and we, as Oklahomans, are all the betterfor having known Wes Watkins ... the Congressman ."

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College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

CASNR tal<es seven OSU faculty and staff receive NACTA awards

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North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture recognized seven Oklahoma State University faculty and staff for their excellence in teaching and advising at its annual conference in June in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Douglas Needham won the 2003 NACTA Southern Regional Outstanding Teacher Award. Louann Waldner and Jamie Patton won NACTA graduate student teaching awards. David Buchanan, Shelly Sitton and William Weeks received NACTA Teacher Fellow awards. NACTA also gives one journal article award each year, and Kathleen Kelsey, agricultural education assistant professor, earned the award with" A Case Study of Land Grant University Faculty Perceptions Toward Serving Stakeholders." "NACTA is the only professional organization that promotes and enhances teaching across all disciplines in agriculture," said Linda Martin, assistant dean in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and atural Resources. According to the NACTA Web site, the organization was formed in 1955 to focus on the promotion and recognition of excellence in teaching agriculture and related areas at the college level. "We have national caliber teachers in CAS R who should be recognized on a national level, and we're very fortunate to have seven award winners this year," said Martin. To receive the Teacher Fellow Award, the NACTAmember must have been employeed on a full-time appointment with at least 25 percent teaching for the last five years. To be nominated for the regional award, a member must wait two years after receiving the Teacher Fellow Award, and a member can be nominated for the National Teaching Award only after receiving the regional award. "We show excellence in a competitive field as the Southern Region is one of the most competitive," said Martin. Other regions include the Canadian, the Central, the Eastern and the Western. "NACTA provides outside validation and review on the quality of the teaching, advising and mentoring in the college of agriculture," said Martin. "It reaffirms the fact that we have very talented teachers." Receiving these awards impacts the college.

44 •:• COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003

"It is in the best interest of the students, faculty and the citizens of Oklahoma that our faculty be successful," said Ed Miller, CASNR associate dean. "The reputation of our college is important because it helps us recruit excellent students, recruit and retain good teachers, and therefore increase the value of the degrees we award. It is truly a win-win opportunity." This year OSU will leave its mark. "NACTA will know about OSU this year, and OSU will know more about NACTA," said Martin. + By Chandra Orr, Redmond, Ore.

Douglas Needham "I enjoy motivating and empowering students to pursue special interests," said Needham. "I believe students are important resources for our future and modem teaching techniques should be student-centered." Needham began working at OSU in 1989 in the horticulture and landscape architecture department. He currently teaches four horticulture courses and is an active adviser and mentor to students. "What sets Dr. Needham apart from the others is his consistent attitude of joy in his work," said Amberly Goodman, former student. "He teaches for the love of teaching, not for the recognition it brings."

David Buchanan "When I interact with a student, whether it is in class, in my office or just walking down the hallway, I must be at the top of my form," said Buchanan. "I have to always be looking for the 'teachable moment."' Buchanan joined the animal science department at OSU in 1980. He has been responsible for teaching 15 different courses and advises undergraduate and graduate students. "Dr. Buchanan makes a lasting impression on his students," said Andrea Pellegrini, former student. "He is a dedicated professor, mentor and friend. "

Shelly Sitton Sitton started as a CASNR instructor and academic adviser in 1992 and became an assistant professor in 2001. Sitton has taught five different agricultural communications courses. "I am passionate about m y students and helping them learn," said Sitton.


Sitton has provided leadership to the college in the area of undergraduate teaching and advising. "Dr. Sitton serves as a role model for what a professional mentor should be," said Christy Couch Lee, media communications specialist for the Illian Union marketing department at the University of Illinois - UrbanaChampaign.

Willia n Weeks Weeks joined CASNR's faculty in 1989. He teaches a number of agricultural education courses and also provides leadership for the Residency Teacher Program. "My role as a teacher is to help my students interpret their experiences and help them answer their questions," said Weeks. Weeks helps students to answer questions, and he also teaches them skills to get through life. "Dr. Weeks has been an asset to OSU and has been an aid in the prepara tion of agricultural educators and leaders in the past and will continue to do so in the future,"

said Brant Carpenter, agricultural education senior.

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Waldner began pursuing a doctorate in agricultural education in the spring of 1997. While at OSU, she has worked as director of student career services for CASNR and has taught freshman orientation. Waldner earned her bachelor's degree in agricultural communications and animal science from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., and she earned her master's in animal science from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan. She will receive her doctorate in May 2004. "What has impressed me has been her uncompromising commitment to doing her job and doing it well," said Joseph Emenheiser, formers tudent.

Janie Patto, Patton began pursuing her doctorate in soil science in January 2000. While at OSU, she worked as a teaching / research assistant in the plant and soil sciences department.

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International Agricultural Programs

From Mexico to Ol<lahoma Students learn how to operate food products center Fajitas. Enchiladas. Authentic, flavorful Mexican food. Just the thought makes your mouth water. But is there more to Mexican food than the typical Mexican food served in America? According to a select group of Oklahoma State University fac'This is not about ulty and 10 nontraditional stuAmerican agriculture dents from Durango, Mexico, there is definitely more to Mexicompeting with can food than what most AmeriMexican agriculture. cans first visualize. "There is no such thing as By working together Mexican food because of the culwith Mexico, we tural differences within Mexico," said Derrell Peel, professor of aglearn about each ricultural economics. "Mexico other, and that will has a tremendous diversity of food with a tremendous amount open more trade of untapped potential of new food between our and new cuisine Americans have yet to discover." countries." The students from Durango were at OSU to learn about American manufacturing - De rre /1 Peel and refining processes, as well Profe ssor as to learn about America's food Ag ricultura l Eco nomics industry and culture. The ultimate goal is for the state of Durango to build a facility closely modeled after OSU's Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center, said David Henneberry, assistant dean of CASNR's Agricultural International Programs. "The governor of Durango visited Oklahoma and former Gov. Frank Keating, where the idea transpired in a meeting between the two," said Henneberry. "The state of Durango hasn't received the funding to break ground yet, but it did have students at OSU learning how to staff the facility." A problem for Mexico is that its processed food industry is not as developed as it is in the United States or other countries. Because of this, Mexico has to import large quantities of processed food. "The United States floods the Mexican market with American products," said Henneberry. "This has caused much concern in Mexico, as the government is concerned 46 •!• COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003

that Mexican companies will not be able to compete." The students were on campus to learn as much as possible about America's food industry and specifications to allow them to export Mexican products that meet American standards. Henneberry said Durango's Gov. Lie Angel Sergio Guerrero Mier feels that if they had their own food and agricultural products research and technology center, they could produce a better product and export to the United States and other countries. According to the Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center, or FAPC, Web site, OSU is one of 12 land-grant university food science/food processing center resources in the southern region. OSU's FAPC is unique as it is the only food research and technology center in the nation. OSU was chosen by Durango because of what it had to offer, but it also wanted to establish a working relationship with a state other than Texas, said Henneberry. Another reason the Durango Department of Agriculture chose OSU is because Durango's secretary of agriculture felt OSU offered the best program and model for what it wanted to accomplish in its state, said Jose Vidales, student in dairy cattle and dairy products. ot only did faculty members serve as advisers to the 10 students, but they also involved the students in activities that would benefit them in their pursuit of knowledge during their brief stay in Oklahoma. In addition to Henneberry and Peel, four other faculty served as advisers: Christina DeWitt, assistant professor of animal science; Kathleen Kelsey, assistant professor of agricultural education; Mike Schnelle, professor of horticulture and landscape architecture; and Shida Henneberry, professor of agricultural economics. Students in CASNR helped the Mexican students in daily activities, ranging from grocery shopping to doing laundry. The program was funded entirely by the state of Durango, and OSU was reimbursed for its participation. All the students are employees of Durango's Department of Agriculture, which paid their living expenses, as well as the students' salaries.


"As it is a new and relatively different program, the Durango government must sell the program politically," said Peel. "This is hard for us to realize." In addition to Vidales, students of the program included Fransisco Meraz and Juan Cossio, beef cattle; Rene Cuevas, dairy cattle and dairy products; Rafael Martinez and Gregorio Aguirre, organic agriculture; Juan Garcia, horticulture; Miriam Velasco, food safety; Alma Perez, international trade; and Monica Galindo, agricultural communications. The students from Mexico were viewed more as colleagues than students because their average age is 32. "It is a professional relationship," said Peel. "It is not just a one-way flow. OSU gets something back with professional relationships." The students were not enrolled in classes while at OSU. "A unique aspect of the program is the students do not receive credit or a grade for any of the classes they attend," said Peel. "They are here strictly for the knowledge and are auditing all of their classes." Peel was a natural candidate to serve as an adviser to two of the Mexican students. He has worked on researching the Mexican beef industry for more than 10 years and recently returned from a year's sabbatical in Chihuahua. "I was an ideal fit," said Peel. "This gave me a chance to work closely and consistently with things I was already doing." The students from Mexico were at OSU for one academic year and were not officially admitted to OSU as students. Because they were not official students, they were not required to pass an English proficiency test. "We are fighting that battle," said Henneberry. "The program may have gone faster if they had better English." Because Peel is fluent in Spanish, his experience with his students has been smoother than some of the other faculty members. " It is much easier for me in the training process because of my Spanish-speaking ability," said Peel. "Their lack of English skills was not a hindrance in my process; it actually al-

lowed me to use my Spanish more." This was the first year of the program, and it is still unknown if more students will come to OSU to learn or if faculty and staff from OSU will travel to Durango. The s tudents arrived in August 2002 and returned to Mexico in May 2003. "It is similar to an exchange program," said Vidales . "We are here at OSU specifically to learn about marketing processes, specification processes and certification licensing to allow us to export products in the future. We are also here to gain general and technical knowledge, as well as to Jose Vidales (left) nnd Rene Cueves enjoy OSU's beautiful ca111pus. (Photo by C'1n11drn Orr) get experience and to learn new processing techniques." exports of beef and beef variety meats. For Mexico to export products to "This is not about American agrithe United States, it needs to meet the culture competing with Mexican agriculture," said Peel. "By working tostandards American companies also must follow. gether with Mexico, we learn about each other and that will open more The relationship between OSU trade between our countries." and Durango will be a long-term agreeDeveloping a Mexican equivalent ment and is the first step to building a of OSU's Food and Agricultural Prodfood and research technology center in Mexico. ucts Research and Technology Center will allow Durango to market interna"In the future, we plan to have more students come to OSU and have tionally and nationally. Mexico could then provide prodpeople from OSU come to Durango to observe and learn," said Vidales. ucts that America cannot produce as well, said Peel. Mexico represents the fastest growThanks to OSU, this goal may soon ing food market in North America . become a reality. "The marketing of Mexican and So the next time you picture auAmerican product can complement thentic Mexican food, don' t just visueach other," said Vidales. "We want to alize enchiladas and fajitas. Instead, be able to export vegetables, meat prodpicture organic cantaloupes and avoucts and processed food products in cados, frijoles, salsa and Mexican prothe future." cessed meats. + By Chand ra Orr, According to Agriculture Law News, Redmond, Ore. in 2002 Mexico surpassed Japan as the number one destination for U.S. meat COWBOY JOURNAL â&#x20AC;˘!â&#x20AC;˘ FALL 2003

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47


Entomology and Plant Pathology

Not your ayeraqe 路corup1 Digital imagery is providing a faster and cheaper way for laboratories to diagnose crop problems and treatment. . . The Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory at Oklahoma State University is one of the nation's first networked diagnostic labs to help detect potential bioterrorism threats through insect and plant diseases. . Created in 1998, OSU's digital diagnostics program has changed in response to terrorist attacks on American soil. "Currently, no pests in Oklahoma are considered a bioterrorism threat," said Brian Olson, OSU plant disease diagnostician. The U.S. government invited a network of universities to participate in a new program designed to protect the agricultural commodities Americans depend on for food, said Russell Wright, head of the OSU Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. "We will be prepared to detect an unknown agent that was intentionally introduced, whether it is an insect or plant disea e," said Richard Grantham, insect diagnostician and director of the Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory. The government established five regions to compose the National Plant Diagnostic Network. The Great Plains region includes Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and northern Texas. Oklahoma is part of the Crea t Plains Diagnostic Network. Kansas State University serves as the headquarters for the nine-state region. Wright said by combining the resources available at each lab, diagnosticians could cut costs and divide the workload among each program in the region. When farmers and ranchers had questions about insects in the past, they sent an actual sample of the specimen in question to a research facility, like OSU, and waited several days for a response. With distance diagnostics, however, farmers can photograph or scan the specimen or take it to a county extension 48

COWBOY JOURNAL

FALL 2003

office where the picture is sent via the Internet. "The best thing about the system is the improved efficiency and speed of response," said Wright. "Before, a person might have to send the sample in by mail, and we would have to identify it and get back to the person." With this new technology in place, the lab can identify what kind of insect or plant disease a farmer or rancher has without having a physical specimen in the lab or looking at a crop in the field. "It expedites the process by providing instant feedback," said Mick Jones, Lincoln Cow1ty extension educator. Wright said this technology saves time and money for the universities involved. This way, the farmer or rancher with the problem receives information more quickly. "Now they can send an image in and we can have an answer back in minutes rather than days if we have all of the information," said Wright. Distance diagno tics can also serve as an early warning system against potential ources of bioterrorism. If an insect pest or plant disease was introduced into the United Sta tes and control was not established in the early stages, the effects could be devastating to the U.S. food supply, said Wright. To protect crops that provide grain for livestock and humans, this new approach to establish early detection and response was erea ted. Th e goal of this new idea was identification and quick release of information regarding control, said Wright. "We give them the symptoms we have, and they e-mail us an answer. They sometimes follow up with a phone call if needed," said Jones. One might think the use of digital diagnostics would be costly, but Wright said the new technology is relatively inexpensive. "For plant disease samples we charge $10 to help pay for tha t diagnostic service because it costs money to run tests," said


rrter buq' Wright. "We do not charge for insect diagnostic services." The system works out of a large database of insect pictures and plant disease information. Every picture sent to the lab is kept in the database as a digital image for future use. The lab also offers digital images the users can view to see if they can determine what the problem is with their crop, said Wright. "The network is a communications avenue," said Olson. "Our lab will be receiving equipment for Web-based communications with microscopes and digital imaging." The distance diagnostics system works because anyone can send a picture of an insect or crop to the lab for identification. Pictures of the insect or

crop damage can be scanned into a computer and sent to the lab through the lab Web site. Areas of information available to the user on the Web site include the plant host, insect and arthropod identification, as well as plant diseases and field area. According to the lab's Web site, the primary mission of the laboratory is to provide residents in the state of Oklahoma with accurate diagnoses of plant diseases and insect pests and to make recommendations for their control. For more information about distance diagnostics and its uses, call (405) 744-9417, or visit the Web site at http:/ I entoplp.okstate.edu. + By Luke Teuscher, Gibson City, Ill.

Above: Richard Gra11tlia111 identifies an insect fro111 a ba11a,,a tree in South America (Photo by Luke Teuscher) . In sect photos: Rare species of insects not found in Oklaho111a. (Photos courtesy of the OSU Departmen t of E11to1110/ogy & Plant Pathology)

COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003 •!• 49


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Congratulations to the 2003 Agricultural Co111111unications Graduates As a part of the Cowboy family at Oklahoma State University, we take this opportunity to show our support for OSU and for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Penny and Garland Cupp Nil<ki and Derricl< Graves 50 •!• COWBOY JOURNAL •!• FALL 2003


The Cowboy Journal Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Education, Communications, and 4-HYouth Development 448 Agricultural Hall Stillwater, OK 74078-6031

Profile for Cowboy Journal

Cowboy Journal v5n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 5, Number 2, Fall 2003, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Journal v5n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 5, Number 2, Fall 2003, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

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