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COWBOY JOURNAL Volume 6 _. Number I _. Spring 2004

Students Across the stage OSU mascots Mastering commun ications The true value of a dollar

18 26 30 42

Faculty Above and abroad His lessons go with you A picture-perfect job

12 20 24

Alumni A growing passion A Cowboy brain surgeon A happy bi rthday

32 40 44

Research Celebrating 30 years The grass is always greener

14 16

Service Let me be brave in the attempt Helping peers piece by piece Just a mouse click away Gifts from the heart

8 34 36 38

Spirit Rider Meriruth Cohenour and ground crew member Judith Heronema pay tribute to the American Flag during ''The Star-Spangled Banner" before an OSU football game. (Photo by Amanda Jones)

Oklahoma State University, in oompliance with Trtle VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246asamerded,Trtle IX of the Edcx:ational Amendments of 1972, Arrer'cans wi1h Disablities Act of 1990,and other federal L,iv.,; and regulations, does not discnminate on the basis of race, color, national ongin, sex, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in and of its policies, pract~s or procedures.This includes but is not limned to admissions, employment, financla aid,and edcx:ational services. This publication is pnnted and issued two times a year by agncuttural ccxnmunications senio<s 11 the CoNege of Agncultural Scierces and Natural Resoun:es and has been prepared and distnbuted at no cost to the taxpayers of Oklahoma.


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CowsoY Jo

Volume 6 _. Number I _. Spring 2004 Yrom /he edilors ...

Staff: (back row from left) Sarah Fultz Prater, Robyn Sites, Jamie Wherley, Mitzi Hartin, Erin Reece Harris, Amanda Faith Jones, (middle row) Brian Bendele, Matt Mason, Jared Robison, Justin Day, Chris Kidd, Jeremy Porter, (front row) Rachel Johnson, Afton Jameson, Kendra Kelton, Lynette Rushin and Melissa Majors.

Editors Rachel Johnson Kendra Kelton Graphics Editor Amanda Faith Jones Web Editor Afton Jameson Video Editor Brian Bendele Sponsorship Coordinators Lynette Rushin Robyn Sites Photography Coordinators Erin Reece Harris Jeremy Porter Circulation Coordinator Mitzi Hartin

Staff Justin Day Chris Kidd Melissa Majors Matt Mason Sarah Fultz Prater Jared Robison Jamie Wherley

Life throws many obstacles in our paths. From study-abroad trips and capstone classes to personal struggles and people helping people, our attitude determines how we handle these situations . In the following stories , lessons are learned from each challenge. We offer thanks to the following people for making this magazine possible: Misty Wright, Matt Wright and Ke ith Dant, Quebeco r World Pendell; Christi Haley, Karsten Creek; Jennifer Kn ight, OSU Student Store; Elizabeth Whitfield; Sheri Ishmael-Waldrop; Bonnie Milby; Danna Kelemen ; Julie Cox; and Todd Johnson , Ag ri cultural Communications Services. Shelly and Dwayne-thank you for sharing your knowledge with us and helping us succeed in our college careers. We would like to dedicate this issue in loving memory of Dr. James Wh ite , ou r mentor, teac her and friend . :f<achef:lofinson a11d J(encfra JCe//011

Managing Editors Shelly Peper Sitton Dwayne Cartmell Julie Cox Founding Sponsors Limousin World Oklahoma Farm Bureau Quebecor World Pendell

Visit the Cowboy Journal Web site: http://cowboyjournal.okstate.edu

Medals are awarded to numerous Special Olympics participants throughout the year. The first Oklahoma Special Olympics equestrian event was conducted at Oklahoma State University in October 2003. (Photo by Rachel Johnson) SPRING 2004 7


Let me Skill. Courage. Sharing.Joy. Four simple words beat in the hearts of Special Olympics athletes and are etched in the medals worn proudly around their necks. Those involved with Special Olympics live these words daily. These four simple words also describe the first state equestrian competition for Special Olympics Oklahoma. Skill The first Oklahoma Special Olympics equestrian event was held at the Oklahoma State University Animal Science Arena Oct. 25, 2003. Since the organization's arrival to Oklahoma in 1969, more than 8,300 athletes have participated in 15 sports, the most recent being equestrian. Twenty-eight eque trian athletes each competed in three of the four offered events-working trails, pole bending, barrel racing and figure-eight stake racing. Event planning and training of the athletes and coaches took two years, said Teri Hockett, a program director with Special Olympics Oklahoma. "Here in Oklahoma, it just makes sense," said Hockett. "We've got horses and cowboys, so why don't we do an equestrian program and give it a shot?" To date, Oklahoma has 15 certified coaches. The free training lasts two days. While not required, it is encouraged that the individuals who want to be coaches have experience with horse , said Hockett. When working with coaches, there is a great deal of responsibility involved, said Larry Casillas, president of the Oklahoma Palomino Exhibitors Association, national youth adviser for the Palomino Horsebreeders of America and event director of the Special Olympics Oklahoma equestrian. "We work with members of the OSU rodeo and equestrian teams to train new coaches, he said. They help with training and play the part of the athletes. "There's a lot that goes into [training], including how to assist the athlete in mounting and dismounting the horse," said Casilla . "It's the coach's responsibility to find out the ability of the athlete and the disposition of the horse and match them. " Once trained and certified, coaches begin working with athletes to prepare for state competition. "The athletes must train for a minimum of eight weeks with a certified Special Olympics equestrian coach in the event they are going to participate in," said Hockett. Casillas and his wife, Pati, initially became involved in Special Olympics in January 2003 as certified coaches for the Northeastern Equestrian Team of Oklahoma. The team consists of two athletes, Stephen Harvey and Heather Sossamon. "We work on controlling their horse, maneuvering around obstacles, and their balance and posture in the saddle to try to give them better horsemanship overall," said Pati Casillas. "They don't just show up and ride. They have to take care of their horse. We've taught them to brush and saddle their horse; even pick the hooves. There's a lot of work involved."


6e 6rave in tfie attempt The Casillas' team usually practices three hours each Saturday, Pati Casillas said. She and Larry have donated the horses, equipment, barn and time to train their team. "Our kids have come from where they could not handle a horse at all to being able to handle a horse on their own," said Pati Casillas. "I think it gives them more confidence." Working with the athletes has taught the two coaches many things, but most of all patience, said Pati Casillas. "We take so much for granted; it just teaches you patience in that not everyone has the same ability," she said. Courage Perhaps the most important word etched on the medals worn by Special Olympics athletes, courage is exemplified by each individual and his or her family on a daily basis. Susan Sossamon, the mother of Heather, has witnessed the effects of Special Olympics on her daughter since the second grade. For Heather, outward appearances belie her "differences" from those with whom she comes in contact. "With Heather, 'courage' means being different and dealing with people who treat others differently," Susan Sossamon said. "The hardest to deal with are words that cut like knives." Special Olympics has given Heather, and others, the courage to be herself and be confident in who she is, said Susan Sossamon. "By using the strength and courage from being different, they become stronger," she said. "To stand up to people who are different and be themselves and stand up for themselves and accept who they are takes courage." Besides the courage the athletes gain by being involved in Special Olympics, the family members of these athletes learn about being "different" as well. "In the school system, [the athletes] are different; put them in Special Olympics and you and I are different," said Susan Sossamon. "Everything centers around them." Heather competed in the International Special Olympics games in 1998 at the age of 16, and since then, she has changed tremendously, her mother said. "When Heather came back, she had gained more self confidence from the whole thing," said Susan Sossamon. "She built confidence and self-esteem by working as a team, accomplishing goals and showing everybody they could do this." Sharing Special Olympics would not exist today-and could not have been created-without the time, energy, commitment and enthusiasm of more than 500,000 Special Olympics volunteers. Special Olympics relies on volunteers at all levels to ensure each athlete is offered a quality sports training and competition experience. More than 1,700 volunteer coaches and thousands of sponsors, donors and volunteers conduct the 100-plus events held annually to support Special Olympics Oklahoma. Fifty volunteers from OSU and Stillwater assisted in the eques-

trian event, working as sidewalkers, helping set up patterns and working with athletes as their personal assistants. "We do whatever they ask us to; we help them get ready to ride and make sure they get to their event on time," said Andrea Bryant, an agricultural communications alumna and volunteer at the event. "It makes them feel like stars, which is important," said Bryant. Bryant and her friend Amanda Early, an agricultural education alumna, began volunteering for Special Olympics during the 2003 Summer Games. "It makes you feel like a better person. You've made a difference and they remember you. It's a great feeling," said Bryant. "The reason we wanted to volunteer for the equestrian events is because we've both shown horses." Their past involvement in competitive horse shows and their experience at the Special Olympics equestrian event has given them a unique perspective, said Bryant. "What's different about this than normal horse shows is that at normal horse shows, you're so competitive and everyone is distant," said Bryant. "In [Special Olympics], everybody's helping each other; it's not based so much on the win. "The friendship here is stronger. Everyone is happy to see each other, and they make sure their friends get to the events on time." The camaraderie goes beyond a warm welcome, especially when the winners are chosen, said Early. "They all clap for each other, every one of them," said Early. Judith Heronema, an OSU Horseman's Association member and animal science-pre vet major, also volunteered. Heronema worked as a spotter, assisting in case of an out-ofcontrol horse or frightened contestant. She has worked at the Oklahoma Summer Olympic Games for the last two years as a member of the OSU Spirit Rider team. "You get a different perspective of life when you work with them and help out," said Heronema. "It doesn't matter what time


they run or if they do it correctly. It's getting out there and doing it that's worth it. They may be competitive, but it's all in good fun." Eleven other members of the OSU Horseman's Association volunteered, as well as six members of the OSU Rodeo Team. OSU has had a long history with Special Olympics Oklahoma, and the turnout of volunteers and departmental assistance is proof of that relationship. "OSU's equestrian team, rodeo team, animal science department and OSU College of Veterinary Medicine have all played a significant role in helping Special Olympics develop the equestrian program," said John Seals, Special Olympics Oklahoma area services and support director. "We have our summer games here and have for almost 20 years," said Hockett. "I can guarantee you we would not have this program if it were not for OSU right now giving us the help, the facilities, the people and the knowledge they've offered. OSU is very good to Special Olympics Oklahoma." Joy

According to Special Olympics, the organization empowers people with mental retardation to realize their full potential and develop skills through year-round sports training and competition. As a result, Special Olympics athletes become fulfilled and productive members of their families and the communities in which they live. It is an experience that is energizing, healthy, skillful, welcoming and joyful, according to the organization. "One of our themes has been 'Special Olympics: Training for Life,' and I think equestrian really shows that," said Seals. "When coaches like Larry [Casillas] train their athlete , they not only train the athlete how to ride the hor e, but also how to take care of the horse. I think this program exemplifies the training for life motto." Casillas agrees. "I think it challenges the athletes,'' he said. "They are dedicated, and they work hard. It's rewarding to see when they do a good job." Being a part of Special Olympics Oklahoma has given many individuals a new perspective on life. "When you look at our athletes and what they have to overcome just to get up in the morning and get going, no matter what their level of ability, they're positive," said Hockett. "They don't complain or gripe. "They have a great sense of humor; they're fun and loving. It truly is a real joy. You're working with people who truly appreciate what you're doing." Volunteers and family members agree "Training for Top: H eather Sossamon, left, and Stephen Harvey, Bixby, Okla.; Middle: Michael Life" applies to those who assist and compete in H erring, Vinita, Okla.; and Bottom: Bob Special Olympics. Hartley, Vinita, Okla. (Photos by Rachel "They're happy about life," said Hockett. "They live Johnson and Melissa Majors) life in the moment and enjoy it so much, and you can't help but enjoy the same things when you're with them." Susan Sossamon agreed the joy of Special Olympics has overflowed into her role as a parent and a friend. "Heather has made me a better parent,'' she said. "She is not only my daughter, she is my best friend." Four simple words have more value than the medals they are etched upon. "Because in Special Olympics,'' said Susan Sossamon, "everybody wins." + By Rachel Johnson, Elmore City, Okla.; and Melissa Majors, Sutton, Neb. For more information about Special Olympics Oklahoma or the equestrian program, call (800) 722-9004 or contact Seals atjohn@sook.org or Hockett at teri@sook.org.


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Agricultural Economics

Above and abroad Faculty couple teaches students through study-abroad course

Dan (left) and Marcia Tilley take a break in front of Kensington Palace during a recent trip to England. Behind the couple stands a statue of Queen Victoria . (Photo by Brady Sidwell)

F

or students and faculty members, summer break is a time to get away from classes and relax. For those participating in a study-abroad experience, it is a time to travel to diverse places. Teaching as a husband and wife team, Dan and Marcia Tilley, both agricultural economics professors at Oklahoma State University, have traveled the world, sharing their years of experience teaching studyabroad courses for participating students. "My wife and I are teaching a class on the trip, which is our responsibility as faculty members," said Dan Tilley. "It's important for us to work as a team. Since both men and women participate in the program, it 's important to have a couple guiding the trip. What better than a faculty couple?" The couple has dedicated three summers to offer College ofAgricultural Sciences and Natural Resources study-abroad trips for CASNR students. They have traveled to Turkey, England, Scotland and France with students while teaching agricultural issues, cultures and diversity. Each year, CASNR offers summer study-abroad trips to students who wish to 12 COWBOY JOURNAL

participate. In AGEC 4803 International Agricultural Economics Tour, 25 to 30 tudents travel to Europe and conduct research while observing the agricultural practices and cultural differences. The itinerary includes Scotland, France and England. "Students should have learning experience outside of the United States," said Dan Tilley. "By traveling to other places, students gain self-confidence, having survived in other cultures. They gain an international perspective oflife and of agriculture." For students traveling with the Tilleys, a wide array of activities and work has been set up for the trip. Having taught the studyabroad trip together several times, the Tilleys already have witnessed the sites for themselves. This has allowed them to better instruct the course while enjoying the excitement and amazement of students when they are first introduced to the United Kingdom. "Before we ever leave for the trip, we have a pre-trip scavenger hunt," said Marcia Tilley. "This not only helps students to become motivated about the trip, but also allows them to learn more about the culture and places they will be visiting."

Edinburgh Castle, the Tower of London, the Eiffel Tower, Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey are just a few of the more well-known place students will tour on the trip. While there, students can choose where to visit and how much time they wish to spend at each place. "Most museums in the UK have no admission charge," said Marcia Tilley. "This allows students to see first-hand some of the most well-known pieces of art in history. British museums cover worldwide contents, some with sections for orth America." By participating in a study-abroad program, students see more places and do more things than if they were to go independently, said Dan Tilley. Some parts of the trip are planned activities, which are required, while other times students can choose what to do next. Participating in the study-abroad trip includes traveling to famous places, attending classes and doing independent research . "As a requirement for the course, students must write a term paper about their experience," said Dan Tilley. "They must first propose a topic and turn in an outline before we leave. This turns the trip into an independent study, which allows students to pursue their own interests and take their own paths."

Windsor Castle, w ith its fairy tale turrets and towers, is the largest continually inhabited castle in the world. Standing far nearly a millennium, Windsor Castle is the ancestral home of Queen Elizabeth 11 (Photo by D an Tilley)


Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every coronation since 1066, as well as numerous royal occasions. While visiting, students are able to see tombs of kings and queens and view historical British architecture. (Photo by Dan Tilley)

"It is difficult to describe the trip and the way students bond together without experiencing it firsthand," said Dan Tilley. "Our students become friends and a support group for each other. Sometimes they are in small groups going their own ways, yet other times they group together and go in the area of common interest." While on the trip, tudents participated in classes for various agricultural issues. To better understand the U.S. trade issues, students visited the U.S. Embassy and learned how the issues were handled. "We communicate well, discussing plans for the next day and the students' reactions," said Marcia Tilley. "We're constantly communicating about the trip before, during and afterward. By doing this, our preparation has become much better and the students have more time to spend doing their own activities." Having been on the trip several times, the Tilleys have worked together to make each day more memorable for students. "I could not imagine how this trip would have been without the Tilleys," said Deborah Solie, a senior in agricultural economics and agricultural communications. "They work hard to make sure all students are involved and have an experience they will never forget. They treat students with so much respect, leaving us with more than memories, but with new friends."

Before returning home, students are able to spend a final night to enjoy what Europe has to offer. On one occasion, several students were able to see and take pictures of Qyeen Elizabeth II in a horsedrawn carriage. Other activities have included attending classic Shakespearian productions at the Globe Theatre, which was relatively inexpensive and students were able to be at stage level, said Marcia Tilley. For those wanting to participate in the 2004 study-abroad trip with the Tilleys, an application and $500 deposit must be submitted by Feb. 3, 2004. The fee for the trip is approximately $1,800, which includes housing, land transportation and some meals.The remaining balance is due by March 12, 2004. Students also are responsible for airfare, tuition and enrollment for the course. Three to four meeting times will be scheduled during the spring semester to discuss passports and other arrangements. "For those interested in their first study-abroad experience, the CASNR agricultural economics trip is a good choice," said Dan Tilley. "You can feel at home in the UK or Scotland, then return home inspired, confident, somewhat tired, but very much enthused." + By Jeremy Porter, Agra, Okla. For more information on study abroad programs, contact David H enneberry, assistant dean of international programs, at

CASNR Study-Abroad Programs .._ Spring 2004 International Agriculture Study of England , Scotland and France (AGEC 4803) Daniel Tilley Marcia Tilley Agricultural Economics Japan Historic Garden and Urban Landscape Design (LA 4990) Paul Hsu Horticu ltu re and Landscape Architecture France: Agriculture and Culture (AG 3080) Steve Hal lgren Forestry Mexican Agriculture, Culture and NAFTA (AG 3080) Daren Redfearn Jonathan Shaver Plant and Soil Sciences Agriculture and History of Italy (AG 3080) Leon Spicer An imal Science

(405) 744-9712 or Adele Tongco at (405) 744-9781. In.formation is available in Room 139 Agricultural Haff.

Standing outside Windsor Castle, Marcia Tilley and several students pause far a snapshot of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity before beginning their tour: Gretchen Adams (left), Lyndsay Davis, Katy Crawford, Tilley, Martin Williams and Autumn Williams. (Photo by Dan Tilley)

SPRING 2004 13


-------

Animal Science

Black and white photos courtesy of the OSU Department of Animal Science. Color photos by Jamie Wherley. Graphic design by Afton Jameson and J amie Wherley.

14 COWBOY JOURNAL

OBIcelebrates 30yea With a 30-year history of performance and quality, Oklahoma Beeflnc. is taking new steps to diversify the program to better accommodate today's needs. "A bull test has a three-fold mission: to be a demonstration of best practices for performance testing, to evaluate bulls from different herds in a common environment and to serve as a marketing tool for participating breeders," said David Buchanan, animal science professor at Oklahoma State University. When OBI began in the early '70s, only two breeds were represented-Angus and Hereford. Since then OBI has grown to be the second-largest bull test station in the nation. "OBI represents a unique aspect where the land is leased from Oklahoma State University and OSU provides the extension service, but the facilities, buildings and other financial aspects are all producer paid," said John Evans, extension specialist at OSU and OBI executive secretary. Today, eight additional beef breeds have joined membership to the facilities: Beefmaster, Brangus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Limousin, Red Brangus, Polled Hereford and Simmental. "Other facilities like OBI are usually privately owned or completely university funded," said Evans."This is what sets OBI aside to be unique." Oklahoma cattlemen Carlton Corbin ofFittstown,J.C. Hillier of Stillwater, Burke Healey of Davis, J.O. Pharaoh of Henryetta and Hump Halsey of Mulhall founded OBI. These men had a mission to improve cattle growth and performance, and today, OBI's success co ntinues because of their contributions. "Ranches are buying bulls from us time and time again. We have some who have bought from OBI for years," said Tim Stidham, OBI station director. OBI's board of directors holds quarterly meetings to discuss issues concerning the program. Each breed has members to represent it. Anyone can participate in the bull test program at OBI. Memberships are available to ensure reserved space in the test each year. Members also pay a slightly lower rate than non-members. Sale-fee revenues paid for the sale barn that was built a few years ago. ow, the updated facilities make more room available for buyers. "OBI provides an avenue for small breeders like me because we are usually limited to selling our livestock to neighbors, but because of OBI, I am able to sell my animals all over the states," said Larry Sebranek, cattleman from Marshall, Okla. "I have regular customers now that follow my bulls at OBI." OBI works with OSU's veterinary school to monitor and test the bulls while keeping up with technology. All bulls will have passed a breeding soundness evaluation, which includes examination for physical soundness, scrotal circumference measurement and microscopic evaluation of semen. All bulls will have negative brucellosis test within 30 days unless from a certified brucellosis-free herd. "OBI enables us to see if our breeding program is comparable with others out there," said Jane Durham, Hereford breeder of Stillwater. OBI allows producers to evaluate test-growth performance against other producers with an unbiased third party. "OBI has the cutting edge," said Stidham. When bulls are tested at OBI, they are delivered and begin a 14-day warm-up period. Then they be-


rs ofexcellence gin a 112-day test specified by the Beeflmprovement Federation. The bulls finish with a seven-day let-down period. The bulls are weighed and height measurements are taken at the beginning and end of the test. Weights also are taken at 28-day intervals during the test to calculate average daily gain. The bulls are fed a complete ration, which is equivalent to starting feedlot rations. OBI purchases its feed in bulk, making it cheaper for the producer. Each year, OBI conducts two sales of tested bulls with approximately 350 bulls listed. Sales are held in the fall and spring to meet a range of buyers' needs, and the bulls qualified are those who are in the top 70 percent of the group tested . Evans said only the bulls with soundness and high test numbers will sell. "OBI can put on a sale and spread costs over multiple producers unlike small producers," said Evans. In the fall 2003 sale, OBI celebrated 30 years of performance testing. Fifty-one bulls sold at a sale average of $2,447, and 62 heifers sold at an average of $929. In the last 30 years, nearly 18,000 bulls representing 16 breeds have completed the OBI program. "The way the cattle industry has changed and the way seed-stock producers compete and market cattle made the OBI board of directors decide they needed to do more than just test bulls," said Evans. The OBI board of directors wanted to provide opportunities for additional services. One way of providing additional services was implementing a replacement heifer sale. OBI sold 67 heifers in the fall 2002 sale, and it turned out to be a benefit to producers. The heifers sold higher than the market prices for that week. The replacement heifer program is open to any producer just like the bull test program. It allows commercial breeders to get the same genetics and guarantees from the people who are involved with OBI. It also will allow small producers to market their cattle where they have not in the past. "In time, I would like to get to the point where heifers are out of OBI- tes ted bulls," said Stidham. "Producers will be able to know what those cattle will do for them because they will have a guarantee to be function al an d sou nd when purchased." Another attempt to diversify has been providing producer the opportunity to have private treaty sales at the OBI facility. Renting the sale barn and other facilities will enable small producers to compete with larger producers said Stidham. In 2003, OBI held its first educational field day for the public. This day allowed producers to come and learn the latest information in the beef industry so they can stay progressive. Evans said the first educational field day was a success and people are interested in more to come. For the next field day, OBI will focus on current issues facing the industry, genetic improvement, marketing opportunities and herd health. Stidham said one of his goals for OBI is to get more breeds involved in the bull test program. He also would like to help producers with customized feeding and heifer development programs. "At OBI we pride ourselves in serving our customers with individual assistance and providing the performance in our bull sales," said Stidham. "That is what makes us the best!" + By Jamie Wherley, Broken Arrow, Okla. For more information, call Oklahoma BeefInc. at (405) 744-6060 or at (405) 624-1181 or visit http://www. ansi. okstate. edulextenlobi.


Plant and Soil Sciences

The grass is always greener OSU develops seed-propagated bermudagrass This spring when the Cowboys take the baseball field, it just won't be the same. The field in Allie P. Reynolds Stadium received a face lift with the newly planted Riviera bermudagrass. "OSU is the only NCAA baseball field in the country with Riviera on the field," said Bryan White, Oklahoma State University turf and field supervisor. "Some football fields have it, but we are the only baseball field." Riviera is currently planted on the infield and wings of the baseball field. Johnston Seed Co. of Enid, Okla., donated the sod to OSU for the fields . The ground work began July 29, 2003. Approximately a week later the Riviera sod was put down. "Riviera is an aggressive, tough grass that heals fast," said White. "It is just outstanding. It is a great grass to have on a field where there is so much activity." Riviera bermudagrass is one of the many products developed through the largest bermudagrass breeding program in a public university. That university is Oklahoma State. Riviera seeded bermudagrass was developed by the OSU turf grass

16 COWBOY JOURNAL

development team. The U.S. Golf Association and the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station provided financial support for the development. "Riviera is a product of many years of turfgrass breeding," said Charles Taliaferro, OSU forage breeding and genetics specialist. "It is seed-propagated instead of sprigs or vegetative. This is the first seed-propagated bermudagrass combining high turf quality and wide adaptation throughout the southern U.S. where bermudagrass is the principal turfgrass." Riviera is produced by intercrossing three clonal parent plants. The parent plants were selected on the basis of turf quality and transition zone adaptation from parent plants that had undergone several cycles of breeding selection. It takes a minimum of four years to do one breeding cycle. The turfgrass development team is led by Taliaferro, Dennis Martin, and Jeff Anderson, as well as molecular biologists Mike Anderson and Arron Guenzi. Taliaferro collects parent plants and begins the breeding process. Martin evaluates experimental varieties from the breed-

ing for overall performance.Jeff Anderson, Mike Anderson and Arron Guenzi conduct research on the bermudagrass for traits such as cold tolerance and disease resistance. Jeff Anderson's job is to take the plant after it grows in the research field and put it into a freezer to simulate fall temperatures. The plants surviving the cold temperatures are then given back to Taliaferro for more research and development. Riviera is more cold tolerant than other varieties and can be found as far north as Kansas City or St. Louis, Mo. "Riviera will open the market for the transition zone between the deep south and the north," said John Lamle, research and production agronomist at Johnston Seed Co. "It is a better-quality turfgrass. It took approximately nine years to develop this particular grass." Riviera is being marketed by Johnston Seed Co. As a part of the licensing agreement with OSU, Johnston was allowed to rename it for marketing purposes. Riviera's original name was OKS 95-1. Lamle said all employees participate in naming seeds. "We make a list of names that sound


good; Riviera was one of those," said Larnle. "We thought it was a flashy, classy name. It also reflects the seed quality and potential." Riviera has been tested by the ational Turfgrass Evaluation Program. NTEP is a private nonprofit organization developed in the 1980s. NTEP tests take approximately four years to perform. From 1997-2001 testing, Riviera is at the top of the list. In fact, Riviera ranks first overall for winter kill resistance and drought tolerance. It also ranks first for color, spring greenup and percent of living ground cover in spring. The NTEP performs tests for both seed and sod bermuda. National companies and plant breeders pay a fee to have their varieties of turfgrass tested. D ata for this research is collected from the United States. Information such as turfgrass quality, color, density, and resistance to diseases and insects, as well as tolerance to heat, cold, drought and traffic, is collected and summarized by the NTEP annually. Plant breeders, turfgrass researchers and extension personnel use NTEP data to identify improved, enviro nmentally sound turfgrasses. Local and state governm ent entities,

such as parks and highway departments, use NTEP for locating resource-efficient varieties. Most importantly, growers and consumers use NTEP extensively to purchase drought-tolerant, pest-resistant, attractive and durable seed or sod. "The spring of 2003 was the first year for Riviera to be on the market," said Lamle. "I think spring 2004 will be even better with more of a seed crop." Riviera is suitable for planting on high-quality lawns, sports fields, parks and golf course fairways . "Riviera should be planted in areas of full sunlight when soil temperatures reach a consistent 65 degrees Fahrenheit and are on the rise," said Martin. "One should plant two pounds per 1,000 square feet." + By M itzi H artin, Madill, Okla. For more information cal/Johnston Seed Co. at (800) 375-4613 or D ennis Ma rtin at (405) 744-5419. Test results on all varieties tested at NTEP can be viewed at http:!lwww.ntep.org. Bryan White, OSU turf and field supervisor, maintains the R iviera bermudagrass at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. (Photos by Mitzi Hartin)

cAI Ip~ (jamma, 1((,'furv 'Frater~ Pi Chapter -

ArP

Gold Chapter 2003

www.okstate-agrs.freeservers.com Five Top 10 OSU Freshman Men Top Greek Men's Grade Point Average Top OSU Male Graduate Chapter Adviser of the Year Homecoming House Decoration Winner Homecoming Sweepstakes Winner

To Make Better Men

ArP SPRING 2004 17


College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Across the stage and into the world Capstone courses create a bridge for college students T he journey through college begins and ends with students in transition. Freshmen get a glimpse of college during orientation classes, and many seniors take capstone co urses as they prep ar e t o cross the Gallagher-Iba Arena stage and find paths leading in new directions. Though defining senior-level capstone courses often encourages discussion among academic affiliates, many at Oklahoma State University agree: C apstone courses add value to educational experiences, careerseeking students and collegiate programs. "Capstone courses give students an opportunity to summarize, synthesize and apply the skills they have learned while studying a varie ty of subj ects within their undergraduate program," said Ed Miller, C ollege of Agricultural Sciences and atural Resources associate dean. Through capstone courses studen ts work on a scenario similar to what they may do in a job while still having the comfort of a class environment and the knowledge that a professor is available to direct and guide the work if needed. Ifthis description sounds like an internship more than a cap tone, consider these points of contra t: Capstone courses involve working with peers while internships may not; in a capstone course students work on a level of equality with fellow students and professionals to accomplish a goal, whereas an intern works with a boss and co-workers in a situation of hierarchal cooperation. Miller said capstone courses and internships are alike in that students "work on real problems and issues for real people in the real world." Capstone courses that complete degree programs for technical majors, such as landscape architecture and agricultural engineering, are required and defined by the organizations that accredit these programs, he said. These pre-defined courses do not require participation in professional projects; yet many capstone professors search for professionals to collaborate with students. "W e have many individuals, businesses and agencies interested in our academic programs providing interesting projects for our capstone courses," said Miller. "That's one of the reasons why our caps tones are particularly good." 18 COWBOY JOURNAL

M iller said faculty in departments supporting non-accredited programs have a choice of whether to include a capstone as a required course. Neither OSU nor CASNR make a mandate on the subject, but both p ro mo te the philosophy that capstone courses are valuable where they are feasible. "W e expose students to career opportunities and try to get them in a position where they can present themselves well, whether they are looking toward grad uate school or finding a job," said James Stiegler, plant and soil sciences profe ssor and department head. Stiegler teaches PLNT 4571 Senior Seminar, in which students are required to research and discuss senior-level current topics in addition to completing professional development activities. Although these are elements of a capstone course, Stiegler does not consider his course a capstone because it does not review all the information students have learned throughout their degree program and apply parts ofit to an activity or project. A ccording to many of the professors in CASNR and across campus, there was a push about 10 years ago to make it mandatory that every university department include a capstone course in its senior curriculum. E ach department began researching, creating committees and planning how they would structure such a course for each discipline, said D avid Buchanan, animal science professor. But before the process was completed, the idea was retracted. The reason capstone courses were not made mandatory came down to economics fo r m any depart me nts, said Richard Berberet, entomology and plant pathology professor. The fu nding and human resources would have cost too much for the university to afford such a mandate, he said. In other departments the challenge was creating a course that adhered to the strict definition of a capstone course the university was promoting at that time. "The capstone was to be a summation experience for students where they would u e all the information they had been gathering and obtaining," Berberet said. M any departments reported it was too difficult to cover this breadth of material within one course.

Berberet said since the decision to have mandatory capstone classes was abandoned, some capstone courses returned to their original titles and formats. This is one of the reasons some capstone courses do not include the word "capstone" in the title. A cademic departments throughout CASNR have continued to redevelop and improve capstone courses.

Steven Fowler, biosystems and agricultural engineering senior, p quizzes where he w ill use his knowledge and exp erience as a p r~


"Students face big challenges when they graduate from college," said Miller. "Some may doubt how much they have learned and how well they will perform in a work setting." Miller said a capstone experience for most students gives them a tremendous boost of self-confidence. They begin to realize how much they have changed throughout their college years, acknowledging the skills and abilities they have developed. Candi Johnson, biosystems and agricultural engineering senior focusing in biomechanical engineering, said participating in the caps tone course for her major, BAE 4012 and BAE 4022 Senior

路epares for a life f ar away from campus, f ootball games, tests and 'essional. (Photos by Sarah Fultz Prater)

Design, is much the same as working on a design team for an engineering company. She and four other students are working on a multi-faceted project directed by the Environmental Protection Agency to redesign silt fences used to contain soil erosion within construction areas. "We learn to do a project proposal, take it to management and get an approval-all the different phases we would go through in industry," Johnson said. The biosystems and agricultural engineering capstone is unique because it is stretched throughout two semesters instead of one. Students begin the year brainstorming about project possibilities and forming groups depending on their interests. During the first semester, they research their project and devise a plan. The second semester is spent creating their design and working out implementation difficulties. "It's good because none of our other classes have included working with a machine shop. In a lot of classes we draw something in a computer program and then we're done; with this one we actually have to build it," Johnson said. Capstone projects vary from creating real-world solutions for businesses and firm to researching specific topics and giving presentations. Though some cap tone assignments are similar in structure to those given in prerequisite courses, capstone students experience a higher level of expectation, as well as more stringent requirements. Teamwork is the most important capstone lesson for Crystal Smith, animal science senior. She said group work in the required course, ANSI 4863 Capstone for Animal Agriculture, was different from group project he had completed in the past where the task could be accomplished by delegating separate parts to each member and merging the parts before handing in the assignment. "We had to learn how to work together and not just how to put things together," Smith said. The course involves assimilating information and applying it to issues facing animal agriculture and the food industry, Buchanan said. "Students are exposed to guest speakers and concepts of research and learn independently, choosing their own topics and learning about those topics," said Buchanan. "Then each student presents to the class what he or she has found along with the conclusions drawn from research."

He said students specializing in livestock-oriented degree options also take one or more courses which represent another type of capstone course. "In these courses, the students apply previously obtained knowledge to the study of production systems pertaining to a specific type oflivestock," Buchanan said. While students are the focal point of capstone courses, the businesses that engage with students and the degree programs from which they will graduate also benefit from being part of the capstone process. Surveys taken by alumni and employers indicate where there may be gaps in graduates' knowledge or ability. This feedback enables faculty to adjust the curriculum and course design to ensure students are learning the information and skills they need to be successful in their careers. Industry professionals gain fresh ideas from capstone projects and reports.They also shape what future graduates will know and get the chance to meet potential employees. For many students, interacting with professionals can help them find a job, build a portfolio or resume, and begin to develop a name for themselves, said Dan Tilley, agricultural economics professor. Agricultural economics students can choose from five courses that contain capstone elements. In Tilley's cla s AGEC 4423 Agribusiness Management, students work in teams to complete two projects. The first project involves a computerized game and teaches students about managing a prod uction system through an agribusiness management simulation. "The game emphasizes marketing production and all the decisions that are integral to maintaining a successful operation," said Tilley. "For the econd project, students take on a bu iness planning problem for a real firm." Tilley said companies have a tendency to use some, if not all, of the ideas students develop. However, students' plans are never directly implemented without some changes being made first. Solutions students create for business and industry in environmental science, landscape architecture, and biosystems and agricultural engineering capstone courses are often accepted and applied, depending on the restrictions of the discipline of the client's environment. For example, a design for an engineering plant cannot be implemented outright (continued on page 48) SPRING 2004 19


Agricultural Education, Communications and 4-H Youth Development


His lessons go with you ... There comes that special moment in every man's life when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and asked to do a very special thing, unique to him andfitted to his talents. -Sir Winston Churchill

To be a great teacher, you must have once felt that tap, a calling or feeling that comes from deep inside and pushes you to give more to your students. A great teacher believes in students' abilities, as well as in their dreams. Great teachers are compelled to encourage, challenge and support. They expect the most from students and won't settle for less than their all. A great teacher is one whose lessons stick with students long after they have exited the classroom door. James White, professor of agricultural education, was such a teacher and so much more. He was a leader, a mentor. He was a student oflife, a member of the Oklahoma State University family, a friend to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty, and of course, an inspiration and gift to his students. "Dr. White wanted his students to know that he cared about them as people, as well as how they performed in his class," said Jim Key, professor emeritus of agricultural education. "He was interested in what they were accomplishing as students at OSU, and he cared about the great succes es they would have once they graduated." White dedicated a lifetime to teaching and would have retired June 30, 2004. White taught a variety of courses during his 32 years of teaching, but most noted was his work in developing the agricultural education leadership and service option. His university teaching career was devoted to guiding students who desired to pursue careers in the cooperative extension service or to become agricultural education teachers. White experienced OSU as a student and as a faculty member, having graduated from OSU in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in animal science. However, he felt a calling to help others and became certified to teach agricultural education in 1970, said Key. "Dr. White said OSU was the greatest place in the world to get an education," said Key. "He had outstanding teachers in terms of who they were and what they believed. It

impressed him that faculty could have such an influence and have that spread to their students." White served as a county extension agent in Texas County before teaching vocational agriculture in Davenport, Okla., for five years. White returned to OSU to receive his master's and doctoral degrees in agricultural education. He began his teaching career in the OSU agricultural education program in 1979. "He was proud that the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has an advising system where students and faculty work as a team to help students grow professionally," said Key. "He appreciated how this allowed students to have the maximum amount of contact with people in the industry." Nearly 200 undergraduate students completed industry internships under White's mentorship. The capstone experience for the leadership and service option is a 12-week internship in a professional agricultural position. White met with students several months in advance and helped them identify an internship that would help them achieve their goals. He conducted on-site supervision visits during their internships and worked with students in the develop-

ment of their portfolios. The students were able to capture evidence of their performance in their portfolio, and students said it was helpful to reflect on their career aspirations. "Dr. White reveled in his students because of what he saw as their possibilities," said Wesley Holley, former OSU professor. "I marveled at his memory of each and every student he had contact with through the years. In most cases, he could tell the most intimate details of each student's accomplishments and challenges with their internship." White taught International Programs in Agricultural and Extension Education (AGED 4713) for 10 years and brought his own international experience into the classroom. White was involved with international endeavors in Mexico, Honduras and Pakistan. He also worked with participants in training programs in Ecuador, India and Ethiopia. "Dr. White stimulated the interests of students from diverse majors and encouraged students to travel abroad, experience other cultures and learn to think globally about the agricultural opportunities in other countries," said Ed Miller, CASNR assistant dean of academic programs. In May 2001, White led a group of30

A bove: James White (left) receives the 1985 H onorary A merican Farmer D egree far his service to agricultural educat ion and FFA. (Photo courtesy of Carol White); L eft: James White pauses fa r a picture with his wife, Carol, and daughter, D ava. (Photo by Todd J ohnson) SPRING 2004 21


OSU students on a two-week study tour of Mexico. A group of Mexican students then came to OSU to be engaged in a study tour of Oklahoma. White valued other cultures and wanted students to appreciate the experience of international education, said Key. Manuel Corro of Veracruz, Mexico, served as White's teaching assistant for the international agriculture class for the last three years. "As an international student arriving in a new culture, Dr. White helped and advised me," said Corra. "He gave me the right word at the right time. His guidance facilitated my adjustment to the Oklahoma environment and introduced me to American cultures and values." White received many honors for teaching and international agricultural development. He once said a few of his most treasured included receiving the Honorary American Farmer Degree in 1985 and being named the Oklahoma FFA VIP recipient in 2002. In the spring of 2003, he was recognized by the Agricultural Education Graduate Student Association with the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award. "Dr. White humbly viewed these awards, not as things he earned, but awards his tudents had helped him to receive," said Jim Leising, department head ofOSU Agricultural Education, Communicatlons and 4-H Youth Development. White was dedicated to his students. He made an effort to meet all of his students

James White, better known as "Dr. White" to his many students, offered a smile and firm handshake to everyone he met. (Photo courtesy of Carol White)

22 COWBOY JOURNAL

to find out their names and hometowns. H e motivated each of them by showing personal interest and genuine concern, said Key. "Dr. White taught people, not curriculum," said Bruce Farquhar, former student and agricultural education instructor at Altus, Okla. "Through the process, he passed along pieces of himself to all he met." Because he passed on so much of himself to students, they worked diligently to earn his respect. "White said he gave his best to students and sometimes wanted success for them more than they wanted it for themselves," said Key. "He said it was a growing process where the two of them came together with regard to the student having confidence in him and feeling that he wanted the very best for him or her." And his students knew White cared. "Dr. White was one of those teachers who recognized the potential in each student," said Kendra Stanek, former student and public relations coordinator for the Central Rural Electric Cooperative. "He made you believe that you could do it, and before long, you actually had." White wasn't afraid to open up to his students and share what he believed. "On the first day of class, Dr. White said to all his students, 'I don't imagine your performance in this class has anything to do with your life, as much as making peace with your maker,"' said Brant Carpenter, agricultural education senior. "And that set in my heart and soul so deeply that a member of faculty would care enough about me as a person to put that into his curriculum." But there isn't a course or degree program that could compare to the lessons White taught students in his battle with cancer. Although White was diagno ed with bone cancer in 2001, he continued to teach and mentor his students. He taught students some special life lessons that can't be learned from a textbook. "Another course had been chosen for his life," Key said. "He hoped that his students learned from his illness. If something bad happens to them, it isn't the end of the world. There is still life to live. They can either be like the rock that is polished by the friction of life or the rock that resists the friction and is ground to dust." White was truly a blessed man to have such a strong and supportive family. "His wife, Carol, and daughter, Dava, were his all in all," said Key. "He couldn't have asked for better. The quality time he

J ames White (right) makes adjust ments to international student M anuel Corro's doctoral academic attire. (Photo courtesy of Carol White)

was able to spend with his family was a blessing from his illness." White's family, friends and students were all amazed and inspired by his determination, strength and faith during the difficult times with his illness. "Dr. White truly lived up to the meaning of the word admirable: deserving of the highest esteem," said Milford Jenkins, former student and Division of Agricultural Sciences and atural Resources senior director of development with the OSU Foundation. "Ju t being in Dr. White's presence was a humbling experience." His teaching philosophy was simple. ''.James White had the biggest heart and the strongest grit of anyone I ever met," said Key. "He always said he wa trying to help people help themselves. The bottom line included having a genuine, caring concern for the students, a positive attitude, and the self-discipline and love for the subject matter to make it interesting for his students." Surrounded by his loved ones, James David White, 61, died Nov.16, 2003, at his home in Stillwater, Okla. A few months prior to his death, he shared the following: "My advice to students is to realize there is a whole world waiting for you. Don't ever give up on yourself or your goals. Look up. Put it all in the right perspective. Then, you will be a whole person." + By R obyn Sites, M ountain View, Okla. Dr. White, thank y ou far sharing y our calling to teach others w ith us. Thank y ou far tapping into our hearts and our minds. You were a great teacher, and we will carry your lessons with us throughout our lives.


Announcing the

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SPRING 2004 23


Biochemistry &Molecular Biology

A picture-perfect job Professor goes above and beyond the call of duty

F

orty-one years later with five times the number of students, what started out as a pit stop has turned into a life-long career for biochemist E .C . Nelson. "I did not ever intend to be a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology," said Nelson. "I wanted to move back home and raise purebred Chester Whites." Raised on a corn and hog farm in Dunkirk, Ohio, Nelson attended "The" Ohio State University where in 1957 he received his Bachelor of Science in agriculture, focusing primarily on agricultural education. Nelson then taught for a year at Belle Center High School in Belle Center, Ohio, as an agricultural teacher before realizing he wanted to further his education. "I found out that I was more interested in how vitamin A worked and its function rather than how much vitamin A was used in a food supplement," Nelson said. A die-hard Buckeye fan, Nelson returned to Ohio State and earned his M aster

24 COWBOY JOURNAL

Nelson's major research area is the metabolic function ofvitamin A and other retinoids. A frequently published author of research papers, Nelson has received numerou s award s, grants and funding for his research at Oklahoma State. "I am 75 percent research and 25 percent teaching, which means I am 100 percent both," said Nelson. "It's a full- time job." And it is a job he not only enjoys, but also a topic he would like others to enjoy. A shelf filled with books of research and scientific data are hidden behind a wall of Polaroids of current students. As students move to the next classification, he moves the students' pictures up the shelf until they graduate, at which time the pictures are removed. When Nelson first started at Oklahoma State, there were 15 students in his department. M ore than 250 students are enrolled in biochemistry and molecular biology this year. Some say it can be attributed to his devotion and enthusiasm for biochemistry and for the stuL eft: E. C. N elson is proud of his wall of student picdents he advises. tures. R ight: E. C. Nelson works with Justin "He genuinely loves students," said Cordill, biochemistry and molecular biology junior. D.C. Coston, associate director of the Oklaof Science and D octor of Philosophy de- homa Agricultural Experiment Station. "He helps students along by getting them interngrees in animal science. ships and involving them in research." In 1963, Nelson came to Oklahoma Even though Nelson State University's will argue options such campus after hearI am 75 percent research as premed and preing about a job from a colleague and has and 25 percent teaching, vet have been the reabeen here since. which means I am 100 son why biochemistry has gained so much in"I've had sevpercent both. terest, students will eral job offers, but E.C. Nelson say it is his informal, the kind of work I ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~- h ands - on approach wanted to do I could do better here, so I stayed," said Nelson. "Also, this college is definitely a leader in the state, region and nation." Living on campus in student housing, Nelson worked his way up fro m an instructor to a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.

that makes learning more enjoyable and is what keeps students around. "Ifl had a question in class, I brought my book in his office and we sat down and worked on it until I figured it out," said Shelbi Guinn , a se nior in bioch emistry and molecular biology.


Guinn said Nelson's open-door policy and laid back attitude makes learning easier. He also helps establish class schedules that will best suit the individual student. "I want them to feel free to discuss their academic problems," said Nelson. Nelson said it is important to know each student's interest. He said his goal is to get students to where they want to be, even if it is not in biochemistry. One way Nelson finds out whether or not students are interested is by getting them involved with the Freshman Research Scholars class. "The fun thing about research is finding new information, new questions and problems, and how the field is expanding every day," Nelson said. The Freshmen Research Scholars class is designed to give incoming students handson experience of what they can be expected to encounter in their major. This gives students the opportunity to get out of a regular lecture and work in a lab, develop research and collect data, which is an important part of their major. "This class really helps us think about if we really want to be in a lab," said Maggie Talley, biochemistry and molecular biology freshman. "It is an enjoyable and fun class." Nelson's work is not only noted by students, but also by co-workers. Earl Mitchell, friend, neighbor and head of Oklahoma State Multicultural Affairs, worked alongside Nelson as a biochemist. "It's his personality," said Mitchell. "He nurtures and cares for his students, gives them good advice and goes to bat for them." Mitchell said biochemistry has always had a great success record for students going to medical school. H e also said the program is rigorous and retention is a key issue. "It is very natural for pre- med students to come into this major," said Mitchell. "Getting them to stay is another part, and that is pretty much what he did."

Nelson said Oklahoma State's open policy with administrators and deans makes his job easier and more enjoyable. "The administration has always been open," said Nelson. "W e could have disagreements but it never got personal; afterward, we could all go have a cup of coffee." Mitchell said Nelson's strong family ties are what give him the ability to be so effective with students. Nelson and his wife, Joanne, enjoy spending time with their two

daughters, three granddaughters and one grandson. Nelson retired at the end of the Fall 2003 semester and as his research winds down, he plans on traveling and spending more time with his family. Retirement, however, will not get in the way of his passion; h e plans to continue advising and helping students. Nelson's 41 years of service at Oklahoma State can be summed up with one simple statement: "The student comes first." Everything he has done has been aimed at h elping the student or making the student's life better. "I want them to find out what they can be successful doing," said Nelson. "They are not going to be successful at their job if they aren't happy." + By Brian Bendele, Chandler, Okla.

Top: E. C. N elson (leji) and Shelbi Guinn, biochemistry and molecular biology senior, conduct an experiment in lab. M iddle: A ngela Thomure (left), biochemistry and molecular biology senior, and E. C. Nelson identify different substances. Bottom: J ustin Cordill (left), Lana Hanes, elementry education j unior, Shelbi Guinn, E . C. N elson, Angela Thomure, and Andrea Gagan, biochemistry and molecular biology .freshman, discuss research topics. (Photos by Brian B endele)

SPRING 2004 25


Agricultural Education, Communications and 4-H Youth Development

0Sl1 mascots learn to ba

Pistol Pete: The ultimate Cowboy

He slips into a pair of black Wrangler jeans, followed by a vest to complement a white long-sleeve, button-up shirt. Boots go on one foot at a time. Soon, his heart starts racing as he straps on his chaps. The oversized, fiberglass head goes on and he becomes Pistol Pete, the ultimate Oklahoma State University Cowboy. As the official OSU mascot since 1923, Pistol Pete was named after Francis "Frank" Eaton when the school was still known as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College and the mascot was a tiger. "Pistol Pete is a real, historic figure with a rugged individualism of the Oklahoma settlement," said Harry Birdwell, OSU athletic director. In his younger years, Eaton was a real cowboy, gunfighter, blacksmith and a Deputy U.S. Marshal. Students chose Eaton as OSU's mascot after he appeared in Stillwater's Armistice Day parade on horseback. Afterward, the tiger mascot was dropped and Oklahoma A&M became the home of the Cowboys. Students figured a cowboy represented Oklahoma better than a tiger, which was copied from Princeton University's mascot. Although Eaton died in 1958, his spirit lives on. Each year two students are chosen to represent OSU in the legendary Pistol Pete uniform. Jared Wiley and Josh Pulver erve as Pistol Pete for 2003 ~04. Wiley, an agricultural communications junior, comes to OSU from Ardmore, Okla. Pulver, a leisure services management junior, hails from Elk City,Okla. "I tried out for Pistol Pete to achieve a life-long dream," said Wiley. The tryouts are similar to an interview process. Approximately six or seven former Pistol Petes come back to OSU and conduct business-like interviews. The interviewees try on the head to act out different situations, said Wiley. The purpose is to see how a person reacts while wearing the head. The former Pistol Peres then choose the best candidates for the job. "Pistol Pete has to be strong with the ability to carry a large amount of weight on his shoulders," said Pulver. "My legs often get tired from squatting to be on the level of children." The newest Pistol Pete heads were designed between 15 and 20 years ago by The Walt Disney Co. The company literally broke the mold when they were completed. "The heads have come in three series with the first ones being made from papier-mache," said Pulver. "The second series was a combination of papier-mache and fiberglass. The third series, which we use, are made from fiberglass." On a game day, the guys are spared from wearing the (continued on page 28) 26 COWBOY JOURNAL

Pistol Pete and the Spirit Rider are an essential part of the OSU fan fare. Each mascot plays an intergr,I above photo and Spirit Rider photos by Amanda J ones}


lance time, tradition

Spirit Rider: Riding with Cowboy pride

al role in the spirit of OSU and keeps a beloved tradition alive. (Pistol Pete photos by Dwayne Cartmell;

Balancing life in college can be challenging. Along with school, many students have jobs, a variety of extracurricular activities and a social life; however, one student adds additional duties each year by representing Oklahoma State University as the OSU Spirit Rider. Meriruth Cohenour, an agricultural communications senior, is that student. Last spring, she was chosen as the 2003-04 Spirit Rider. Cohenour served as a member of the ground crew in the 2002-03 season and is now the fifth female to ride as the Spirit Rider. Cohenour began riding horses at a young age at her home in Claremore, Okla. "I was on a horse before I could walk," she said. Her mother and grandfather went on horseback trail rides and toted Cohenour with them. When she was 7 years old, Cohenour received her first horse. Shortly after, she began taking riding lessons. She is trained in western, English, dressage and jumping. Cohenour also showed with the Pinto Horse Association of America and the Paint Horse Association, as well as in 4-H. "I grew up active in the Rogers County 4-H," Cohenour said. "I also held national officer positions in the PtHA and the APHA. College has slowed down my show schedule tremendously, but I still find time to ride and train my own horses. " Cohenour's passion for riding has grown with time, and she hopes to pursue a career that relates to horses. "It has already been an amazing experience," she said. "I wanted to be the Spirit Rider because I had such a great experience last year on the ground crew." "It's exciting to be able to combine my passion for riding and the school I love by representing it as a mascot," Cohenour said. The OSU Spirit Rider first appeared in 1984. The late Eddy Finley, who was asked to come up with a mascot for the band, started the Spirit Rider program. Finley, an agricultural education professor, wanted a mascot who could carry the OSU flag down the field after each touchdown. Finley's idea originated from Texas Tech University's Masked Rider. Finley and his wife, Nancy, were both Texas Tech graduates who wanted to see a similar tradition brought to OSU. John Beall Jr. was the first OSU Spirit Rider. Beall was a member of the OSU Rodeo Team and rode his own horse, a black mare named Della. Ellis and Mary Grace Hostmeyer donated a 5-yearold gelding named Stars Parr Money four years after the program's initiation. This horse would be used as the official spirit horse for the OSU Athletic Department in (continued on page 29) SPRING 2004 27


The ultimate Cowboy (continuedfrom page 26)

head all day. They do, however, end up wearing it for eight or nine hours . Since game times differ, there is not an exact schedule to follow, they said. Both P ulver and Wiley admitted to getting an adrenaline rush when they get ready to act as Pistol Pete. The rush comes with the territory. "When I start putting on the chaps, my legs start shaking. T hen I load up my gun and that's when my heart starts racing," said Wiley. 'Td say every time I get ready I'm nervous, but once I get started the nervousness goes away after about 10 minutes." Pulver and W ylie decide prior to each game who will make which appearance. Some of the appearances are at the same time, which is the reason there are two Pistol Petes. "For an evening game, I start my appearances around 2 p.m. I have one at Chris' University Spirit. One of us has to go to the Spirit Walk and one of us has to go to the family fun zone," said Wiley. "Josh goes to For Pete's Sake and there are usually two or three tailgate parties we go to." Their main jobs at the various events are to promote OSU and get the fans excited about the game. Additional places we go are the marching band practice and the alumni tent," said Wiley. ''Another way we decide who gets to do what is by our class schedules." During the game, Pistol Pete has to battle challenges a person would not normally think about. "W alking up and down stairs, seeing people and not running into things are so metimes difficult tasks to accomplish," said Wiley. "The head weighs 45 pounds and only allows fo r a certain amount of vision without turning the head all the way to one side or the other. " H eat is a challenge that makes breathing in the head difficult. An additional challenge people may not think about is giving autographs. "Th e hardest thing I have come across when signing an autograph has to be the actual fingers of little children," aid Pulver. "Sometimes these kids want every finger signed. I don't know why, but they do." Both Pulver and Wiley practice their gun twirling. Pistol Pete's gu n is heavy and it took the men so me getting used to fo r spinning it and shooting. "At the game, I shoot the gun a lot," said Wiley. "I play Pistol Pete. I just have fun and go out there and try to get th e crowd involved. I sign a lot of autographs for little kids and give bullets away. M ostly, we are there for the kids and the alumni. We try to make everybody happy." T he more the crowd gets into the cheering, the more Pistol Pete swaggers around to encourage the crowd. H e raises his arms, clap his hands and shoots his gun. "When I am out there in fro nt of 40,000 people at Boone Pickens Stadium, shooting that pistol, and hearing the crowd yell 'state' at the end of 'Oklahoma,' that gets my blood pumping,'' said Wiley. After the game, Pistol Pete mingles with the fa ns. Then Pulver and Wiley usually tailgate with their fa mily and friends. After th e physical exertion of being Pistol Pete, these guys like to get a little rest and relaxation. "Being Pistol Pete can be exhausting at times , especially in the heat, but it is so m uch fu n," said Wiley. Pulver and Wiley get a few extra incentives for their du ties as Pistol Pete. "W e get a free faculty parking permit and free tickets to get into the games,'' said Wiley. "When OSU goes to a bowl game, we get the commemorative T-shirts free. The staff at The Territory western store helps us tremendously with discounts as well." (continued on page 46 ) Pistol Pete works to ignite the crowd at a 2003 OSU footba ll game. (Photo by Kendra Kelton)


Riding with Cowboy pride (continuedfrom page 27)

return for season tickets and decoration credit. The horse's common name, Bullet, was chosen after a campus-wide contest was held. Approximately 65 students have participated in the program as either the Spirit Rider or a Spirit Team ground crew member. The Spirit Rider and crew are responsible for the care and maintenance of Bullet. The crew also is required to make appearances at parades, schools, rodeos, Special Olympics and other university-related functions. Many times the spirit crew travels without the horse to put on promotional programs at elementary schools across the state. These programs are designed to get elementary students thinking about OSU at a young age. These appearances, however, put a certain pressure on the rider. The chosen Spirit Rider must be able to balance class work, appearances and other duties expected by most college students. Being an OSU mascot can have its perks; however, there also are challenges that arise. Cohenour balances a 15-hour class schedule, a job in the animal science department and fulfilling the duties of being the Spirit Rider. Cohenour also usually tries to spend eight to 10 hours per week riding Bullet. ''Appearances are what have made people love Bullet," Cohenour said. The horse is famous nationwide. "Bullet has become a tradition," said Harry Birdwell, OSU athletic director. "He is an ongoing symbol that is part ofOSU fan fare. He is fun, beautiful and a reflection of Oklahoma life." Football games are the most important appearance the Spirit Rider makes. The Spirit Rider leads the Spirit Walk, marches to the field with the OSU Marching Band and runs to the 30-yard line after a touchdown. Game days for the Spirit Rider start at least three hours before kickoff The rider and the ground crew meet at the horse barn to bru hand dress the horse. They then travel to the Seretean Center for the Spirit Walk. After the walk, the rider and horse return to the Edmon Low Library to lead the band to the field . Forty-five minutes before game time, the Spirit Rider and the band march to Lewis Field at Boone Pickens Stadium to make their grand entrance. The band marches on the field and splits into two group . As the crowd goes wild, the announcer yells, "Here ... comes ... Bullet with Spirit Rider Meriruth Cohenour!" "One of the most exhilarating experiences I ever had was the first time I came down the tunnel of Lewis Field and heard my name over the loudspeaker as I ran through the middle of the band," Cohenour said. "It was just awesome." Throughout the game the Spirit Rider waits for each touchdown, o the OSU flag can be flown high across Lewis Field. ''As I make my entrance onto the field, I always say, 'Bullet, I hope we run your legs off,"' Birdwell said. The Spirit Rider is popular among the fans. Cohenour said during halftime fans are allowed to pet Bullet and she signs Bullet trading cards, footballs, shirts, caps, calendars and game tickets. "It is amazing how much of an impact a live animal has on people," Cohenour said. "Everyone likes the cheerleaders, the band and Pistol Pete, but when you get down to it, everyone wants to see Bullet." The appearances expected of the Spirit Rider also are time-consuming. Bullet and the rider must be at each home game, all Stillwater parades and approximately 10 other appearances around the state. Cohenour said she would not trade this experience for anything. "I am always amazed at what a profound effect Bullet has on the fans at the game, especially children," she said. "Every time we go somewhere with (continued on page 46) Spirit R ider M eriruth Cohenour makes her entrance during pre-game. (Photo by D wayne Cartmell)


"This is something students "This would be where I have been wanting," Miller said, would think a master's degree "but they can't define or create it. program would be an asset," said Knipp, describing the benSomebody has to create it for them." efits of having a master's deSarah Sargent was one of gree when applying for a specialized job. "A master's is one those students. She enrolled in of the things I think could make the master's program in agriculthe difference between you tural education and last fall and someone else who may switched to the agricultural comhave equal qualifications." munications master's degree. To be admitted in the "I plan on staying in the university atmosphere," said program, students must complete the Graduate Record Sargent, who graduated from The Examination. They also must Ohio State University with a submit an application to the bachelor's in agricultural commugraduate college at Oklahoma nications. "I really have a heart Sarah Sargent (left} and Gina Ciujfetelli take a moment to smile far a quick graduate State, a statement of purpose for students, but I'm not sure it's photo. (Photos by Erin Harris} in teaching." and three letters of recommenThe specialized coursework and flex- said Miller. People in disciplines other than dation to the department. Students in the agricultural communiibility offered by these master's programs communications often seek students who allowed Sargent to work on agricultural com- have specialized communication skills and cations master's program must complete 30 credit hours focu ing on agricultural communications requirements as an agricultural training in addition to degree expertise. "A student with a bachelor's in one field, munications core requirements, research and education student before the final approval of the new program, as did Gina Ciuffetelli, such as horticulture, and a master's in agri- statistics, and their personal specialization. Full-time students can complete the who graduated with an agricultural cultural communications will have gained communications bachelor's degree from special talents in written or oral communica- degree in one year, compared to approxition," said Miller. "That's a great combina- mately three years for part-time students. Oklahoma State. For Oklahoma residents, the cost of a "I thought it would give me more op- tion ofskills." From agricultural communications pro- ma ter's degree in agricultural communication ," said Ciuffetelli about her goal of obtaining a master's. "I would like to do any- fessionals in the field to agricultural com- tions i approximately $4,400 including fees. thing communications related, including munications professors in universities, many For out-of-state students, the cost is higher, have said there is a need for highly educated at approximately $12,600 including fees . advertising, marketing or public relations." Some assistantships are available to reduce As a result of Sargent's and Ciuffetelli's people in the agricultural industry. "We have experienced first- hand there tuition costs. goals, they will be the first to graduate from Oklahoma State with a Master of Science in is a real shortage of agricultural communicaThe Department of Agricultural Edution profes or and professionals beyond cation, Commwucations and 4-HYouth Deagricultural communications. Cathy Herren, an agricultural commu- the bachelor's degree," Miller said about the velopment at Oklahoma State has designed nications graduate student with a bachelor's college's search for agricultural communica- a master's program to quench the need in the industry, open the market for the Middegree from Oklahoma State in agribusiness, tions professionals in the industry. Students also recognize the importance western state and fulfill student interests. experienced different interests in the of advanced degrees in the agricultural inmaster's program. With these ideas in place, Oklahoma While Sargent wanted to further her dustry, and they recognize it can be helpful, State is on its way to developing a memoagricultural communications knowledge with but is not necessary to succeed. rable, reputable and beneficial program, "You definitely don't need a master's said Miller. a master's degree, Herren desired to add an additional knowledge base to her under- degree to succeed in agricultural communi"There's a need. There's a market. cations," said Sargent. "But a master's de- There's an interest," aid Miller. "Those are graduate education. "Having the opportunity to learn how gree does give you a chance to move on to a the things that go together to make a you can communicate more clearlywith oth- doctoral degree if you want to work in program successful." + By Erin R eece ers is really important," Herren said. "It will academia, and it does give you a chance to Harris, Yale, Okla. be beneficial to me to have those combined really do some research that will make a difFor more i1iformation about the Master experiences with my undergraduate major ference for the profession." ofScience in agricultural communications, calf Having the additional discipline a the D epartment of Agricultural Education, and my master's program when I go to look master's program requires gives an edge Communications and 4- H Youth Developfor a job." The opportunity for an agricultural when applying for a specialized job in ment at Oklahoma State University at (405) communications master's degree may have the agricultural industry, said Sam Knipp, 744-5129 or visit the departmental Web site greater benefits to those who have gotten director of corporate communications at at http./lagweb. okstate. edulagedcm4hl an undergraduate degree in another area, Oklahoma Farm Bureau. SPRING 2004 31


Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

A growing passion An education helps Randy Davis find a fulfilling career Plant a seed and it will grow. The adage is true not only when it comes to plants, but also in finding one's passion. Randy Davis knows this from experience. Davis began to find his life's passion as a high school student employed at Greenleaf Nursery in Park Hill, Okla., during the summers. While working at his summer job, Davis began to consider his future. "I was going to go to Northeastern [State University] to be a teacher," Davis said. "My dad was a teacher, and I was going to go to Northeastern because I could afford it. I thought OSU was too expensive." Although Davis had a plan, he was not overly enthusiastic about it. Then opportunity knocked. Austin Kenyon, an Oklahoma State University graduate who was the Greenleaf production manager at the time, asked Davis ifhe had considered attending school in Stillwater. After Davis told Kenyon he had but thought it would be too expensive, Kenyon and Gil Nickel, co-owner of Greenleaf, offered him the Greenleaf Scholarship. The scholarship was originally intended to be a one-time-only offer specifically for Davis and would pay for his tuition, fees and books to attend OSU. Davis was excited about the opportunity. "I developed a love for plants at home in the garden," Davis said. "It was a thrill to see one grow and develop into a big plant. I'm still amazed by the process." Davis graduated from OSU in December 1975 with a degree in horticulture. He

R andy D avis, president and chief exective officer

32 COWBOY JOURNAL

immediately returned to work at Greenleaf as a propagation supervisor, a position he would hold for 18 years. Then he was promoted and spent five years as the company's vice president and production manager. In 2000, Davis became the company's president and chief executive officer. When Davis was first presented with the opportunity to come to OSU, he said he could not have imagined the success that would follow when he returned to Greenleaf. "I'm a goal setter," Davis said. "I'm a firm believer that you set where you want to get to in life. I'm that way about everything. You have to set your life in the direction you want to go, realizing you don't always have total control. Sometimes you achieve success you didn't envision." Although his achievements have far surpassed any expectations he had, Davis is most satisfied in having a career he loves. "It's been pretty amazing. It's so neat because I have such a passion for my work. I love Greenleaf ursery," Davis said. "To me, that's the important thing, for you or for anyone. Whatever you go into for your career, you should have a passion for it. If you don't, then you ought to get into something you do have a passion for. I tell people that all the time, 'Whatever you do, make sure you have a passion for it.' Life's too short not to enjoy it," he said. Kenyon said the opportunities Davis had as a student at OSU have been vital to Davis' success. "You see so many students like Randy,

of Greenleaf N ursery, began

his career w hile in high school.

and that's what OSU does: it gives rural kids an opportunity to meet their expectations," Kenyon said. Greenleaf and the OSU Connection Davis is one of 16 OSU alumni who work for Greenleaf Nursery. Two of those alumni are also two of the company's owners. Kenyon is a graduate of the OSU Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, and Nickel studied math and physics. In addition to their positions as co-chairmen of the board for Greenleaf, the two recently earned other important distinctions. They were recognized in 2003 as OSU Distinguished Alumni. For Kenyon, it was a moving honor. "I'm extremely humbled," Kenyon said. ''A lot of people are more deserving than I am, but it's an honor I'll always cherish." Greenleaf also has OSU graduates employed in six of its top management positions. Seven of the company's production supervisors are also OSU alumni. "The people who have come from OSU have been successful at Greenleaf and have made Greenleaf successful," Davis said. "OSU has helped create passion and enthusiasm, and the company looks for people like that." Greenleaf has not always had far to look for such people. Although Davi ' scholarship was originally a one-time-only award, the company has since provided the scholarship so other employees could attend college. Laci Couch, planting supervisor at the Oklahoma division, graduated from OSU with a degree in horticulture in May 2003. She said the scholarship was instrumental in helping her find a career she loves. "I was originally going to school to be a teacher," Couch said. "My grades weren't what they should have been, and I thought 'Obviously, this isn't what I'm supposed to do.' I didn't like classes; I didn't enjoy it." Couch had been studying at Northeastern State University but dropped out. She enrolled at the Indian Capital Technology Center in Tahlequah for a year and took horticulture classes. She enjoyed her classes but wanted to learn more. "I liked when I was working in greenhouses at the CareerTech but felt cheated because all I learned about was green-


The shipping f acility lies in the f oreground of Greenleaf's Park H ill location. The location has 600 acres in production. (Photos by J ustin D ay)

houses," Couch said. "Then I was told I could get a job here [at Greenleaf], and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to see if this is what I wanted to do." Even while sh e was working at Greenleaf, Couch wanted to go back to school. The opportunity to attend OSU through the Greenleaf Scholarship helped her finish her education while learning more about the work she enjoyed. Couch is pleased with the way things have turned out. "I absolutely enjoy what I'm doing now," Couch said. A Growing Company Greenleaf ursery has grown tremendously ince the time D avis became an employee. A d o er look at the company's history shows it has enjoyed a rapid growth since it inception. Greenleaf ursery was fo unded in M uskogee, Okla. , in 1945 by H arold and Rebecca Nickel. The company originally operated as a small retail outlet, but soon began experiments in growing plant material in containers. John ickel, a son and business partner, looked to expand the company. "Ther e was n't en ough ro om in M uskogee to get any bigger, and they wanted to expand," Davis said. Nickel began searching eastern Oklahoma for land to purchase and found a spot near Park Hill, Okla. The property lies 35 miles east of Muskogee on L ake Tenkiller and is the present-day location of the company's headqu arters. D avis said the Park Hill location has grown from 100 acres to 600 acres in the time he has been employed at Greenleaf. "I think [John ickel] would tell you he never dreamed it would get this large," D avis said. Along with the growth in land area at Greenleaf, D avis said the company has also grown in the areas of technology and plant diversity. Greenleaf has been a leader in innovations in over-wintering procedures for

plants. The innovations began as a result of the harsh winter in 1962-63 that resulted in the loss of 90 percent of that year's saleable crop. After that winter's loss, the company began to propagate and grow hardier types of plant material such as deciduous shrubs and shade trees. Over-wintering procedures also were put in place the following fall. Research and development of winter protection is an ongoing process at Greenleaf today. D avis said the innovations made by G r ee nleaf extend beyond overwintering procedures. "We're very innovative in production techniques and not just winterizing techniques," D avis said. "I would say we've been innovative in all production techniques." Another of the innovations Greenleaf prides itself on is the use of a water recycling system in place at the Park H ill facility. All of the water used for irrigation at the nursery is recycled on site and used again. "We did thi on our own without the Environmental Protection Agency telling us we had to," D avis said. "It was something our owners looked at and said 'We're going to do this because it's the right thing to do."' Because of growth and innovations,

L aci Couch, planting supervisor, inspects some

Greenleaf has had to expand to new places over the years. In the 1970s, a second growing facility was purchased in El Campo, Texas, approximately 75 miles southwest of H ouston. D avis said the El Campo location was chosen mainly because of the climate provided by the area's long growing season and milder winters. "It was mostly started for the growing climate, but we wanted to develop the southem market, too," Davis said. Today, the Texas operation boasts 400 acres in production, making it one ofthe largest container nurseries in the state. In 1984, Greenleaf purchased and put into production a nursery around a small hidden lake near Fort G ib on, Okla. The nursery's purpose was to provide a facility for the low-cost production of tree whips and seedlings for the Park Hill and El C ampo container divisions. A 14,000-square-foo t grading was erected on the Fort Gibson property in 1990 for the purpose of sorting bare root tree whips prior to shipment to the cold storage facility at Park Hill. The grading at Fort Gibson was constructed in conjunction with a 239,400-cubic-feet cold storage facility at the container (continued on page 48)

of the nursery's plants before winterizing procedures begin. SPRING 2004 33


College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Career Services

Helping peers piece by piece With determination, dedication and a smile, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources' Career Liaisons are ready to lend fellow students a helping hand. "The Career Liaisons are a team that works hard together. They have a positive attitude of dedication, willingness and ervice," said Amy Gazaway, Career Liaison adviser. "Career Liaisons have a strong desire to help other people who are in the same situation they are." In the spring of 2001, Gazaway and Louann Waldner, director ofCAS R student career services, had a vision of students helping students with career development efforts. This vision was the beginning of the Career Liaison team. "The program started out as an advisory board and has evolved into what it is today," said Gazaway. "It has come a long way in a short amount of time." Every year a group of12 to 15 CASNR

students are selected to form the Career Liaison team. The selection of the Career Liaisons is coordinated through an application and interview process. From the applications, candidates are selected and evaluated in an interview, which includes a short, impromptu presentation, she said. When the Career Liaisons are selected, their duties are to inform students of careerrelated activities, and they are the voice of CASNR students when it comes to needed resources or services. CASNR Career Liaisons link the classroom to the career by hosting career-related activities and services for their fellow students. Some services include resume development, mock interviews, career fairs and professional development workshops. "When the Career Liaisons help their peers, there is a connection we as faculty and staff do not have," said Gazaway. Career Liai ons offer a variety of dif-

Students selected as Career Liaisons serv e f or one year. Abov e: Whitney Yoder (left), Lanie Alley, Brandi Eberhart, Tara Thomas, Katrina H erra! and Jay Seaton. Top left: Elyse Bales. Top right: Farley Schweighart. (Photo by Todd Johnson; graphics by Chris Kidd)

34 COWBOY JOURNAL

ferent workshops available to all CASNR students. Some include professional etiquette, interview preparation and resume workshops. Career Liaisons are required to have an itinerary of the workshop and then submit the itinerary to the Career Liaison adviser for approval. After every workshop the Career Liaisons pass out an evaluation form to the participants. The purpose of the evaluation form is to get feedback on the performance and effectiveness of the workshop. Career Liaisons meet collectively on alternating Tues days to discuss and evaluate career-related programs, services and activities offered by CAS R. In addition to attending meetings, Career Liai ons maintain a well-developed knowledge of upcoming career-related activities and are challenged with the mission of helping to inform their classmates about these opportunities, said Gazaway. In addition to on-campus activities, the Career Liaisons visit four different employers in the state of Oklahoma. The purpose of the visit i for the Career Liaisons to gain knowledge of career opportunities so they can serve as career educators. "When the Career Liaisons go on employer visits, they showcase the qualities and skills of CAS R students to potential employers," said Gazaway. "Career Liaisons learn all they can about the employer so they can bring back information and share it with their peers." One hour every month, Career Liaisons are required to work in the CASNR Career Services office and assist the department. Being on the CAS R Career Liaison team comes with high expectations. Career Liaisons are expected to bring a positive, cooperative and enthusiastic attitude with them. They are expected to serve a representatives of OSU and CASNR Career Services, as well as the student body. "As a Career Liaison, I am not only helping my classmates, but also I am helping myself become more professionally


sound," said Amy Brooks, landscape architecture senior. All Career Liaisons are trained to help other students with their professional development skills, said Gazaway. In the summer, the team travels to a location in Oklahoma for a retreat. The purpose of the retreat is for the Career Liaisons to get to know one another and become a team. Before school starts, a weekend is devoted to Career Liaison training and professional development. "It goes further than training; it is the attitude this team possesses," said Jay Seaton, Career Liaison and forestry sophomore. Career Liaisons have set goals in helping their fellow students. One specific goal is generating a clearer message about what Career Liaiso ns do and becoming more visible to CAS R students so they will know help is available, Gazaway said. Another goal the Career Liaisons have

set is developing a Web site, which will include career development information as well as the C areer Liaisons' contact information. "Most students experience some level of confusion in terms of making career decisions and planning for their future," said Gazaway. "That's why we have the CASNR Career Liaisons." Jarrod Boehs, an agricultural economics senior, attended a resume workshop given by the Career Liaisons. "It's different when it comes from someone on our level," said Boehs. "They are not as intimidating and the things they say are easier to understand. It makes a difference when excited, passionate students are telling their peers about professional development and career-related activities." Whitney Yoder, Career Liaison and agricultural economics senior, said the program has helped her as much as it has helped her fellow students.

"The Career Liaison program has made me become more involved on a college level and not just in my department," said Yoder. "I used to be scared about not knowing what I needed to do to find a career. I want to help other students and show them the process involved in finding a career so they won't be in the same boat I was in." The main goal of the CASNR Career Liaisons is to help their fellow classmates in their career development efforts. "I feel privileged to help my classmates," said Lanie Alley, Career Liaison and agricultural education junior. "I know I have assisted them with their professional development skills, which will help them find a career. " + By Chris Kidd, Waurika, Okla. For more information about CASNR Career Services or Career Liaisons, call (405) 744-5395 or visit http://casnr.com.

International Programs lnAgriculture

Spend 10 to 15 days with a faculty member studying in one of these exciting countries: • France • Thailand • England • Scotland

David Henneberry • hhh@okscace.edu Adele Tongco • adel@okscace.edu

• Honduras • Italy

• Peru • Mexico

For details, visit 139 Ag Hall or call (405) 744-5398. SPRING 2004 35


Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resouces

Just a mouse click away ORSNR deve/o,:Js new Web-based resources Ready or not, here it comes. The future ... and it's coming to the Division of Agricultural Sciences and N atural Resources at Oklahoma State University in the form ofWeb-based technology. Soon the days of fact sheets and pamphlets will be gone, replaced by new online databases accessible from the comfort of one's home. The result: a system more in tune with society's growing dependency on the World Wide Web. Radio took 55 years to reach 200 million users, while the Web took only five. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, "In August 2000, 54 million households, or 51 percent, had one or more computers, up from 42 percent in December 1998." "The change in society, coupled with the need to be more financially efficient, has prompted the creation of two new searchable databases: the Print-on-Demand System and OSU Extra," said Donald Stotts, communications specialist for agricultural communications services at OSU. Prior to the Internet, DAS R relied heavily on mass-produced, hardcopy fact sheets written by faculty members to distribute information to the public, said Stotts. "At one time everything was done hardcopy. To get a fact sheet, you would have to go to a cooperative extension office where they would have copies," said Stotts. "Ifyou needed a bunch of them, county personnel would have to order more copies from DASNR's publications warehouse." The cost of paper, printing and storage is expensive, said Stotts. Putting information on the Internet saves on printing costs because people print just what they need. "As the Internet exploded in popularity beginning in 1994, everybody quickly latched onto the idea of putting information on the Web to make it more accessible," he said. DAS R's first effort to put fact sheets on the Internet was Pete's Electronic Archive and Resource Library, or PEARL. "PEARL was our first effort of putting what was essentially a hardcopy format onto the Web," said Stotts. "The format came about because at the time there was a concern that people might not make a connec36 COWBOY JOURNAL

tion between the fact sheets available at county offices and materials available on the Web. The problem with it was it looked exactly like the hardcopy format; it didn't take advantage of the medium of computers." Stotts said the Print-on-Demand System and OSU Extra are simply the next step in the progression, and they are more accessible and easier to use. The Print-on-Demand System is an electronic archive and ordering system for fact sheets available to all DASNR employees, including extension specialists, county extension educators and research station personnel. Those with Web access are able to search the databa e, select the fact sheet they need and place an order. "There are many benefits to this system," said Gayle Hiner, a graphics designer for agricultural communications services at OSU. "Printing and storage costs will decrease, we will never 'run out' of any fact sheets and the most current information will always be available." DAS R created a second online database, OSU Extra, to provide information to consumers in a flexible way. With content identical to the Print-onDemand System, the database uses a keyword search and topic headings to make the database accessible and understandable to consumers. Brief descriptions of each fact sheet also are included to simplify a search. OSU Extra is a free service available to the public, allowing anyone to view HTML or PDF files in the comfort of their homes, said Hiner. The address for the Web ite is http://www.osuextra.com. Hiner said the goal is to try and think like consumers when putting information into both databases . "Fact sheets will cross reference and be put in more than one spot," said Hiner. "We want to put them wherever they will be the easiest to find and the most useful." One key feature of the Print-on-Demand System and OSU Extra is the timeliness aspect. Fact sheets posted have expiration dates; when the designated time is up, e-mails are sent to the author(s), prompting him or her to review the information, ensuring it is accurate and timely.

No fact sheet will be allowed to remain in the database without review for more than three years, said Hiner. "Because the two sites are mirror images of one another, staff members can easily work with consumers and assist them in searching for information," said Hiner. "The extension educator can talk the person through on the phone and tell them exactly where a file will be." In addition to developing two DASNR databases, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is working with other states to create a national e-Extension. This new system is being developed in conjunction with other land-grant universities with the goal of bringing extension into the 21st century, said David Foster, retired associate director of the OCES. Since the beginning of the Cooperative Extension Service, the goal has been to spread knowledge and educate people about agriculture. As society has changed, the need for a new way to distribute that knowledge has become apparent. "In the beginning, universities began to send people out in the field as practitioners to demonstrate to farmers why they should use improved farming techniques," said Foster. "By the end of the 19th century, there were a number of states that had people employed doing essentially extension work. "The idea of extension is that individuals go out and actually be part of the community and be accepted as local people who happen to be in a position to help and move [agriculture] forward," said Foster.


With technology becoming more widely accepted and used, the demand to alter the way extension work is done has heightened, said Foster. The idea of a corporately managed database system addressing all of the subject matter pertinent to extension work would be attractive. "If there was a way all states could cooperate with one another to create that database and then manage it at the system level on behalf of all the land-grant universities, that would be a powerful idea," said Foster. This is the foundation of e-Extension. According to thee-Extension executive committee, "The challenge is to learn to cooperate and take advantage of the shared intellectual capacity of the land-grant system, in a way that can be locally branded. ÂŁExtension provides a vehicle for doing this in a way that addresses the informationseeking behavior of our current and future customers."

Stotts said the idea fore-Extension has been talked about for years. "It's a long process by which an organization makes change," said Stotts. "It's a series of steps in which you bring a large organization together to then make a change. It does happen slowly and it does happen over time; it's more of a progression. "The aim is to allow people to take advantage of information throughout the nation," said Stotts. "Change does not occur overnight in most large organizations, especially those that have local, state, national and international components," said Stotts. "It's more of a progression in which ideas and new ways of doing things are formulated, tested and then either adopted or discarded over time." The e-Extension national database is in the planning stages. "E-Extension is on the way; however, the exact manner in which everything works together has yet to be finalized," said Stotts.

It will incorporate information from land-grant universities across the United States and provide it in one database. According to thee-Extension Executive Committee, "The idea is that teams of subject matter experts will be in charge of their subject area. These teams will be responsible for curriculum, interactive multimedia modules, ask-the-experts and interactive decision tools." The goal of the system is to help people find specific information, thus allowing them to make sound decisions, according to the e-Extension executive committee. Consumers will be able to customize the information they are looking for and access it on their own time. Ready or not, technology is here to stay. With programs such as the Print-on-Demand System, OSU Extra and e-Extension coming online, DASNR is definitely ready. + Story andgraphic by Melissa Majors, Sutton, Neb.

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Oklahoma State University Foundation

GIFTS FROM THE HEART It all started with a gift. A gift of land was given by four Payne County farmers in 1890 to start a land-grant institution in Oklahoma. This priceless gift was the beginning of Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, now Oklahoma State University. The university's first "gift-in-kind" laid the foundation for OSU, which continues to strengthen today through the donation of gifts-in-kind. Gifts-in-kind are non-monetary donations given to the university. "Private gifts, monetary or non-monetary as in the case of gift-in-kind, go a long way in making a difference in the lives of teachers, students and citizens who come into contact with OSU's agricultural programs," said Milford Jenkins, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources senior director of development with the OSU Foundation. "It is not the size of the gift that counts, but it is merely the gift." The OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources receives many gifts throughout . the year. Livestock, ranch property, equipment, real estate and farmland are a few of the gifts received. In addition, companies often provide equipment and classroom technology for the college. "The gift-in-kind program is an opportunity for donors to provide resources to the university for improvements in research, extension and teaching," said Jenkins. In 1961, the university started officially receiving gifts-in-kind through the OSU Foundation, said Jenkins. At that time, the foundation was designated as the private gift-receiving entity by the OSU Board of Regents. Both OSU and donors benefit from the gifts-in-kind program, Jenkins said. Gifts provide additional opportunities for teachers and students both inside and outside of the classroom. In many cases, students receive hands-on experience which benefits them after college. By giving, donors see advancements in departments and programs, as well as tax benefits, he said. "Any college, program or academic unit can benefit from gifts-in-kind," Jenkins said. 38 COWBOY JOURNAL

Joe A tkins (right} and Farley Schweighart discuss the first mare he donated to the equine program. (Photos by Kendra Kelton)

"Private resources, whether they be cash gifts or gifts-in-kind, play a critical role in helping the university expand and reach new levels of success." The OSU Department of Animal Science is one of many areas in CASNR to benefit from gifts-in-kind. Joe Atkins of Hale Center, Texas, has given to the OSU equme program. "OSU has a good horse program, and I wanted to help it," Atkins said. "I wanted OSU to have quality horses kids could work with and use in class."

Atkins, a Stillwater native, attended OklahomaA&Min 1938forayear.In 1949, he started his involvement in the equine industry; his knowledge and background with horses prompted him to make donations to the equine program. "I was first impressed with the Spirit Rider program at OSU and the student involvement," said Atkins. In 2002, when Atkins decided to retire from the equine industry, he donated a brood mare, which was in foal to Mr. Sun O Lena, from his horse ranch to the equine program.


Since then Atkins has donated anAll donations, whether money or gifts-in-kind, are critical and help other mare and two breedings to Mr. the university save thousands of dolSun O Lena, who stands at The Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas. lars every year by not having to ex"We do not buy any mares for pend valuable resources from approour production herd at the farm," said priated things, said Jenkins. Steven Cooper, equine teaching and "The center is a teaching herd research assistant professor. "There for students," said Pribil. "Our labor is no way we could buy the mares force is mainly students; they we wanted to improve the horse herd. benefit from the donations given and receive hands-on experience." Invaluable gifts-in-kind started our Gifts-in-kind enhance OSU's program and help maintain it today." programs by providing additional A lot of donors are OSU alumni opportunities for faculty to suppleor have a connection to OSU, ment their classroom instruction, said Cooper. strategies through technologically Contributors make sure their donations are going to be a good fit J oe A tkins (left) and T im Cash, OSU horse fa rm manager, discuss the advanced distance education and classroom technology. The cooperafor the program and be useful, industry. tive extension service and agriculCooper said. "I had a goal to improve OSU's brood Atkins said he wanted OSU to have mare band by giving outstanding mares," tural experiment stations likewise have benhis horses and knew they would be taken efited over the years from generous said Atkins. care of and put to good use. The OSU Purebred Beef Center also gifts-in-kind, said Jenkins. "For someone to step out and donate benefits from gifts-in-kind, said Jenkins. "In 1890, people had a passion, people horses of this caliber is outstanding," said "Donations to the beef center have had a dream and people had a vision. Cooper. "Our program would not be what it helped it obtain the highest quality of ge- They were willing to unselfishly and is today without gifts-in-kind." netics in the industry," said Cindy Pribil, graciously provide resources and assets to Many donors, like Atkins, are long-time OSU Purebred Beef Center manager. the university," said Jenkins. "They made OSU supporters and want to see the uni"The beef center has received cattle, their visions a reality by giving an versity continue growing and strengthening bull semen and trucks," said Pribil. "Small invaluable gift." + By Kendra K elton, in all areas, said Jenkins. Muldrow, Okla. gifts make a big difference."

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Agricultural Alumni Association

A Cowboy brain surgeon Anything can be possible with a degree from Oklahoma State University, even brain surgery. Neurosurgeon Barry Pollard, a 1973 biochemistry graduate, began his academic studies preparing to be a veterinarian. Pollard, who was raised in the agricultural community ofHennessey, Okla., grew up with a strong farming and ranching background. As a youth, he was active in FFA and enjoyed working on his family's farm. His interest in farming was encouraged by his father, Russell Pollard, who was a high school vocational agriculture instructor.

A bove: N eurosurgeon Barry Pollard lives near Waukomis, Okla. R ight: A creek flows through Pollard Farms. (Photos by Amanda Jones and Chris Stephens)

40 COWBOY JOURNAL

His father and all four of his siblings graduated from OSU, so attending the university was part of a family tradition. When Barry Pollard entered college, he wanted to become a veterinarian. However, a string of unusual circumstances caused him to change his mind. One fateful day, an "ornery" cow changed his future plans. "My dad sent us out to treat a cow, and we did not have very good facilities," aid Pollard. "The vet threw a rope at a cow and unfortunately caught her. The cow tore down the barn door, and it fell on me and the vet. It was about then that I decided to go to medical school." He was also encouraged to attend medical school by his roommates in FarmHouse fraternity who were studying to become doctors. Following their lead, Pollard began working toward a degree in biochemistry. "OSU was the greatest place for me," said Pollard. "I could absolutely do anything I wanted to do. I could pick any future I wanted to pick. There was always a lot of enthusiasm and people with goal-oriented futures at OSU." Pollard recommends students take full advantage of all the opportunities available at OSU. He was active in a fraternity and competed in Spring Sing, Varsity Revue and intramural sports. "It is important to have a good time and become a well-rounded student," said Pollard. "But, you cannot get away from the obligation that you need to study and work hard." While attending the university, he had a part-time job in the agronomy department, working in the weeds lab and organizing research projects for graduate students. "All of it was very scientific until the last chore," said Pollard. "Measuring how well a chemical performed was dependant upon maintaining a steady hoeing rate, which was sometimes more difficult at three in the afternoon than it was in the morning." Upon completion ofhis undergraduate degree, Pollard attended the University of

Oklahoma Medical School where he specialized in neurosurgery. "I have always been interested in the surgery part of medical school, and I was fortunate enough to meet some neurosurgeons who took me under their wings and were very kind to me," said Pollard. Pollard has been practicing neurosurgery at St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Okla., since 1982. "We probably do 15 surgeries a week on average; we specialize in spinal injuries and brain tumors," said Pollard. "Having the training and knowledge to be able to help people with their pain or disease problems is very satisfying." Bob Kropp, professor of animal science at OSU, is one of Pollard's patients. "Dr. Pollard is a tremendous neurosurgeon, world renowned and highly respected for his skills," said Kropp. "It is tremendous that a man of his medical stature has continued to live in Waukomis and work in Enid. He is an asset to the people of Oklahoma." Most of Pollard's patients have come from Oklahoma, as well as southern Kansas and the Texas Panhandle. "I have been told that if you have problems with your spine or brain there are only four places to go: the Mayo Clinic, John Hopkins, M.D. Anderson and St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Okla.," Kropp said. Pollard works with fellow neurosurgeon Bruce Pendleton and nurse Regina Krause at the hospital. "If it were not for having them to share work with, I would not be able to be involved as much in other projects," said Pollard. Barry Pollard's "other projects" are more than hobbies. His agricultural interests include P&K Equipment and Pollard Farms.


In 1983, Pollard bought the John Deere dealership in Kingfisher, Okla., with partner Wendel Kirtley, the managing operator who retired in 1996. "The operation, which is called P&K Equipment, has become very successful," said Pollard. "In the next 10 years, you will see our dealerships grow and prosper." As the business flourished, Pollard purchased dealerships in Enid, Norman and Purcell with new partners Shane Clifton and Drew Combs. "The opportunity to own and operate a John Deere dealership in my home county offered me a future with my kind of people," said Pollard. "The hard-working farm and ranch families of Oklahoma are a pleasure to work with." Through his involvement with P&K Equipment, Pollard is a supporter of 4-H and FFA activities in the counties with his dealerships. Helping with the areas' premium sales allows Pollard to give back to the community. Another way he supports local agricultural programs is through regional and state youth shows.

After developing his private neurosurgical practice and building a dealership business, Pollard decided to invest in developing a cattle operation. He purchased land and cattle and began a stocker-calf operation. Eventually, he became interested in raising registered Angus cattle as a project he and his family could work on together. "He is a self-made man who is very down to earth," Kropp said. "I have even seen him in the pastures with his scrubs on. He is an example of the local boy from a small town who made good. H e operates one of the elite Angus programs. H e is an asset to the American Angus A ssociation." Pollard said his main goal for the Angus breed is to have the product remain the most highly sought after meat product in the industry, something accomplished through product testing and genetic selection. "I wanted to use my medical knowledge of genetics, embryo transplant and artificial insemination to produce high-qu ality Angus cattle," said Pollard. "Hopefully, it will let us develop something that will stay in the family a long time."

Pollard has three sons, Barrett, Austin and Preston, as well as two step-children, April Smith and Jeffrey King. His wife is Roxanne Pollard. ext semester, his youngest son, Preston, who is the most active in the family's farm, plans to study agribusiness at OSU. "I am not sure I want everyone to know, but the best advice my dad gives me is to take the good from the people you have to be involved with and leave the bad," said Preston Pollard. Barry Pollard said helping his children to become successful adults is a major priority for him. "I want to always be able to help my famil;路 grow and be as successful in their careers and fa mily lives as possible," he said. Barry Pollard has proven an OSU alumnus can achieve a wide variety of goals ... from the farm to the operating room to the dealership and back to the farm. + By Amanda Faith J ones, St. Francis, Kan.


Agricultural Economics

The true value of a dollar Student needs funds for a double-lung transplant A s college graduates take the next step the lungs, which causes abnormally thick, in their lives, their debts may seem over- sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads whelming, but for students who battle chronic to life-threatening lung infections, according illnesses, their educational expenses plus to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. medical bills can be insurmountable. The disease has been a nuisance Ashley Guthrie, agricultural economics throughout most of Guthrie's life, and it will junior, knows this story all too well. Guthrie eventually cause so much mucus to build up has battled cystic fibrosis for the past 22 in her lungs they will no longer be functional. years, and a double-lung transplant is her Guthrie has been on the donor waiting best chance at a normal, disease-free life. list since November 2002. The two-year wait "Since I have had it my whole life, I is more than half over, and Guthrie said she really have never known any other way," expects to receive a double-lung transplant Guthrie said. "It's just part of me." m ovember 2004. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic mutation that Due to the $150,000 price tag on this stops the production of protein in the cells of life-extending procedure, the Oklahoma

Standing atop Stillwater's International House of Pancakes, A shley Guthrie (right) joins one of her many supporters, Gil Stuart, Stillwater R adio KGFY-FM disc jockey. Stuart continued his daily broadcast and lived on the rooffor faur days before $10,000 was raised to help fund Guthrie's double-lung transplant. (Photos by Jeremy Porter)

42 COWBOY JOURNAL

State University Student Government Association has declared the Ashley Guthrie Project its primary fund-raising effort for the year. "We felt since we are the representing body of OSU and we have the capacity to take on a project of this mass, it would be easier for us to raise the money than a smaller organization," said Joe St. John, SGA vice president. "We're willing to do what we can." The SGA has pledged to continue creating fund-raising events until it has raised the money needed for the transplant. The SGA became involved in Guthrie's campaign when her cousin and campaign coordinator,]anna Westmoreland-Morgan, called OSU organizations to see if they wanted to help out, said Guthrie. Since the beginning of the fall 2003 semester, SGA has encouraged other organizations to join in its effort to help Guthrie with her medical needs. Businesses, individuals and organizations have rallied behind the Ashley Gutl1rie Project to donate time, energy and, most importantly, money. After the OSU Homecoming Parade, the SGA, Stillwater's International House of Pancakes restaurant, and Kinnunen Sales and Rentals sponsored a rooftop fund-raiser, hoping to raise $10,000. Stillwater Radio disc jockeys Dave Deken of KSPI- FM and Gil Stuart of KG FY-FM camped and broadcast from the IHOP roof, promising not to come down until the full amount was raised. Activities for children were available in the IHOP parking lot. A fish tank at the IHOP entrance collected donations from pocket change to $1,000 donations, all equally accepted and appreciated. Adam Stringer, IHOP general manager, said before he had heard of the Ashley Guthrie Project he knew nothing about Guthrie as a person, but now he knows a lot. "She came here numerous nights and actually sat on the roof, and you could tell she wasn't feeling well," said Stringer. "But she wanted to be here because she wanted to be part ofit." Stringer said Guthrie was calm even though so many people were helping her. "When she saw people give money, she thanked them," he said.


Although Stringer decided to participate in the Ashley Guthrie Project only a week before the fund-raiser began, he had been searching for a way to give back to the community for seven months. When the SGA approached him with the idea of supporting Guthrie, he was immediately interested. "It became a personal thing," said Stringer. "It was for more than just an organization. We were doing a fund-raiser for Ashley, who came here many times before, and we knew she needed the money to save herlife." David Webb, Stillwater radio manager said Deken and Stuart came down from the roof after four days because they knew they had raised the $10,000, and Stillwater radio representatives were working hard to collect the money and deposit it in the account. Though $10,000 has been raised, many more dollars are needed, and the SGA continues to organize fund-raising events. Nikki Ebert, SGA vice president's chief of staff and Ashley Guthrie Project committee head, said she and the other three committee members are planning additional fund-raising events for spring 2004. Though solid plans have not yet been made, the group would like the next event to be closer to campus to involve students and OSU affiliates while also allowing Stillwater citizens to participate. "I think it's wonderful that everybody is willing to help and try to do something to make Ashley's lung transplant possible," said Janie Williams, Guthrie's mom. "When you're young it can be hard to let other people know that you have a serious disease; sometimes they just back away, mostly because they're scared. But it's great for her to have all this support and backing." Born in Wyoming, Guthrie lived in Wisconsin for a short time, but most of her life wa spent in the small town of Haskell, Okla. Although doctors told her parents she wouldn't live to be a year old, she survived an active childhood, playing softball from time to time, cheerleading from sixth grade through her senior year, and serving as class president and student senate president. "Ashley never dwelled on her disease," said Williams. "The doctors said she wouldn't be able to do a lot in school but everything that came along, she did. For her, this is just a way oflife." Guthrie graduated from Haskell High School in 1999 with a class of 40 and started her college career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in fall 2000.

During her two years at NEO, Guthrie took a variety of classes, which helped her decide to major in agricultural economics. Guthrie has attended OSU for a year, and keeping up with school has become more difficult since she has been sick more frequently. "I used to only go to the hospital once every six months, but I've been getting sick more often," said Guthrie. Williams said her daughter was well throughout most of junior high and then in the hospital a lot during high school. During her first year of college she wasn't as sick, but this last year she has been in the hospital about every month. "The doctor said she is in the end stage of cystic fibrosis," Williams said. "She's gotten to the point where there's not a lot of medicine or things they can do. They just try to keep her stable so she can get a transplant." When Guthrie's name reaches the top of the list, she will need the $150,000 to pay for the transplant, and she will also have to meet certain weight and health requirements before undergoing the risky procedure. The risky part of the transplant is not the surgery, but the possibility that Guthrie's body will reject the new lungs at any time from a month to years after she begins breathing with them, said Williams. She will need to continue taking medicine to prevent rejection for several years after the transplant is completed, making the initial $150,000 pale in comparison to the price of long-term medical needs. The fund raising for Guthrie's transplant is being arranged through the Children's Organ Transplant Association. Guthrie said not a lot of people use COTA, but she and her family decided it was a good way to keep people from doubting whether the money they raised was being used for a legitimate cause. "This way all the money goes directly into an account that COTA has set up, and they give it to us as we need it," said Guthrie. As Guthrie's family waits and hopes for funds, they know there is the possibility that their oldest sister and daughter may be too sick to receive the transplant when the time comes. However, also knowing that cystic fibrosis is one of the hardest diseases a family can face due to its unpredictable nature, the family said raising awareness is a secondary goal that may help others find a cure. "We want to continue helping the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, although it doesn't

Gil Stuart interviews Steve R ice, lead vocalist and guitarist of the red-dirt band No Justice, about fu nds contributed to the A shley Guthrie Projectfrom the band's November concert in Stillwater.

help anyone directly and all their money goes to research," said Williams. "I have two sons, two other daughters, nieces and nephews, and all of them could carry the cystic fibrosis gene." Though Guthrie's sisters and two halfbrothers have never been tested for cystic fibrosis, they have never shown symptoms. But, because cystic fibrosis occurs through gene transfer, any offspring of this generation will be susceptible to the disease. For the Guthrie family, their need for money is a stark reality. When they first found out what the cost of the transplant would be, they thought it would be impossible to raise such a sum with only the support of their small-town community. Haskell citizens have managed to contribute $8,000 toward the transplant funds, which brings the total amount donated to only about $18,000. There is still a daunting $132,000 left to raise. Yet, Guthrie and her family value every dollar contributed and maintain high hopes that before November 2004 arrives there will be enough funds to buy the lungs Guthrie needs to complete her college career and begin a new, healthier chapter in her life. "We've been amazed that outsiders we've never heard of and will probably never meet have helped so much," Williams said. "They have just been so wonderful." + By Sarah Fultz Prater, Stillwater, Okla.; and Afton]ameson, Geary, Okla. To contibute to theAshley Guthrie Project, call the Student Government A ssociation at (405) 744-6500. SPRING 2004 43


Agricultural Alumni Association

A happy birthday Agricultural Alumni Association celebrates 20 years the Committee ofTwenty. "Then the Dean's office released the names of the committee members and 21 names were on the list. I guess we could not count." This selected group ofCAS R alumni Surely this statement was on the minds of Oklahoma State University graduates took the initiative to develop the OSU Agriwhen the Agricultural Alumni Association cultural Alumni Association. A CASNR graduate was selected from was formed in 1983. For years, graduates of the College of each department to be a representative on Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources the committee and represent his or her disknew something must be done for alumni to cipline, said Webb. Wesley Holley, former executive secrestay connected with each other and their alma tary of the OSU Agricultural Alumni Assomater after commencement. Max Berry, a 1957 agricultural econom- ciation, contacted committee members to ics graduate and chairman of the "Commit- meet in his office to discuss a vision for the tee of Twenty," remembers how the Agri- association, Berry said. Lack of members and cultural Alumni Association became a reality. funding made the early going difficult. "Information was presented to us about "Our goal, as a committee, was to form other agricultural alumni associations around a common bond to bring agricultural alumni the nation," Berry said. "We felt the college, back to the college and show the bonds of students, and we, as alumni, were missing the students and agriculture," said Webb. Berry said the Agricultural Alumni Asout on opportunities that alumni at places like Purdue, Ohio State and Michigan State sociation knew what it wanted to accomplish, but the majority of the members at the time were taking advantage of." The "Committee of Twenty" was were farmers who didn't have a lot of time. ''.At first, we sent out mailings to in-state formed in 1983 to develop the CASNR Alumni Association. The committee actu- alumni, hoping they would come to meetings," Berry said. "But progress was slow." ally consisted of21 CASNR alumni. "Before the committee members were In 1983, 50 to 60 members were inselected, it was decided to be The Commit- volved in the association. The group grew to tee ofTwenty," said Dirk Webb, 1978 agri- more than 100 people in the second year cultural education graduate and member of when the charter was signed. "Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important or nearly impossible." -Edwin H Land

OSU Agricultural Alumni Association members enjoy good food and good conversation during the annual Homecoming barbewe Oct. 18, 2003. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

44 COWBOY JOURNAL

''.At the time, the committee members felt like there were many agricultural related fields, other than just farming, students were taking advantage of," Berry said. "These people were concerned with the future of agriculture, and they became the motivators of the association." During the past 20 years, the Agricultural Alumni Association has grown to more than 3,500 members. ow, on its 20th birthday, the OSU Agricultural Alumni Association has become what its founders aspired it to be. "Today, the alumni association is doing exactly what they set out to do 20 years ago," said Ed Miller, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources associate dean. "They are working for the students." Miller said the Agricultural Alumni Association has always had this vision, but during the last five years its goals have been met because of increased membership and motivated members. "The alumni association has always had the desire to do more for the students, but two things have limited it: budget and direction," said Miller. "Now, we have been able to accomplish things we have always wanted through increased membership." Holley, now the associate dean and asociate director of the College ofAgriculture at ew Mexico State University, said the alumni association is the key mechanism for communication among graduates. "The association keeps alumni informed about what is going on in the college," Holley said. "It plays a vital role in providing feedback to the college." Agricultural Alumni Association members not only advise the college about what is working well, but also they provide insight on changes that could be made for CAS R to evolve with the times, said Holley. Holley said the Agricultural Alumni Association has evolved into a vehicle that is dedicated to working for the students, as well as the college, by becoming a vital recruiting tool. "Over the last few years, the Agricultural Alumni Association has developed a consensus among board members by cen-


tering on supporting and recruiting students," said Holley. The Agricultural Alumni Association barbecue on Homecoming Saturday is an event that allows members to gather and share ideas about CASNR's future. "The barbecue gives alumni a chance to talk about what is good for the college

while enjoying themselves in a friendly atmosphere," said Linda Martin, CASNR assistant dean and the Agricultural Alumni Association executive secretary. The Agricultural Alumni Association has gained momentum through its members' increased involvement and this gives the association the opportunity to achieve its goals

of increased student involvement, she said. "We hope to get more feedback from our alumni about what is working and what could be better," Miller said. "We also would like to funnel more money to students via recognition programs, as well as make more opportunities available in career services through internships and job placement for our graduates." The vision the founders had in 1983 has allowed the OSU Agricultural Alumni Association to transform into the organization it has become today. "Everything we set out to do in 1983 is happening now," Miller said. "We are working for the students and the college is benefiting. Now we are focusing on how to make it better." Graduates seeking information about OSU Agricultural Alumni Association membership can inquire in 136 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078 or visit the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources' Web site at http:// www.casnr.com + By Jared Robison, Ringwood, Okla. Scott La ndgraf (left) and J ack Pritchard discuss the f uture of the Agricultural Alumni A ssociation. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

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Riding with Cowboy pride (co ntinued from page 29)

Jared Wiley (kneeling) and M eriruth Cohenour spend time together coordinating OSU spirit activities to make sure gameday experiences are enjoyable far all. (photo by Jamie Wherley)

The ultimate Cowboy (contin ued from page 28)

cause I know at night and on the weekend I'm going to be loaded down and not have time," said Wiley. Both Pulver and Wiley said they think being Pistol Pete will help them in the future because they have made beneficial contacts and have developed timemanagement skills. Anyone wanting to audition for Pistol Pete must be a full-time student with a 2.0 grade point average. In April, the society squares section in the Daily O'Collegian runs a notice for tryouts. "Everyone should try out," said Birdwell. "It is a highlight in the college experience. You get to live a part of the spirit and interact with kids." Students interested in trying out can call the spirit office in Gallagher-Iba Arena at (405) 744-8039. Any student is encouraged to try out. "Pistol Pete represents OSU more than just on Saturday ... more than just an ESPN highlight or anything like that," said Wiley. "Pistol Pete represents OSU to kids who are two years old to people who are 102. Pistol Pete is the essence of OSU. He represents OSU and its traditions." + By

"We are lucky because we can use the weight room with the athletes and we get a membership to a local athletic club for being Pistol Pete," said Pulver. At times, being a student may seem like a full-time job, but imagine also having to make 200 personal appearances a year at sporting events and private functions. Pistol Pete is paid a $25-per-hour fee and 32 cents per mile for all private events. "We go to private functions like birthday parties, weddings and graduations," said Wiley. Time management is one of Pulver's and Wiley's biggest issues. They must balance their class loads with all the other tasks they must do. "We are required by football Coach Les Miles to work out two times a week if we want to be on the field during a game," said Wiley. Pulver and Wiley must keep in contact with the spirit office and keep track of all their engagements by returning phone calls ore-mails. "To handle my class loads I get up in the morning, go to class, do reading and homework as soon as I can after class be- Ly nette Rushin, Mustang, Okla. 46 COWBOY JOURNAL

the horse, hundreds of people tell us Bullet is their favorite part of the whole game." "I love knowing I am carrying out such a beloved tradition," Cohenour said. After each game Bullet is taken back to the horse barn, where he lives and is cared for by the Spirit Rider and the ground crew. This year a change was made to the program -Stars Parr Money was retired. "Stars Parr Money was just getting too old," said Steven Cooper, OSU animal science assistant professor. "He was a great horse for OSU, and he played his part well. We felt he just needed to be retired." The new horse, Morgos Smokin Man, is a 5-year-old gelding purchased by the OSU Athletic Department. The new horse posed an additional challenge Cohenour has faced. "The biggest challenge was just not knowing what to expect," she said. "We had no idea how he would react on game day. It is hard to simulate 44,000 screaming fans." When the athletic department purchased the horse, he was already broke to ride. Last year's Spirit Rider, Jason Wright, also worked with him when he could, just to try to get him ready. Cohenour spent the summer working with him. The OSU Athletic Department supplies the rider and each member of the ground crew with their uniforms. The uniform consi ts of an orange shirt, black jeans, a black vest and black boots. The Spirit Rider is an important tradition to OSU, said Birdwell. There is a statue of the Spirit Rider in front of Gallagher-Iba Arena on the OSU campus. "Every morning when I drive up to work and see that statue, I feel a sense of pride overwhelm me," said Birdwell. Tryouts for the Spirit Rider are held each spring. The tryout consists of a written application, an analysis of horsemanship using OSU's geldings and an interview. "Although it is a time-consuming task, the sense of pride I feel every time I put on that uniform and get Bullet ready for the game makes up for all the hours I spend working with him," Cohenour said. "I will never forget this experience." + By Afton Jameson, Geary, Okla. One rider andfaur ground-crew members are selected each y ear. For more information about the Spirit Rider or trying out, call Cooper at (405) 744-6065.


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Students to professionals (continuedfrom page 19) because law requires that a designer must be a licenced engineer before the plan is used, said Paul Wedder, biosystems and agricultural engineering professor. In agricultural communications, agricultural education and other non-licensed disciplines, students' solutions can be directly adopted when professionals see fit. OSU students have contributed to a wide variety of professional endeavors directly and indirectly, said David Lewis, forestry professor and environmental science undergraduate program director. "Among the current projects that exist because of the work initially done by students are the White Paper Recycling program at OSU and the Stillwater Creek Project," Lewis said. Students also have made recommendations addressing issues including bio-mass emissions, composting at OSU's poultry facility, defining the feasibility of odor abatement relative to the Oklahoma Senate swine bill and identifying a volatile hydrocarbon contaminant in soil, said Lewis. Agricultural education students convert their education into practice while fulfilling the requirements included in AGED 4103 Methods and Skills in Teaching and Management in Agricultural Education. According to the OSU Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and 4-H Youth Development, agricultural education seniors must develop units ofinstruction and instructional teaching tools

Candi J ohnson (left), Kody Featherston and Kent E vatt are completing their maj ors focused in biomechanical engineering and w ill work closely with D itch Witch executives, Richard Sharp (second from right), research and develop ment project manager, and K evin Self, manager of research and develop ment, in developing a realworld solution far installing silt fences efficiently to avoid erosion around construction areas.

before they leave campus to begin 12 weeks of tudent teaching. From college freshmen to capstone seniors, OSU students overcome many challenges on their way from the Admissions Office to the other side of the GallagherIba Arena stage, he said. Some may return as industry professionals to add a real- world edge to future capstone experiences. Others could someday work as educators, creating their own courses that carry students through the transition from college to the working world.

Regardless of their backgrounds or fu ture prospects, students benefit from the solid ground capstone courses can provide during a time when questions are abundant. "Capstone courses help student focus on what they have accomplished academically and professionally while at OSU," said Miller. "Hopefully, the realization of the skills and capabilities they have developed helps bridge the gap between life as a student, the graduate's first job and ultimately a successful career." + By Sarah Fultz Prater, Stillwater, Okla.

peak season, the nursery employs 1,200 people in its facilities in Oklahoma, Texas and orth Carolina. In Oklahoma alone, Greenleaf produces more than 10 million liners and 8.5 million finished plants. These plants include 70 varieties of conifers, 570 varieties ofbroadleaf evergreens and deciduous shrubs, and 145 varieties of shade and flowering trees, Davis said. The diversity of plants the company produces has been one of the bigges t changes since he has worked there. "Diversity in plants has seen a huge change," Davis said. "People want something different. It's a real challenge to keep up." Greenleaf currently ships to 45 states and Canada. The company has enjoyed having a po sitive economic impact in ea stern Oklahoma, as w ell as in its other locations.

"It is one of Cherokee County's [Oklahoma] major industries with much of the revenue being paid out locally," Davis said. Greenleaf has followed the path of many ofits products by taking root and growing steadily. Davis looks for that growth to continue. "We're a company that believes in controlled growth," Davis said. "We're not interested in merger or acquisitions. [We're] not really the biggest, but our goal is to be one of the best. "I see us continuing to grow and prosper, and that's through controlled growth, good decision making, and planning," he said. ''I'd say the future looks bright for Greenleaf We've got a lot of good OSU graduates on hand and a good business plan. I'm really excited about Greenleaf for the future." + By J ustin D ay, Camargo, Okla.

A growing passion (continued from page 33) division in Park Hill. The facility creates a hwnidi.fied, temperature-controlled environment to maintain the high quality and vigor of trees. These constructions allowed Greenleaf to begin marketing its bare root trees and seedings in spring 1991. Greenleaf added another new location in 1997 when 295 acres ofland were purchased in Tarboro, .C . The Tarboro facility is a diverse, complete product line, a smaller version of the Oklahoma and Texas operations. Davis said the orth Carolina division was opened because of its closer locale to Greenleaf's eastern market. "We sell a lot of plant material in that area," Davis said. "We felt we could provide more for our customers by being there." Today, Greenleaf is the third largest nursery in the United States. During the 48 COWBOY JOURNAL


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Congratulations to the Agricultural Communications 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 Nikki and Derrick Graves 50 COWBOY JOURNAL


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

Profile for Cowboy Journal

Cowboy Journal v6n1  

Cowboy Journal Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2004, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Journal v6n1  

Cowboy Journal Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2004, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

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