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Handing over the reins of DASNR Sam Curl retires as dean and director His hands envelop those of the person he greets with a handshake. Large and strong, these hands have seen hard work in their years. Yet, they are full oflove for the work they do. After 41 years in university teaching, research and administration, including more than seven years at Oklahoma State University, Sam Curl is reti1ing as dean and director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "My parents were teachers, and I always wanted to be a teacher," said Curl. After completing his education, Curl took a position at Texas Tech University in the Department of Animal Science in September 1963, teaching animal physiology and genetics and conducting research with cattle and sheep. It was not long before he became involved with the administration of the university, moving into the role of assistant dean of research for the Texas Tech College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 1968. "After I went into administration, I continued my teaching and research role in the animal science department," said Curl. "Finally, as I moved through the levels of administration, demands on my time became great enough that I went into full-time administration." Curl's first position at OSU was during the 1972-73 academic year, serving as a special assistant to the president, a nine-month internship through the American Council on Education. Curl, one of 39 young administrators selected from across the country for the program, chose OSU President Robert Kamm to be his mentor, even though they had never met. "I knew about him by reputation," said Curl. "I knew that Dr. Kamm was one of the top university presidents in the United States, and I had great respect for Oklahoma State University." Curl said he really admired Kamm 's ability to work with people. "He also had an excellent knowledge of the maj or issues in high er education," said Curl. Kamm said the ACE program selected people who looked like promising candidates for higher administration and allowed them to 8 COWBOY JOURNAL

choose a university president to understudy for nine months. Don Wagner, head of the OSU Department ofAnimal Science, remembers Curl 's first timeat OSU. "When he interned in the 1970s, Dr. Curl was always visible because he was the tallest man on campus," said Wagner. Not only was Curl extremely tall, but Kamm said he was also very bright. "He was a very good student," said Kamm. "Years later we had the opportunity to take this bright young man and name him dean of the OSU Division ofAgriculture." Curl returned to Texas Tech at the end of his internship with a great appreciation for his timeatOSU. He continued to provide leadership to Texas Tech as the associate vice president of academic affairs for three years before returning to Oklahoma as the president of Phillips University in Enid. Curl remained there for three years before he was given the opportunity to become dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech. His love for agriculture helped Curl make the decision, and he remained dean at Texas Tech for almost 18 years before he was offered the position of DASNR dean and director atOSU. "I accepted this position because of the opportunity to provide statewide leadership in agricultural teaching, extension and research at a major land-grant university," said Curl. Curl's wife, Mary, said the move was a relatively easy one. "The people from OSU and Stillwater were so welcoming," she said. "They welcome new people and are eager to get them involved in the community." After he began his duties as dean, Curl and his wife traveled around Oklahoma to meet with the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service educators, experiment station employees, state commodity organizations, political leaders and other supporters of the division. "People were curious to know and hear what goals he had in mind for the division and his plans for the future," said Mary Curl. "It was a neat way of meeting people in the state."

As dean, Curl quickly got down to business, taking steps to move the division forward. The Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center was dedicatedjust days before he became dean and director. "Dr. Curl led FAPC through its initial embryonic stages and got it off to a good start," said Wagner. "He helped guide the program to the su ccess it has today." Curl also was instrumental in securing funds for the Willard Sparks Beef Research Center and su cceeded in relocating the new s,~~ne Teaching and Research Center, which will be completed in October 2004, said Wagner. "He helped us to overcome the obstacles that had previously kept the center from becoming a reality," said Wagner. The accomplishment ofwhich Curl is most proud is the establishment of a close, working relationship between DASNR and the Oklahoma agricultural industry, especially the establishment of the 45-member Dean 's Advisory Committee. The committee provides a forum for the dean, other DASNR administrators and faculty to meet with leaders in the agricultural industry and receive feedback and suggestions for improvement. "A strong agricultural college must have that kind of interaction ,~th the industry to ensure it is really operating on the cutting edge of science and technology and addressing the problems that are most critical in the industry," said Curl. Wagner said Curl did an excellent j ob of reaching out and getting to know people in the state legislature and in numerous commodity groups. "He was always very visible in the external community," said Wagner. This relationship was vital in helping tl1e division through the difficult financial times it faced during the past three year s. Despite these challenges, Curl worked to obtain the funding the division needs. "Through working with the state legislature, Congress, private groups and individuals, my goal was to help secure the funding we need to adequately support the division's highquality programs," said Curl. "For example, we have made an all-out effort in our work with the legislature to secure the necessary funds

Top: Sam Curl worked in Agricultural Hall for more than seven years. Center: Sam 's wife, Mmy, plays a supportive role in his life and ca,m: Sam and Mary Curl pose for a quick photo in the Food and Agrirultural Products Cen/e,: Bollom: Sam Curl finishes up pape,work in his office before his retirement in June. (Photos by Laura Bodell)


to restore extension's field staff to its previous level of operation prior to the severe reductions in state approp1iations we have struggled with during the past two years. "Most of our funding comes from the state, but we were also seeking increased federal support," said Curl. Despite the challenges, Curl remained positive about the growth and future of the division. "He always kept a smile on his face and was very proactive, believing that good things would come in tough times," said Wagner. And good things did come. External research grants and student enrollment expanded during Curl's tenure as dean, as did student retention and graduation rates. However, Curl would never take the credit for his accomplishments. Being a humble gentleman, he is always quick to shine the spotlight on someone else. "Dr. Curl is always about others, not about himself," said Wagner. "That is his persona. I've always admired him for not having a self-fulfilling ego as many administrators do." In addition to his humbleness, Mary Curl said her husband has been successful because of his integrity and compassion, along with his tendency to be a quiet, but deliberate, leader. "He believes you hire the right people and then let them do theirjob," she said. "He wants people to grow, to get better and to get the praise for their accomplishments." Sam Curl surrounded himself with people who were dedicated to the achievement of the division and helped them to be the best they could be. "I worked to provide the kind ofleadership that was needed to make the di,~sion successful by helping those around me to be successful," said Curl. "I took great pride in their achievements. We have a first-rate faculty and staff in which all Oklahomans can take pride." His open-door policy provided the groundwork for the strong relationships he has had with his faculty and staff. "You could always go see Dr. Curl on any item you wished to discuss," said Wagner. "He set aside several hours every month for faculty and staff to come in and talk about whatever they wanted to talk about. "I always appreciated the fact that he is a true gentleman, as well as a scholar - very professional and continually optimistic," said Wagner. Curl's ability to see the big picture and focus on the needs of the entire division also contributed to its development.

"He thinks big for the future and is able to lay the groundwork that people 10 years from now will appreciate," said Mary Curl. The future of the division will be in the hands of someone new after Sam Curl retires. Nonetheless, Curl has enjoyed his time as dean and director. "Itjustdoesn'tseem possible that the time has gone by so quickly," said Sam Curl. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my career, and time goes by quickly when you're having fun." He said his fondest memories of OSU are of the people he has had the privilege to know and work with both on and off campus. "I owe my colleagues through the years a deep debt of gratitude because they have really made my work enjoyable and fulfilling," said Curl. Like any good leader, Curl fulfilled the duties of his position 1ight up until the day he retired. He said he is open to assisting the new dean in any way he can. "I will be pleased to provide any assistance I can that is requ ested by the new dean and director," said Curl. "The transition period between deans is always important." Although he said he will miss being involved with a university on a day-to-day basis, Curl plans to engage in part-time consulting activities, as well as pursue other professional and business interests. "Mary and I plan to be very busy," he said. The Curls also plan to spend time traveling domestically and internationally. They have visited several countries in Europe and would like to return and spend more time there. Here in the United States, the Curls are building a house 20 miles from the farm where Sam Curl was raised near Tolar, Texas. Their new home is situated near Lake Granbury and the Brazos Rive1~ both great places for Sam Curl to fish and Mary Curl to develop her passion for photography. The location is also much closer to their children and grandchildren. Mary Curl said once the new house is finished, they plan to entertain fam ily and friends often. Though Sam Curl's hands will no longer provide constant guidance to DASNR, they will remain busy. Busy with some work, but also with the little pleasures in life, like reeling in a big catch , turning the page of a good book, or holding his grandchild's hand. Nonetheless, his hands will continue providing love and strength to those whose lives he touches.+ By Laura Bodell, Sherwood Park,

Alberta, Canada

••• ... a mother sat next to her three children and is majoring in biochemistry. She plans to as they lie quietly, hanging on her every word. graduate in May 2006. These students must make sacrifices daily She magically recites the last of their favorite bedtime story and kisses them on the tops of to accomplish their personal goal of becoming college graduates. their tiny heads. "There are small things I know I will miss With a quiet sigh she puts her children to bed and sits down in a small plastic chair at its because I am at school," said Megan Bible. "The matching table. Laying The Billy Goats Gruff first time my son crawls or walks will probably be down, she picks up a textbook and begins her to his babysitter and not to his momma." Although sacrifices must be made, someown nightly ritual. This mother is 26-year-old Carrie Leach, times the sacrifices come at the expense of an Oklahoma State University agricultural com- coursework, not family time. On a typical day in munications senior. The three sleeping chil- the Leach home, coursework is not even started dren are the driving force behind Leach's de- until all the children are in bed. There are times when being a stutermination to be a dent and doing college graduate. homework is the fur"I've been go"Some nights I am not a thest thing from ing to school since student at all," said Leach. Leach's mind. my son Tyler, now "Some nights I 7, was 4 months "I'm just a mom." am not a student at old. He laughs now all," said Leach. 'Tm and reminds me we will be graduating this year," said Leach. "In all just a mom." The spouses of non-traditional students honesty, we will because he has been there take on responsibilities that were probably never with me through it all." Leach not only attends class, but also runs imagined when they took their marriage vows. back and forth between two daycare centers Josh Bible and Clint Leach agree supporting and an elementary school each morning. In an their wives in their decision to attend school average day, Leach travels 100 miles to leave was always first priority. "Clint gets the opportunity to play Mr. her children at their respective destinations and get to classes. Leach and her husband, Mom while I am at school, especially when I Clint, have been together for eight years, and he is the chief of police in Coyle, Okla. Carrie Leach said she goes to school so her children can have opportunities she didn't have as a child. Having one parent in school can be a source of physical and financial stress for a family. But when both parents attend school full time, new challenges arise.Josh and Megan Bible, both 22, attend classes at OSU and have an 11-month-old son,Jayden. While attending classes full-time, the Bibles have little room for jobs outside of school or home.Josh Bible started his student teaching experience this fall and is challenged with how he will support his family. Policy in the agricultural education program barsJosh from working while he is student teaching. Megan Bible is starting her second semester back to school after the birth of their son

have evening classes," Leach said. "But Clint's biggest contribution was giving me the opportunity to go to school and him to support us financially; it really meant a lot to me that he would do that." While the students who start college as 18-year-old high school graduates are still OSU's dominant population, students with spouses and children are filtering back into the educational system. To these students, the chance to return to school means a better income for their families and a new outlook on life for themselves. Advisers in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources are now enrolling students with families in classes that correspond with their children 's schedules. Professors also are making class policies to help accommodate these student-parents, such as special attendance policies and allowing students to bring a child to class if necessary. Jerry Fitch, animal science professor and coordinator of undergraduate animal science advising, said the most important job for an adviser is to get these students the schedules they need. "We try to make the classes fit as closely as possible with the children's schedules so parents can take their children to school and be there when they get out," said Fitch.

Carrie Leach has learned to manage her time so she is able to spend quality time with her three children: (left) Tyler, 7; Bailey, 2; and Lane, 4. (Photo by Lacy Curry)


Josh and Megan Bible are finally adjusting to life as two students and a baby. He works at Stillwater Milling from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. two nights a week to support his family. "The hardest part ofworking wasn't that I clidn'tgettostartmyhomeworkuntil 11 o'clock, but thatjayden was asleep when I got home, and I barely got to see him at all that day," he said. Deciding to have a child in college can be a hard decision to make, and sometimes that decision is made by a higher power, said Megan Bible. But both families agree on one basic idea: Even if they could, they would not replace the opportunity to be parents. It is not uncommon to see Carrie Leach passing around the latest pictures of her children to her classmates, or to hear Megan Bible telling her class about her son's latest accomplishment.Josh and Megan Bible said they are proud they have an opportunity to shape their son's life and the motivation to provide the best life possible for him. "I may sacrifice my money, and sometimes my school work, but one thing I will never sacrifice is my love for my kids," Leach said. "They should be the ones to get my diploma because it is all for them." These individuals are not just students,

Josh and Megan Bib/,e make an extra effort to spend time with their I I-month-old son, Jayden. (Photo by Lacy Curry)

nor are theyjust parents. They are heroes who pull 24-hourshifts with school,jobs and family responsibilities. Leach said these students don 't give up when things get hard; theyjust keep on working toward their goals. The day they finish their degrees and will

be able to call OSU their "alma mater" is only a semester or two away; then they can live

i1cqoJof4t wer after. + By Lacy Curry, Stratford, Okla.

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six graduate students are examining burning only one section of a pasture at a time. This means cattle do not have to be moved and may graze the remainder of the unburned pasture. It also allows for natural grazing rotation as the cattle will gravitate toward the newly burned area and allow other areas to grow. "We are also patch burning late into the summer months so farmers can see new growth later into the fall," said Fuhlendorf. "This allows them to graze their cattle longer and save money on feed in the fall." By burning only patches of a pasture, a diverse environment is created. Different parts of the land are at different growth stages, providing a variety of different ecosystems. "All wildlife species have their own niche that allows them to successfully reproduce and survive," said Davis. "So by having a very diverse environment you are able to provide more niches for more species." This research is generating knowledge to better the environment and save wildlife, but how is it helping the people of Oklahoma? Several answers to that question may result in millions of dollars to the Oklahoma economy, said Coston. Ranchers are seeing increased forage amounts and rates of gain in their livestock operations. OSU researchers were able to get average daily gains of nearly 2.8 pounds per day from cattle grazing on lands managed with patch-burning practices. That is better than most beef gain averages on lands managed with traditional burn methods, said Fuhlendorf. Input costs also are reduced with patchburning as less labor, less transportation of cattle and less feed are required for cattle kept in patch-burned pastures. Additionally, diversity

also applies to the insect community that bird species need for feeding. As a result, birds are able to have a more diverse diet, and soils and plant life are improved by the insects as well, said Davis. "Restoring the tallgrass prairie is important to me. It has supported my family for five generations," saidJane Croger, a cattle rancher from Matfield, Kan. "If ranchers can make money while restoring the prairie, it's the best ofboth worlds." Ranchers are not the only people who can benefit from patch-burning techniques. Land owners who are employing the technique have seen a dramatic increase in wildlife populations and are capitalizing on nature. Jim Bill Anderson of Canadian, Texas, has started a birdwatching business on his ranch. "Bird watching is the No. 1 outdoor pastime in America," said Anderson. "My visitors are friendly, courteous and conscious ofnature. Theyjust want to see the birds." Companies such as Anderson's increase awareness about the endangered birds of the grasslands and are helping to save them. The business angle also allows Anderson to earn profits from his land in a new way. Others are now leasing their land and allowing hunting of game species during designated seasons. It is still important to keep thriving species at appropriate population levels so they do not overtake the other birds, said Davis. Some small towns are even taking things one step further and creating entire parks dedicated to the appreciation of nature. The creation of parks and bird-watching reserves has jumpstarted a new industry many refer to as "ecotourism."

Cherokee, Okla., a town ofl,700 people in western Oklahoma, has seen an incredible increase in tourism and economic growth since opening the Cherokee Nature Park. The park showcases birds and natural wetlands and is in close proximity to the Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. Tourists can visit two different parks within mere miles. "By emphasizing stewardship of the land, wildlife preservation and ecotourism, we can help keep rural communities from emptying out and disappearing," said Coston. The knowledge gained in OSU's patchburning research is proving to be valuable to ranchers and rural residents. Those interested in learning about the new techniques can contact their county's Oklahoma Cooperative Ex- 路 tension Service office for information and a schedule ofseminars about properly using the new technique. This research continues to raise new questions every day, and OSU researchers anticipate it will be a long-term project that will continue to evolve into new areas of grassland preservation. Chief Seattle said humans did not weave the web oflife; man is merely a thread. However, OSU scientists and their collaborators are doing all they can to mend and strengthen the web so it is preserved for future generations. + By Tracy Hanger, Chandler, Ariz.

Page 13: OSU conducts a controlled bum to manage Eastern R.ed Cedar near Stillwater. (Photo by Terry Bidwell) Below: Controlled bums create lush spring pastures for the OSU Angus herd to graze near Stillwater. (Photo by Tracy Hanger)


hough ts of Christmas trees and preen ts are beginning to creep into he hearts of children; parents are starting to stress about Christmas lists, and holiday decor will line store shelves within weeks. With the thoughts of the approaching season, one Enid woman is still relishing in the joy of her Christmas present last year-a present that will continue to give year after year. The family of94-year--Old Marjorie Homer Andrews presented her with a $40,000 scholarship endowment in her name last Christmas. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduate student in the OSU Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. It will initially be a $2,000 renewable award. "We thought of the gift because of a $20,000 endowment presented to the department from the Enid [Okla.] Council of Garden Clubs," said Milton Andrews, Marjorie's son. Marjorie Andrews, president of the orga-

nization, said the club has provided students from Enid and Garfield County with scholarships for many years. The members decided that with some of their remaining money they would create the endowment to ensure the scholarships would be available each year. "Because of the scholarships given by the Enid Council of Garden Clubs, her family realized how important scholarships were to Marjorie," said Doug Needham, floriculture professor and chairman of the department's scholarship committee. After learning of the garden club endowment, Milton Andrews presented the idea to his family and began speaking with Milford Jenkins, former senior director of development for the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.Jenkins presented the family with a number of ideas, including developing an award, creating a scholarship or naming gardens after her. They settled on the graduate scholarship and presented it to Marjorie as her Christmas gift. "It was a very thoughtful way for the family to enable Marjorie's legacy to be carried on at OSU and in the horticulture department through assisting the education of others," saidJenkins. Milton Andrews said the family wanted something to honor her permanently while helping others at the same time. "It's a way to publicly announce our fondness for Marjorie while ensuring her name and accomplishments are remembered throughout the horticulture community for years to come," said Andrews. Marjorie Andrews was introduced to gardening and basic horticulture by her grandparents when she was young. "I've been doing [gardening] ever since I can remember," she said.

When she began, people had to send for mail-order seeds. She said she would get so excited when the packages arrived. These early days started a great love that shaped Marjorie Andrews' life. She learned the many nuances of horticulture with a trial-and-error approach, short courses at OSU and her early employment. Her first job was helping a friend who owned a greenh ouse. She then worked at a retail farm store where she had to learn the differences in the seeds, fertilizers and environments to help the customers make the best decisions for their lawn and garden needs. She later began working for the Enid State School as the horticulturist. There she managed three greenhouses in which she grew all the plants to landscape the campus. She loved the work she was doing. "I was probably the only state worker who would have worked for nothing," she said. She shared her passion for gardening with others byjoining many ornamental flower organizations. She is a charter member and served as president of the Central Garden Club, the Oklahoma Gladiolus Society, the North Central Iris Society, the Enid Rose Society and the Enid Council of Garden Clubs. These clubs participated in beautification projects in their respective areas. They also sponsored contests at the county fair to promote horticulture's benefits. "Working with flowers has helped her have a positive attitude about life and the world," said Kay Shaughnessy,

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Hunt clinches top senior honors Students excel on the college, university levels Four years oflong study hours, countless committee and club meetings, and undivided devotion to the Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has paid off for 10 students. On a spring night when the college presented $713,500 in scholarships, these 10 seniors received CASNR's top awards. Landon Hunt, a Grandfield, Okla., native, took Outstanding Senior honors. "While at Oklahoma State University, I decided I wanted to make a difference both in the college of agriculture and on the OSU campus," said Hunt. Hunt has done just that since he enrolled at OSU in August


On the college level, he served as the

2003-04 Agricultural Student Council president, having been involved with the council since his first semester. Other positions he held included freshman representative, Dean's Volleyball Tournament coordinator, homecoming coordinator, reporter and vice president of business affairs. Hunt also has been a member of Collegiate Farm Bureau and the National Agri-Marketing Association. "During childhood I fell in love with not only agriculture, but also the agricultural lifestyle," said Hunt. "The agricultural lifestyle has taught me not only how to work, but also how to treat people with respect and dignity." This respect and dignity followed Hunt as he participated in clubs, groups and events outside ofCASNR. One ofHunt's top OSU accomplishments was being crowned as the 2003 OSU Homecoming King. Hunt, afour-yearmemberofAlpha Gamma Rho fraternity, also was involved with Orange Peel, Camp Cowboy, YMCA and Adopt-A-Highway, as well as the Big Event and Into the Streets community service projects. "Selection as the top CASNR senior is a perfect ending to a college career that provided me with not only a top-notch education, but also provided me with valuable leadership opportunities," said Hunt. Hunt is not the only senior to receive a top education and leadership opportunities. Elizabeth Kinney of Mooreland, Okla. , also was selected as one of the top five seniors inCASNR Kinney said her experiences at OSU have been guided by her father's words: "Don't forget your roots." Kinney said even though many of her activities have taken her outside of CASNR, her roots remain in agriculture. "Since my involvement in 4-HandFFAas a youth , my roots have been firmly planted in agriculture and OSU," said Kinney. "They will be with me wherever I go." Kinney plans to travel this fall to the United Kingdom to pursue a Master of Arts in international journalism. Kinney's involvement with the National

FFAAssociation, StudentAlumni Board, OSU President's Posse, Student Government Association, Agricultural Communicators ofTomorrow, "SUNUP" television program and KWTVN ews 9 has prepared her for such a journey abroad. Another top CASNRsenior is Eric Stroud, a native ofAlva, Okla. Stroud finds himself filled with pride when he reflects on his impressions ofOSU and CASNR. "I think of the CASNR commitment to teaching, research and public service," Stroud said. "I think of the community of students and professors, the pioneering spirit and the Cowboy philosophy of hard work, integrity and honor." Stroud has been active in several organizations throughout the college, university and community: Aggie-X, YMCA, Into the Streets, OSU Student Alumni Association, Alpha Zeta and Phi Kappa Phi. Jeffrey Steichen of Perry, Okla.,joins the top five list. Steichen said his top accomplishments consist of maintaining a 4.0 GPA, being elected president of a social fraternity and being a Top 20 Freshman Man. "After leaving high school, I felt that there was more that I could have done," said Steichen. "I was determined not to have the same feeling after leaving college. I feel I will truly be able to look back on my Oklahoma State experience and say I have no regrets."

L andon H unt embraces his mother, Diana, af ter being named 2004 CASNR Outstanding Senior. (Photos above and at left by L ori Peck)

Comin g into O SU, Steichen set goals fo r himself. He wanted to have a strong GPA, be successful in class, be involved and learn as much as he could. He used these goals to thrust him into the To p 20 Freshman honors and to continue to be active throughout his collegiate career. J amie J ohnson of Wyandotte, Okla., completes the top five senior list.Johnson said she believes her experien ces both Landon Hunt, center, receives the CASNR Outstanding Senior award from educationally and p ersonally Paul and M ary Hummer (on left of Hunt) along with Dean Sam Curl (jar left) and Hunt 's parents, Diana and Chris H unt (right of Hu nt). (Photo while at OSU have given her a by Lori Peck) well-rounded education. "Because I have taken advantage of opportunities, I can begin my proThe 2003-04 Top Five Dean Fred LeCrone fessional endeavors with poise and confiCASNR seniors are devoted to their college, university and communities, as are the rest of dence," saidJ ohnson. Some of the opportunities of which the Top 10 seniors: Laneha Beard, Cheyenne Wells, Colo.; Ryan Roper, Weatherford, Okla.; Johnson has taken advantage include Mortar Board Honor Society, President's Leadership Brady Sidwell, Goltry, Okla.;Jeremy Unruh, Perry, Okla.; and Autumn Williams, Calera, Okla. Council, CASNR Agricultural Ambassador, Alpha Zeta and the Oklahoma Agricultural Other awards presented at the CASNR Leadership Encounter. Awards Banquet included the Outstanding "Being selected as a CASNR top senior is Freshman, Ashley Boggs, Cyril, Okla.; the Outtruly an honor because I believe CASNR has a standing Adviser,] oe Schatzer, agricultural economics; OutstandingTeacher,JeffHattey, plant strong desire to provide agricultural opportunities for the personal developmen t of its and soil sciences; and Outstanding Support students," saidJohnson. Staff, Gerry Smith, entomology and plant pathology. By Lori Peck, Sentinel, Okla.





Agricultural EconomicsJ Accounting The 2004 CASNR Top 10 Seniors include: (front from kf t) Laneha Beard, Cheyenne Wells, Colo.; Autumn Williams, Calera, Okla.; Jamie J ohnson, Wyandotte, Okla.; Elizabeth Kinney, Mooreland, Okla.; (back) Brady Sidwell, Goltry, Okla.; Jeffrey Steichen, Perry, Okla. ; Landon Hun t, Grandfield, Okla.; R yan Rof1er, Weatherford, Okla.; J eremy Unruh, Perry, Okla.; and Eric Stroud, Alva, Okla. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

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'Before the job' training Hands-on classes simulate real-world experience When alumni from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources speak, faculty members listen. And alumni continually provide a clear message for professors: When students receive hands-on experience in a class, their personal and professional skills benefit. Based on this message, several CASNR professors have shaped their course cunicula to better simulate a real-world experience. Dan Tilley, agricultural economics professor, is one faculty member who bought into this concept of experiential learning. He developed the AGEC 4423 Advanced Agribusiness Management course in 1990 and teaches it each fall. "Basically, it's a class on how to develop a business plan," said Tilley. Students who enroll in his course will not find themselves in a traditional lecture-style class, though. Instead, students divide into small groups and spend the semester working with a company that is considering a change of some sort, whether expansion, growth in a new industry or an increase in a product line. "It could be any business, from equipment manufacturing companies to hunting lodges, or food products like wine or cheese manufacturing," said Tilley. "You never know who you're going to get from year to year." The agribusiness course isn't the only one of its kind being taught within CASNR. Agricultural communications students may enroll in AGCM 4403 Planning Campaigns in Agriculture and Natural Resources, a course designed to teach the basics of building a communications plan for a client's business. Jodi Nichols, an agricultural communications senior from Oktaha, Okla., was a student in this course during Spring 2003, the first semester it was offered. "Our team pinpointed the most specific issue facing our client's business, and then we walked through each step of the problem-solving process," said Nichols. ''We created a whole new promotional plan for our client, and we learned so much about the strategic-planning process." Tilley said there are numerous benefits to this non-traditional style of teaching.

"By the time they are juniors and seniors, students have been lectured to a lot. As a faculty [member], you have to be willing to say, 'Sometimes practical applications may be more beneficial,'" he said. Shelly Sitton, assistant professor of agricultural communications and teacher of the campaigns class, said she agrees. "Courses like this push students,'' said Sitton. "But they're also the ones students look back on and say, 'Wow, rm glad I did that!'when they are finished." Tripp Bushnell, a 2000 agricultural communications graduate, is one of many guest lecturers Sitton invites into her classroom to explain how to build a communications plan. Bushnell lives in Dallas and works as acreative director at the TPN advertising agency, but he makes the trip back to OSU because he values the benefits of this style of teaching. "This type of class sets students up for what's out there in the marketplace," Bushnell said. "Alotofyoungpeople who enter the industry fail because they are overwhelmed, and that's where this type of class helps." Students in the

campaigns course have worked with several non-profit businesses, including the Oklahoma Pecan Growers' Association, Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom, the Agricultural Alumni Association and the state's Rural Development Office. Faculty encourage alumni to offer their businesses as clients for these courses. Sitton said pairing teams of students with clients and alumni creates a positive experience for both parties. ''Yes, we give students grades, but so much of what they do is totally student- and clientdriven,"said Sitton. "They're not reporting back to faculty as much as they're accountable to their client, and that accountability raises the bar. I am all about raising the bar so students are ready to meet the needs of employers when they graduate." Paul Weckler, assistant professor of bi<>&)'Stems and agricultural engineering, knows about the importance of preparing students for their jobs after graduation. He teaches the department's senior-level engineering design class, a yearlongcourse where students adopt a client


and develop a solution to an actual industrial problem. "I spent eight years in private industry working as an engineer after I got my Ph.D. here at OSU, and I know what students do out in the real world," he said. "During the senior design experience, we get past the textbook theory and deal with real-life examples. " Because the biosys tems and agricultural engineering department is smaller than most, only seven students enrolled in the class in 2003-04. Students created one three-person and one four-person team, and each team chose one engineering project from a list of potential clients Weckler developed. "One group selected to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and eventually created a plan to build a man-made island in the Arkansas River as a nesting habitat for an endangered species of bird," said Weckler. The group's hard work and planning paid off in the form of second place in a national design competition, and each team member received a trip to Las Vegas and a share of a $1,000 prize. This method of developing teamwork and critical thinking skills is just one of the benefits of this style of teaching, said Tilley. "What I ask students to do is take all the skills they have learned from individual classes like accounting and marketing and use them collectively. That's much more challenging for them than simply learning new material for an upcoming test," said Tilley. Industry professionals said the finished

Students in the AGCM 4403 Planning Campaigns in Agriculture and Natural Resources course spend many hours working on projects in the computer lab. The semester-long class concludes with a 20-minute presentation for clients and fellow classmates. At that time, clients receive sample Web sites, brochures, newsletters and other promotional materials for their organization 's use. Several of the projects created in the campaigns class, as well as projects from the agribusiness and agricultural engineering courses, are implemented by business owners and non-profit organizations statewide. Alumni who wish to volunteer their company or organization for one of these classes should call Shelly Sitton, Dan Tilley or Paul Weck/er at (405) 744-5395. Danna Kelemen (left ) of Georgetown, Texas, Kinsey Westwood of Claremore, Okla., and Macay Bolay of Perry, Okla., prepare brochures for their client. (Photos by Marcy Grundmann)


plans developed by the students are worth the extra effort. Ken Starks, an OSU agricultural economics alumnus and president of BancFirst of Stillwater, served on a committee oflocal bankers to review plans developed in Tilley's class. After listening to each group's presentation and evaluating the team 's research and ideas, Starks provided a decision on whether the plan would receive a bank's funding in a real-world scenario. "I was impressed with the presentations overall," said Starks. "I receive similar requests every day from people who are looking to start their own businesses, and the students exhibited a complete knowledge and a sense of entrepreneurship often rare in new companies." Instead of presenting to bankers, students in Nichols' group presented to their client, staff members ofOklahomaAg in the Classroom. "Our clients were thrilled with the plans we created, and that's a tribute to this college and our major," said Nichols. "All four members of our team had the background knowledge and skill base to provide high-quality finished products." Once the final presentations are delivered to clients, the positive repercussions of these projects don 't stop for the students. Nichols said she uses the materials her team developed in her professional portfolio, showcasing to potential employers the range of her growing skills package. Tilley's students also are using their finished plans to help find jobs after graduation.

"Employers who see these plans are impressed with the student's capabilities," said Tilley. 'They say, That's the kind of employee we need,' and that's the kind offeedback I like to hear." He has high hopes for developing more classes like these in the future. "My vision is to have a class where agricultural communications students are working on a company's communication issues, agricultural engineers are working on the engineering problems, and agricultural economists are working on the business plan for a company,'' said Tilley. "All three would have to work together, because that's the way the real world works." Although he's a long way from developing these future courses, he is proud of the work his current students are doing. "Our students can improve the businesses we are working with, and when those businesses improve, so does the state of Oklahoma," said Tilley. "As long as our students are working toward learning these skills, we are moving in the right direction ." And as long as alumni continue to assist faculty in deciding what skills are most pertinent in the work force , faculty will continue to listen and work hard to prepare their students.

+ By Marcy Grundmann, Shawnee, Okla.

Note: The courses mentioned in this story are a sampling of the experiential-learning classes offered through CASNR. Advisers can help students determine classes that will be most applicable to their major.

The 'Firsts' Lady Bradl,ey makes history in the livestock industry In fifth grade, Minnie Lou Ottinger told her parents she was going to attend Oklahoma A&M and participate on the livestockjudging team. Commonplace for a girl today, but it was unheard of in the early 1940s. Raised on a wheat stock farm near Hydro, Okla. , Minnie Lou attributes her passion for livestock to her young uncle Ted Ottinger, who was involved in FFA. At the age of nine, she began showing lambs and pigs at the local fair as a 4-H member. When she was old enough to handle cattle, she started a small herd of Angus. A highlight of her showing career was having the reserve grand champion Angus steer at the 1949 Oklahoma State Fair and reserve champion steer at the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo., in the same year. "I went to every livestock field day and juniorjudging event My daddy hauled me many miles to events," said Minnie Lou. "I practiced every chance I could. I read books on how to judge livestock. I did everything I could to be on the judging team." Minnie Lou successfully exhibited livestock and judging skills at 4-H events. At the time, women were not allowed to participate in FFA. Nonetheless, success seemed to follow the determined young woman, as she was a member of an Oklahoma state champion basketball team in 1948 and received the Hydro High School Outstanding Senior award in 1949. Minnie Lou was born in 1931 in her family home in Hinton, Okla. Her father, Ralph Thomas Ottinger, was in road construction, and her mother, Zulema Young Ottinger, was a school teacher. Neither of her parents had a formal education, but they did encourage their children to attend college. Minnie Lou, her two sisters and her brother graduated from OklahomaA&M. In the fall of 1949, five years after World War II, Minnie Lou was a freshman at OklahomaA&M. She recalls a lot of older men were in college at the time because of the GI Bill of Rights. During her first semester, Minnie Lou told Glen Bratcher, livestock judging coach, she wanted to be on the livestock judging team. "He said 'If you are good enough to be on the team, I will let you be on it,'" she said. "Once he said I could be on the team ifl was good enough, that was my goal. I thought, 'Well, ifl just work hard enough .. .' "

Minnie Lou stayed busy with school and recalls taking 18 hours most semesters. What Minnie Lou did not know was that she would be one of the first women to enter the college of agriculture and get a degree in animal husbandry and the first woman to judge on the OklahomaA&M livestockjudging team. Naive to the fact she would make history for the future of women at Oklahoma State University, Minnie Lou credits these experiences to her success. Her first win was the McArthur Award for being the top beef cattle judge at the 1951 OklahomaA&M Block and Bridle contest. She practiced for the livestock judging team and made the traveling team. She had earned the points to judge at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. After posting the points, Bratcher called her in and explained she had the points to travel, but she could not go because she was a girl. "I was really hurt," said Minnie Lou. After preparing for the next show in Ft. Worth, Texas, Bratcher called Minnie Lou into his office again to explain she had the points to go. He had agreed she could be on the team if she was good enough, so he was going to let her judge at the Ft. Worth Stock Show. She recalls what animal husbandry department head Al Darlow said at the time. '"You are the first woman on the team, and you could be the last,"' said Minnie Lou, with a reflective laugh. "He did not put any pressure on me." But the Ft. Worth Stock Show was not her last. In October 1952, Minnie Lou was the high individual beef cattle judge at the American Royal and seventh overall. In November 1952, the team traveled to Chicago for the International Livestock Show. "As they announced results, Mr. Bratcher told me, 'I had rather you be last than second,"' said Minnie Lou. When the results were announced, Minnie Lou was the first woman to be named high-point individual at the International Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest in Chicago, having earned 901 points out ofl ,000 possible points. Minnie Lou had beaten 180 male collegiate judges. In Chicago, she was named "Girl Pioneer." As a result of her accomplishments, Minnie Lou was named to Gov.Johnston Murray's staff

Minnie Lou Ottinger Bradley raises Angus bulls on the Bradley 3 Ranch in Memphis, Texas. (Photo by Tom Higley, Southwest Photography )

as honorary colonel and was featured on national television programs for breaking barriers for women in animal husbandry. In 1953, Minnie Lou graduated from Oklahoma A&M with a bachelor's degree in animal husbandry and a minor in agricultural journalism. After graduation, Minnie Lou became the first woman to serve as assistant executive secretary of the Texas Angus Association in Ft. Worth, Texas. In 1955, Minnie Lou married Bill Bradley, a 1953 animal husbandry graduate she met at OklahomaA&M. With help from Bill's father, Rusty Bradley, the newlyweds were able to purchase a ranch in Childress County, Texas. The original ranch was 3,300 acres of West Texas rolling prairies and grasslands. At the time, they ran Hereford cattle. After listening to Minnie Lou talk about Angus cattle , Rusty, the elder Bradley, said, "You buy some of those black Angus bulls to put on these Hereford cows." Although they raised "black baldies" for a time, for the past 40 years, the ranch has raised only purebred Angus cattle. Minnie Lou has managed the ranch and approximately 400 registered Angus cows for 49 years. In the early 1960s, Minnie Lou was one of the first charter members of the Performance Registry International. She recalls the idea of keeping performance records on cattle herds was unheard of at the time and too far fetched to imagine. "We were considered the weird ones," said Minnie Lou. In addition to quality cattle, the Bradleys raised two children, Monte Jack and Mary Lou.

(continued on page 46) COWBOY JOURNAL 21

OSU Forest Resources Center works to promote forest--llJS!l!ยงtry


ucked away in the forest near Idabel, Okla., the Oklahoma State University Forest Resources Center plays a vital role in one of the state 's most overlooked agricultural industries. Originally, the center was established by OSU as a horticulture research station. In the early 1960s, the forestry department took responsibility for the center and began forestry research activities. "The No. 1 benefit is location," said Craig McKinley, head of the OSU Department of Forestry. "Situated in the forestry region of Oklahoma, it provides a focal point to have the resources needed to carry out forestry research." Resting on 160 acres, OSU owns the station and shares management duties with the Oklahoma Department ofAgriculture, Food and Forestry Services. Initially, the Oklahoma State Department of Forestry relied on the Forest Resources Center to develop a genetic program to improve seed sources for native pine trees and to make

trees available to Oklahoma landowners. Over time, the center shifted gears from a production-based unit to developing a more research- and instruction-based center, said Bob Heinemann , OSU Forest Resources Center superintendent. This change brought research studies in areas such as physiology, water-quality issues and forest reproduction, while at the same time managing to branch out in other areas. "Now, a bullet of our responsibility is to facilitate on-going research efforts on campus that are actually located here in the timberbelt region of the state," said Heinemann. "What makes our research station different than the other research centers in the state is that our station is directly associated with the forestry department at OSU." The OSU Forestry Department works jointly with the center to conduct research and provide educational opportunities for students. The center is home to many graduate projects that are maintained and implemented on site. Also, students take class field trips to

explore the projects and experiments at the center and visit the forest region of the state. The station has welcomed students from the OSU forestry and zoology departments, as well as students from other state institutions. In return, students are able to view projects at the station and gain hands-on experience. "The Forestry Research Center is a part of who we are and what we do," said McKinley. "It is viewed as an integral part of the forestry department and as important as any other segment of the program ." The center has international visitors as well. It has hosted a week-long tour for the Chinese Minister of Forestry and his entourage. The group learned about the center and different forestry techniques used in Oklahoma. Country representatives from Thailand, Belgium, South Africa, Tasmania, Argentina and India have also visited the station. The educational opportunities at the center are not limited to field trips. Interested college students can complete internships at the center. The most recent intern at the center was Christofe Sicard, a student from the University of Leone in France. Sicard learned about new technologies that deal with global positioning systems. Because of his internship experience, Sicard has had numerous opportunities to work with forestry companies in France. Educational opportunities also reach beyond the college level. The staff conducts forestry workshops with students ranging from elementary school to high school, as well as home-schooled students. In fact, one week each summer is designated for the forestry natural resources camp during which each researcher at the station teaches his or her own workshop. The center has hosted activities for 4-H and FFA students, including the state 4-H forBob Heinemann (left), OSU Forest Resources Center superintendent, examines the life rings of a tree on a f resly cut piece of wood. Foresters refer to wood slices as "cookies. " (Photos by Amy Howe)


estry competion and wildlife habitat evaluation program. It also helps students prepare for forestry and wildlife contests. Dennis Wilson, fisheries and wildlife biologist at the station, has worked with Boy Scout members to help them earn badges by advising them in creating a bluebird trail at the center and banding giant Canada geese. 'Working at the station is not your typical nine-to-five job," said Wilson. "Day-to-day activities are just a reflection of what is going on outside." Wilson said employees must be willing to work in harsh environmental conditions because much of their research at the station hinges on the weather on any given work day.

"Unlike most jobs, we work harder on a rainydaymonitoringdifferentwatersheds than on a sunny day." One of the main projects the center is working on now is in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service. Randy Holeman, research specialist, and Keith Anderson, field technician, are involved in a CPS project that will create a map of the entire road system of the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma. "Projects at the center vary all the time," said Holeman. "They are not limited to the state of Oklahoma." The events and projects taking place at the center have expanded and will continue to grow.

'We are the representative for the forest industry in Oklahoma, as well as for OSU, and a lot of the larger forestry projects would be impossible without this research facility," said Heinemann. The OSU Forestry Resources Center matches the trunks of the hardy Oklahoma trees while anchoring the state 's third largest agricultural industry and creating a solid foundation for future growth. + By Amy Howe,

Lindsay, Okla. For information about the OSU Forestry Resources Center, call (580) 286-5175 or for the OSU Forestry Department,(405) 744-5438.


Cowboys choose success CASNR recognizes 2003-04 Distinguished Alumni What do electric cooperatives and blow molding have in common? Positive support of agricultural producers and two Oklahoma State University College ofAgricultural Sciences and Natural Resources alumni who work with them: Larry Watkins and Don Peters. Recognized as the 2003 CASNR distinguished alumni, Watkins and Peters expertise in their respective areas, along with dedicated service to the improvement of agriculture, prompted their selection for this honor. "The purpose of this program is to recognize and honor CAS R graduates who have contributed significantly to society and whose

accomplishments have brought distinct credit to the college and Oklahoma State U niversity," said Linda Martin, assistant dean for academic programs. Each of the men honored at the Fall 2003 convocation ceremonies has earned the award in their own distinctive way. They took their challenges and transformed them into opportunity for countless others. Larry Watkins, Class of 1969 "I did absolutely nothing to deserve the opportunity to be born in rural Oklahoma," said Watkins. "I was blessed."

Watkins earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural education in 1969. In 1971, he started teaching vocational agriculture at Purcell High School in Purcell, Okla., where he helped transform a program filled with disciplinary problems and difficult students into an organization of which the town could be proud. Watkins helped establish a widely recognized livestock breeding program and founded the Heart of Oklahoma Swine Sale. Three years later, the program was honored as the best single-teacher vocational agriculture program in Oklahoma. In June 1976, Watkins left teaching to serve as director of the agricultural development division of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. Watkins duties included promoting Oklahoma City's economic growth and improvement in the agribusiness industry. Watkins assisted with the planning and production of the National Finals Rodeo and helped establish Oklahoma City as the "Horse Show Capital of the World." These events added an additional $9 million to $12 million annually into the economy of Oklahoma City. In 1979, Watkins became a staff assistant and lobbyist for the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives and became the executive vice president and general manager of the organization in 1984. This long path of success from a vocational agriculture teacher to the OAEC may seem somewhat unconnected, but Watkins attributes his first experience with electric cooperatives to the FFA. "It was through FFA that I developed the relationship with electric cooperatives," said Watkins. Through his accomplishments in life, Watkins has continued to provide a simple piece of advice for students and individuals of all ages. "Take advantage ofall the opportunities so many people have provided to you, and make sure others have the same opportunities."

Larry Watkins trains his multi-state champion horse on his ranch near Stillwater, Okla. (Photo by Brian Jerman)


Don Peters, Class of 1951 Peters graduated from OklahomaA&M in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in soils. Prior to attending OSU, Peters was a member of the 38th Infantry Division in World War II. He was given an honorable discharge as a sergeant in July 1946. At OSU he was a member of the Agronomy Society and in 1948 was a member of the Oklahoma A&M varsity football team. Upon graduation, Peters returned to his home in Kansas where he planned on becoming a farmer. However, shortly after returning to Kansas, Peters began looking for a job in a town that could provide more social stimulation. He then started a job in Bartlesville, Okla., working for Phillips Petroleum Co. and started a 49-yearjourney of success with the company. During his first few years with Phillips, Peters was dissatisfied with his duties and was on the verge of seeking employment elsewhere until he transferred to the plastics division in 1958. "Had I not transferred to plastics then, I would probably be a farmer," said Peters. Peters thrived in the work environment he experienced in the plastics division of Phillips. He contributes his success and determination at Phillips to the tremendous leaders he found in the division. Peters said their willingness to work set a good example for him to follow and helped him to succeed in the field. Peters experienced many accomplishments in the years following his transfer. He is the owner of 36 patents and in 1985 received the 25-patent milestone award from Phillips Petroleum. Much of the technology Peters developed is still used in the industry today. Perhaps his most well-known inventions are the lid and handles of water coolers used by people every day. "When you see football players dump Gatorade on the coach after a game, we helped develop the handles for the cooler," said Peters. In addition to the technology he helped develop, Peters has presented more than 200 technical talks and seminars ,

authored or coauthored 30 technical papers and articles, authored three chapters in three books and authored one entire publication, "Blow Molding Highly Irregular Shaped Parts with Moving Section Molds, " Freund Publishing, 1984. Peter's simple advice for students: "If you don 't get that perfect job right off the bat, don't give up."

Through his success in the blow molding industry and life, Peters has never forgotten the people who helped him along the way and advises others to do the same. "Don 't ever forget the people and mentors who helped you," Peters said, "because no one achieves significantly without help. " + By

Brian Jerman, Amber, Okla. Don Peters enjoys his retirement al his home in Bartlesville, Okla. (Photo courtesy of Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise)


Protectors of the land: CASNR soldiers

serve their country


reedom is not free. The agricultural communications junior With the recent conflicts in Iraq and also was faced with a long separation from his Afghanistan, men and women around family and friends. Mail only came every two weeks, computer the world are protecting the freedom and way of life so precious to Americans by serving in use was sporadic, and telephones were not readily available. the military on active duty. McConnell is now dealing with the readLike other soldiers, those students from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natu- justment to normal, everyday life. "I didn't know what it would be like to ral Resources who have been called to active duty put their lives on hold, faced the torment come home and ifI would be the same to my of separation from their families and put them- family and loved ones," he said. McConnell said he has a new appreselves in harm's way to serve the country when it needed them the most. ciation for the American way of life since The actions of these young men show his return. "We don 't know how good we have it," the character and honor CASNR strives to develop in students. As these soldiers come back said McConnell. "There are people in Iraq who they are welcomed with open arms and shine still don 't have running water or electricity. as examples of character the college works to Some still ride donkeys around." McConnell said he is happy to have seen develop in every student. the world and While most of his learned about difpeers feared the next ferent countries exam, Sgt. Spence McConnell was forced and cultures. He even learned to to fear for his life. His U.S. Army speak a bit of unit's mission was to Arabic. His fondest memories of his provide fuel to the entire military theatre. service are of His unit transported those with whom he served. fuel from Kuwait to T21l "I got close with Iraq, which is directly in the center of the people I served the conflict. with despite a wide variety of backA big weight on McConnell ' s mind grounds and during the war was guerpersonalities," rilla warfare tactics used said McConnell. by the Iraqis. When asked ifhe "They would hide had received any and try to get us," honors or special said McConnell. recognitions during The combination the war, McConnell ofjetfuel and Iraqi gun Sgt. Spence McConnell displays his American pride in said , "I got to Iraq while seroing his country duri ng Operation Iraqi fire was dangerous, but Freedo m. (Photo provided by Sgt. Spence McConnell) come home." McConnell also enW h i I e dured an extreme McConnell was servmental test during his mission when soldiers ing his country in Iraq, another CASNR studoing similarjobs would be attacked and killed. dent, Sgt. Adam Rogers, was serving closer to McConnell faced other hardships while home at Fort Sill in Lawton , Okla. serving in Iraq. The temperature there can Rogers had similar experiences to reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and sand storms McConnell during his service despite being are common occurrences. He lived in a tent stationed on American soil. for more than 10 months during his year of The group of soldiers he served with provided access control for Fort Sill. They active duty. "The heat and the tent didn 't bother me inspected vehicles and checked identificaas bad as the sand, which got everywhere," tion, which ensured no one could harm the he said. soldiers training and preparing to go to war.

Sgt. Adam Rogers - soldier; student, husband - developed a new outlook toward his studies after seroing active duty. (Photos above and left by Grant Gungoll)

"We made sure a person had a reason to be on the post," said Rogers. Rogers was constantly troubled with rumors and the real possibility that he could be sent overseas. "At any time we might have left to face bullets," said Rogers. Rogers said he felt blessed to develop comradery with the other men with whom he served. "The guys I served with would take a bullet for me like I would take a bullet for them," he said. Rogers said he joined the Army to go to college. However, after his service, he is enthusiastic and dedicated to the military. "I wouldn't leave it now," said Rogers. Rogers is currently using his military service to become a better student. "The GI Bill [of Rights] gives me a full tuition waiver. I am able to go to school and focus hard on what I am trying to accomplish," said Rogers. "Three years in college, then going active, made me want to get back to college and focus. " Rogers is a landscape contracting major and plans to graduate in December 2005. He commutes to school 80 miles round trip every day from Ponca City where he is eajoying being back home with his wife, Traci. "The wife of a soldier has a harder job than being an actual soldier," said Rogers. These brave soldiers and countless others have performed their duties and honored themselves, their country, their families and their university. By Grant Gungoll,


Waukomis, Okla.


Cowboy soldier killed in Iraq Luke Samuel James was a true Oklahoma State University cowboy. James, 24, came to OSU in 1998 and graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in animal science. While at OSU, he gained many things, including wife, Molly, more friends than can be counted and, most importantly, a passion to serve in the military. James' love and passion for ROTC and the U.S. army began early in life. His father, retired Army officer Maj. BradleyJames, was in the U.S. Army Reserves all throughJames' childhood. Maj.James' influence on his eldest son instilled the framework for a su路ong military career. On Dec. 13, 2002, James was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He then became a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. James deployed from Fort Bragg, NC, for Iraq on Jan. 15, 2004. However, this young soldier's stories of battle are short.James was one of three sol-

diers killed Jan. 27 in an explosion near Iskandariyah, Iraq. "He always wanted to be a paratrooper," said Erin Shepherd, a lifelong friend ofJames. "I remember him telling us that he was going to jump out of planes. I thought he was kidding, but his passion was in the military." James was laid to rest Feb. 10 at the Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. He is survived by wife, Molly; his 1-yearold son, Bradley; parents, Bradley and Arleen; his brother, Kirby; and sister, Sharla. James received the Purple Heart and tl1e Bronze Star for his effort in Operation Iraqi Freedom. "People often ask how I am so strong sometimes," said Luke James' wife, Molly. "I tell them, 'I am one of the lucky ones.' I never questioned how much Luke loved Bradley or me or how much he loved being a soldier." Molly also said not many people get to do what they love to do, but Luke was doing that.

" Man y people say that Luke was a hero when he died. I believe he was a hero every day," she said. Even though his 2nd Lt. Luke James has a last family realmoment with son, Bradley, before ized the risk deployment to Iraq. (Photo courtesy of losing of Molly James) their son, they were supportive of his decision of making tl1e Army his full-time career. "It would not have been this motl1er's choice, but you have to have young men and women willing to preserve the freedom we have," said Arleen James. "We are glad he was willing. " + By Grant Gungoll,

Waukomis, Okla., andLoriPeck, Sentinel, Okla.

Take A Walk O" ~ Wild Side

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Roots to anchor a


International land5cape firm 5hape5 5rudent for 5Ucce55 Bzzzz ... the steady hum of a lawn mower is heard throughout Beaver, Okla., on this hot summer day. The rural town, smack dab in the middle of the Oklahoma Panhandle, is sticky and sweltering as the summer sun shines down. In the midst of it all, Mike Albert pushes a lawn mower across a well-tended yard. If only he had known where this summertime job would lead. It was the spring of 1996 when Albert began a lawn-mowing business with his mom, Vona Sue. Eager for extra spending money, Albert mowed more than 30 lawns in Beaver, often working from sunrise to sunset. At the end of the summer, he had a profit of more than $3,000. Instead of spending the money on typical teenager purchases, Albert began making business investments. After buying a bulldog - Molly - and giving a tithe to his church, he refurbished his business with the purchase of a new Snapper lawnmower. The remaining profit was invested to start a homebased plant business. His mom worked in a flower shop for eight years, giving him a great resource for information. Starting the business proved to be an adventure with tough questions to answer. "I asked myself, 'how in the world would it stay afloat? How do I start an actual business? Would people take a freshman in high school seriously?"' said Albert. In August before his freshman year of high school, his parents took him to the Oklahoma Tax Commission and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture to receive his tax permit and license. Albert was only the third minor in Oklahoma to receive these documents. The business had begun! In the beginning, Albert sold seasonal plants, such as poinsettias and Easter lilies, out of his home. However, as the business spread by word of mouth, he started supplying plants for funerals, birthdays and special occasions. Within the year, customer requests led to more expansions that included seasonal, house and bedding plants. Just six weeks into the operation, Albert had already made a profit. 30 COWBOY JOURNAL

As an active member of the Beaver FFA Chapter, Albert received the biggest honor for his ambitious business plan at the Oklahoma FFA Convention. During his senior year, Albert was standing on the convention stage with his agricultural education teacher, Tom Lamie, and his parents,Jack and Vona Sue, when he was named the State FFA Star in Agribusiness. His competitor's projects included high-profile horse, cattle and crop operations, but the young man from the Oklahoma Panhandle with a retail plant business took the top prize. "It was a crazy experience," Albert said, "especially when you think of all the quality that comes from OklahomaFFAmembers. To have the operation selected was truly an amazing and blessed honor." The business is now in its eighth year. Albert has sold more than 17,000 plants across Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. He works with 11 plant nurseries in six states and was invited to the Dallas Gift Market and the Americasmart in Atlanta, Ga. Most importantly, he has developed a core customer base because of his business communication and sen~ce. "It is important to listen to your customers and cater to their market," Albert said. "Without that, you are only killing yourself and your future." But Albert's future was only getting brighter. Because of his business knowledge and success, as well as his strong connection to agriculture, coming to Oklahoma State University and majoring in landscape architecture was a natural decision. The landscape architecture program lasts

Mike Albert's internship paired hiin with top landscape architects fro m around the nation. Albert critiques designs with Edward D. Stone and Associates Vice President Greg Kunak. (Photo by Bryan Pogue)

five years and includes classes in art, landscape construction, graphics and design, said John Ritter, associate professor oflandscape architecture. He also said internships are an instrumental part of the program. Students train for a variety of careers including urban planning, golf course and resort design, and residential planning. The OSU program is given high marks by both students and faculty. "There's always something new," said Rebecca Bailey, landscape architecture senior. ''You never work on the same project." Program director Charles Leider said OSU

The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. , scenery provided design inspiration and a change from the Oklahoma environment for Mike Albert. (Photos above and right by Michael Tamzil)

provides real-life projects for students to gain experience. "We get calls fro m all across the state to do things for people," Leider said. "We basically focus on people who are underprivileged and can 't afford to hire a landscape architect. " In fact, every fac ul ty member oversees a public-service project each semester. These projects integrate communication with clients, presentation skills and design elements into a live, hands-on project. Preserving and designing landscaping for the E.W. Marland Mansion Estate in Ponca City, Okla., was one particular project in which Albert was involved. The building, listed as a National Historic Landmark, was researched and assessed, and then students developed a landscape plan. Albert said the final design presentations are on display at the estate to promote future development.

Thanks to this hands-on pr e p a ration , OSU h as garn ere d national recognition from some of the nation 's top landscape architecture firms. One such firm , Edward D. Stone and Associates, or EDSA, took a particular liking to OSU. EDSA specializes in resort and recreational planning, or as Albert said, "all the fun stuff." The firm is located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with offices in Orlando; Los Angeles; Baltimore; Provo, Utah; BuenosAires,Argentina; and Beijing, China. Ritter said several years ago a group of

OSU students made a positive impression on EDSA representatives during an Oklahoma City design project. This created a bond that would serve future students well, said Ritter. "[EDSA] liked the overall product they saw at OSU, so they started coming here every year," Ritter said. When internship applications came out last September, Albert already knew he would apply with EDSA. He knew the international competition would be tough but was confident in the skills he developed at OSU and during two previous internships. However, he was a little hesitant about leaving Oklahoma and OSU behind to complete the eight-month internship program. "I soon decided it was an opportunity that could not be passed up," Albert said. After two rounds of interviews and a nerve-wrenching wait, he was notified he was one of two selected from around the world to intern with EDSA. He would spend January through April in Fort Lauderdale then go to Beijing for the summer months. Upon arriving in Florida, Albert was greeted with a variety of projects that would make any landscape architectjealous. He started on a five-day project to redevelop the Guanica Sugar Mill, the world's second largest sugar processing facility. The mill, located on the coast of Puerto Rico, was converted from an old sugar mill warehouse into a festival and retail area. As part of the project, Albert laid out more than 250 residential units, an 80-room boutique hotel and a full-scale marina for cruise ships and yachts. "During the week, employees were brought in daily for design reviews and critiques," Albert said. "By Friday, we developed our conceptual design site plan and presented it to the entire office." Other opportunities included work on the Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas. He also worked on the Atlantis "The Palm" Hotel, located on a man-made, palm-shaped island off the coast of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. "The Palm" Hotel will house the world's largest open-air aquarium. "With EDSA, there is the experience to assist on projects that one can only dream

(continued on page 48) COWBOY JOURNAL 31

In the game of LIFE ... Creating life accomplishments beyond student success Life is a game. Each decision you make affects how far you will move forward ... or backward. To give students an "extra turn" to prepare them for life's challenges, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources offers a special CLASS ... the Creating Life Accomplishments beyond Student Success conference. Held at the beginning of each spring semester, the CLASS conference is free to all CASNRseniors for the current academic year. "Students shouldn't have to pay for us to support them and to help them to be successful," said Amy Gazaway, CASNR career development coordinator. "The money to host the conference is budgeted by CASNR," she said. The idea to create the CLASS conference came to Gazaway while attending the National Students in Transition Conference. She attended workshops that dealt with what students are and aren't prepared for, as well as the emotional factor that seniors deal with in preparing for the transition into an unfamiliar world. Wanting to better prepare students, CASNR created a conference to educate participants on how to deal with issues such as financial responsibility, health care and community involvement.

C, C, C, ... C,


When choosing speakers for the conference, CASNR selects younger alumni. "The younger alums are able to relate to the seniors as they share their emotions, experiences and expertise in their field," said Cathy Herren, CASNR Career Services graduate assistant. Students who have attended the conference have given positive feedback about the expe1ience. They said they felt more prepared to graduate and enter the working world. The alumni who spoke at the 2004 conference said they wished they would have had the opportunity to better prepare themselves. "Students ofCASNRshould feel fortunate that their college cares enough to provide them with the information and instruction needed to make a smooth transition between college and their new life in the work force," said Jake Holloway, 2002 biosystems and agiicultural engineering graduate. Holloway is currently a product engineer atFWMurphy. "Each individual has the ability to move on to the next space in the game of life by moving from potential to success to significance," said Shannon Ferrell, 1998 agricultural economics graduate. Ferrrell is now an attorney for the environmental and energy group McKinney and Stringer P.C. "It is important to continue a relationship with the university," said Ferrell. "The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources alumni share a few characteristics: integrity, work ethic and a sense of family. "I thought my BORROW ON ANY TURN dad knew everyone on PAY BACK $25,000 ON ANY TURN the planet. But it was the PAY BACK BEFORE YOU RETIRE relationships and networking from OSU that lasted a lifetime," said Ferrell. CLASS topics include basic tips for workplace survival, a


crash course on job searching and how to prepare for graduate school or the work force. "I entered the working world and then proceeded to convince my company to pay for me to go to graduate school after I showed them I was a valuable asset," said Sean Kouplen, 1995 agricultural economics graduate. "Some companies already have that as an option for their employees. I found it easier to gain knowledge and experience in the real world and then apply it in the classroom, but it is different for everyone," said Kouplen. Kouplen is now the chief operations officer for Citizens Security Bank ofBixby, Okla. When students are preparing to graduate and move into a new community, many details can be overlooked or forgotten. "You have a lot going on as your final semester comes to a rapid end," said Holloway. "That is why it is important to make a list so you don't forget something as simple as shutting off utilities. Other factors to consider are change of address, medical history, a graduation check and many other details." When students enter the working world, they must adjust not only to the new climate and lifestyle, but also to a pay increase. Their old jobs allowed them to get by on ramen noodles and generic brands while newfound "wealth" allows alumni to upgrade in their shopping tastes. "After getting my first paycheck I thought, 'Man, I am rich' and proceeded to buy all the things that I wanted when I was in college," said Kouplen. "It is a big step to learn to be financially responsible and that includes learning how to save and prepare for retirement." Kouplen gave advice to this year's participants by suggesting they use a Roth IRA, which grows tax free until you retire. Having your company automatically put some of your earnings into your retirement plan is important; otherwise, you might not put as much away, he said. New alumni should find a good financial adviser to help them design their retirement and savings plan, said Kouplen. One of the first things new graduates face is deciding on a benefits package. "If you are unsure of what you are doing, it can be overwhelming," said Cathy Sparks, 1989 agricultural economics graduate. She said there are differences in benefits and health-care packages.

Sparks currently works for United Parcel Service in corporate human resources. "It is important for you to understand your benefits because they directly affect you," said Sparks. "As of 2003, employees will pay a higher percentage of benefits." There are many different kinds of benefit packages, and the new employee will need to have an understanding of the differences so they can make a decision that is best for them, said Sparks. "I learned a lot from the conference, and I especially gained a better understanding of benefits, which will be extremely useful as I begin my newjob," said Chris Kidd, 2004 agricultural communications graduate. The 2004 topics were selected from previous conference critiques, student comments and employer comments. "It is important for the students to see alumni giving back to the college by serving as speakers," said Herren. "Hopefully, they will be encouraged to do the same as they move on or will find other ways to stay active with the college and university." The annual conference begins on a Friday afternoon and lasts through Saturday night. All meals are provided for the participants, including a dinner banquet on Saturday evening. "The banquet gave us a chance to come together with our new friends, faculty and alumni. It was the perfect end to the conference," said Jeremy Unruh, 2004 agricultural economics alumnus. Linda Martin, assistant dean of academic programs, and Ed Miller, associate dean of academic programs, attend the banquet and are involved by distributing the senior gifts, which vary from year to year. In 2004, the seniors received an OSU business card holder and a brick with their name engraved on it, which will be placed in the OSU gardens. "Hopefully those who attended this year will recognize the value in attending tl1e CLASS conference and will tell all of their friends," said Holloway. "I can see this conference being very popular in the future." Leaming all of the various tools at the conference, networking with alumni and fellow students, and being actively involved in the conference will help CASNR seniors move forward, enhancing their chances for victory in the game of life. Story and photos by


Katherine Chandler, Cashion, Okla. For more information about the CLASS Conference, call Amy Gazaway at (405) 744-5395.

Stewards of the environment Program equips graduates for a variety of careers Go to college, get a degree and get a job. This is the route many high school students embark after graduation. It seems simple, but for many it is a road without a map. Students who decide to continue their education after high school have difficult decisions to make before choosing a degree, and deciding on an academic program can be difficult because students often do not know exactly what career area to pursue. The goal of many students is to concentrate their studies in a discipline of interest, one in which they would like to acquire employment after graduation. "If you have science in your background and would like to work with the environment in the future , you are a perfect candidate to be a student in the environmental science program at Oklahoma State University," said David Lewis, director of the OSU environmental science undergraduate program. Since the first environmental science students began filling in their degree sheets, the faculty's highest priority has bet;:n to give students a broad academic foundation that allows

them a lot of career flexibility after college , said Lewis. When Chris Ruhl graduated from high school in the small town of Geary, Okla. , he already had a plan in mind for his future . He had picked a degree that he not only liked, but also one that would reward him with a job after graduation. "Growing up, I was always interested in the environment, and this seemed like the perfect fit for me," said Ruhl. "Before I entered the program, I spoke to some people who said there were good employment opportunities, which ultimately made up my mind." Ruhl said the fact the program is located in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources was a selling point, since he grew up on farm . Ruhl was a member of the first class of graduates who completed the environmental science degree in 1996. Since his graduation from OSU, Ruhl has worked as a compliance inspector and, most recently, as an on-scene inspector for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Environmental disas ters like this Louisiana train derailment happen, but graduates of the OSU environmental sciences program are prepared for careers that deal with such incidents. A team of EPA experts were on location to provide the tools to clean up the different types of hazardous material that were released. (Photo courtesy of EPA)


During his time as a compliance inspector, Ruhl visited a variety of facilities across the country, including some of the world's largest oil refineries and chemical manufacturing facilities. As an EPA on-scene inspector, Ruhl has experienced many environmental risk sites, including "Ground Zero" following the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City, when he was called to the site to help assess the area for environmental contamination. He also has visited regional disasters, such as a 5,000-gallon oil spill, and spent time at the Columbia space shuttle crash site in Texas. Ruhl said he enjoys the travel involved with his job. He also acknowledges the education he received as part of his degree has helped him become successful in this field. "I am proud of where [the program] has come and what it has done for me in my profession, " said Ruhl. Because the classes environmental science students take are so diverse, it is common that students will receive interest from companies not directly involved in environmental science. Julia Arntz is a 2001 environmental science graduate who was in the program from the day she set foot on the OSU campus. She said it was always her intention to apply her education directly to a career in environmental science, but due to a fortunate twist of fate , she is working in a different type ofjob. Arntz said the classes she took in political science, agricultural policy, agricultural economics and environmental science prepared her for her current position as a field representative for Congressman Frank Lucas. During her stint in Washington, D.C., as an aide to Lucas, she used some of her environmental knowledge to brief Lucas on various issues. "I really liked the diversity of the program and how I was able to spend time with professors from many different departments ," said Arntz. Lewis said the program was initiated in the late 1980s after suggestions from faculty and students in the college. Employers of CASNR alumni also were interested in attaining the services of students with environmental science knowledge.

Katie Frey, environmental science junior from Broken Arrow, Okla., prepares water sample jars before collecting and testing water at Lake Carl Blackwell. The water-testing project is sponsored by the OSU Environmental Science Club. Students who take part in the water-testing project must be certified to perform official tests. (Photo by Darby Cochrane)

"In 1993, we were given permission from the State Board of Regents in Oklahoma City to offer a major in environmental scien ce," said Lewis. He said the strengths of the campus were taken into account when developing curricula for the degree. This allowed the steering committee to take full advantage of the knowledge that could be gained from outside CASNR. Since environmental science is not an academic department, the program is guided by a steering committee of volunteer faculty. The committee has created some principles that guide the curriculum in a direction the faculty members want the program to go. By doing this, faculty members feel the program is one of the most focused in the country, said Lewis. The environmental science program at OSU has a reputation for supplying students with a quality education that will prepare them for a variety ofjobs when they graduate from college. One of the features that makes the program unique is the fact students receive training in other disciplines. "Th e interdisciplinary nature of the program is a good thing, and we are trying right now to expand the interdisciplinary nature of the program," said Lewis. "We are at the start ofan experiment to see if we can recruit faculty from outside the college to be interested in joining the steering committee, which has never been done before." Lewis said CASNR is a good place for the program because there is a lot of interest in the environment from within the college.

Lewis said the program is going strong with 70 students on environmental science degree sheets. Even though the program has enjoyed great success, there are still areas faculty members are trying to improve, su ch as identifiable office space within Agricultural Hall for the program, he said. Lewis is optimistic about the future of the program and the need for his students in the workforce. "Students of the environmental science program get employment in about the same length of time as other maj ors, and their starting salaries are slightly above those from the rest of the college," said Lewis. As the days draw closer to graduation, Corey Gum is pleased with the decision h e made, transferring from Tulsa Community College and joining the environmental science program at OSU. "I was worried about the lack of actual environmental science classes that we took, but I enjoyed being able to study all th e other scientific disciplines," said Gum. "I like that I am not only prepared for an environmental science job, but I also feel prepared for almost any otherjob." Hearing your name called during commencement marks the end of onejourney and the beginning of another. Environmental science students have satisfaction in knowing they are equipped with an education that has them prepared for whatever career th ey intend to pursu e. By Darby Cochrane, Alexander,

"A lot of the faculty have concerns about the environment from within their disciplines," he said . Lewis said the program tends to be oriented more toward the application science, which is one of the characteristics of the college. Because many required classes on environmental science degree sheets are in other departments, a minor in those departments is easy to achieve. The chance to further one's academic Manitoba, Canada. career is also a great asset to this program. An For more information about the environmenundergraduate degree prepares students to further their education with graduate degrees. tal science program, call David Lewis at (405) Lewis said many graduate degrees can be at- 744-6723 or visit the CASNR Web site at http:// tained with the foundation of an environmen- casnr.com. tal science degree. He also said law school is a good opportunity for someone with this undergraduate degree. Students entering the environmen tal science degree program receive training forjobs related to the environment in industry, government agencies and consulting firms. With the environment being such an important issue in recent times, the need for environm e ntal scie n ce stuLisa Fultz (left) of Stillwater, Okla., and Katie Frey check the results of their water dents will continue to test. The tests monitor dissolved oxygen levels, water temperature, air temperature and water clarity at Lake Carl Blackwell near Stillwater. (Photo by Darby Cochrane) grow, Lewis said.



he or she should have the courses evaluated ahead of time, submitting documentation of course syllabi and classroom hours for evaluation. A student's adviser can review a degree sheet to see what courses will meet the student's academic requirements. "We have many students who decide to study abroad, and they don' t actually need the credits," said Henneberry. "For most of our students who do study abroad, it's something they can point to as being above and beyond the minimum requirements for a degree. "It shows an individual effort, which is an important human characteristic." A half dozen trips have been available to students through CASNR within the last year. "We have had 90 students participate in study abroad programs in the last year," said Tongco. "Students and faculty have traveled to six amazing countries." Ayako Akabane (right) and Adele Tongco (second from left ) visit the Chaing Rai Giant Catfish Farm in Thailand where they saw catfish weighing 100 pounds or more. (Photo by Krista Rowe)


s the international roads and borders become increasingly transparent, so do the classroom walls of Oklal;10ma State University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Courses offering international travel opportunities broaden the world for students, said Adele Tongco, CASNR international programs coordinator. OSU has study abroad programs offered in varying lengths, ranging from a full-year program to two- or three-week sessions. More than 350 students participate in these study abroad programs each year. Some students have never heard about studying abroad, and if they have, they are not familiar with the planning process, said David Henneberry, CASNR assistant dean ofinternational agricultural programs. "I think you have to start with yourself, who you are, what experience are you looking for, what your strengths and weaknesses are, what your academic background is, what you want to do with your life, and what your goals are," said Gerry Auel, OSU study abroad coordinator. "You need to assess your qualities, both personal and academic." There is an extensive preparation process prior to taking a study abroad trip. Students learn the proper protocol with help 36 COWBOY JOURNAL

from the Study Abroad Office and the CASNR Office oflnternational Programs. According to the Study Abroad Office, planning is the key to successful studying abroad, and the earlier a student begins planning, the better the experience can be. "I think the very first step before anything is to develop a mindset that you are actually going," said Auel. "You need to get your mind fixed on the idea that this is something you are actually going to do." Consult the Study Abroad Office &Arrange Academic Credit The next step is for students to let their academic adviser, as well as the Study Abroad Office staff, know they are interested in studying abroad and what kinds ofstudy abroad programs will meet their needs, either short tenn or long term. The Study Abroad Office will provide students with information and help students decide their best option. The short-term study abroad program, which lasts two to three weeks, can count for up to three hours ofinternational dimension credit. If a student is interested in a long-term study abroad program, he or she should make sure all the courses taken abroad transfer toOSU. To make sure credit hours will transfer,

Choose a Location & Evaluate Language Skills Western Europe is an attractive option to the majority of students. However, students also enjoy studying in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America, said Tongco. CASNR offers short-term programs in Italy, Germany, England, Scotland,Japan, Mexico, Honduras, Thailand and Peru. "I had never been out of the country before, so I wanted to go abroad," said Jennifer Walker, an animal science senior. "I chose Honduras because it is a Spanish-speaking country, and since I took two years of Spanish in high school, it made me feel more at ease about the trip." Language ability is a primary factor in choosing where to study. If students are not fluent in a foreign language, they might specifically want to study abroad to improve language skills. Being a member of the Global Agriculture Organization also might be a good qualification to have before traveling abroad said Henneberry. This is a new organization formed in Spring 2004. Its purpose is to develop relations among domestic and international students at OSU. The organization will familiarize students with various cultures, which will be an asset when traveling overseas. A goal of the organization is to encourage students to travel above and beyond their studies atOSU.

to travel across tile miles Obtain a Pas.sport & Verify Medical Insurance It is important to apply for a passport in advance, as processing an application takes four to six weeks and sometimes longer during a heavy travel season. Applications are available at post offices, courthouses, or passport agencies of the U.S. Department of State. "The cost of passports ranges from $50 to $60, and they only need to be renewed every 10 years," said Walker. A visa also may be obtained to enter a foreign country. It is a written permission to visit a country granted by the government of that country. If a student is planning to study in a foreign country for an extended period of time, h e or she may need to acquire a special student visa. Related information to visas may be obtained from the proper embassy. "Don't wait until the last minute to get a passport or visa," said Auel. "Sometimes a visa takes two months to be completed, and ifsomething happens and you don 't get it on time, you may have to cancel flights and reschedule. You have to be persistent and organized. Also, you have to apply time-management skills to get everything done." Ample insurance is another importantfactor to consider when going abroad. Before departure, be certain medical and accidental insurance policies are valid outside of the United States. A student might want to consider buying Scholastic Overseas Services insurance available through the Office of Risk Management at OSU said Henneberry. A physical and dental check-up would be good to consider, as would any special vaccinations required for the trip.

Arrange Transportation & Finance the Trip The CASNR Office oflnternational Programs handles the majority of the transportation for its short-term, faculty-led programs. It is important to look in advance at various flight options to find affordable tickets. Travel agencies can also provide advice on special student flights and discounts for study abroad programs. Some students are hesitant about traveling due to safety issues after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said Auel. "Th ere are not necessarily new safety issues since Sept. 11," said Auel. "However, we are now more aware of the safety issues that existed even before Sept. 11. Study abroad professionals pay more attention

to preparing their students to be wise travelers and encourage them to use their common sense and good judgment. The state department Web sites are very helpful in providing useful information and suggestions to student travelers." Afte r students decide where they will travel, they should find out roughly how much it will cost. "Funding is a problem for many students, so we are trying to get more scholarships," said Henneberry. "We hope as our program gets older that scholarships will develop." Costs vary based on the country chosen for study. "Costs can range from $2,000 plus airfare for a short-term, faculty-led program to $12,000 plus airfare for a semester on a traditional study abroad program," said Auel. "A reciprocal exchange where students pay tuition and fees to their home institution, costs approximately $8,000 per semester, depending on the lifestyle of the student and the amount of traveling he or she engages in." Studying abroad can be an enriching, lifechanging experience for any student willing to experience it, said Auel. "My words of advice for students who are interested in studying abroad are, J UST DO IT,"' said Auel. "Once you get on the train, you can't get off, and you just have to plow ahead and do it."

Reflection after the experience may reveal a student's true perception of the value of a study abroad program. "I have never heard students say they regretted studying abroad," said Auel. "Even students who had a tough time come back and say they would do it again." When students return to the United States after studying abroad, they come back with a different state of mind. "After I returned from Honduras, people told me that the trip really changed me," said Walker. "I think it made me a stronger person and more aware ofinternational culture." Traveling abroad also can help students gain individual strengths. 'The various study abroad programs are good for you to go on because they push you to be more independent," said Walker. "It gives you a sense of responsibility and independence." Traveling opens a window to a world of new experiences. As globalization increases, so do the opportunities for students to participate in international study programs. By


Krista Rowe, Stratford, Okla. For more information, visit the Office of International Programs in Agriculture, 139 Agricultural Hall, or visit http:// www. dasnr. okstate.edu/international/.

Left : Jennifer Walker (front), Rachel Penyman, Ayako Akabane and an unknown tourist ride clown the Mae Nam Chao Phraya River in 77iailanc/. (Photo by Krista Rowe)

Below: Alejandro Tongco (front left), Adele Tongco, Diana Jantakac/, Aya Ohtomi, Jennifer Wal/,e,路 (back), James Roller and Brady Sidwell visit Chiang Mai Doi Doithan in Thailand. (Photo by Krista Rowe)

Brian Bendele atop Miss ]el Slider, stands with his parents, Mike and Sandy Bendele, al the All American Quarter Horse Congress. (Photo /Jrovided by Jeff Kirkbride)

le rides 100d horses CASNR alumnus wins at All American Quarter Horse Congress Brian Bendele backed into the box riding Miss Jet Slider, his piggin' string clamped tigh tly in his teeth. In anticipation and excitement, the crowd awaits. The chute opens, the calf runs ; Bendele rides out and throws his rope. Seconds later, and with a score of 222, Bendele and Miss J et Slider won the amateur tie-down roping at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. "It was my first time to show at the Congress, and it was an honor to win it," said Bendele, a 2004 alumnus with a double 38 COWBOY JOURNAL

major in agricultural communications and animal science. Bendele has been around horses all his life. His parents, Mike and Sandy, were both club leaders of the Lincoln County 4-H Horse Club in Chandler, Okla. Thanks to his parents' support, Bendele was given the opportunity to start showing horses at a young age. His parents provided him with quality horses so he could compete at top levels against other exhibitors. As a result, Bendele has excelled in rodeos and horse shows. Bendele started roping calves when he

was 10, and the new sport became his passion. He chose calf roping over football, and it was then that his roping intensified. Bendele devoted his energy to the Lincoln County 4-H Horse Club, 4-H and FFAjudging teams, horse shows and rodeos. His talent developed as he began training his own horses for competition, including Miss J et Slider. When Slider was 2 years old, Bendele worked hard to prepare her for the Oklahoma State 4-H Horse Show. For the show, each competitor breaks, trains and shows his or her horse in showmanship and western pleasure classes.

In 1997, Bendele and Slider placed fourth at the state 4-H horse competition. Bendele said placing in the top 10 was exciting. Horses like MissJet Slider, whose purpose in the American Quarter Horse Association is roping, should be well suited for competitive, timed roping events outside the AQHA. Miss J et Slider is 9 years old and has earned more than 100 combinedAQHA points since 1997. Earning these points means traveling hundreds of miles and winning at various horse shows. During a show, tie-<lown roping horses are judged on manners behind the barrier, scoring, speed and distance to the calf, stopping, working the rope, and manners while the roper returns to the horse after the calf is tied. Bendele has shown his horse and competed in rodeos from Ohio to Texas. He knows what it takes to be a winner. Every year the Congress exceeds 16,000 entries. Top horses and competitors travel hundreds of miles to be judged on the horses' and riders' abilities. After winning the Congress, Bendele placed fifth at the AQHA World Show. He came back to Stillwater, Okla., $1,508 1icher. "It's exciting and rewarding to raise a horse and train it to the point of World Show quality," said Bendele. There is a good reason Miss Jet Slider is a "good horse." She is a product of OSU's top stallion, OSU Sonnys Slider. OSU Sonnys Slider is a 12-year-old bay stallion sired by Harlan Okmulgee and foaled by Miss Skippernel. OSU Sonnys Slider carries on the tradition of great performers in the show arena, at rodeos and on the ranch. OSU Sonnys Slider has produced at least 100 registered foals. Every year, OSU Sonnys Slider has produced at least one AQHA World Show qualifier, as well as several horses who placed at the Oklahoma City show. The OSU equine breeding program has been recognized throughout the United States because of the performance traits passed on by OSU Sonnys Slider.

"He fit into our breeding program perfectly,'' said David Freeman, professor of animal science. "The mares we were getting were roping bred and cow bred. They were horses that were genetically geared toward performance." OSU Sonnys Slider continues to breed quality mares with the intentions of making more world-dass performers like MissJet Slider. Horse producers who pay the $1,000 breeding fee and breed their mares to OSU Sonnys Slider know their horses are equipped with a good mind, conformation and ability to perform in and outside the arena. "OSU Sonnys Slider is a quality producer," said Steven Cooper, assistant professor of animal science at OSU. It takes a good horse and talented riders like Bendele who are devoted to practice and discipline to earn championship titles. For Bendele, finding time to practice around school was not difficult. "I just managed my time well," he said. "I went to class, then to work, to rope and to do my homework." During Bendele's college experience, he worked for the "SUNUP" television show for more than four years. He also wrote for the Ag Alumni News and traveled to Austria and Ger-

many to put on horsemanship clinics through the OSU equine program. While in school, Bendele lived on 12 acres and had his own roping arena south of Stillwater. Having his own place made it easier to care for his horses and practice his roping. Along with Miss Jet Slider, Bendele rides Hickorys Shiloah. Shiloah is an 8-year-old brown gelding Bendele takes when he is on the road. Both horses have proven to be winners in the show arena and at rodeos. "Both horses are seasoned and are ready to go at all times," said Bendele. "Ifit wasn't for horses, my grades would not have been as good. I learned a lot about responsibility and discipline by raising and training my own horses. "When you're raising horses you learn to be responsible for another life besides your own," said Bendele. "Horses are a lot of work. You get up early in the morning to feed, and you have to spend time with them. They aren't like a dog you take on walks or play with ; you have to connect with them in such a way that if you want them to win, you have to make them a winner. "I realize I am very fortunate to have good horses and parents who support me." There are several people who don't get a chance to do what I do. Ifit wasn't for my horses and parents who gave me the opportunity to show, rodeo and have an education , I wouldn't be where I am to-

day." Bendele plans to compete in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The thrill of a good run is the result of years of hard work and training, all of which can culminate in a championship title. Every time Bendele travels to a tie-<lown event and throws his rope, itis a step toward success and an accomplishment of his goals. For Bendele, there are no boundaries. By Dawn




Okla. Bendele steps off Miss j et Slider to tie a calf at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. (Photo by Jeff Kirkbride)


kiekS't"kids 01</at..orv,a L/---1-f -teacJ...e5 ct..ildren -to ea-t riC=,J,..-t and exerci5e Tennis shoes and Oklahoma 4-H members are helping kids make healthy choices while introducing them to 4-H. Oklahoma 4-H teenagers are traveling into local elementary schools across the state, teaching children how to take care of their bodies. They are helping with Kicks4Kids, a


4-H service project developed by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. "The fundamental purpose ofKicks4Kids is to help alleviate childhood obesity by encouraging kids to exercise, eat right and practice good hygiene," said Karla Knoepfli, extension 4-H assistant specialist for volunteer and

leadership development. "The secondary purpose is to give athletic shoes to children who truly need them." The program teaches children in kindergarten through fourth grade the importance of physical activity. If children learn the importance of good health ata young age, itis more likely they will carry healthy habits into their adulthood, said Knoepfli. Kicks4Kids can be taught as a workshop, used as an after-school program or combined into the classroom curriculum. The curriculum can be taught in any youth organization. "Being Clean and Cool," "Feeling Fit" and "Eating Smart from the Start" are the lessons Kicks4Kids provides. These lessons make the participants feel better both mentally and physically while improving their overall well-being, said Knoepfli. Many of these children have low self-esteem, and this program is designed to help reduce that anxiety, said Knoepfli. The Cheyenne Senior 4-H Club was one of the first clubs to participate in the program. "It took approximately three hours on one afternoon to present the program," said Judy Tracy, Cheyenne Senior 4-H Club leader. "The local dentist came and gave all the participants toothbrushes and dental floss and showed them proper dental hygiene procedures." Kicks4Kids has many advantages for everyone involved, said Knoepfli. The teen volunteers learn communication and organizational skills and what it truly means to be a teacher. Both the presenters and participants get a chance to learn more about the importance of proper nutrition. "It was worthwhile to all the volunteers and participants, because everyone learned together," said Tracy. 'The teen volunteers coached the kids in jumpingjacks, knee lifts and other exercise movements to keep their heart rate up." The volunteers even have opportunities to help in their area of interest. "I like to cook, so I taught the kids safe ways to cook in the kitchen," said 15-year-old Whitley Tracy, vice president of the Cheyenne Senior 4-H Club. The teen volunteers present all the ma-

terial while the adult mentors act as supervisors for the day, said Knoepfli. The teens do background research on the lesson topics and find ways to enhance the material in a way that will be interesting to the participants. "My advice to other Kicks4Kids teen volunteers is to be really nice, patient and friendly to the kids and let them try everything," said Whitley Tracy. "Encourage the kids that with a little bit of help they can do anything." The 4-H' ers created games and songs in an effort to make it an enjoyable and memorable experience for all the participants, said Knoepfli. At the end of the program, the teens encourage the participants to fill out an evaluation of the program. "We had several children in our school community who were obese, and our club felt that it would be beneficial to teach them how to properly take care of their bodies," saidJudy Tracy. "We had 14 children join in on the fun, but we had a possibility of having 45 children participate in the program." National statistics show 13 percent of children ages 6 to 12 and 14 percent of children ages 12 to 19 are overweight, said Knoepfli. These overweight children are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other serious health problems. Obesity also can lead to depression, low self-esteem and other mental problems. 4-H teens who choose Kicks4Kids as their service project are responsible for contacting local school officials to gain their consent for implementing the program. Local businesses are encouraged to donate athletic shoes for needy children who are participating in physical education classes. Oklahoma 4-H ambassadors, state and district 4-H officers, and several county staff members are promoting the program statewide. Kicks4Kids has been implemented in several schools across the state; however, the main goal is to have at least one program in all of the 77 counties, said Knoepfli.

"Oklahoma 4-H has been getting a lot of attention on the national level for the Kicks4Kids program. Hopefully, it will become one of the next 'big' community service projects," saidJosh Grundmann, 2003-04 Oklahoma 4-H southeast district vice presiden t. The idea for the program was conceived by Oklahoma's delegates to National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C. They h ad one goal in mind-creating a community service project that can be presented by any youthserving organization statewide. The idea became reali ty when they borrowed a community service idea called "Happy Feet" from a 4-H member in Minnesota. "Happy Feet" provided children with adequate athletic shoes for physical education classes. The Oklahoma team saw the possibilities of adding an educational component that included nutrition, exercise and hygiene. This was only the beginning ofwhat is now known as "Kicks4Kids." Since then, Kicks4Kids has been endorsed by the Oklahoma Department ofEducation and is becoming widely known throughout many other states. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service provides training for teen and adult volunteers of any youth-serving organization wishing to implement the program in their community. The ODE, OCES 4-HYouth Development, and the OSU DepartrnentofFamilyConsumer Sciences provide educational information . The Kicks4Kids program is funded through grants and private contributions. Kicks4Kids will benefit youth organi-

Each day in Oklahoma, elemen tary students prepare for and participate in physical education classes. (Photos by Brandy England)

zations needing a community service project, said Knoepfli. Any organization that encourages leadership development is invited to use the curriculum, as long as they have an adult mentor to work with the students. Kicks4Kids is helping participants make healthy choices and teaching them about the value of 4-H. After all, it takes a happy head, a healthy heart and helpful hands to make harmonic health. By Brandy England, Dibble,


Okla. For more information about Kicks4Kids or the Oklahoma 4-H, call (405) 744-8891 or visit http:/ !clover. okstate.edu/fourh.

•a, II ,


our years ago, Randy andJovita Black of · Lone Grove, Okla., started making · homemade salsa for their friends and family. They never knew their hobby would grow into a full-time business. The Blacks and their daughter Carla Boulton now own and operate PepperJo's, a company in Ardmore, Okla., that produces and packages salsa, chili "fixin's," seasonings, Pistol Pete's BBQ Sauce and certain types ofjellies for nine companies in Oklahoma. The Blacks' dream of a salsa-based company did not develop overnight With resources like the Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center at Oklahoma State University, dreams are coming true for small businesses like PepperJo's. FAPC officials have worked with Oklahomans across the state to help turn hobbies into successful businesses. As the Blacks' business started, they produced salsa for friends, family and a few Ardmore-area stores in a restaurant they rented a few nights a week. "We first started in a restaurant downtown," said Randy Black. 'We would go down to the restaurant after it closed to make our salsa and would have to be out before the breakfast run the next morning." 42 COWBOY JOURNAL

They said they never dreamed their hobby of producing salsa would develop into an actual business with a whole line of products. "We enjoyed making salsa and thought, 'As long as it pays for itself and makes a little bit ofmoney, it is worth it,"' said Black. "Then we just kept growing and growing." Looking for ways to grow effectively, the Blacks discovered the Oklahoma Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center through an article Randy Black received from a friend at work. "I called FAPC and left a message withJim Brooks," said Black. "He called me back, and that is how we became involved with OSU." Jim Brooks, FAPC business and marketing specialist, along with other FAPC officials, worked with the Blacks in perfecting recipes and marketing their products. "I was asked to come down and look at the products and discuss further plans for Pepper Jo's," said Brooks. Brooks presented the Blacks with suggestions of Oklahoma retail sources to provide PepperJo's products for sale. "It was just a matter of trying to prioritize and take the time to get their products introduced to grocers," said Brooks. "They had to get their product out in front of the people." FAPC helps get new products on the market and attracts customers for small businesses like Pepper Jo's. For individuals who do not want to get involved in the manufacturing process, the center conducts monthly basic training workshops. By recommending the manufacturing of products to various businesses, FAPC continues to help many companies across the state, including PepperJo's. Brooks said customers will sign confiden-

tiality contracts for recipes and production of their products. It is then turned over to companies like Pepper Jo's to produce and package the products. "The greatest impact FAPC has made is sending us customers," said Black. "Without that, we wouldn't be where we are right now." One of PepperJo's most recent customers is Bill Bonny of Woodward, Okla. Bonny owned Pistol Pete's BBQ Sauce, and when his former manufacturer went bankrupt, he contacted PepperJo's and sold the sauce recipe to the Blacks. From there, they began producing and packaging Pistol Pete's BBQ Sauce. 'With Bill working a full-time job through the week and trying to distribute the sauce on the weekends, it just got to be too much for him," said Black. "He decided to sell it, and he made us a good offer. We are now the owners of Pistol Pete's BBQ Sauce." The Blacks wanted to be a legal collegiate seller of the OSU logo on the Pistol Pete's BBQ Sauce label. They took it upon themselves to establish a license to sell an OSU collegiate product and became official in February 2004. "It took four months to get all the paperwork through to become a legal collegiate seller," said Black. "Through all our sales of the sauce, 8.25 percent of the proceeds go back to the university." With the success PepperJo's has experienced during the pastfouryears, they are growing steadily and are running out of room in their current facilities. The discussion of expanding their business and building new facilities is underway. The Ardmore Development Authority is working closely with the Blacks and FAPC in developing a plan toupsize PepperJo's. They developed the Build-to-Suit program that monitors the construction aspect of building new facilities. Brian Thorstenberg, vice president of development for the Ardmore DevelopmentAuthority, sees a great future for the Blacks in the discussion of expansion. "Randy wants to increase customer-based




sales before expanding their facilities," said Thorstenberg. "He wants to make sure he is there financially before proceeding." Taking their own family recipes and making a business shows hard work and potential for PepperJo's in the future, said Thorstenberg. "Randy andJovita use their resources well by putting all profits back into the business," said Thorstenberg. The Build-to-Suit program is a lease purchase the Ardmore Development Authority oversees. It owns the property on an industrial park where PepperJo's new facilities could be built. The program is designed to donate the land to PepperJo's for the encouragement of expanding its business. The project is estimated to cost between $300,000 and $400,000. FAPC engineers have put together a few

basic floor plans for the new facilities. They have examined modern equipment for production and also have developed a cost analysis of the total expenses. "The new facilities will give additional buying power for Pepper Jo's, establishing the Blacks to buy in bulk at a cheaper price," said Brooks. "This could open another door. Doing all the business they can in newer facilities could double income and production." PepperJo's line of products is in various stores across Oklahoma. The Blacks are working to get approval for sale in grocery chains statewide. PepperJo's has its products in a few chains, depending on the geographical location of the stores. Brooks said he encourages the upsizing of PepperJo's and envisions them as continuing to be a successful company.

"They [PepperJo's] have been a godsend for small businesses," said Brooks. "They have made an impact on small companies, helping them package and produce their products." The Blacks are counting on production to continue at a steady increase, but plans for the new facilities are still years away. "When we are not trying to pick up more customers, we are trying to bring more products on the line," said Black. "The more products we have out there, the better chance we have of surviving." + Story and photos by Brooke

Hayton, Billings, Okla. To /,earn more about FAPC and theprograms FAPC offers, visit http:// www.fapc.okstate.edu or callJim Brooks at (405) 744-6071.

Close encounters in agriculture Students explore interests outside the classroom Students in the Oklahoma State University College ofAgiicultural Sciences and Natural Resources are becoming familiar with Oklahoma's agricultural industry outside of the classroom. A new program allows students to learn about Oklahoma agriculture while visiting the state's premier ranches, agricultural facilities and capitol building. The Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Encounter, or OALE, program expands the knowledge of the agricultural industry in Oklahoma for today's young adults, said Melissa Sharp, program leader and the Oklahoma Youth Expo show manager. The program is coordinated through the Oklahoma Youth Expo. "Our purpose at the Oklahoma Youth Expo is to provide an educational experience with a hands-on and student-centered approach and a focus on agriculture," said Sharp. "We tend to lose focus on what we are really here for-an educational opportunity for students." The OALE was designed after the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program, or OALP, for adults in the agricultural industry.

The OALP provides real-world education in a two-year class for interested individuals. Participants experience an in-<lepth look at agriculture across the state, and the program concludes with a 10-day international trip focusing on international ag1iculture. OALE applications are provided by the Oklahoma Youth Expo and are distributed to CASNR students in August. Applications are available in 136Agricultural Hall and are due in late August. Interested students who complete the application will be considered for an interview opportunity. The 20 students who are accepted into the program can receive two credit hours for their involvement. Students selected for OALE see Oklahoma's agriculture in four different, compact sessions. The 2003-04 encounters included the Samuel Roberts Noble Research Foundation in Ardmore, Okla.; the Pillsbury Flour Mill in Enid, Okla.; the State Capitol; The Heritage Place in Oklahoma City; and Express Ranches in Yukon, Okla. Through these types of tours, students

have a chance to see the state 's great agricultural enterprises, said Sharp. "The classroom can be so textbook, and students need to see agriculture is a vital part of everyday life," said Sharp. 'They need something to apply their knowledge to and know that it's not just textbook material. "True learning is achieved when it is applied. This program allows us to provide an extension of the classroom and what students are learning inside the classroom," said Sharp. The OALE broadens the students' horizons and allows them to get outside of the classroom for a real-world experience. "Being able to see facilities like the Noble Foundation and how they help producers get the best out of their products was thought provoking for future job opportunities," said Laneha Beard, 2004 animal science alumna. "I also met contacts who I would not have had an opportunity to meet if! had not been involved in this program." Out-of-state students can especially benefit from the program, because it enables them

The 2003-04 OALE participants enjoyed traveling Oklahoma this past year: (front left) Sara Damron; Kassie Dean; Cheyenne Coggins; Ashley Sutterfield; Ryan Bates; (second row) DJ. Woehl; Jamie Johnson; Aimee Ruebe1; Megan Pfeiffei; Jackie Roberts; (third row) Laneha Beard; Lexi Fariss; Lori Peck; Erica Jones; Diana Boyce; (back row) Brad Morgan, animal science associate professor; Timothy Campbell; Benjamin Spitze1;路 Sidney Cunningham; and Jerry Fitch, animal science prof essor. (Photo by Melissa Sharp)


to become involved with the state's agriculture in a way that was not previously possible, said Sharp. "It has been a wonderful experience for me that I would not have had otherwise, because I am from Colorado," Beard said. "I really enjoyed seeing the different aspects of Oklahoma agriculture." OALE has helped the students broaden their perspectives on career choices and postgraduate opportunities. "I had a great experience with the OALE," said Jamie Johnson , 2004 animal science alumna. "It was amazing to see how diverse farming actually is in Oklahoma." Following their encounters with the state's agricultural enterprises, students get a closer look at the world's largest junior livestock show, the Oklahoma Youth Expo. "After their four educational sessions focusing on the Oklahoma agricultural industry, students will join the Oklahoma Youth Expo as valuable staff members," said Sharp. "Having the opportunity to work at the Oklahoma Youth Expo really gives these students an in-depth look at the behind-the-scenes layout of a livestock show. "Expansion and extension of the educational component of the Oklahomajunior livestock program through production agriculture is a major goal of the Oklahoma Youth Expo board of directors and staff," said Sharp. "It is through a stronger concentration on education that future leaders are developed." The students spend their spring break at the Expo, learning about the different segments of the livestock show industry. They are assigned to all areas of the show, performing different tasks at each one. They rotate among the different areas, either in the arena or show office, and are given time and place preferences during the show in the cattle, sheep, swine and goat arenas, said Sharp. "It was a great experience, and I believe we helped out tremendously in all the different areas of the show," said Jackie Roberts, 2004 animal science alumna. "We were in the show ring and also worked behind the scenes in the different show offices helping them run smoothly. 'We worked from 7 a.m. to usually 10 or 11 p.m. , but it was worth the time involved." Bob Funk, owner of Express Ranches and Express Personnel Services, said the OALE is an "absolutely marvelous program" to help the students discover what education outside the classroom has to offer. "The program has helped the students further themselves and learn how to work an

Megan Pfeiffer (left), Ben Spitzer and Brad Morgan, associate professor of animal science, discuss Oklahoma agriculture with Bob Funk of Express Ranches. (Photo by Lori Peck)

event as large as the Expo," said Funk. "These students ensure the future of our state. "We need values and corporations in the agricultural industry today, and these kids have great values," he said. Sharp said at many of the places they visited the agriculturists told the students about employers really wanting prospective employees to be involved in college activities. The OSU animal science department and the Oklahoma Youth Expo encourage students to become involved in this type of program. "It was a great first year," said Sharp. "We have had very positive experiences across the board, and the students have really given us a lot of positive feedback." The students said it was a wonderful experience for them to see these facilities and travel the state. "It was a tremendous opportunity to see the different places," said Beard. "I especially enjoyed visiting Express Ranches and meeting with Bob Funk." The OALE has made a difference in those who participated during the first year. "It's a great program, and we received credit hours for our time involved with it," said Roberts. 'We had the opportunity to make new contacts with Oklahoma agriculturists in different areas, not just in our field of interest, which was well worth our time." The participants agreed that it was an interesting first year.

"I had a great time," saidJohnson. "It was very interesting to see the different ways Oklahoma is built around agriculture and to network with all the people that I have met." The program built the students' interest as they became more involved with it. "The program was an eye-opening experience," said Megan Pfeiffer, animal science and agricultural communications senior. Even though in the first year participants said they liked the program, it will have some adjustments for those who participate in the second year. "The first year for the OALE was a learning experience for everyone; it was great for us and hopefully for the students as well," said Sharp. "We are going to run the same type of program, but make a few changes in the second year. Without the OklahomaAgricultural Leadership Encounter program, these opportunities would not have existed. The OALE touched the OSU students' lives and gave them the chance to explore Oklahoma agriculture outside of the classroom. Participants encountered the real-world of the Oklahoma agricultural ind us try and learned about its values. By


Meghan Walentine, Fort Calhoun, Neb. For more information about the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Encounter, callJerry Fitch at (405) 744-6065. COWBOY JOURNAL 45

The Gift of a Lifetime ( continued from page 15) Marjorie's granddaughter and the family's only OSU graduate. "She has seen where plan ts lay dormant in the tough times of winter, but they always come back beautiful in the spring," said Shaughnessy. "She has seen that in life there are tough times but the days will always shine brighter in the future. " The flowers also reflect Marjorie's nurturing attitude. "I have never met a more caring person," said Shaughnessy. "She is always caring for someone or something. "Even the plants she has killed, she killed with love by either giving them too much water or too much fertilizer." Marjorie Andrews said when she was presented with the endowment she was, 'Just speechless .. . and that's unusual for me." She is always doing things for others, and now we have done something special for her, said Shaughnessy. "She is very genuine and concerned about helping young people realize their dreams of obtaining an education and adding to society," saidJenkins. "She epitomizes the grandmother any grandchild would want to have."

The first scholarship will be awarded to a horticulture graduate student in August during the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture 's scholarship cere mon y at the OSU Botanical Gardens. A facu l ty committe e will choose the recipient from applications submitted through the college. First preference will be given to students who earned a pre,fous degree from OSU. The family wanted to support OSU students continuing their education here, said Needham. The family hopes to see the endowment grow over time. "We will keep contributing and hope to see friends and organizations contribute as well ," said Maijorie Andrews loves the many plants scattered around her yard, bringing beauty into her life and to others. (Photo by Ben Humphrey) Milton Andrews. Marjorie Andrews is grateful this gift is The Marjorie Horner Andrews Graduate for others as well. Student Scholarship will support more OSU students each year and help keep the Christ"I am just glad this endowment will be there to help students," said Marjo1ie Andrews. mas spirit alive in the hearts of all.+ By Ben "We are not going to run out of students who Humphrey, Noble, Okla. need our help."

Minnie Lou Bradley (continued from page 21) With many changes in the beefindustry in the 1980s, Minnie Lou had to find a way to provide for her family with the Angus cow-calf operation. In 1982, she began selling meat from her back porch to the area residents. Soon , she found a niche for the market of natural, ranch-raised beef. In 1986, the Bradleys built and opened a USDA All-Natural pro-

The 1952 Oklahoma A&M Livestock j udging Team competed across the United States: (back from left) Willis Nickelson, Bob Wisdom, Curtis Jeffreys, j ack McCroskey, coach Glen Bratcher, (front) Minnie Lou Ottinger, Carl Gardner, Har/on Lutt rell and Albert Hanlon. (Photo courtsey of the OSU Department of Animal Science)


cessing plant that merchandises beef across the nation . B3R Country Meats products are sold from coast to coast. Minnie Lou is considered a pioneer in the branded beef business by many in the industry. B3R Country Meats was only the second label to be granted the all-natural title by the USDA. "Knowing what she accomplished before college and in college, I wasn 't surprised of any of h er success and accomplishments in beef cattle breeding and production," said Robert Totusek, animal science department head emetitus. "The most impressive thing to me about her accomplishments is her success in the meat business," said Totusek. "The success rate of anyone getting into any segment of the food business is very, very low - about 5 percent." Today, Mary Lou helps her mother operate the ranch and manages B3R Country Meats, located in Childress, Texas. Mary Lou attended Hardin Simons Universi ty on a rodeo scholarship and became an accountant in Wichita Falls, Texas. After Monte Jack was killed in an auto accident in 1984, she returned home to help on the ranch . In 1988, the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science named Minnie Lou a Graduate of Distinction. Among her accomplishments, she was one of the first women to serve on the board of directors of the American Angus Association . She will become president of the association in November. Minnie Lou received the Pioneer Award from the BEEF Improvements Federation and has been a guest columnist for BEEF magazine. The list goes on ... Minnie Lou has succeeded as an established woman in a man 's world . + ByJennifer Harrington, Paris, Texas

Meets 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month

8 p.m. in 101 Ag Hall osuprevetmed@yahoo.com http://orgs.okstate.edu/prevet

721 S. Main, Stillwater, 01 (405) 624·8800 "Look For The Bright Orange Awning"

Cowboys for Christ OS U Agricultural Student Organization Christians reaching out to build up the Body of Christ osucowboysforchrist@yahoo.com



Dottie Cox

dottiecox@acninc.net htt ://acninc.com

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources


Ag Student Council

Hair Designs for Men. Women & Children

"Building the Leaders of Tomorrow" Meetings begin in August Visit 136 Ag Hall to get in on the Fun!


Carla Peaden. Owner/Srylist Angelina Kinney. Srylist 182 Student Union •!• Stillwater, OK 74078 (405) 372-4182

• Clinics • Meetings • Speakers

Dr. David Freeman, Adviser, (405) 7 44-9282 Dr. Steven Cooper, Adviser, (405) 744-6065

Bringing Agriculture to the World


For more information, check out our Web site at act.okstate.edu, or see advisers Dwayne Cartmell & Julie Cox 448 Agricultural Hall

OSU Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow

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www.valleyviewpecans.com COWBOY JOURNAL 47

Roots to Anchor a Dream

"It was truly a humbling experience to understand the power of the Oklahoma State University student spected and awarded landscape architecture body and how it comes together evfirms in the world, EDSA has made it a point to ery fall to welcome back alumni and give students an amazing opportunity and in- continue this amazing tradition," sight to their future careers." Albert said. After four months in Florida, Albert travAlbert's involvement also exeled to China in May to continue the intern- tends to CASNR. He is a member ship experience. EDSAOrientwas established of the American Society of Landin 2000 because of the growing population and scape Architects and served as a the need to develop the landscape through CASNR senator and a Student community, recreational and urban design Academic Mentor for AG 1011 and planning. Agricultural Orientation. Despite his extensive Projects in China included work on Guan list ofleadership activities, he has maintained New Town (a new town just south of Beijing an impressive 4.0 grade point average, amazbeing planned for a population of 300,000), ing even his professors. Hyatt Regency Resort Hotel and the Nine "I can't imagine how he does that," Leider Dragons Mountain Resort located south said. "He's not detracted from his studies of Shanghai. at all." Albert gained previous international exBut his leadership abilities coupled with a perience to prepare for the China portion of genuinely caring attitude have made Albert a the internship by participating in two CASNR well-known personality at OSU. study-abroad programs. In 2002, he went on "I admire him for his genuine personality the agricultural economics study trip to En- and his ability to get along with everybody," gland and Scotland. In 2003, he went toJapan said Macey Hedges, agricultural communications with the landscape architecture program. senior and a fellow Homecoming executive. "Exposure to international travel has truly AB Albert returns to OSU this fall, he said been a passion of mine for numerous years," he hopes to continue the legacy he has started Albert said. "The learning experiences gained while continuing to prepare for his career. He are lessons that aren't found in a textbook." will complete his remaining two years of unWhile interning with EDSA, Albert's pas- dergraduate work at OSU and then pursue a sion for landscape architecture and enthusi- master of business administration degree. asm for life captured the respect ofEDSA em"I look fonvard to applying the knowledge ployees. That same fire also has served him gained through the internship back at OSU," wellatOSU. Albert said. "Academics are still very important "He's very enthusiastic," Ritter said. "He tome." takes great pride in his work and is an inspiraWith the strong educational background tion and leader in the class." from OSU plus his internship experiences, the Albert's leadership and dedication to land- job market looks promising for Albert. In fact, scape architecture have been equally matched 25 percent of landscape architect interns at by extracurricular activities on campus. Execu- EDSA have accepted full-rime positions upon tive officer ofAlpha Gamma Rho fraternity, a completion of the internship. Of those, more Top Ten Freshman and an OSU Top Three than 75 percent now hold the position of assoOutstanding Greek Male are just some of the ciate or higher. honors he displays on his resume. In 2003, he Those statistics have Albert enthused. was executive director for OSU Homecoming. After graduating, he would like to work with a respectable landscape archi-

(continued from page 31) about," Albert said. "AB one of the most re-

Mike Albert sketches layouts for Edward D. Stone and Associates. Some of Albert's designs are displayed at the E. W Marland Mansion in Ponca City, Okla. (Photo by Bryan Pogue)

tecture firm - perhaps EDSA- but ultimately establish his own firm. Albert said he hopes to return to the Oklahoma Panhandle eventually to continue his family's cattle operation and support agriculture, which Albert said is his foundation. "For as long as I can remember, I have been brought up with agriculture playing a role in many ways," Albert said. "From going out with my father to feed the cattle at the ranch to being involved with organizations including 4-H and FFA, my most valuable education came from my agricultural background." Albert is a young man grounded in his agricultural roots but dreaming big and achieving his goals. He illustrates that a boy from the 0 klahoma Panhandle can be a success through hard work and sacrifice combined with a constant enthusiasm for life. While he speaks about landscape architecture, his lessons apply to everyone. "Landscape architecture is truly a future one must be passionate about," Albert said. "It's about leaving Ag Hall at 6 a.m. after a night of drawing. It's about having a brilliant idea while sitting in a restaurant and sketching it on a napkin with the vision of making it a reality. Each project should be treated with its own possibilities." For Mike Albert, the passion is contagious, the vision is clear and the possibilities limitless. By Elizabeth Kinney,


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Cowboy Journal v6n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 6, Number 2, Fall 2004, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Journal v6n2  

Cowboy Journal Volume 6, Number 2, Fall 2004, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University


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