“Doing to Learn”: How Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum Prepared me for a Future in Education


By: Bradley Collins, Agriscience Education | Coolville, OH

The National FFA Association’s motto reads, “Learning to do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve”; this statement means a lot of things to a lot of people (over six hundred twenty-nine thousand current members). Although I’m now an alumnus, I find myself thinking about this motto from time to time. As an FFA Member, these words reminded me that “Doing to Learn” would be the key to my success, now that I am in my third year at The Ohio State University, these words still hold their merit.

Preparing to teach agricultural science in the classroom is what I have been working on for the last three years, however, agriscience educators work with students nearly as much out of the classroom as they do in. It’s difficult to understand what it’s like to be an agriculture educator unless you’ve done a little walking in their shoes (boots). During my time studding Agriscience Education, I have done half-a-dozen career shadowing projects, as well as a two week Early Field Experience, during all of which I was in the classroom. It’s not until an education student’s senior year that they can complete student teaching and be in the classroom for an extended period. For me it’s hard investing all of my time and money studying to have a career in a field that I’ve only experienced half of. Outside of the classroom, Agriscience Educators spend hours taking students to contests, conferences, conventions and camp; sometimes across the country. This summer, I was fortunate enough to gain some inside experience working with students outside of the classroom.

Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum is located on Leesville Lake in Carrol County Ohio. Every summer, FFA members from across Ohio come to camp to make new friends, gain leadership abilities, and most importantly, to have fun. Ohio FFA Camp employs around seven college students every summer to help staff all of the sessions of camp. As one of the seven that was selected this year by camp director Todd Davis (an alumnus of the Ohio State College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Science), and his full time staff, I moved into camp on May 31, and by July 18 I didn’t want to leave. Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum Summer Staff is responsible for coordinating activities, writing programs, life guarding, high ropes etc.. Although all five regular sessions of camp had the same schedule, every week was different. Around midday every Sunday a new set of students and their advisors would show up at camp registration, each week different from the last. I worked with upwards of twelve hundred students this summer and made countless connections with their advisors. Knowing that I would be in the advisors’ position in just a few short years, I took every opportunity to gain knowledge from their experiences, not to mention the career networking opportunities. Because of my position on camp staff I was able to work side-by-side with the professionals that will one day be my peers, as well as my fellow staff members, who I now call friends.

The Ohio FFA Camp summer staff position was originally created as an internship designed for future agriscience educators (although our staff is now fairly diverse). The time I spent this summer on Leesville Lake has taught me that even with training from one of the best institutions in the Nation, nothing can prepare you more for a career than getting out there and “Doing to Learn”.

Becoming a Buckeye at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


By: Meredith Oglesby, Agricultural Communication | Hillsboro, OH

Goals as a Freshman: Make it to class on time, conquer the bus system, attend football games as a student, find others with the same passions, and learn Carmen Ohio. Although I had these goals in my mind I was still nervous about the size and number of student on the campus. On August 20 with these goals in mind, I moved on campus, nervous just as your typical freshman would be. Looking back there was nothing to be nervous about, as a student in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences there are so many people willing to help you ensure you have everything to be successful.

As week two rolled around I had successfully ridden the campus bus, figured out the best places to eat on campus, and had made it through my first week of classes, now I was encouraged to join different clubs and student organizations on campus! Whether you would like to join a club focusing on your major or a hobby that you love, there is a club for everyone! This way I met so many others with the same interests and passions as mine. The clubs offer opportunities for students to travel, learn leadership skills, and volunteer for community service.

The College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences ensures that every student feels welcome and that all students are successful. Students have the opportunity to meet with faculty and staff, and professors care about their students. The professors, faculty, and staff try their best to learn students on a name to name basis and encourage students to visit their offices often!

I couldn’t imagine a better place to spend my first year as a college student. I have already met so many awesome people. The opportunities for students are endless from the various classes, clubs, and unique experiences students will feel at home. The College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences encourages students to find their passions and meet so many awesome new individuals. I have officially conquered 20 days as a college student, attended a football game, rode the bus, and made it to all my classes. As I continue to learn traditions, and meet new people I know I made the right decision last fall when I applied to The Ohio State University and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

My Summer in the River Bottoms


By: Landon Lindemer, Agribusiness and Applied Economics | Springhills, OH

This summer I had the opportunity to do an Internship in Hales Point, Tennessee working for Cargill Inc. As an operations intern I spent a lot of time in the plant getting hands-on experience with many tasks.  Hales Point is a facility located along the Mississippi river, so we loaded barges throughout the summer.

I had many projects over the summer. One project was updating the maintenance records and specs of the equipment in the plant. Another was focused on updating safe operating procedure manuals so new employees can learn their job much faster. My biggest project was analyzing the barge loading process at our facility and finding ways to load barges safer and more efficiently. Through this project I got to meet many people, project managers, operations leaders, and maintenance and reliability leaders.

Throughout the summer I got to travel to several different places. I was able to tour Cargill headquarters in Minneapolis, MN and met many more interns there during the Intern Forum. I toured Reserve and Westwego, Cargill’s two export facilities in Louisiana. In addition, I got to take part in train loading at the Tuscola, IL facility. I even worked a day in a barge loading facility on the Tennessee River.

What I am the most thankful for was the great people I worked with. My first day they made me feel at home and by the end of the summer I felt like I was a part of their family. They liked to laugh at how I called a shopping cart a shopping cart, not a “buggy” and showed me how to make some very sweet sweet tea. I had a great summer in the “river bottoms” and can’t wait for what’s next!

CFAES Ambassador Team Takes Retreat


By: Mindi Brookhart, Agricultural Communication| Waynesfield, OH

What comes to mind when you think of going on a weekend retreat? If you imagine taking a break from your busy schedule, getting out of town, and enjoying good food and great company, then we have something in common! The Ambassador Team from the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences spent our first weekend back at The Ohio State University doing just that.

Hey there, my name is Mindi Brookhart and I am a third year student at OSU. As an Agricultural Communication major, I was welcomed onto the CFAES Ambassador team in the spring of 2016 and recently earned the privilege of experiencing my first Ambassador Retreat.

After the first week of classes, 31 students from CFAES gathered in the Agricultural Administration building and began a training seminar. It was equipped to better educate our group and make us aware of unique situations we could encounter such as leading tours on campus to prospective students or working at recruiting events. Once that concluded, we headed to Woodhaven Farms in Johnstown and spent our evening escaping the city. We worked in groups to prepare supper and spend genuine time getting to know fellow team members and relaxing by the pond.

Saturday morning, we dove right into our busy day and engaged in an Open Doors training. Its purpose was to educate and make us think about diversity and how we approach it each day. This event was led by Pamela Thomas.  Our afternoon was spent expanding our knowledge about our college by working with Amy Jo Baughman and Jill Arnett, our advisors.

On Sunday morning, we concluded our retreat with strong peer discussion while eating brunch. The final stop of the weekend was at Price Farms Organics.

I take pride in representing the college as well as The Ohio State University by serving as a CFAES Ambassador. Though it is a competitive process to join the team, it is a very rewarding experience. We polish our professional skills and have the opportunity to represent our student body when meeting large contributors to our school as well as industry professionals.

If you love being a Buckeye and staying involved with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the ambassador team may be a great fit for you!

Buckeye in Mexico

thumbnail_Carley Snider Blog Picture

By: Carley Snider, Agriscience Education | Felicity, OH

Growing up involved in programs such as 4-H and FFA, I’ve always valued the way youth can be developed through agricultural experiences. So, when I had the opportunity to be involved in a similar program working to develop youth in Mexico, I had no hesitation in saying “yes!”

I spent my summer living in Magdelena de Kino, Mexico as an intern for The Fatted Calf organization. My main duty as an intern was to oversee the children participating in a 4-H-like event known as “Expo Esperanza,” or “Hope Expo.” “Expo Esperanza” is an event held for the children living at Casa Vida y Esperanza, an orphanage in Magdelena. I served as, essentially, the “4-H advisor” of the children participating in beef cattle, sheep, and chicken projects. Additionally, I taught two summer school classes focused on cooking and electricity.

Throughout the summer, I used my experiences in showing livestock and completing 4-H/FFA projects to help the children gain new skills, learn new knowledge and develop new perspectives.

At Expo Esperanza, I was able to watch, like a proud teacher would, as my students showcased their projects. 16 students participated in beef showmanship, 15 participated in sheep showmanship, 8 participated in sheep production, and 25 participated in chicken showmanship and production. Seeing the pride each child held as they presented their projects was an unmatchable experience. I’m thankful that I was able to use the skills and knowledge I gained through youth programs in Ohio to be a part of developing youth in Mexico through similar programs.