Pflaumer spends winter break with Buck-I-SERV

Olivia Pflaumer
agriscience education

Buck-I-SERV is The Ohio State University’s alternative break program, providing students across the campus opportunities to engage in weeklong community service and civic engagement programs around the United States and even abroad. I was selected to participate in a Buck-I-SERV program with nine other students, where we traveled to Pinellas County Florida to work with University of Florida’s IFAS Extension Sea Grant program. UF | IFAS’s mission is to provide research based knowledge and educational opportunities to enable people, and in particular we worked with this in the Pinellas County area.

Some of the main issues facing the Pinellas County area are related to marine debris, income inequality, and access to education. Libby Carnahan coordinated and provided educational information to participating students as we served at Weedon Island cleaning marine debris from Mangrove Islands and protecting wildlife. Mangroves are an essential piece of the ecosystem in this area and are threatened by pollution. On our second day we served at Fort Desoto, an area that has been losing resources and required a tremendous amount of assistance to revitalize the historical area. Moving away from the environmental efforts, we were also able to construct and execute lesson plans for the Lealman Asian and Family Neighbor Center. The students were able to engage and learn from us more about the ecosystem and habitats that surround them in the Pinellas County area. On our last full day in Florida, a downpour prevented us from completing our original plans of another environmental clean-up and therefore led us to serve time at a local food bank in the Lealman area and also provide labor for one of the Tampa Bay area’s Habitat for Humanity Restore Centers.

The opportunity to engage with students from different backgrounds and hear about their understanding of the environmental and social issues faced in Pinellas County was extremely valuable, along with the valuable accounts from the people we were working with in the area. While it was only a week long, the impacts we were working to make were extremely gratifying in a sense that we could see a direct change especially when cleaning areas from debris. I would encourage any student that is interested in community service to take this opportunity. The opportunities and experiences I have gained from Buck-I-SERV has empowered me and others to bring what we learned back to the Columbus community and have a meaningful impact through our organizations on and off campus.


Pflaumer (left) teaching students in Pinellas County.


Cleaning up marine debris.


Pflaumer (left) with other students.


Intern Spotlight: Cassady Interns with Wren Farm Events as Event Manager

Hailie Cassady
agricultural communication

My name is Hailie Cassady and I am a senior studying agricultural communication, and I have been interning with Wren Farm Events in Mechanicsburg, Ohio as an event manager/coordinator since April.

Wren Farm is an event venue located 35 minutes from Columbus and 45 minutes from Dayton. The venue primarily hosts weddings but can accommodate functions such as high school proms, homecomings, dinner parties, showers, etc. This wedding season (late April through early November) we had 26 weddings booked and at this point we have 21 of those completed.

The facility is a two story, historic barn that was formerly used to house livestock such as dairy cattle, hogs and sheep. The hay mound was converted into the reception area and the downstairs features the original feed troughs which is where buffet style meals are set up.

Being an event manager, I have been involved in multiple weddings and have worked with a lot of different people. I am involved in the touring and booking process, taking deposits and payments, preparing contracts, sending out vendor forms to upcoming brides to get their vendor information and how they want their space set up, setting up tables and chairs prior to couples arriving to decorate and then assisting with decorating inside and outside of the barn, setting up ceremony seating, helping with food, drinks and trash and any other last minute things that the couple may need.

I have really enjoyed working with all of the different couples and seeing the barn set up in so many different ways. Wedding planning and coordinating is a lot more demanding than I expected when I first started but it is fun to be busy and on your feet, making the couple’s special day everything that they expected! I love that I get to be involved in the entire process and work alongside different people all the time. Every weekend is something completely different and I like that aspect of it.

Cassady, agricultural communication


Wren Farm Events

Internship Spotlight: Plahuta Completes Summer Internship 

Haley Plahuta
agricultural communication

Throughout the last spring, I had the pleasure of helping put on the Ohio Farm to Cafeteria Pre-Conference and the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference. This opportunity came about after I saw an advertisement for the conference in a flyer.

The national conference is put on by the National Farm to School Network, an information, advocacy and networking hub that serves communities by using local food, school gardens and food and agricultural education in schools and early care settings. With my major being agricultural communications and working towards minors in youth development and Spanish, farm to school combined both of my interests. I found out that they were not only interested in having a volunteer, but would be willing to help me count the experience towards an Ohio State internship credit. This was in January and over the next four months, I worked as a Farm to School Communications Intern out of Campbell Hall to help promote the conference to people across Ohio.

The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference was planned for Cincinnati in May. Carol Smathers, OSU Extension specialist and the Ohio Farm to School Program Coordinator and Amy Fovargue, OSU Extension, were responsible for an Ohio-focused pre-conference. Most of my work involved promoting the pre-conference, which included an Ohio producer showcase with tables from companies like DNO Produce, Peaceful Fruits and Cincy Beef. There was also a panel of speakers from the local food industry and round tables for guests to discuss issues and topics surrounding local food.

While promoting the pre-conference, I learned a lot about event planning and especially the importance of staying organized. I used various tactics to help promote the conference as well as excel sheets to keep track of all email lists and publications that highlighted the event. I promoted the pre-conference through mass emails, press releases and Facebook. I found Facebook to be especially helpful. I had not previously experienced using Facebook to set up an event page and learned some of the benefits and challenges of this media platform.

I also worked with Ohio State’s Office of Trademark and Licensing Services to ensure that our branding was compliant with the University’s brand on the Farm to School website, flyers and post cards. I helped update the Farm to School website, created a monthly flyer that contained information about the upcoming conference. For these flyers, I used the approved OSU templates. I also developed postcards to hand out to promote the pre-conference. Working on the website, flyers and postcards provided a valuable learning experience. I also had to build in time to receive feedback and edits for the branding to be approved. This taught me to build in extra time when working with others.

Throughout this internship, I learned more than I could have imagined about event planning. This experience was especially unique because of the event being a pre-conference with a national conference happening the following day. I feel that the work I did helped prepare me for a job that includes event planning and creating promotional materials such as postcards, flyers, press releases and a website.

Table decorations for the conference that Plahuta made.


Plahuta (left) with Amy Fovargue (middle), and Michaela Graham (right), another intern who helped with the conference.

Intern Spotlight: Emily Beal Interns with The Kentucky Exposition Center

Emily Beal
agricultural communication

During the summer of 2018 I had the pleasure to intern for The Kentucky Exposition Center, where I worked in the horse show office. While I was only an intern, the knowledge and experience I received while working in Louisville were immeasurable.

The horse show office was responsible for putting on an array of horse shows through out the year, those shows being: the Quarter Horse show, the state 4-H show, The NAILE Draft horse show, and finally The World Championship Horse Show. While all of these shows were important, the primary focus was on The World Championship Horse Show while I was interning.

In preparation for the biggest saddlebred show in the world, our office covered many tasks. Keying entries, talking on the phone to exhibitors/trainers/owners, making the program book, mailing entries out, and creating a show bill; these tasks and many others were done to ensure the show would go smoothly.

I myself had the pleasure of being the voice of the fairgrounds for the Quarter Horse Show. I was stationed at the eagle’s nest where I announced what class was being judged, which exhibitors needed to check in for their class, and finally the class order. Through this task I gained confidence in public speaking, as my voice carried through out the entire fairgrounds.

Interning for the Expo Center was a an extremely rewarding experience. The lessons I learned and connections I made will stay with me forever.


Emily Beal, agricultural communication


Intern Spotlight: Stephens Interns with Beck’s Hybrids as Sales Intern

Linnea Stephens
agricultural communication

Hello! My name is Linnea Stephens, and I am a current third year student at The Ohio State University majoring in Agricultural Communication with a minor in International Economic Development. This past summer of 2018 I worked with Beck’s Hybrids as the Ohio Sales Intern. The territory that I worked within was Northern, Ohio and some parts of Lower, Michigan.

Stephens at Beck’s Hybrids Headquarters located in Atlanta, Indiana

Prior to this summer internship with Beck’s Hybrids, my only experience within the seed industry was with my internship with Nutrien Ag as their undergraduate research intern the summer before. After talking to one of the District Sales Manager I was assigned to work with this summer, we decided the sooner I could start my internship the better it would be for the sales team in Ohio. Therefore, I traveled to Atlanta, Indiana for early safety training and onboarding, and started two weeks early as an intern.

Tasks and projects that I completed this summer ranged daily. From planting field plots, scouting, cold calling on potential customers, maintaining expense reports, transferring seed, and leading customers in private Practical Farm Research Tours, it made my summer go extremely fast. Every day I woke up not knowing exactly what I would be doing each day, and that is what I loved that about my internship this summer with Beck’s.

Traveling to Beck’s Hybrids headquarters in Atlanta, Indiana for formal training allowed me to meet college students across the Mid-West. Representing The Ohio State University among other college students gave me a opportunity to share how classes here on campus have prepared me to become a young professional in the Ag based industry.

Leading and organizing private Practical Farm Research tours this summer at the London, Ohio location was one of most rewarding experiences I had this summer. With a total of 3 tours, 54 attendees, and over 27,000 acres accounted for the tours were deemed a success by the Ohio sales team.

Being chosen as one of 23 interns this summer for a seed company is truly a humbling experience.  Therefore, this summer I was not only a representative of Beck’s Hybrids, but a Buckeye as well. Many individuals think that sales internships are only about how much you can sell within a three-month period, and I can now say that sigma is not true.

Traveling the state of Ohio and connecting to farmers via cold calls and sales events is the most best professional growth experiences I have ever had, and you cannot put a price tag on that.


One of the three PFR tours Stephens organized and led in to London, Ohio


PFR tour conducted by Stephens



Evans Awarded American Degree

Haley Evans
agriscience education


Haley Evans, a junior studying agriscience education was awarded her American FFA Degree at the 91st National FFA Convention. Here is what she had to say:


“Receiving my American Degree means closing a 6 year chapter of my life. Throughout these 6 years I had many SAE projects including market goats, dairy beef feeder calfs, and multiple job placements. I also gained leadership experiences, life long friendships, participated in many CDE’s, and made many memories that I am thankful for. What I am most thankful for throughout my time in FFA is that it lead me to choose my career path as a future Agricultural Educator.”

Evans with her American Degree.

Buchenroth Awarded American Degree

Kolt Buchenroth
agricultural communication

Thanks to the support of my family, friends, Kenton City Schools, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, my advisor Mrs. Shalie Logan, and great members of the Hardin County community, I am extremely thankful to have received my American FFA Degree at the 91st National FFA Convention & Expo. I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in Agricultural Education courses in high school, and become a member of the FFA. The organization has not only opened a number of doors for me, but has also provided me with skills and knowledge that can’t be learned anywhere else.

Kolt (pictured with American Degree) and his family.

Kaitlyn Evans awarded American Degree

Kaitlyn Evans
agriscience education

Evans received her American Degree at the 91st National FFA Convention.

My FFA Experience was with the Shelby FFA. Throughout FFA, I was involved as the chapter Treasurer for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school year, and I attended Ohio Leadership Camp for three years. I participated in multiple Career Development Events including parliamentary procedure, nature interpretation, soil judging, and more.  I had multiple Supervised Agricultural Experience projects in the areas of animal systems, communications, and food processing systems.

Receiving my American Degree means that everything I have done in FFA for the last six years has been recognized. My American Degree means that I have worked hard over the last six years and am in the top 1% of all FFA members. It especially means a lot to me as an Agriscience Education major that wants to teach high school agriculture one day. Receiving my degree ended my FFA membership with the highest honor and started a new chapter in my life as an alumni. I am excited to begin this new journey and be a role model for future FFA members to achieve their American Degree.

Eggleton awarded American Degree

Makayla Eggleton
agriscience education

Eggleton with her advisor.

Our days are numbered- to conquer our fears, make an impact, and influence others in our blue corduroy jackets . 4 years in the classroom; 1,460 days that we as FFA members get to zip up our corduroy jackets, to break the boundaries of our comfort zones, and to better ourselves as leaders. As I reflect on my time in the Miami Trace FFA Chapter, I recognize all the opportunities I was given and I realized all the opportunities I did not take advantage of. I recognize my participation in several CDEs- 2 at a national level, the lives impacted through community service and interaction, and my leadership positions of community development officer and president. I realize the classes, CDEs, and opportunities I missed out on to diversify myself because of fear of failure.

Zipping up the jacket one last time embodied the achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists. The unity and tradition instilled within the organization and agriculture are not finalized. I now get to serve those — community members, progressive agriculturists, supporters, family members, friends, and agricultural educators— who made my involvement in FFA worthwhile. Additionally, I get to serve the next generations of agriculturists as they embark on their journey within the FFA in their jackets. As a preservice agricultural educator, I already find the joys and reward in aiding members in finding their passions. It takes just one — individual, community service activity, conference, convention, career development event, action, voice, etc. — to make an impact. Be the one.

Eggleton with other recipients.

Intern Spotlight: Naus Interns with Ohio Corn & Wheat

Julia Naus
agriscience education

Greetings all! My name is Julia Naus, and I was the 2017-2018 Education and Outreach Intern for Ohio Corn & Wheat. I grew up in Hardin County located in northwest Ohio. My passion for Agricultural Education and FFA inspired me to major in AgriScience Education at The Ohio State University. Because of my passion, I excitingly took advantage of the Education & Outreach Internship opportunity within Ohio Corn & Wheat. Being a New Crop Student Member and receiving the 2017 OCW Scholarship, had driven me to become more involved within the association.

President Drake and Julia at a water quality event

 Ohio Corn & Wheat is a strategic alliance made up of three different organizations to maximize resources. Those three organizations being: Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Corn Checkoff, and Ohio Small Grains Checkoff. Focuses of the strategic alliance include: farm bill, ethanol, energy, trade policy, environmental stewardship, transportation, risk management, livestock, research, marketing, industrial demand, education, consumer outreach, and membership.

My Education and Outreach was a wonderful experience that will always be appreciated and valued. From new experiences and knowledge to personal growth, I learned to love the agricultural industry even more than I already had. Some of my projects included overseeing our Collegiate Policy Academy, recruiting high school and collegiate members, organizing our plans for the 89thOhio FFA Convention, and assisting with activities at State Fair and Farm Science Review. Aside from my projects, I enjoyed speaking with members of Congress while advocating for the Farm Bill, ethanol, and trade. Being apart of a company that invests millions of dollars in research and thousands in education has brought insight on just how important the two are for the advancement of our communities and industry. In addition, I worked with Education Projects at teaching workshops and taught agricultural lessons to youth. One of my favorite highlights from the past 10 months was hosting a trade team from Thailand. Although my internship has ended, I continue to advocate for Ohio Corn & Wheat and all that they do for Ohio’s agricultural industry.

Happy Harvest and Go Bucks!

Naus’s district’s representative, Bob Latta. Nuas was honored to hold a conversation with both him and Senator Sherrod Brown at a dinner reception in Washington, D.C.