Grandpa Is Not the Only Story Teller

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By: Gage Smith, Agribusiness and Applied Economics | Racine, OH

I can remember sitting on the fender of my grandfather’s 1855 Oliver tractor as a young boy, the smell of the fresh plowed ground, and the countless stories my grandfather would tell me as we went through the fields. The stories he told seemed to not have any correlation, but they all taught me a lesson and a sense of coming together. The idea of storytelling is universal and I had the opportunity to travel to Ghana, Africa on an education abroad to research the traditional stories that are told in the Volta Region.

The research included working within the communities where the stories have been told for hundreds of years. We listened to storytellers in the villages, the storytellers have been told the same stories by their ancestors. The act of storytelling was much like how my grandfather would have told a story, it was a performance to intrigue you to pay attention and gain a lesson of values, and provided a source of entertainment for the residents of the village.  The stories included interludes where the group would begin signing. The stories were almost always full of excitement and offered an opportunity for the individuals present to take part in the storytelling itself.

One of the many stories we listened to was about a young girl who disobeyed her parents and had to live out her life on a stone. The girls’ parents would visit her each day to bring her food and water, but one day the girl on the stone met her fate with a lioness. This story is told to children in the Volta Region to teach them the importance of listening to their parents and to obey authority.

Our education abroad research team was able to visit 5 villages and spoke with over forty storytellers. The importance of documenting the stories in Ghana is crucial for their survival; we saw that the stories are not being told on a regular basis as they once were, and the youth are not as interested and would rather watch television or use their cellphones for entertainment.

The short period of time that I was in Ghana I was able to fully immerse myself in the Ghanaian culture, learning much more than I would be able to from a lecture or a textbook.

Photo Credit: Dr. Nathan Crook 

Learning to Love Food Science

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By: Meredith Myers, Food Science and Technology | Cincinnati, OH

If you would have told me as a freshman food science and technology major that five years later I would be entering the first semester of my Master’s degree in food science, I definitely would not have believed you. When I entered The Ohio State University in the fall of 2012, I simply saw food science as a fun undergraduate degree to pursue that also satisfied the perquisite requirements for medical or dental school, which were my ultimate goals at the time. However, after seeing all of opportunities that were afforded to me from being a part of CFAES and the food science program, I fell in love with the field and ultimately chose it for my career path, and I am so glad that I did.  Throughout my undergraduate food science career, I have studied abroad in Brazil with Alpha Zeta partners, had two incredible internships at Synergy Flavors and Nestle Nutrition, served as co-president of the food science club, and met some amazing students and faculty who have taught me so much as well as pushed me to grow as both a student and person. Now, as a Master’s student in the food science department, I have continued to be blessed with even more amazing opportunities such as receiving the STEM scholarship sponsored by Monsanto. I am so excited to receive this award because it will allow me to begin my new food science journey in the field of research without financial burden. By pursuing a Master’s degree in food science I move one step closer to realizing my dream of creating delicious and healthy foods for people around the world, and I could not have done any of it without OSU, CFAES, and the Food Science department!

                             

Careers, Confidence, and Beef

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By: Caroline Miller, Meat Science | Lindsey, OH

I remember thinking, “So, I’m going to work in a beef plant. Who actually wants to work in a cold, boring production line?” Well as it turns out, I am one of those people that is more than excited to wake up at 3:45AM to wear steel toed boots, a hard hat and a hairnet to work every day. This past summer, I completed my first internship with Cargill Beef in Fresno, California, where we processed about 1400 head of cattle per day.

As the operations fabrication intern, I was very fortunate to learn about plant processes through two projects during my twelve weeks out west. For my first project, I graded carcasses and collected data for a newly implemented boxed beef program. I spent most of my time working with the production floor supervisors to develop a tool that helped them identify issues on the floor and assisted in creating a plan of action to resolve those issues. Through this project, we were able to improve product yields for Flapmeat and Ribeyes, as well as develop some remarkable friendships. I had a great experience and it is mainly because of the people I got to work with and learn from. At the end of my internship, I was able to compete with the other Operations Interns from each Cargill Protein Facility. After a lot of hard and backing from my coworkers, I was able to bring first place back to Fresno.

While I was preparing for my internship, I felt very excited and nervous to have so many new experiences in California. However, I didn’t realize how much this summer would change my life. Living 2400 miles away from anyone and anything I ever knew helped me gain independence, strength and confidence in myself. Looking back on this summer, I am so unbelievably grateful for the opportunities I had to travel, overcome struggles, and, most importantly, work with some truly amazing people. Internships are opportunities to try your career on for size and because of my experience, I am fully certain that the meat industry is right where I need to be.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Gracious, Honduras!

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By: Amanda Bush, Agricultural Communication | Mt. Gilead, OH

Last May, a group of 26 students and faculty from Utah State University and The Ohio State University traveled abroad for 16 days to Honduras for a Community Development and Agricultural Outreach Education Study Abroad program with the supervision of Dr. Jamie Cano, Tyler Agner, and Emily Wickham of Ohio State and Dr. Gary Straquedine of Utah State University. Our host family, Larry and Angie Overholt are also native Buckeyes who took care of us throughout the trip.  While in Honduras, we accomplished many great things and was able to see several incredible places and sights.

Each day was a new adventure. We never really knew what we were getting into until it was happening. Whether it be cooking with the people of the villages to prepare a meal for the kids in school, helping serve the food to the children in the school, helping build an outhouse for a family with teenage girl who has never had bathroom facilities, or making and pouring concrete at the Vocational schools for various projects the needed done. Whatever the task was, we all came together to make it happen – even in the 100+ degree heat.

However, we did not always work. Some days we would take tours of the cities around and all they had to offer such as the “Mercado” which is essentially a supermarket where the Hondurans go each day to get their food while also visiting a sugar cane processing plant, a milk processing and packaging plant and visiting several vocational and public schools in the area.

A few things learned on this study abroad trip to Honduras was not just hard work and determination to see the job through – it was much deeper than that. A sense of respect and assurance that no matter how bad we think we have it some times, we truly are blessed to live in this country and have the freedoms we do. This experience allowed us to open our hearts and minds to the truths of the world and uncover a passion for international development and positive change for which we all say, “Gracious, Honduras!”

A Roaring Night to Remember

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By: Ryan Alu, Agribusiness and Applied Economics | Columbus, OH

As a transfer student who only had three semesters at Ohio State I came in with a keep your head down and graduate mentality. I am so happy I read Adam Cahill’s weekly update email and took a chance on being a co-chair for the banquet committee, which made me truly feel like a part of the buckeye and CFAES community.

On Thursday April 7th the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences came together to recognize the accomplishments of the students, faculty, and staff at the 63rd annual Recognition Program. I was lucky enough to not only be a part of the group of 28 students that put it together but also to be one of the Chairmen of the group. As a transfer student I had never attended the banquet so I came in having very little idea of what to expect. The planning for the banquet began in October with a meeting between the co-chairs and our awesome advisors Dr. Marilyn Trefz and Dr. Warren Flood I could tell that it was going to take a lot of work to make it a great banquet.

Every member of the committee put in a lot of hard work to make the banquet the success it was. Every part of the banquet, from creating the menu, to decorating the ballroom, was either run or managed by a student. The banquet being a student run event, makes it that much more special, because it shows just how much the students care about, and want to put on a great event for their fellow classmates, faculty, and staff of the college. After all of the hard work, it was great to see the final product, especially the look on students and their families’ faces that received awards. However, my favorite part of the banquet was at the end, when all of the seniors gathered on stage and lead the entire room in singing Carmen Ohio. That night was one that will stick with me forever and the experience of being a part of the banquet team is one that I would highly suggest for anyone.