The Internship of a Lifetime


By: Rachel Fladung, Animal Sciences | Hamilton, OH

The summer of 2014 was a summer I will never forget, and I would not have had such a wonderful experience without The Ohio State University. I heard of an internship with Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital through a friend at OSU, which began this opportunity of a lifetime. After applying and being accepted as a summer intern, I began planning for a summer living in Ocala, Florida, working 80 hours a week with horses- life couldn’t be any better, and I was ready for the challenges ahead.

I love horses- I have been involved in riding and the horse industry for almost 16 years, yet I questioned if I was able to work with horses professionally while also having my own horse as a therapeutic escape. Luckily, I was able to not only work at an equine reproductive facility, I was also able to see my own horse throughout the week and continue riding. This gave me the ability to see if I would enjoy horses as a job and as a therapy, and I learned so much about myself throughout this journey.

May through August. 6 days a week. 80+ hour work weeks. Night Shifts. On calls. Stallions, Mares, Geldings, foals, people, clients, coworkers, best friends, amazing memories. This is how my life was, waking up at 5:30 am to clean stalls, restock barns, feed, hay, and water. Watching the sunrise every morning, feeling the hot summer heat and sweat of hard work, and being around the animals that I love most while learning new things every day is what made me love this summer so much. While working, we would sing current pop hits, dance in the barn aisles before moving pregnant mares down to the trailers there to pick them up, help with mare checks and stallion collections, and handle the newborn and older foals that needed to be halter trained. We would yell throughout the single wide extra long trailer that 8 girls shared together at 3 am because a baby was coming within the next few minutes from one of the mares; we then would wake up at 5:30 in the morning to our poptarts and yet another day at work. Our rewards were Thursday donuts and going to the beach on Sundays when we finished work early, along with the countless hours spent talking to each other, the veterinarians, and breeding specialists for whom we worked.

I learned so much from this reproduction center that I now have an interest in Reproductive Physiology, and can correlate what I am learning in class to what I saw this summer; I learned that having my own horse and working with horses professionally is perfect for me, and that I appreciate my own horse more in that atmosphere. Gaining mentors and friends that I still talk to, people I can rely on if I ever needed them, and an experience that pre-vet students almost never get was incredible, and I would have never known about it had it not been for Ohio State. I am so thankful for everything I gained from this summer, and an internship not only teaches you about what you want to do professionally, but about what type of person you are, how you work best, and how to be confident in what you know you can do well. This internship with Peterson & Smith Equine Reproduction Center was the best thing I have ever done, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Study Abroad Programs Define My Ohio State Experience


By: David Minich, Animal Sciences | Cincinnati, OH

Before coming to The Ohio State University, my scope of the world ventured no further than my own travels in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.  However, all of that changed during my first quarter here at Ohio State when I had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador on one of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences’ study abroad programs.

During my freshman year trip to Ecuador, we toured numerous farms, learning about sustainability and the culture of the country.  With just 18 first-year students in the group, we all quickly became good friends.  Some of my best friends today are those who traveled with me on this study abroad program, and it is something we still talk about years later.  My first international experience initially seemed very overwhelming – I had to get my passport, attempt to brush up on my Spanish language skills, and prepare for my first trip out of the country, but when I returned home, I knew immediately that I wanted to participate in another study abroad program and travel abroad again.

In December of my sophomore year, I was fortunate enough to be able to once again go abroad, traveling to Ireland for 11 days studying human and animal interactions.  This was another incredible experience learning about the culture and society in Ireland while also having numerous opportunities to compare and contrast the use of animals and land in Ireland and the United States.  A few of the more memorable experiences of this program were visiting the Cliffs of Moher as well as taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the Dublin Zoo.

Finally, after my junior year, I was extremely lucky to be chosen as one of the first students to participate in a new study abroad program focusing on exotic animal behavior and welfare in South Africa.  As an animal sciences major who hopes to one day work with exotic animals as a veterinarian, I could not think of a better program to fit my interests, round out my animal sciences career at Ohio State, and fulfill one of my biggest dreams – traveling to Africa!  Every single day of this 17 day program was filled with surprises.  From observing wild animals in their natural habitat and witnessing amazing moments, such as a herd of nearly sixty elephants crossing a river, to learning about the problems these animals are facing as human populations and wildlife increasingly interact, this program provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget and will always be able to reference during my future career.

After participating in three study abroad programs held on three different continents, I can confidently say that study abroad has not only defined my time here at Ohio State and in CFAES, but it has also changed my life for the better.  I encourage any students who are interested in study abroad to do so and to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!

My AFA Leaders Conference Experience


By: Jordan Bonham, Agricultural Communication | Washington Court House, OH

If there are two things I love about the age I am at now, it would have to be the ability to easily travel and the limitless opportunities to grow professionally. Lucky enough for me, I found a way to combine these.

During my first year at Ohio State, I discovered Agriculture Future of America whose mission is to create partnerships that identify, encourage and support outstanding college men and women preparing for careers in the agriculture and food industry. AFA is located in Kansas City, Missouri and just so happens to hold an annual Leaders Conference in November. An opportunity to travel and an opportunity to better myself; exactly what I was looking for!

There were 22 students from Ohio State present at this year’s Leaders Conference.  Leaders Conference bridges the gap between academic, leadership and work experiences while helping students understand the impact of their decisions. The conference also assists students in developing personal and professional skills necessary for lifelong success and gives students the opportunity to network with peers and leaders in the agriculture industry.

There’s a reason it is called Leaders Conference and not a leadership conference. Conference delegates are chosen through a competitive application process and AFA believes that delegates selected for conference are already leaders; so why do they need more leadership training? Leaders Conference assists in the development of delegate’s soft skills and acknowledges an industry perspective.

“AFA Leaders Conference is truly a catalyst for young leaders wishing to grow our industry for generations to come,” says Meghan Bennett, third year attendee. “As a student, I have gained both perspective and insight into our industry through this program and I am very excited to continue my involvement with this great organization.”

I highly encourage students to take a look at AFA and all of the programs they provide! You can learn more at


Spreading the Love for Ohio State, One Student at a Time

Molly Picture

By: Molly Roup, Agricultural Engineering | Medina, OH

Perhaps one of the most daunting decisions one faces as a young adult is which college to attend, and yet it’s a decision I was able to make with ease. After moving to the Buckeye State in 2006, I quickly found myself caught up in the hype. So when it came time for me to decide what college I should attend, I was thrilled when I was accepted into Ohio State, and whole-heartedly accepted with only one fear in mind: with as many opportunities as Ohio State has to offer, how will I know which one is for me? That answer came to me through my choice of major and the chance to be on the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Ambassador Team, and what that chance has come to mean to me has made my experience within this College invaluable.

Before discovering my major within CFAES at Ohio State, I had had serious doubts about what careers and passions I should pursue. Without CFAES, I would have never known that Agricultural Engineering was a major, let alone that it would be the perfect major for me. It is a major that has allowed me to apply my problem solving skills to something I care about, working with the technologies behind sustainable food production, and through it I have found my own career path and made life-long friends. It is getting to share these experiences within prospective students as a CFAES Ambassador that has also allowed me to find my place at Ohio State. As someone who has been in these students’ place, trying to figure out which part of Ohio State will truly become their home, I have absolutely loved getting the chance to show them everything that the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences has to offer. Whether it’s the academics, student organizations, or just a home away from home, this College is unlike any other, and has truly enhanced my years as a Buckeye.

With that said, I hope anyone reading this can take some time to reflect on why you love being or Buckeye, or why you might want to be a Buckeye someday. It’s become so nice to be able to call Columbus home, and even more so the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.


Did I miss the memo?



By: Stacie Seger, Agricultural Communication | Fort Loramie, OH

There is so much information that we learn during our first couple weeks of college. Building locations, bus routes and my student ID number are just a few of the main things that I remember learning, sometimes that hard way, during my first year of college. (If you missed the student ID number memo, it’s the nine-digit number on your BuckID!)

As I sadly see my graduation on the horizon, I reflect and laugh about a couple things I wish I learned earlier in my college career. Here is a quick list of memos I think every student needs to make his or her time at Ohio State even better.

  • “Find People” function on the OSU website

“Find People” is an Ohio State search engine located on the top right-hand corner of the Ohio State website. This site will allow you to search for important information about anyone associated with Ohio State. Dot numbers, office locations and affiliation are only a search away for any student, staff or faculty member.

  • Shop around for text books

Although campus bookstores are great resources, they aren’t the only place to buy a textbook. Check online or ask an older student if he or she still has a book you need. It’s also a great idea to ask the instructor if you need to buy the latest version of the book. Sometimes there aren’t too many differences between versions and you can save a lot of money by buying an older book.

  • Go to office hours

All instructors are required to hold office hours. Stop in and say hi before you become too lost in the information. Instructors like to get to know their students and will be more than happy to help you if they know you are putting in the effort to learn. Don’t be “that student” that goes to office hours right before the final and pleads to have the instructor reteach everything.

  • Online library

I use to search for information on Google Scholar and then would become frustrated when the site would ask me to pay for the article I wanted to read. Ohio State’s solves this “pay to preview” problem by allowing all students special privileges to view scholarly articles by logging in with your name and dot number.

  • Invest in yourself with experiences

You are currently surrounded by an unbelievable number of opportunities. Take the time to explore and maybe even step out of your comfort zone. I can promise you that you won’t regret it! Attend a free OUAB event, study abroad, try out a new restaurant, join a student organization, take a new path to class – each opportunity will add to your personal bank account of who you are. It’s an investment that will only grow!

Agriculture isn’t always just in your backyard



By: Samantha Ward, Food Science & Technology | Worthington, OH

When setting off to South Africa two summers ago I never realized the impact that Studying Abroad would have on not only my time at OSU, but also my life as a whole. Studying Abroad was a stepping stone that opened many doors for me not only at OSU, but also in the professional world. When applying to study abroad my mindset was typical of most college students in that I thought it would be a great experience for the five weeks I was there, and would gain me some credit along the way. Before studying abroad I didn’t even know of any of the clubs within the CFAES college, and by the time I came back I was active in three different organizations.

Even two years later I still remember the adventures we went on, and the amazing opportunities we had in South Africa. In addition to the fun of boating along an estuary filled with hippos, riding through the game reserve searching for lions, and riding to the top of Table Mountain our study abroad group completed many meaningful projects while in South Africa. One of the projects our group had the opportunity to work on was to design and build an irrigation system at an AIDS Clinic and at a community garden in Khayelitsha in order to help improve the efficiency of watering the crops. While there we made a strong connection with the women who ran the garden, and were able to learn a lot from them on how they grow their crops so successfully with minimal means. Looking at the experience as a whole I realized I originally went in with the mindset that we were going there in order to help the people and share our knowledge. What I actually found was that they ended up helping me by teaching me a lot and helping me grow. I gained a different perspective on the Agricultural Industry than that seen in America.

Coming back to Columbus I have found that this experience, and the knowledge that I gained, has helped me advance personally and professionally. In addition to the extracurricular involvement I have noticed that when applying for internships prospective employers are interested in hearing about what I have learned and my experiences in South Africa. I gained a perspective to the Agricultural industry that most people do not have. By seeing a new way of life, and a new way of doing things, it truly opens you up to step outside of the safety of your box.

I would truly advise anyone who has the opportunity to study abroad. The experience will not only give you memories and friendships for a life time, but can truly change your life.

My Trip to the Least Visited Country in South America


By: Bridget Gladden, Zoology (minor in Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife) | Beavercreek, OH

What began as thoughts of escape quickly turned into the opportunity of a lifetime. Arriving at Laguna Blanca in Paraguay was no easy feat with delayed flights, unusual transportation methods in Asuncion, and a lack of any sort of fluency in Spanish, but travel never is simple. It was only moments after my arrival that I felt at ease, even at home. There were certainly aspects that I was unaccustomed to like the necessity to throw away toilet paper instead of flush it, the chickens that wander everywhere or the hanging of laundry on lines. Over the next month though, I began to make some of the best friends of my life. I learned unique customs that set Paraguay apart from other countries, and of course, I advanced in both knowledge and ability through my research.

My plan before I arrived was to continue my interest of malformations in amphibians that had developed through research at school. However, due to the lack of time at the field site and limited equipment, I began to focus my attention towards other options. At first, I was disappointed with my inability to settle on one idea. I wanted to change the world, one frog at a time. My uncertainty did afford me one thing: time. I had time to see the reserve from several points of view, time to survey areas that had not yet been surveyed, and time to enjoy my temporary life here. This time was precious to me for in this time, I gained most of my experience and friends.

I ended up conducting research on the homing abilities of a rather comical animal, the Rococo Toad. So, each night I search for toads, collecting them in buckets and placing them around the reserve to see if they will come home. My hypothesis was that the home is where the light is for the toads. Those that cannot see it will not return. So far, the data seems to support that hypothesis.

Whether my data is publishable or not, the experience has changed me as a person, for the better. I cannot yet say how this change will translate upon my return, but I know now that my thought of the people and places around me will have been altered. Living in a new culture, a new life has caused me to newly appreciate others and understand them, as well as myself.  Studying abroad gave me the opportunity to meet the world and in it find opportunities of a lifetime.