Residence Hall Family

Norton fam

By: Kayla Walls, Agriscience Education | Mendon, OH

Coming to The Ohio State University in Columbus is daunting for anyone—nonetheless being a freshman from small town Ohio. City life was a huge change for me but luckily, I live a building full of kids just like me. Being in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences Learning Community located in Norton House is such a blessing. You will often walk down the hallway to see open doors and friendly faces to greet you. Not only that, but someone is always up to do things with you—be it playing volleyball, grabbing something to eat, watching the Bengals, or going to Zumba.

With that being said, my favorite part of being a Buckeye is meeting new people and creating new friendships. With a graduating high school class of only ninety-three, everybody knew everybody. It is so nice to come to a new place with a fresh start. I know that the friendships I have made from living in Norton House these past few weeks will last more than the next four years of our college careers, but a lifetime. These friends made Norton my home away from home, and for that I am forever thankful.

Farm Science Review: A View from behind the Camera

sarah j blog

By: Sarah Johnson, Agricultural Communication | Williamsport, OH

Hello! I am Sarah Johnson, a junior studying agricultural communication. My family has been a part of the Farm Science Review for 31 years. We exhibit our Limousin cattle along with landscaping several other companies’ lots. This year along with exhibiting our cattle and being a CFAES Ambassador I got to take on another unique role. I am an Advancement Communications Intern for Matt Marx in the CFAES Development Office and I’ll be the first one to tell you it is an experience you’ll never forget! I absolutely love every aspect of my job as an intern. While at the Review, I had the privilege of interviewing approximately 30 CFAES alumni for video footage that will eventually be published on the CFAES alumni website. It was truly incredible listening to their stories and experiencing their sense of pride. I was mainly in the alumni tent with CFAES Development Office staff, but I also got to move around a lot and find alumni on my own in company tents. I am incredibly thankful to have had this opportunity and I would recommend it to absolutely anyone!

CFAES Hosts 4th Annual Back to School Bash

By: Natalie Miller, Agribusiness and Applied Economics | Washington Courthouse, OH

The Back 2 School Bash, hosted by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), provides a unique opportunity for students to get excited about the school year beginning. For first year, transfer, and transition students, the event allows students to get acquainted with the faculty, clubs, and their classmates within CFAES. For returning students and upper classmen, the evening serves as a way for them to be welcomed back to school.

This year’s Back 2 School Bash (B2SB), drawing nearly 900 people, was hosted at Fred Beekman Park on Thursday, September 10, 2015. The event was home to a host of events, including a kickball tournament, won by the Crops and Soils and the Agricultural Systems Management Clubs, 100-person tug-of-war, and a marshmallow toss, all organized by the Animal Science Community Alliance (ASCA) and the CFAES Student Council. The Saddle and Sirloin and Buckeye Dairy Clubs even sponsored a mechanical bull. With 42 student organizations represented at B2SB’s involvement fair, students were able to see all of the opportunity within CFAES. According to Taylor Kruse, CFAES Student Council President, “The most rewarding part of the Back 2 School Bash is being able to watch everyone laughing and having fun together throughout the night. Plus, the Graeter’s ice cream is a pretty great treat when you’re exhausted after playing kickball.”

Many helping hands are necessary to ensure B2SB is a success. Mariette Benage, ASCA Advisor, said, “We had nearly 100 volunteers, which is literally what it takes to put on the event. Without the support of so many people, we would never be able to have this event.” Of course, lending a helping hand for the benefit of students is enjoyable. “ASCA

works extremely hard to put this event on, so knowing that everyone – students to administrators – enjoys the opportunity to get together as a college and have fun outside the classroom, makes the event rewarding. This is the largest CFAES event of the year, and it’s fun to know that you’re part of something so great,” said Benage.

The B2SB is also gratifying for returning students as they reflect on their time at Ohio State. Katie Frost, a sophomore in animal science, was representing Shades of Animal Sciences, a club she got involved with as a freshman at the B2SB. “I’m really excited for all of the freshmen at this event to find their home at Ohio State,” said Frost. In addition to making students feel at home, B2SB is a phenomenal opportunity for students to develop quality relationships. Tyler Hellwig, a senior in agribusiness and applied economics, said, “It’s a great way to meet people outside of class, get to know each other one-on-one, and start to build great friendships.”

All in all, magnificent memories were made at the Back 2 School Bash as community was built and friendships were made. Additionally, students in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences were left feeling energized and excited about the school year ahead.

For more photos from B2SB, click here.

To learn more about the Animal Science Community Alliance, click here.

For more information about the CFAES Student Council, click here.

Diversified Farming in California


By: Gary Klopfenstein, Sustainable Plant Systems (Agronomy)  |  Haviland, OH

During my Spring break this year I went on an enrichment trip to California to learn more about California’s agricultural industry and issues the state faces. Traveling with my fellow college ambassadors and two advisors the 16 of us was able to see and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of California’s agriculture industry.

During our eight day stay in California, there was one particular tour we went on that really stuck with me. Terranova Ranch, it was a farming operation that farmed over 7,000 acres and produced more than 40 different crops. When Don Cameron the General Manager introduced himself and shared that statistic I was astonished by the complexity of the operation. There are large farmers in Ohio but I have never visited one that grew more than ten different crops at that size. Terranova Ranch grew a wide range of crops from olives, wine grapes, almonds, tomatoes, walnuts, pistachios, to alfalfa. Some were conventional grown but there was also a fare share of acres set aside for organic crops.

Mr. Cameron gave us a tour of his operation and of course we ask him about the water issues. He explained to us about a project he is involved in, and how this project will be able to trap rainwater from the nearby river. His farming operation alone has 52 wells that supply water for his crops. The best way they manage the water is through drip irrigation lines that are 4-6 inches below the soil surface. These lines have increased yield and lowered the amount of water used per acre. Visiting the Terranova Ranch and speaking with Mr. Cameron was fascinating to hear how he is working to conserve water and still produce a quality crop for consumers.

Visiting and touring California was an amazing experience and I love talking to classmates, friends and family about my experience and the knowledge I gain from my trip. After visiting Terranova Ranch and seeing the complexity of managing 40 different crops, and the different management practices between conventional and organic crops. I gained a new appreciation for where my food comes from.


Thank you to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University for making this trip possible.



The Mighty Mustangs of Cal Poly

Brooke Rieke Schanowski Blog Picture 2

By: Brooke Rieke Schanowski, Agricultural Communication | Wheaton, Illinois

“I’m hot. I’m dirty. I farm.”

Dr. Scott Vernon handed us a sticker with these words when we entered the central agriculture building.

“As people in agriculture, we need to make people listen. The only way to do so, is with bold marketing,” said Dr. Vernon.

Our college’s Ambassador Team went on an enrichment trip to California during Spring Break of 2015. On one of our last days of the trip, our team went to visit California Polytechnic State University. Here, we met with Cal-Poly’s ambassador team and various faculty members.

Our first encounter was with Dr. Scott Vernon. In a teambuilding activity, Dr. Vernon had us stack around 13 nails onto a single nail. Through creativity, communication, and patience, members of our ambassador team figured out how to stack all 13 nails onto a single nail.

After completing this task, Dr. Vernon congratulated the members who figured out the task. He used this assignment to talk about Cal Poly.

“Cal Poly takes pride in our philosophy of ‘Learn-By-Doing’. Like you witnessed in the nail activity, it can be difficult at times to figure out where to start. But, with leadership and teamwork as I saw with all of you today, anyone can solve the most challenging problems.”

With that, Dr. Vernon turned it over to Dr. Richard Cavaletto, the associate dean of the college. Dr. Cavaletto talked with us about the various facts of Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

After our meeting with Dr. Vernon and Dr. Cavaletto, Cal Poly’s “Ag” Ambassadors gave us a tour of their campus. With the luxury of living in the warm area of California, we were able to walk through the dairy farm, horse stables and other animal areas.

Beauty and fascination could describe Cal Poly’s campus; it was absolutely breath taking. You couldn’t help but stare off into the horizon at the mountains that housed multiple horse trails.

If there is one thing our Ambassador Team took away from visiting Cal Poly was their philosophy. Our team hopes to envelop the ‘Learn-By-Doing’ philosophy so that we can better not only our college, but truly acquire the knowledge needed for our future careers.

Thank you again to Dr. Cavaletto, Dr. Vernon, and Cal Poly’s Ag Ambassador Team!


OSU Agribusiness Club Trip ‘14


By: John Bolte, Agribusiness and Applied Economics | Tiffin, OH

The Ohio State University Agribusiness Club closed 2014 in an exciting fashion. On the Club’s annual trip, 23 members and the Club’s advisor, Barry Ward, traveled to Louisiana from December 17th to December 22nd. The club was lucky enough to receive many generous donations from Agribusinesses around the state of Ohio and a couple of Alumni who made the trip affordable to anyone who wished to experience agriculture down in the Bayou.

On the first day of the trip, Students traveled the Conrad Rice Mill as well as Avery Island to the Tabasco Bottling Plant. But the students would tell you that the most enjoyable stop of the day was the Lafourche Sugar Refinery. While at the sugar refinery, students learned about what is involved with producing (domino) sugar. The manager of the Refinery, Greg Nolan, provided a full, in-depth, tour of the facility from the moment that the sugar cane gets weighed in, until the three grades of sugar are separated and all that is left is a bi-product known as bagasse. Nolan explained how the Mill controls the rate at which the Cane is harvested along with how the Mill is “waste free” and actually uses the bagasse to not only provide its own electricity, but also much of the surrounding area using steam power.

The second day of the trip followed the educational patterns of the first day. The students traveled to Darrow, Louisiana to Zen-Noh-Grain Corporation. The facilities at Zen-Noh-Grain had the ability to load two million bushels an hour which is unlike anything experienced in Ohio. After the tour, CGB and Zen-Noh treated the students to a true Cajun lunch at the Houmas House. Following the plantation house, the group traveled to Baton Rouge, to the Louisiana State University Aquatic Research Center and the LSU Botanical Gardens to see the facilities and learn more about research at LSU.

The next day, the group traveled to Blue Harvest Farms, an eight acre blueberry farm with a future in Agri-tourism. The owner of the farm, Chris, explained to the students his dreams for the future along with many of the business and financial struggles that he has faced since starting his farm. The next stop, allowed the students to get up close and personal with alligators. At Insta Gator, the group learned about what these ranches have to do in order to obtain their alligators and of course, the students were all able to hold baby gators. The third day concluded with a local seafood cuisine followed by the Nutcracker, as a cultural experience.

Student’s final day in Louisiana was spent exploring the famous city of New Orleans. The group saw much of the town including the French Quarter, the World War Two Museum, Café Du Monde, St. Louis Cathedral, and many local shops and restaurants.

Altogether, the trip was extremely educational as well as entertaining. The students enjoyed experiencing the differences in agriculture in the south and networking with potential future employers. The “southern hospitality” was very evident and the Agribusiness Club is very thankful for all of the support and the opportunity to experience Louisiana.

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!

Turf? You Mean The Fake Grass?

imageBy: Michael Sanders, Sustainable Plant Systems: Turfgrass Science | Hamilton OH

When most hear of turfgrass, they think of the plastic sports fields. In reality, it is actually a major within our own school, CFAES! Most people going into Turfgrass Science usually love the outdoors as well as sports such as golf, soccer, or baseball. The science deals with how to manage sports fields properly as well as golf courses, and gives the student knowledge in the areas of pathology, ecology, sustainability, botany, and business aspects such as budgeting and management, as well as many other opportunities!

Turfgrass Science is a cool experience, as there are multiple industry conferences across the country with turfbowls that challenges teams from various schools in competition as well a Turf Club that meets bi­weekly and includes presentations on possible overseas internships, guest speakers, tours of facilities such as the Columbus Crew stadium or Ohio Stadium, and many more events. The major consists of around 35 people and is a close knit group, with the professors knowing all the students very well as well as the students knowing each other. The faculty backing turf students are some of the best: they are always fun enjoyable people who do whatever it takes to help you succeed and often go out of their own way to make sure you do.

Ever since my junior year of high school when I began working on a golf course, I knew that turf was what I wanted to pursue, and that one day I wanted to run a course myself. Opportunities in this industry are far from hard to come by, you just have to be willing to work hard and be eager to learn. Luckily for me, I love what I do and I love learning everything I can and I am willing to put in the long days and extra effort to stand out amongst other employees. Since my junior year of high school I have taken advantage of every opportunity given to me. I’ve spent 4 years total at two of the best courses in Cincinnati, I recently gained a position at the OSU/OTF Turf Research Facility, and have been to the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida. I am planning on interning at a golf club in Boston next summer, I will attend the Sports Turf Management Conference in Denver as well as the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, I have applied to various organizations for scholarships such as the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation, the Columbus District Golf Association, and the Golf Course Superintendents of America, and I am still looking for any other opportunities that may present themselves.

I highly recommend Turfgrass Science to any and every one! It is a fun and interactive career path that not many people know about. As the industry continues to grow, more people are need! So remember, turf isn’t just that plastic stuff on sports fields, it’s a major too!