What difference can I make?

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

In mid-December, I woke up at 3:00am and started making the 30-hour journey to Ushuaia, Argentina. After a few days there, I would start a 48-hour journey to Antarctica by ship. It seems crazy just how many days of travel are required to step foot on the world’s southernmost continent, but after experiencing the beauty of Antarctica, it only seems fitting that long plane rides and chancing sea sickness in the Drake Passage are the prices tourists pay to step foot on the highest, driest, windiest, and in my opinion, most awe-inspiring place.

At Ohio State, there are lots of study abroad opportunities presented to students and this program which focused on the human impact on Antarctica’s fragile environment was extremely interesting to me, mostly because I thought it would be cool to travel to Antarctica. To be honest, I had always known that it was important that we take care of our environment, especially having grown up on a corn and soybean farm where taking care of the land is essential for profitability, but I never had any emotion tied to environmental stewardship outside of where I could see the benefits. Yes, I recycled, tried to use plastic sparingly and not leave the lights on unnecessarily. I participated in countless trash pickups as a 4-H and FFA member, but I always found myself wondering things like, “What difference does my decision to use a reusable K-Cup rather than a disposable one actually make when I’m just trying to get some caffeine, and is it really that big of a deal if I forget a reusable grocery bag?” All of my questions were answered after my Antarctic experience.

            Once we arrived in Antarctica, I began to understand what happens when places are largely untouched by humans. It had always been hard for me to fathom how something as small as a footprint can alter a penguin’s everyday routine, but as I watched penguins trek through snow deeper than them, making their own network of penguin highways, I began to understand how one human footprint in a penguin highway can ruin weeks of penguin sweat equity. In short, we as humans have the power to preserve our world’s beauty.

After five days on Antarctica, it was time for the second leg of a two-day ship journey back to South America, meaning that nearly all of the passengers would stick on another behind-the-ear seasickness patch and that presentations by the OneOcean staff would resume. As I watched Catherine, a wildlife aficionado, present about climate change in a way I had never before had it explained, I began to understand the impact that my actions have on our environment. Our world is warming, but some parts of it are actually cooling, hints the name climate change. The part that’s really important is that as humans we have changed the composition of our atmosphere. If you’re looking for a less than two minute explanation, checkout this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n4A0BssFd0.

As I made the journey to Ohio, I left with an understanding of how my environmental footprint, even though I’m one in more than seven billion, can have an impact. My mindless decision to recycle is now one that’s fueled by a desire to help the adorable penguins, seals and whales that made my study abroad experience in Antarctica remarkable. Most importantly, I now know that climate change isn’t all gloom and doom. It’s undeniable that our atmospheric composition is changing, but it’s also undeniable that the tiny steps we take towards conservation can change the world.


Learning to Love Food Science


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!


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.

Blue Corduroy Buckeye

sydney snider

By: Sydney Snider, Agricultural Communication | Moscow, OH

Just six years ago, I zipped up my blue corduroy jacket for the first time to attend National FFA Convention. I remember sitting in the nose bleed sections of the arena listening to the national officers speak about our organization and honor its members. My first trip to convention set me on a journey that transformed my life. That trip sparked a light within me to become more involved with FFA, grow as a leader, and become a stronger advocate for agriculture. Even though I didn’t realize it until much later, my first convention trip also led me to make the decision to run for national FFA office.

Running for office involved a lot of preparation, growth, and passion. However, my time spent preparing were some of the most influential and transformative months of my life and they led to a moment that will stay alive within my heart forever. As the final session began at the 88th National FFA Convention, I thought back to the first convention I attended and the passion that grew from that trip. These thoughts and memories allowed my worries and anxiety to leave and truly enjoy what could have been my last convention session in the blue jacket. As the election process began, I was calm and excited to find out who would serve our organization. The music began and nothing could prepare me for what was about to happen. Hearing “Ohio” called was one of the most surreal moments I’ve ever experienced. In an instant, everything seemed to slow down as I (not so gracefully) ran to the convention stage. Out of breath and in shock I could only hear the roar of the crowd and my heart beat loudly as my teammates and I gathered together for the first time.

This year, I am excited to serve an organization that has helped me discover countless values, skills, and passions. As a national FFA officer, I will spend the next year traveling around the country interacting with FFA members, advisors, sponsors, and supporters. I am proud to represent the Ohio FFA Association and The Ohio State University at the national level. As I am knee deep in training and preparation for the year, I am feeling especially grateful for the support and encouragement of those who have helped me along this journey. I look forward to bringing a piece of that, a piece of Ohio, everywhere I go this year.

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.



It’s New Orleans, Baby!


By: Kayla Starlin, Agribusiness and Applied Economics  |  Logan, OH

Recently, a handful of student ambassadors from the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana for sever days to participate in the Ag Leadership Summit. We were joined by other student ambassadors from Purdue University, and the Universities of Arizona, Florida and Kentucky.

A total of about 30 students spent five days exploring the city and discovering a new culture, partaking in industry tours, and networking with one another. From grain elevators to alligator farms, we were all able to share in the excitement of learning all about Louisiana’s agricultural endeavors.

Students were able to visit a Zen-Noh/CBG facility that loads an average of 280 vessels/year and the capability of storing over 60,000 bushels. From watching a barge be docked for loading, to learning of the thousands of export locations for the products, to visiting the control room and logistics managers, we were exposed to a entire section of the industry that we don’t see without coastal land!

Spending time with a representative from Dow Agrosciences was another huge component of the trip. Dow took a large amount of time to spend with our ambassadors in educating them on what Dow does as a company, its business strategies, as well as sharing valuable advice on how to obtain a job within the industry and what they are looking for specifically in their hires. Both companies seek out CFAES students for internship and career positions!

Not only were we able to learn from our tours and visits, but we were able to spend five days making connections and friends from across the nation. As ambassadors for each of our respective schools, we took time to share ideas with one another about programs, events, and other opportunities that could be brought back and implemented into our own college.

Clementines and Mandarins and Sunshine…Oh My!

Veronica Chalfin Blog Picture

By: Veronica Chalfin, AgriScience Education  |  Genoa, OH

Over spring break this year, several college ambassadors had the awesome opportunity to travel to California for the week. Our trip was all about learning how the agriculture industry in California works in comparison to the industry we all know and love in Ohio. We visited many different farms, organizations, and companies during our time in California. We started in Sacramento and traveled a little over 1,000 miles south of there ending up in Los Angeles. One of our stops along the way was a citrus processing and packing facility, Fowler Packing, located in Fresno, California. Fowler Packing was started in 1950 and is a family owned business. Today they are one of the largest shippers in the fresh produce business. They handle over 15 million boxes of citrus per year and they own and farm two thirds of their own fruit. The facility that we visited while we were there was where they processed and packaged Halos, their brand of seedless and easy-to-peel mandarins and clementines. We were able to walk through the entire plant and see how the mandarins go from freshly picked through the process to be ready to package. There obviously isn’t a lot of citrus farming going on in Ohio, so it was a very interesting experience to see the way that industry works. The entire trip was a great learning experience and I’m extremely grateful that I was given this awesome opportunity. But for Ohio State…I would have never been able to take such an affordable, fun, and informative trip. Go bucks!

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.

New Buildings. New Brand. New Blog

Welcome to the new College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences student blog site!

At the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Scenes, we offer world-class opportunity and small-college charm. Here, it’s not about your destination in life. It’s about your journey – and the wisdom you will acquire along the way.

Our blog is a glimpse into the lives of our students as they travel on their journey, ready to make an impact in the real-world. It’s about discovering your pathway to success, however you define it.

So BE THE ONE to follow our students and the many exciting experiences they have in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences!