We will no longer be posting blogs on this site. Check out our new blog site for stories on students’ experiences by clicking here.
Apart from Canada, which most don’t consider to be very adventurous when it comes to international travel, I had never been to another country. OSU – Engineers Without Borders chapter has been working on a 5-year project in El Salvador where they have been helping an impoverished community. Working alongside engineering professionals, they built a road and we designed and built composting latrines. These latrines are providing the community with a healthier, better way of life.
Engineers Without Borders gave me the opportunity to provide depth and breadth to my perspective of the world. Sure, it wasn’t long enough to truly engage culturally, but it was enough to recognize the vast differences in lifestyles across the world. Not only did I get to jump off remote jungle water falls in El Salvador, but I got to interact with some of the most generous, hard working, and kind people in the world. Their lives speak of the beauty in simplicity and are forged around genuine relationships. Having the opportunity to use my educational for something bigger than myself was an unforgettable experience.
I am now the OSU-EWB project lead and we recently initiated a new civil works project in the Dominican Republic. It’s hard to describe the excitement I have for interacting with a new people and culture. It has been quite the experience leading others to become engaged as engineers internationally, and overall becoming global citizens with a purpose.
Conversations happen all the time in daily life, but few are more important than when the situation is a professional board meeting with a tight agenda and highly important issues that need attention. This is the scenario that serves as the format for the Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet that I was able to participate in earlier this month in Virginia Beach, VA. Caroline Weihl and I represented Ohio in this Farm Bureau sponsored event. Throughout each round of the competition, each of the four competitors explored a problem, such as the agricultural economy, excessive regulations, or how to help producers of all kinds relate to each other. We then brainstormed possible solutions before creating a plan for how we, and Farm Bureau, could best address the issues.
The competition was fierce, the conversations were sharp, and when the dust cleared, a good time was had by all. While neither Caroline nor I brought home the grand prize, the experience of meeting and holding a discussion about important issues with other college students from around the country was not only enjoyable in a competition sense, it is also relevant, as these types of conversations are what leaders use to bring about positive results every day.
Dairy farm after dairy farm, citrus orchard after citrus orchard, pistachio tree followed by yet another pistachio tree: agriculture was absolutely everywhere I looked!
Last summer I was blessed with the opportunity to intern with World Wide Sires, Ltd. in Visalia, California, the heart of California, and the center of Tulare County, the number one agricultural county in the U.S. Wow!
I worked as a Public Relation and Advertising Intern for the company, and I learned something new every day. I was constantly challenged with new concepts and presented with opportunities of which I never dreamed. While there, I completed designs for new promotional materials, designed bull flyers for other countries, worked with marketing directors to establish the correlation between genetic statics of bulls and their success in a grazing production system, and I helped plan the company’s annual appreciation banquet.
I actually lived with one of my co-workers and his wife, who were kind enough to welcome me into their home, and they went the extra mile to make sure that I was able to see the places I wanted to see in California and point me in the right direction for the best fresh produce and Mexican food that I have ever tasted!
I am very grateful to have been blessed with such an opportunity, and I would highly recommend this internship to any student, especially to those interested in Agricultural Communication or Animal Sciences. The supervisors are willing to work with you to format the internship toward the student’s key interests, which really makes the experience one of its own.
During May session, 11 students along with Dr. Straquadine of the Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership department traveled through the United Kingdom exploring agriculture, the news media and the culture.
While abroad, we toured many publishing companies learning where they get their story ideas from and how they reach their audiences. We toured a publication called Farmer’s Weekly, where they produce and sell about 63,000 magazine copies a week. As we toured the production floor, we noticed the employees were using the same Adobe Software that we have in many of our agricultural communications classes. Seeing that the knowledge we gain in lab is being used in the publication industry was really cool! While in London, we had the opportunity to tour many historical castles and universities such as Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Writtle College and The Royal Agricultural University.
On our way out of England to Northern Scotland, we made many stops. We visited Stonehenge and walked around the ancient stones and took pictures because the scenery was breathtaking. One day we spent at the town of Somerset to enjoy the 150th annual Royal Bath & West Show. This show had a variety of livestock, educational exhibits, and shopping. It was comparable to the Ohio State Fair.
Along our travels we visited Warwick Castle, Liverpool Cathedral, The Ancient Roman Baths, and ending with the beautiful Edinburgh Castle. The experience was more then I had pictured and I would encourage all students to take advantage of this or any study abroad experience.
The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences offers more than 20 study abroad programs.
Discover where your next trip will be!
Agricultural Systems Management
I had the opportunity to intern with Ag Leader Technology as a Hardware Tech Support Intern. I began my internship on January 3, 2013 and worked until August 9, 2013. Ag Leader Technology is based out of Ames, Iowa, just about the center of the state and five minutes from Iowa State University.
As a Hardware Support intern, I spent three months of hands-on training learning all of the Ag Leader products and functions. This is the same training that all of the Ag Leader dealers must go through in order to sell and support the products. After training, I spent the rest of the four months on the phone lines troubleshooting systems with customers and dealers. I would also setup sales orders, make field service calls for products needing repaired, setup RMAs (return materials authorization), and work closely with our other two tech support departments, GPS and SMS software.
During planting season, those of us in tech support took in over 4600 calls in one weeks time. We were also granted the opportunity to do an install on a local farmers 24-row 20 i.n spacing Kinze planter equipping it with Ag Leaders newest product hydraulic down force. I also had the chance to fly home two times to work on my salesmanship skills and convinced my father to purchase some Ag Leader products for our farm. I installed SureVac clutches on our John Deere 8-row planter as well as seedtube monitoring sensors. In addition, I completed a full hydraulic steering kit with Ag Leader’s Geosteer on our John Deere 7810. After my internship was completed, I was able to install the yield monitoring kit on our R62 Gleaner. I feel that these products will help our farm become more efficient, more productive, and more profitable in the long run.
This was a great experience for me and it was great working for a company that was founded on customer support. I hope to be working for an Ag Leader dealership upon graduation and promoting Ag Leader products to other farms in my area and also the state of Ohio.
Agricultural Systems Management at Ohio State exposes students to a wide variety of agriculture-related management areas, but students receive a particular emphasis in the training areas of soil and water,structures and facilities, power and machinery, and precision agriculture.
Agribusiness and Applied Economics
The Ohio State Agribusiness Club embarked on their annual trip over the 2013 winter break. This year they journeyed to Savannah, GA, with stops in Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA and Nashville, TN.
Outside of Charlotte, the Club met with Allan Baucom of A.L. Baucom Inc. who hosted them for the day. Mr. Baucom took the Club members on a tour of a local egg farm, Simpson’s Eggs Inc., where the students were able to view the production practices for the facility. The students then journeyed to Edwards Wood Products where they were given a tour of the largest pallet producer in the Southeastern United States. Club members were happy to discover that none of the wood used at the facility is wasted as excess product is converted to sawdust or mulch. Mr. Baucom also gave the students a tour of his cotton gin, teaching them the process for cotton production.
The students then arrived in Savannah where they started their time in the city with a dolphin tour in Savannah’s harbor. While on the tour they learned about the harbor, including the aquatic life and industry that share the space, including the shrimp fishing industry in the region. The group then toured Tybee Island Lighthouse and ate at celebrity chef Paula Dean’s restaurant, Lady and Sons. The next morning the students toured the Port of Savannah, which they learned is the third largest port in the nation and seventh largest in the world. On their second evening in Savannah, the students were able to get a real feel for Savannah culture by going to The Savannah Theatre, the oldest operating theatre in the U.S., to watch a show.
The next stop for the Club members was the World of Coke in Atlanta. At this visit the students learned about Coke’s history and products, as well as taste-tested Coke fountain drinks from around the world.
Lastly, the Club visited Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville. Belle Meade is a former thoroughbred horse breading plantation. At this stop the students learned about the family that owned the plantation as well as some of the famous horses that were bred there.
The Agribusiness Club would like to thank the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association for their sponsorship of the trip. Additionally, they would like to extend their thanks to Allan Baucom for his time in Charlotte. During their Southern adventure the group learned about many different aspects of agriculture and had a very memorable experience.
Lewisburg, West Virginia
Community Leadership with Specialization in Extension Education
I am currently a member on the 2014 Ohio State Livestock Judging Team. There are eight members of our team including: Levi Criswell, Tonya Fender, Megan Hunker, Jake Ruffing, Cody Shafer, Courtney Tarvin, Lydia Ulry, and myself. Also, two great coaches lead us: Kyle Culp (Head Coach) and Emily Limes (Assistant Coach). We have now been to two different contests. Our first outing was to Denver, Colorado where we were 7th as a team in the National Western Stock Show judging contest, and 4th overall in the carload contest. Our team has just returned back from Jackson, Mississippi where we competed in the Dixie National Judging Contest. There we ended up being reserve overall team! We are very excited for the rest of the year.
As you can see, there are ten of us riding in a school van together. You can also tell that we do not normally just go on short trips. So, as you might guess an 18-hour trip out to Denver tucked in a 12-passenger van (with luggage) can be rather packed. Although it may sound very testing at times, I would not trade it for the world. Driving across the country looking at great livestock, while making memories with some of your best friends isn’t such a bad thing. This team has been a great experience thus far, and I am proud to be a part of it. Sure, it is not all glory, as it takes a lot of work and dedication. However, I cannot think of another way to spend my extra time here at The Ohio State University.
Port Washington, Ohio
I decided to become a group fitness instructor my sophomore year when I saw a poster in the Recreational Physical Activity Center advertising instructor auditions. At the time, I enjoyed working out and thought that teaching classes would be a fun way to get more involved in the fitness community. Looking back, I realize I did not yet understand the true potential of this job.
Through the RPAC, I have met many participants, coworkers, professional staff members, and best friends who all share a love for active living. One of the most rewarding parts of teaching fitness classes is working with people who have completely changed their lifestyle with the help our program. I enjoy watching others find their passion in different areas of fitness, similar to the way that we do with our different areas of study in the CFAES.
This job led me to a very unexpected passion of my own: powerlifting. I competed for the first time in October at an OSU Rec Sports event and will compete again in Cleveland this April. Powerlifting has given me a new way to create and achieve goals, and I owe part of my interest and success to my job. The RPAC is such an energetic, motivating place to work; my experiences and friendships made there will certainly outlast my time as an employee.
Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
This past winter break, I was presented with the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Chile, with the basis of the twelve-day program being agroecosystems and how they impacted the country of Chile and its infrastructure. With that said, the program ended up being so much more than that. As someone who had never left the continental United States, needless to say I was nervous about going to a place with a completely different culture, language, and just general way of living. Despite all my nerves, it was without a doubt one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was surrounded by beautiful ecosystems and environments, between the Andes Mountains and Pacific Ocean. I was constantly learning about the country’s natural and man-made landscapes. As we worked our way from the southern islands of Chiloé up to the country’s capital city of Santiago, we did everything from see the penguins to hike a volcano and even tour a winery and an observatory. Not to mention everything we learned about agriculture and its importance within the country along the way. The country was such an excellent demonstration of so many natural agroecosystems at play, and it was fascinating learning about all of the differences in irrigation, drainage, and general agricultural practices between Chile and the United States. Overall, the Chile Agroecosystems Study Abroad was an amazing experience of personal and academic growth, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the environment, agriculture, and studying abroad.