OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CASNR honors its own, its best
In the presence
of distinguished alumni, supporters and students, the 2001 Oklahoma State
University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources banquet
honored the college's best March 30.
of CASNR honorees were students recognized for their academic success.
These dedicated students took home $685,000 in scholarships, a $10,000
increase in scholarships from last year's banquet.
There's a reason
for the increase in scholarships, said former associate dean Paul Hummer.
"Year in and
year out OSU produces the top agricultural graduates in the country, which
is a tribute to OSU's outstanding faculty," said Hummer, who retired in
1998. "It gives me a new burst of energy to see the students I used to
work with do so well."
One of the students
Hummer helped is plant and soil sciences graduate James Enis, a 2000-2001
Top 10 CASNR Senior.
Enis, a former
Navy serviceman from Wilburton, Okla., served OSU well in his four-year
stint, receiving Phi Theta Kappa and Golden Key honors along with a slew
of crop-judging awards. But he doesn't take credit himself.
plant and soil sciences staff, there's no way I would have been able to
receive this honor," said Enis, who plans to become an OSU plant and soil
sciences graduate student and pursue advanced degrees. "There's no doubt
that it's an honor to be considered a Top 10 Senior, especially knowing
some of my classmates are so bright."
Perhaps the brightest
star of the graduating 2001 class is Kent Gardner, the 2000-2001 CASNR
Majoring in agricultural
economics, the Sharon, Okla., native was an OSU legacy when he enrolled,
having three siblings who graduated from the university.
Now Gardner has
built his own legacy, one that will more than likely not be duplicated.
He received everything from 1997-1998 CASNR Outstanding Freshman to the
prestigious 2000 Harry S Truman Scholarship.
Along with Gardner
and Enis are eight other outstanding seniors to complete the year's Top
10. They include Christopher Azbell, environmental science major with a
policy option from Tecumseh, Okla.; Kaleb Hennigh, agricultural communications
major from Laverne, Okla.; Jamie Liston, agricultural education major from
Moore, Okla.; Megan McElroy, animal science major with a pre-veterinary
option from Snyder, Okla.; Regina Rowe, biochemistry and molecular biology
major from Stratford, Okla.; Elizabeth Siefert, biochemistry and molecular
biology major from Vancouver, Wash.; Rosslyn Spencer, agricultural economics
major with a veterinary business management option from Chickasha, Okla.;
and Kimberly Stuart, agricultural economics major from Stillwater, Okla.
"The talent in
this college is exciting," said Ray Wulf, president of Oklahoma Farmers
Union, the organization that sponsored activities during OSU Ag Week 2001.
"The problem is getting them to stay in agriculture.
"Farming is absolutely,
positively the most rewarding and honorable occupation in the world. But
the word 'farming' detours a lot of kids because they think it's less lucrative.
We need to show students agriculture is the way to go. We need to keep
OSU's talent in agriculture," Wulf said.
"People who choose
agriculture as a career are normally good, wholesome folks — people who
are family oriented."
"The reason agriculture
will always succeed is because of family values," said Hummer. "You'd be
hard-pressed to find a student in another college who has the family values
that college of agriculture kids have.
"Your more successful
students have had their parents behind them the entire way."
Duane and Patricia Majors, came from Sutton, Neb., to surprise her and
to watch her receive the highest honor bestowed upon a CASNR underclassman,
the Charles and Magda Browning Outstanding Freshman award.
"The entire time
I sat there thinking, 'If I get this thing, I sure wish Mom and Dad could
be here,'" said Majors.
Until after the
banquet, Majors was unaware that her parents saw the entire thing, even
when she and 220 other CASNR students received Fleming continuing student
Majors was not
the only person to be surprised. Elizabeth Whitfield received the college's
Outstanding Support Staff award.
"I couldn't believe
it," said Whitfield, senior secretary for the department of agricultural
education, communications and 4-H youth development.
one of three faculty and staff honored at the banquet.
were horticulture and landscape architecture assistant professor Greg Bell
as 2001 Agriculture Ambassadors' Outstanding Adviser and animal science
professor Dave Buchanan as Alpha Zeta's Outstanding Teacher.
Alpha Zeta also
honored agribusiness major and Morrison, Okla., native Ryan Leuter as the
organization's outstanding freshman.
Alpha Zeta, the
honorary agricultural fraternity, received honors of its own. The organization
earned the Outstanding Club award based on its leadership, community service,
fund-raising, social and educational activities as well as its activities
above the local level.
In addition to
awards and scholarships, a few deserving students received recognition
for their internships.
major Ryan McMullen of Burns Flat, Okla., was honored for his work as this
year's agricultural legislative intern.
The Frank Lucas
Agricultural Policy Internship was presented to Julie Arntz of Lawton,
Okla., environmental science major and CASNR's most recent recipient of
a Truman Scholarship.
A night like
the 2001 CASNR banquet is possible thanks to the support and hard work
of CASNR faculty, staff and students. OSU honorees and future honorees
have many to thank.
job is that of the scholarship selection committee. This year the committee
and college departments reviewed 920 applications," said Louann Waldner,
CASNR director of student
As more scholarships
become available and CASNR students continue to succeed, the annual banquet
will honor its own, its best.
By R. Fred Minnick Jr., Jones, Okla.,
and Amy Wallace, Altus, Okla.
Fall 2001 Cowboy Journal