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2009 Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

AgEcon’s Scholarship 
Awardee Profiles

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In the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department, we’re very proud of our students. In the Spring 2010 edition of our newsletter In the Margins, we profiled some those who were awarded scholarships for the 2009 school year. We asked them to respond to four questions, and as you can see there is plenty of achievement, dedication and enthusiasm. Here are our complete profiles. As alumni and stakeholders, it is your contributions and faith that help support these students’ fine efforts.
— Roger Coupal, Head, Agricultural and Applied Economics
Tanya Madden, W. Gordon Kearl Scholarship
student photoI grew up on a small farming operation northeast of Potter, Nebraska where we raised wheat and millet. I would not trade growing up on the farm for anything in the world. I feel it has given me many opportunities and has taught me many lessons. I do not believe there is anywhere that can teach you the value of a dollar, family, hard work, pride, and humility better than land that has your family’s own blood, sweat, and tears worked into it. Also, growing up on a farm and living and breathing agriculture gives you a larger appreciation for it.
I was drawn to the University of Wyoming’s AgEcon program because from the moment I stepped into the College of Agriculture it has felt like home to me. I immediately felt that the faculty would do anything for me and make sure I was successful in my chosen major. Having people behind you and rooting for you means the most to me.
When I have accomplished my goal of attaining a master’s degree in Agribusiness, I would like to pursue a career in Ag Lending. I like banking and finance and I feel this field would give me the opportunity to stay in agriculture and work in the other jobs I enjoy.
While working toward my bachelor’s degree, I have been involved in many different organizations. My favorites have been my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and the College of Agriculture Ambassadors. Kappa has allowed me to meet a variety of different people and travel to places I have never been for large conventions and meetings. I really enjoyed being a member of Ag Ambassadors because I got to be a representative for the College of Agriculture and spread my passion and pride for the college that has become my home.
If I had to choose a favorite class I would have to pick Ag Commodities and Futures Trading with Dr. Chris Bastian or Farm and Ranch Management with Dr. Larry Held. Both of these classes were very interesting and included projects that taught real world applications.
Overall, I have been really impressed with the University of Wyoming and College of Agriculture as a whole. I feel right at home with all the students and faculty. Everyone is very down to earth and friendly. I have recommended UW and the College of Ag to many high school students who are looking for the best college experience.
Cindy Shumway, Henry Petz Scholarship
student photo1.     Where are you from? What is your background?
I am a small town girl that grew up in Powell, Wyoming. I grew up on a crop farm and have lived there my whole life. I have been around sheep and raised my own while I was in high school.
2.    What drew you to UW AgEcon?
I really enjoy the business side of agriculture and seeing how the numbers are crunched. Because I am from Wyoming I have always wanted to attend the University, so that is why I am here.
3.     What do you aim to do when you finish?
I am going to graduate in spring of 2011 and have no plans so far. I am taking it one semester at a time and will see what has happened to the job market when I graduate.
4.    What activities/classes have you enjoyed the most? What do you like or have been impressed by?
I have enjoyed my finance and management classes. I like learning how to evaluate my own money and learning about the returns from different operations or investments.
Garrett Horton, National Western Stock Show Scholarship
student photo1.    Where are you from? What is your background?
I grew up on my family’s small farm/feedlot operation outside Riverton, WY. From as early as I can remember my father impressed upon me the importance of agriculture over and over. Through that constant reminder and being pushed to be active in 4-H and FFA throughout my youth I gained a strong respect and love for ag. 
2.    What drew you to UW AgEcon?
First starting school I had no real direction. I decided on ag business because I wanted to be in the ag college and I decided the business part of things would be diverse enough for me to go about anywhere with my degree. Through the years I have stayed with ag business because of the way the department has treated me. In every class I have had in the department the professor has made me feel that my success as a student mattered to them. I was not just a nameless face sitting in their class like other classes tend to make you feel.
3.       What do you aim to do when you finish?
I will be finished in May (2010). Following that I will be going to Omaha, Nebraska to start a job with Farm Credit Services of America. I can credit this job to the grades I had to keep throughout school to keep my scholarships, and the courses that led me to explore the field of ag finance. Thanks to a banking class that first got me interested in ag finance, then pursuing an internship to further explore my interest, I set myself up for my current position. If you measure college success or failure on being able to find a job utilizing the skills you obtained in your time in school, I could not have been more successful. Thanks to everything through the years I was offered a job a semester before I even graduated.
4.    What activities/classes have you enjoyed the most? What do you like or have been impressed by?
Well, early on I enjoyed my classes and what I was learning, but I still had no real direction. The first semester of my junior year I took an ag banking class. The class was based in real world scenarios that got me interested in the ag finance sector. Another thing that I can attribute to my choice in AgEcon was that it got me interested in economics. Through intermediate macro and micro, even though challenged, I became fascinated with economics. With that fascination I pushed myself to get a minor in economics. Currently I ‘m enjoying some of the most interesting courses I have taken in my time at UW.
Kendra Parker, Joe and Arlene Watt Scholarship
student photo1.    Where are you from? What is your background?
I am from McCoy, Colorado which is 30 miles south of Steamboat Springs. I graduated from SOROCO High School in Oak Creek with 25 of my closest friends. I was involved with FFA, 4-H, National Honors Society, volleyball and high school rodeo. My family raises horses and lowline angus cows. In 4-H and FFA I showed and sold market steers and lambs.
2.    What drew you to UW AgEcon?
I have always wanted to run my own ranch and business and raise horses and bucking bulls for rodeo. What drew me to UW instead of the other schools were the scholarships UW AgEcon offered and how nice all the professors are. I am so happy I decided I came to UW instead of going to another university.
3.    What do you aim to do when you finish?
After UW I plan on going down to Texas and find a job down there running a boarding facility of my own or of someone elses. I also plan on getting my pro card in rodeo and traveling to each rodeo running barrels and roping. I am thinking about transfering down to Texas my junior and senior year and stay at UW for my sophomore and freshman year.
4.    What activities/classes have you enjoyed the most? What do you like or have been impressed by?
Last semester I took Agroecology from Dave Wilson and learned so much and really enjoyed that class as a whole. I have also enjoyed my equine management class that I am taking this semester and I am learning so much about horses and how to manage them.
Kodee Schell, CHS Foundation Scholarship
student photo1.    Where are you from? What is your background?
Washam, Wyoming. I was born and raised on a cattle ranch in southwestern Wyoming. Throughout high school I was actively involved in sports, FFA, student leadership and showed cattle. I try to stay actively involved in my years in college as well.
2.    What drew you to UW AgEcon?
Since I was a little kid I have always been interested in ranching. I started out as many children do; I did the chores, cleaned ditches, and helped my dad feed cows. I knew from that time on that I wanted to be in agriculture.
I specifically chose the AgEcon department because, apart from owning a ranch of my own in the future, I would like to start up my own equine hydrotherapy business. With my passion for agriculture, and determination to start up my own business, I figured it would be a great way to put the two together. 
3.    What do you aim to do when you finish?
My immediate educational goal is to graduate from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming with my Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture Business in the fall of 2010. I plan to be involved with production agriculture, with both cattle and horses when I finish. In addition, I would like to start up my own equine hydrotherapy business.
4.    What activities/classes have you enjoyed the most? What do you like or have been impressed by?
I have enjoyed the student life and activities the most. The AgEcon instructors have been great and I have learned a great deal from them. I have been most impressed by the faculty’s willingness to assist you whenever the need arises.  
Favorite quote: “Life isn’t about convenience it’s about commitment. Remember where you came from and how hard it was to get here."
Recent Honor: 2009 National FFA Star Candidate in Agricultural Placement
Amber Phillips, Henry Petz Scholarship
student photo1.     Where are you from? What is your background?
I am from Dubois, Wyoming. I grew up on a cattle ranch outside of Dubois where my dad is the manager. I love being outdoors and helping with the everyday events of the ranch. I spent many summers working on the ranch doing everything from cattle work to irrigating to farming. I especially love riding my horse in the mountains and seeing the cattle grazing on the forest permit.
2.    What drew you to UW AgEcon?
 I wanted to study agriculture after growing up on a cow/calf operation ranch. I was also given the opportunity to study abroad in high school and my love of travel drew me to study International Ag Business. This was the perfect area of study for me because I could study agriculture and learn about it internationally- two things I am very passionate about! After studying abroad in Ghana, Africa and seeing some of their farming techniques, my passion for learning about agriculture in developing countries increased. In May I was able to study agriculture in China and Vietnam for two weeks with the US Grains Council and the National FFA Organization. Because of this program I was really able to realize my dream of learning first-hand about agriculture in other countries, how the US agricultural sector is impacted by agriculture practices in other countries and how US agriculture impacts other countries’ agriculture.
3.    What do you aim to do when you finish?
I finished in December 2009 and am still looking for employment (but not for the lack of trying!). I really would like to stay in the agriculture sector, but will just have to wait and see what the future holds.
4.    What activities/classes have you enjoyed the most? What do you like or have been impressed by?
I really enjoyed all of my economic/community development classes and my international agribusiness class with Ed Bradley. I also really enjoyed my world food and agriculture class with Nicole Ballenger. I was really impressed by the knowledge the professors here at UW on both domestic and international issues. For my senior thesis project I was able to analyze food and money aid issues such as policies and practices of the major food and money donor countries and organizations. I feel that by doing this as my senior thesis I was able to teach people about some of the major issues facing countries donating and receiving aid all over the world. I also learned a great deal myself through this project!
The one thing I was most impressed by during my time here at UW was the awesome staff and faculty in the College of Ag from orientation until graduation I always had a support network. My advisor, Ed Bradley, was amazing and really made my time here at UW enjoyable and he gave me the desire to keep learning and expanding my horizons.
I really feel like UW, especially the College of Agriculture, prepared me for my future after graduation. As the economy recovers I have no doubt I will find a job that fits me well and I hope I will be able to keep inspiring younger generations to get involved in and support agriculture in the US and all over the world.
Cameron Smith, Henry Petz Scholarship
1.    Where are you from? What is your background?
I am from Gillette, Wyoming. My family has been managing a cow/calf operation in Northern Campbell County for over 100 years. I choose the University of Wyoming because it is the school both of my parents as well as grandparents attended. 
2.    What drew you to UW AgEcon?
AgEcon was not my first choice as a major. I transferred from Black Hills State, in South Dakota, after my Freshman year. After transferring I enrolled in UW's school of engineering. One semester of engineering was all it took for me to decide it wasn't what I wanted to do with my life, so I switched to the Ag. College.  I chose to major in AgEcon at the university because of my background with agriculture and an interest for business/economics. Since joining the college I could not have had a better experience. The time spent over the last three years has been some of the best of my life.
3.    What do you aim to do when you finish?
I will be graduating in December 2010 and will most likely go back to working on the family ranch for a few years. My goal is to eventually become an agriculture land appraiser. 
4.    What activities/classes have you enjoyed the most? What do you like or have been impressed by?
The class I have enjoyed the most would be Ag Law. That class challenged me the most and required a lot of time and effort. At first I thought it would be a boring class but in the end it is the class that I have got the most out of.
Colleen Buck, Lee Wiegand Excellence Fund in Agriculture
student photo1.     Where are you from? What is your background?
I am from Stevensville, Montana. My parents lived and worked on ranches most of their lives. My dad worked for a ranch out of Alder Montana until I was 12 years old, then the place decided to sell all of their cattle and Dad decided to change careers and become an electrician. So we moved to Stevensville. I have two older sisters who are both married and have kids. Agriculture has been in my background for generations in one way or another, and because of this I believe that that is where my love for agriculture comes. After we moved to Stevensville I got a summer job working on one of the ranches. I worked at this ranch for five summers, helping to hay, irrigate, and take care of the cattle. While in high school I also was part of FFA and held the offices of Treasurer, Secretary, and First Vice President. When I got to college I got a work-study job at the UW Beef Unit and I have been working there during the school year since.
2.    What drew you to UW AgEcon?
I was drawn to UW because I wanted to expand my comfort zone and I knew that if I went to MSU I would know a lot of my peers. I was drawn to AgEcon because of my interest in agriculture as well as my interest in the business part of ag. So with those two thoughts in mind I researched colleges and found that I would be interested in attending school at UW.
3.    What do you aim to do when you finish?
I haven't figured out what exactly I want to pursue when I graduate in December of 2011. But I think that I would really enjoy working either on a working ranch or working with the ranchers and farmers as a consultant. I know that I wouldn't enjoy working in an office all day. This is part of the reason that I decided to double major in Ag Business and Animal Science with a focus in production. I really want to be out in the field assisting the farmers and ranchers.
4.    What activities/classes have you enjoyed the most? What do you like or have been impressed by?
I have enjoyed most of my classes revolving around Ag Business, but I think that the class that I enjoyed the most was Farm and Ranch Management. It was always a fun class to attend and I got a lot of material out of it that I will use in the future. I am part of Food Science Club, Block and Bridle, Collegiate FFA, and Range Club. All of these activities has been extremely fun and have further helped me to adjust to being 13 hours away from home. I am extremely impressed by the professors in both the Ag Econ department and Animal Science department. They are all very helpful and willing to assist you with any matter that arises.
I also enjoy training colts in my spare time. The picture is of a colt that I had started and we were out on our final ride.
Wade Allnutt, Don and June Lobdell Scholarship
student photo1.    Where are you from? What is your background?
I am from Walden, Colorado. I have a ranching background. I have lived in the same county my whole life and have been ranching for the entire time as well.
2.    What drew you to UW AgEcon?
I wanted to come to UW because of numerous reports and opinions that it was a very good school. I chose AgEcon as a major because I wasn't sure of a definite major, but I thought econ would give me a well-rounded education and prepare me for the future.
3.    What do you aim to do when you finish?
I hope to use a degree in Farm/Ranch Management to either return home to the family ranching operation with new ideas and perspectives or to find another job in a management position.
4.    What activities/classes have you enjoyed the most? What do you like or have been impressed by?
Right now I am enrolled in AgEcon 4700 with Dannele Peck. I find the economics of range to be the most interesting and most applicable for me. I have also enjoyed classes such as nutritional grazing of ungulates with Jim Waggoner and a meat evaluation class in the animal science department.
Brodie Epler, Oletha and Loren Likins Scholarship
student photo1.    Where are you from? What is your background?
I grew up near Veteran, Wyoming in Goshen County. This rural area is predominately agricultural, as it seems everyone in the surrounding community is somehow related to the industry. Growing up in this environment has instilled within me a great understanding and appreciation for agriculture.
2.    What drew you to UW AgEcon?
My passion for agriculture drew me to the College of Ag. However, the Economics and Business aspect came from the positive influence from family and friends who are also involved in a similar career field.
3.    What do you aim to do when you finish?
At this point it is hard to say what the future has in store, however, I hope to earn a degree in Agriculture Business and possibly a masters in Agriculture Economics or Business Management. After that I hope to some day be a prominent member of a community similar to the one I was raised in while applying my education to a successful career.
4.    What activities/classes have you enjoyed the most? What do you like or have been impressed by?
While at the University of Wyoming I have found many aspects that I have grown to enjoy. I do not have one particular class that I would call my favorite, however, I enjoy all classes that challenge me each and every day while I gain valuable information for the future. I am most impressed by the willingness to assist and the dedication that many professors and faculty have shown to me and all students while furthering my education.
Kimberly Kuhn, supported by the National Western Stock Show Scholarship
student photo1.   I graduated from high school in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 2007. Our family ranch, however, is on upper Powder River in NE Johnson County and SE Sheridan County. We also have mountain land up west of Kaycee in Johnson County in the Big Horn Mountains. I was Miss Frontier for Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 2009 and enjoyed the experience greatly.
2.   I was drawn to UW's AgEcon department as a 5th generation ranch owner. I have always been very passionate about agriculture, and I knew from the first day of orientation that this was the college and department for me. I absolutely love my fellow college classmates and the professors too. My advisor, Dale Menkhaus, has been outstanding, and I have also really enjoyed the entire staff of the College of Agriculture.
3.   I will graduate in May of 2011, and I plan to help manage our family ranch as well as prepare for graduate school, and eventually a professional career.
4.   I am a member of the Ag Ambassadors and the Rodeo Team (my event is breakaway roping). I really enjoyed Agroecology, Rural Banking, Ag Law, and Range Resource Economics. I have been extremely impressed with the professors and their interest in the subjects they teach. It is so nice to walk into a class where everyone knows your name. I am so comfortable in the College of Agriculture, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in enjoying their college experience.
 This summer I plan to study abroad in Angers, France, studying Viticulture and Agribusiness—what an opportunity I never would have had without the College of Agriculture!
Casey Sorenson, supported by the UW Jack Radichal Scholarship
1.   I am from Deaver, Wyoming. Population 177. Obviously a small town because most Wyomingites have not ever heard of it. I grew up on a farm in the same town, and our family also had a ranch in the Pryor mountains in Montana with about 230 head of cattle. I grew up working on the farm and ranch and wouldn't trade a day of it for any other way of life. I have my own herd of cattle. The breed is a new breed developed in Billings, Montana and is known for its high weaning weights, low birth weights, and great milking abilities. This breed is called Black Maximizers. I am married and I have a two year old child and another on the way. I have two associates degrees, one in Ag Education and one in Ag Business.
2.   First of all, my dad graduated from the UW Ag college with a degree in Ag Engineering. This drew me here initially. Second, I think that there is not a better college out there in terms of value. The Hathaway scholarship program has also drawn me in by reducing my costs immensely.
3.   I am still unsure about what I will do after my degree. Originally I was going to be an agricultural engineer with my focus being on making high-end agricultural equipment affordable for the common agrarian. Now I am looking more towards being an ag loan officer. This is another way to help agriculturalists get into the business and stay in the business. If I attained this career, my focus would be on helping people get their farms and ranches even if they do not have any kind of inheritance of land, livestock, or cash to help them along. I have also looked into getting my masters degree in AgEcon and possibly teaching at a junior college. I also would possibly like to own a ranch. This has and always will be a dream of mine. Finally, I have a great opportunity to take over my family’s powerline construction business. This is looking to be my best option thus far. I hope to finish by Spring of 2011.
4.   I have enjoyed the classes that have financial or investing backgrounds in them. Especially in this economy, it is extremely important to be financially savvy. I was also very impressed with the professors in the Ag College. At this college, I have found that these professors have been the most helpful of anyone at the college. For the most part these professors have a love for teaching and a passion for transferring their knowledge to the students here.
Jessie Berry, supported by the Jack Radichal Scholarship
student photo1.   I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. My great grandparents homesteaded our family ranch in 1910 and we have been raising Hereford cattle ever since.
2.   I originally came to the University of Wyoming as a requirement to stay in state while serving as a Wyoming State FFA officer. It didn't take me long to fall in love with the College of Agriculture, faculty and staff. My course work began in communications until a friend recommended I try an economic class. Since then I have been hooked and enjoyed the program.
3.   I will graduate this coming May. I am still not sure what I would like to do so I am investing my last semester as intern for Representative Cynthia Lummis in Washington DC. I am interested in rural community development, agriculture policy and conservation of land and natural resources.
4.   I will forever be an advocate for the College of Agriculture because of the people and investment of time I received in the classes I took and the faculty that cared. The scholarships the college has made available to students has enabled me to have an affordable, quality education. I have enjoyed the classes that I have taken and the real life experience that professors have been able to apply in the classroom. I am also very thankful for faculty and my advisor that would help me pursue options and find solutions. 
Sean Ridgeway, supported by the Lee Wiegand Excellence Fund in Agriculture
student photo1.   I am from Bayard, Nebraska, a small town in western Nebraska. I have a strong background in rural Nebraska farming and ranching. My family as a small farm/ranch that raises alfalfa, Angus beef, and corn. I have a small Angus herd myself consisting of four cows and four calves, and two heifers. I have shown market steers for seven years at the county fair. I have also shown my heifers at the National Western Stock Show as well as participating in the Catch-A-Calf program. I work around the family farm/ranch as a hired hand.
2.   When I came to visit for the first time my advisors knew my name and were willing to show me all the options I had in Ag Econ, whether it be in Farm and Ranch Management, International Trade, or the Business option. I chose the business option so I can go to a small town bank and help families’ dreams come true. It was nice not being just another number, but a name — a first name.
3.   I have also chosen to add a Ag Education major to my program. I would like to either teach or bank in a small town. In either situation I will be able to give back to the community what it has given me. I would like to teach Ag Education along with FFA. I also hope that sometime in my life I will be able to also become a banker in a rural America, the heart of this country, and I am looking forward to starting these plans in the fall of 2013.
4.   I enjoy being able to go to Half Acre Gym with its many different activities, from lifting to running as well as the many fitness classes and outdoor activities. I have enjoyed the Agroecology class that I took last semester; I also am enjoying the political science class I am in. Even though it is tough, it offers a challenge to make you learn things that you needed to know as a United States citizen. I like that when you go to talk to your advisors, they know your first name. Professors would rather be called by their first name, and before midterm will know your first name and call you it when they see you.
Lyndi Apolius, supported by the Amanda and Oscar Schmale Scholarship
student photo1.   I am from Paxton, Nebraska. Paxton is a town of about 650 people that is located between Ogallala and North Platte on I-80. My family has always lived on a farm or ranch. It is just a part of our lives. The best was when we lived in the Sandhills of Nebraska. Most people would think of it as being pretty lonely up there, however I just enjoyed the quiet. I guess it just has to be "in your blood." 
2.   Before attending UW, I earned my associates degree in Ag Business from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, Nebraska. At NCTA my advisor was Krystle Friesen, whom had graduated with her bachelor’s degree at UW. She had mentioned transferring to UW to me, and it was at that time I began considering it. I came to a couple campus visits as well as the Transfer Orientation Day (which was very helpful) and found that UW was the best fit for me. The Ag College was a good size, and I felt had a great program. When I graduated from high school I was just positive I would only get my associates degree and be done with college. Well obviously my ideals changed; I will be graduating in May with my bachelors degree in Ag Business and wouldn't change a thing!
3.   I will be graduating in May of 2010 and plan to move back to North Platte, Nebraska. I am seeking some banking positions and hope to possibly move up to an ag lender some day. I am also interested in crop insurance. I feel that crop insurance is a very interesting field and would love to be involved with farmers and ranchers first hand. 
4.   The classes I have enjoyed the most would have to be Ag Law with Alan Schroeder and Ag Finance with Matt Andersen. I like that the Ag College is small enough that I can get that one-on-one help from a teacher, yet the courses are challenging enough that I feel like I am getting a good education.
Brian Lee, supported by the NW Hilston Scholarship
student photo1.   I'm from Imperial, Nebraska, which is in the southwest corner (about 45 minutes from Kansas and 30 minutes from Colorado). I have lived there my entire life. I grew up hunting and fishing which sparked my love for the outdoors. I didn't grow up on a farm, but agriculture has always been a big part of my life. My family co-owns a small hay farm which doubles as a great turkey and deer hunting place. I've completed two summer internships with Helena Chemical Company, assisting salesmen with fertilizer and chemical applications and sales. I started my undergraduate degree in 2006 and finished in four years. I majored in Agricultural Business at UW, and picked up minors in Economics, Banking and Financial Services, and Statistics. I was active in the Sigma Chi Fraternity and WYOS as an undergrad.
2.   I believe AgEcon is a very important part of our everyday lives. The interactions between markets, firms, and growers fascinate me. UW has a great AgEcon department with great experience and expertise, which has drawn me to want to study here.
3.   I plan on finishing graduate school with a Masters degree in the Spring of 2012. I would like to pursue a position within the USDA, possibly with the National Ag Statistics Service. Also companies like Farm Credit Services and Helena Chemical interest me and have a lot to offer.
4.   I really enjoy going to the Cowboys and Cowgirls athletics. Not many schools offer high quality Division I sports so close and inexpensive. Also with Laramie's close locality to the Rocky Mountains I love to go snowboarding and hiking. I have really liked the town of Laramie and its size. It's just about the perfect size for me.
Kendall Eisele, supported by the Joe and Arlene Watt Graduate Scholarship
student photo1.   I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming on a ranch called the King Ranch. We have a cow/calf operation consisting of 300 Angus and Red Angus cross bred cattle, and we put up about 250 acres of alfalfa grass mix hay in the summer. I helped my family on the ranch during the summers haying, the fall with weaning calves, and the winter/spring with calving season. We run cattle during the summer on USFS allotments and at the USDA Grasslands Research Station where I ride horseback (sometimes by four-wheeler) to check the pastures and cattle. I was a 10-year member in Laramie County 4-H and very active in my Cheyenne FFA chapter, competing in all types of animal showmanship and other related events. I played basketball from grade school all the way to college, and stayed active in other organizations like DECA Marketing Club, the Wyo Stock Growers Assn., and collegiate organizations like Sigma Alpha Professional Ag Sorority and Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity.
2.   The things that drew me to UW Ag Econ were my background, undergraduate experience and my internships. I have lived in Wyoming my whole life, and I wanted to get my college education in my home state. I wanted to get an Ag Business degree here at UW, and I had heard so many great things about the College of Agriculture. Furthermore, after spending a semester internship in Washington, DC at the National Assn. of Conservation Districts and at the Wyoming Dept of Ag, I was able to experience first hand the policy, economics and agriculture issues that I learned about in my undergraduate courses. But I wanted more, so that is when I decided a graduate program in Ag Econ was right for me.
3.   I can honestly say that I see myself in a few years from now working on our family ranch doing the things that I love, but appling more of what I have gained here to better our operation. Also, I would like to become more active in the decisions our state makes related to ag economics and policies. So this might include researching and representing an ag or land focused organization and perhaps working in the Wyoming Legislature.
4.   I have enjoyed the seminars that are held by the department. It gives us an opportunity to learn about what is going on in the department as well as spark some new ideas for research in the future. So far, all my classes have been a great learning experience, and I have gained so much from them. I am most impressed by the atmosphere of the AgEcon Dept and how everyone really works together and assists one another, for what ever the reason may be. We are all working for the same cause and that by far is the thing I like the most.
Currently, I am also serving a two-year term as a National Board Director for National Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority. In this position, I focus on the importance of woman pursuing professional careers in agriculture and promote scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship among collegiate and honorary members.
Sydney Burek, supported by the CHS Foundation Scholarship
student photo1.   I am currently a junior in Agricultural Business, working on minors in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management, and Farm and Ranch Management. I am from eastern Colorado, a little town called Elizabeth to be specific. Throughout my childhood and teen years I have helped out on cattle ranches where I could, with various brandings and simple day work. I would still consider myself “green” though when it comes to ranch work.
2.   For as long as I can remember my goal has involved the cattle ranching industry. From being six and having high hopes of becoming the “knocker” at the meat plant to being 12 and planning out all the details for my own cattle ranch. Although these details have drastically changed over the years, I still aspire to own and operate my very own cattle ranch. Due to my lack of background in this field I determined that Agricultural Business was the degree to acquire. My desire to attend the University of Wyoming started fairly young as well. I have always enjoyed the beauty of this extremely rural state and knew after graduating high school Wyoming was where I wanted to be.
3.   After completing my Bachelors Degree, which will hopefully be in May of 2011, I plan to work for the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wyoming. I have been working with the agency for about a year now as a SCEP Student, which is basically an internship. Since I’m not independently wealthy and I don’t anticipate acquiring a ranch through an inheritance, work appears to be the best way of obtaining the necessary resources to achieve my ultimate goal.
4.   I am currently a member of the Range Club, Food Science Club, and Block & Bridle Club, of which I am treasurer, and am on the Undergraduate Range Management Exam Team (URME). I have gained a wealth of knowledge as well as good times by being a part of these activities.
I would have to say my favorite AgEcon class would have to be both AGEC 2020 and 4640, Farm and Ranch Business Management and Advanced Farm and Ranch Business Management, with Professor Larry Held. I have also enjoyed my Range classes and my Livestock Production class.
I have had a wonderful two and a half years here at the University. The environment is perfect, especially for learning. In my experience the professors are always eager to help, even if they don’t personally know the answer to your question they will get you on the right track to figure it out. My advisor, Dale Menkhaus, has been a huge help to me throughout my college career as well.
Samuel Hansen, supported by the Oletha and Loren Likins Scholarship
student photoI'm from Lingle, Wyoming. I was born in Torrington, and have been a Goshen County resident for all 21 years of my life. I first met face to face with agriculture when I was 16, and I decided to spend my summers out on a nearby ranch. While there, I found myself in the very heart of production agriculture. I guess it was the hard work and skills that I learned during those three consecutive summers that really made me want to understand what it takes to make an agricultural business run. With a father and brother working in rural banking and another brother working as an auditor, I guess you could say that I was destined for a career in AgEcon. I plan to graduate in the Spring of 2011 with an Ag Business Major and a Business minor. From there I hope to find a job that will allow me to pursue a career in agricultural lending. I'm enjoying my academic career at UW and am particularly impressed with the College of Agriculture's professors, teachers and staff. They cultivate an environment that is both friendly and engaging. I have enjoyed most of my AgEcon classes, but I have found Ag Finance, Ag Law, and Agribusiness Management to be most valuable to my degree. Most of all I appreciate the opportunities that the college of Agriculture offers to their students in terms of scholarships. It is very evident that a lot of time and money has been invested into College of Agriculture students such as myself.
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