A Year In Review with Dean Arp

Aside from parking, between now and 27 years ago when Dr. Dan Arp first arrived at Beaver Nation, much has changed. I had the pleasure of meeting with the College of Agricultural Sciences Dean, Dan Arp, to discuss experiences and happenings of both this past year and this upcoming year. In this one-on-one interview with Dean Arp, I got the inside scoop on how he overcame learning how to Tweet in 2016 and what changes he would like to see implemented in 2017.

We started the interview with a few basic “get to know you” questions and I came to find that this is Dr. Arp’s ninth year putting on the hat labeled “Dean.” Before coming to the College of Agricultural Sciences, Dean Arp served 4 years at the Dean of the Honor College. On May 1st of 2012, he became Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. When asked what he feels is a fitting short and concise description of his position he replied, “Very broadly: to further the mission of the College of Agricultural Sciences.” That mission deals with education, outreach, research and engagement and thus, he followed up that in his position he must always be “climbing the ladder of quality and impact.”

As many of us would assume, a Dean works with many groups of people including: staff, students and stakeholders. So when I asked Dean Arp, “What are your observations in regard to the academic college and student body?” his answer went far beyond strictly campus activity. Dean Arp touched first on the stakeholders of the college and admired the unwavering commitment they have to their work, the industry and the people they work with. He went on to speak of the faculty and their excellence that is recognized internally and nationally, “They are remarkable at what they do.” Lastly, he spoke to his observations of the “refreshing” student body.

As some of us may not have realized, Dean Arp doesn’t have the opportunity to interact “nearly enough” with students outside of the few organizations and councils he’s connected with, but has still noticed an increasingly active and engaged population. He says the students he does get to work with consistently possess a passion for their work, major and the world around them. Though he notices the greatness in all of this, Dean Arp still sees room for change.

In terms of the University as a whole, Dean Arp simply answered, “Inclusiveness” to the question: “If you could change one thing about our campus, what would it be and how would you change it?” He noted that though some areas are being improved on he feels there is still a part of the campus population, students and staff included, that does not always feel considered or included–specifically in the areas of socioeconomics and diversity of geographical backgrounds. Simply put he said at Beaver Nation, “everyone needs to feel like they are at home.”

In regard to the growth of the College of Agricultural Sciences we are entering our 150th year! Along with that celebration, there are also two initiatives that are in the works: Student Success and Quality Food and Beverage. The Student Success Initiative has two parts revolved around “what will make a difference?” The first part is aimed toward First Year Students and their system of thinking about experiential learning, specifically internships. The Initiative’s goal is to get First Year Students to begin thinking about future internships and positioning themselves early on to be a fit candidate for their ideal internship when their third, fourth or fifth year rolls around and it’s time to apply for it. The Second part of the Initiative is to increase scholarship support–this is being acted upon through reaching out to stakeholders and raising funds.

The other Initiative that is to be progressing with the College this upcoming year is the Quality Food and Beverage Initiative. The current stage of the Initiative is collecting funding for the three pilot plans: beer, wine and dairy products, primarily cheese. This Initiative would fund a facility to be built across from Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility on the Corvallis Campus. The new building would have inside of it a classroom(s), store to sell products such as our Beaver Classic Cheese, a laboratory, a distance classroom, temperature control spaces and a conference room. Though the product of this Initiative may not be visible for a few years, there is still much work going on behind the scenes to get this plan up and moving.

As you have read, there has been quite a bit of change that has been in the works over here at the University and even more foreseeable! It was a fun and unforgettable 2016 and we are looking forward to an even more engaging and exciting 2017. With the conclusion of my interview and this post, I had one last question for Dean Arp, “What is one thing you would like to say to the students, stakeholders, staff, alumni and fellow community members that will read this article?”

“I share your pride in the College of Agricultural Sciences. We have much to be proud of: the terrific students we have, the work our stakeholders do, the fabulous staff that really do the work of the college. I am incredibly proud of the work we all do.”

We wish you all success and a happy New Year!




21 Dates You’ll Need to Know to Make Through the New Year

Winter term has been off to quite the slow start. We had no school on Monday and with severe weather conditions still in surrounding areas we hope everyone has been traveling safe and all students have made it back to Corvallis by now. With the start of a new year and new term there’s some important dates you’ll want to keep on your radar and here they are:

  1. January 15th: Last day to withdrawal from a course with 100% refund
  2. January 16th: MLK Day (No School)
  3. January 18th: First Ag Exec Meeting of the new year
  4. January 26th: Etiquette Dinner in the MU Horizon Room at 6pm
  5. February 1st: College of Agricultural Sciences Scholarship Due
  6. February 8th: February Ag Exec Meeting
  7. February 23rd: Ethics Panel at 6:30pm (Location TBA)
  8. February 24th: Last day to S/U classes
  9. March 8th: March Ag Exec Meeting
  10. March 10th: College of Agricultural Sciences Dance
  11. March 24th-27th: FFA State Convention
  12. March 25th-April 2nd: Spring Break
  13. April 3rd: First Day of Spring Term
  14. April 12th: First Spring Ag Exec Meeting
  15. April 21st-23rd: Ag Exec Industry Tour
  16. May 1st-5th: Ag Days
  17. May 3rd: Second Spring Ag Exec Meeting
  18. May 5-7: Spring Family Weekend
  19. May 24th: Last Ag Exec Meeting of the School Year and Elections
  20. May 29th: Memorial Day (No School)
  21. June 17th: OSU Graduation and Beginning of Summer Break

We hope to see you at some of our events over the course of the Winter and Spring terms!




Welcome Our Newest Advisor!

Hey Everyone!
If you haven’t heard yet, the Agricultural Executive Council added a new co-advisor to our team last week: Raisa Canete Blazquez
Raisa Blazquez, co-advisor and PhD Student

Raisa Canete Blazquez, co-advisor and PhD Student from Spain!

Raisa has a unique background that’s going to bring a new perspective to the team. Here’s her story:

“I am originally from Barcelona, Spain, where I got my Bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpreting. My first languages are Spanish and Catalan, and I also speak English and some German. I love languages and I have always been interested in the American culture, which is why when I was a Sophomore (back in 2011) I came to Oregon for an exchange program at PCC. During the four months I was here, I fell in love with this state, so I decided I would come back after graduating and go to Grad School at Oregon State University.
It has been almost two years now since I moved here, and I soon will be done with my Master’s program. During this time, I have explored different aspects of being a grad student at OSU. I have taken classes in areas such as Education, Ethnic Studies and Foreign Languages and Literatures. I have taught first level Spanish, and worked at the Writing Center. I love meeting people from different areas of study and learning from everyone’s experiences, and OSU has given me the opportunity to get involved in different departments and associations. At this moment, while I finish the thesis for my master’s degree, I am starting a PhD in Education in a brand new program, the LEEP (Language, Equity and Educational Policy). This is the beginning of a new stage of development in my life, both as a student and as a person, an I am looking forward to being part of it, and to the new experiences that it will bring along.
And that is one of the reasons why I am so excited about my new position as an advisor for the Ag Exec team. Coming from a completely different field, I hope to bring new perspectives into this department and to learn from each one of the people that I will be working with. I am eager to connect with them and support them in every way. I have been in several clubs in the past, as well as I have been part of different organization committees, and as much as I enjoy it very much, I understand how tiring it can get, especially when you have to balance it with school and work. I want the students to see me as someone they can relate to and trust, someone who will be there for anything they might need. I will do my best to assist them with their work, and I will work hard to be prepared for any situation that might come up.”
I can speak on behalf of the team here when I say that Raisa is an inspirational leader with a genuine and determined attitude. We’re excited to work together as a team and see where this year leads us. Meet Raisa tonight at the Agricultural Executive Council Meeting at 7pm in Weniger 151!

Ag Exec 101

What is “Ag Exec?”

Ag Exec is the shorthand for Agricultural Executive Council. The Agricultural Executive Council serves as the governing body for the students and clubs within the College of Agricultural Sciences.

What does the council do exactly?

The council is comprised of 20+ agricultural clubs and organizations at Oregon State University. Throughout the year, the council hosts a number of professional and personal development events to help prepare students for leadership, internship, and career opportunities. As a council, we hold true to the agriculture way of life with values of integrity, responsibility, dedication and passion. The Agricultural Executive Council brings a unity to one of the most diverse colleges at Oregon State; priding itself on preparing and introducing top students to the many opportunities within agriculture, forestry and natural resources!

Are there officers? Who are they?

Yes. We have seven officers:

  1. President: Trinity Shodin
  2. Vice President: Ben Rietmann
  3. Director of Correspondence: Monica Debord
  4. Director of Finance: August Peterson
  5. Director of Public Relations: Kayla Rushing
  6. Director of Ag Days: Scott Jacobson
  7. Director of New Fields: Meg Marchand

We also have two advisors:

  1. Dr. Katie Gaebel
  2. Ms. Raisa Blazquez

Elections are held every Spring term.

How to get involved:

If you have any interest in joining any one of the clubs on the council feel free to contact the Agricultural Executive Council officer team at oregonstateagexeccouncil@gmail.com indicating which club you’re interested in and we will happily provide you with that contact information to get you involved!

Stay up-to-date on the happenings of the college and follow us on:

Facebook: OSU Agricultural Executive Council

Twitter: @OSUAgExec

Blog: blogs.oregonstate.edu/newfields/

Or simply stop by one of our monthly evening meetings on campus! (Email us to find out more!)


2016-2017 Officer Team

In the Spring of this past school year, the Agricultural Executive Council elected a new officer team. The officers met in September at an officer retreat to plan the fun and exciting upcoming year. The 2016-2017 officers for Oregon State University Agricultural Executive Council are as follows:

Trinity Shodin, President

Trinity Shodin, President

Ben Rietmann, VP

Ben Rietmann, Vice President

Monica Debord, Correspondence

Monica Debord, Director of Correspondence

August Peterson, Director of Finance

August Peterson, Director of Finance

Kayla Rushing, Director of Public Relations

Kayla Rushing, Director of Public Relations

Scott Jacobson, Director of Ag Days

Scott Jacobson, Director of Ag Days

Meg Marchand, Director of New Fields

Meg Marchand, Director of New Fields

Welcome Back!


Hey Oregon State Students and Staff!

Our annual College of Agricultural Sciences Ice Cream Social kicked off our fall term with 29 clubs in attendance! And whether we were ready or not, we’re back in full motion and it ‘s our first Monday of the term. So for my sake (and maybe yours too) I wanna flashback to spring term and reminisce a little on this unforgettable summer.

I wasn’t quite ready to jump right back into school, so I reached out to my teammates for one last taste of sweet summertime and I want to share it with you! Here’s a little bit of what we were each up to this summer:

In the Spring, we elected a new Agricultural Executive Council Officer Team, almost an entirely new team aside from our president Trinity Shodin. Trinity is entering her Junior year as an Agricultural Sciences student. She spent her summer working and hanging out with friends–holding down the fort for us here in Corvallis.

I’m sure many of you know our Vice President, Ben Rietmann, from his endless involvement throughout the university. He’s a double major in Agricultural Science and Agricultural Business Management entering his junior year at the university. The highlight of Ben’s summer was spending two weeks traveling through England, Italy, and Switzerland. He says, “it was amazing to see famous places in these countries and to meet new and interesting people.”

Agricultural Science and Education sophomore, Monica Debord, was elected our Director of Correspondence. Monica’s summer highlight was going to Crater Lake with her mom, younger brother and exchange student from Norway. While they were there she was able to jump into the lake twice and swim a little bit. She said it was very cold but worth it because of the thrill and excitement she got from it.

August Peterson is spending his junior year serving as our Director of Finance. He majors in both Agricultural Science and Political Science so he may come off as a man all about business, but don’t be fooled he spent most his summer outdoors! August camped in the Willamette National Forest and spent several days hiking and enjoying the beauty our state has to offer, including the swimming area, Three Pools, which was very cold, but of course absolutely spectacular.

Animal Science major, Kayla Rushing, is the second sophomore on our team serving as the Director of Public Relations. Kayla had a few of her childhood dreams come true this summer with having the opportunity to attend the Oregon Jamboree and watch her favorite country music artist, Toby Keith, perform live!

Scott Jacobson, fourth-year Agricultural Science major and Director of Ag Days, had a summer full of active energy! His summer highlights were visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park, as well as watching California Chrome race and win in the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s Pacific Classic race.

Our Advisor this year is Dr. Katie Gaebel. She spent two weeks in Utah this summer learning first-hand about experiential learning; one of the weeks was at an Experiential Learning conference, where she went on outings in Bryce and Zion National Parks. The second week was spent with her husband hiking and photographing in all five national parks in Utah (Bryce, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef).

Lastly, I’m Meg Marchand. Senior Agricultural Science student on the Agricultural Education track. In the Spring, I was elected the Agricultural Executive Council’s Director of New Fields. This past summer I had the opportunity to travel outside of the United States for the very first time for an international internship in the Netherlands. It truly was a growing and learning experience of a lifetime.

Our summers were eventful to say the least! And maybe we weren’t quite ready for classes to start back up again, but nonetheless, the Agricultural Executive Council is excited for another fun and successful year.

We hope to see you at our first Agricultural Executive Council meeting on October 5th at 7pm in Weniger 151 ! (:

Leave us a comment below; we’d love to hear about your summer and excitement for this upcoming school year!


Ag Days Recap: Oregon Without Borders

The Agricultural Executive Council hosted their largest event of the year, Ag Days, during the first week of May, Monday through Friday.

A Global Opportunities Poster Presentation was held Monday afternoon in Strand Agriculture Hall. Students presented about their experiences abroad at the poster session. The activities then continued with two workshops – one featuring Bill Moar, an entomology scientist from Monsanto, speaking about international agriculture and competitive markets and the second being a study abroad panel featuring Oregon State students.

Tuesday, the Ag Day in the Quad event was held in the MU Quad and SEC Plaza. Approximately 25 groups were there to represent their clubs, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the College of Forestry. The OSU Young Cattlemen’s Association sold tri-tip sandwiches, and they were a crowd-pleaser! The booths were judged by the Ag Exec advisors and were ranked as follows: 1st place Forestry Club, 2nd place Sheep Club, and 3rd place Botany and Plant Pathology Club. Students were also given the chance to volunteer for Agriculture in the Classroom as part of a service project.

Wednesday evening, the Council partnered with the Oregon Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers to host the second annual Farm Bureau Discussion Meet. The event took place in the MU Lounge, and the six students that participated were asked to discuss the involvement of farmers and ranchers in government and natural resource issues. Andrew Miles took first place in the discussion meet, and Emily Hopfer took second.

Thursday night the Council hosted a keynote speaker, Dr. Reynold Gardner with the Oregon Department of Education. He spoke about the problems and opportunities facing agriculture today and the importance of education for the future.

Finally, Ag Olympics were held outside of Strand and the East side of the MU. Corn hole, ladder toss, and John Deere ‘tractor’ tricycle races were all offered as part of the fun! Ag Days is something the Agricultural Executive Council enjoys hosting every year, and it helps to provide education while people get the chance to see agriculture in action.


Oregon YF&R Farm Bureau Discussion Meet


Ag Day in the Quad

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Students participating in Ag Olympics

Agraland Industry Tour Recap

The second week of Spring Term, approximately 35 students and 2 advisers loaded onto a tour bus to explore agriculture in the Portland area. Also known as the “Agraland Tour,” students were able to tour a diverse set of tour stops including farms, a brewery, and a farmers market.

Friday morning, the tour group departed Corvallis and headed to Donald, Oregon to tour GK Machine Inc. The next stop for the group was Pacific Seafood, where they toured headquarters and a distribution center and were provided lunch by Northwest Farm Credit Services.  From there, the tour continued to the Food Innovation Center, an Agricultural Experiment Center located in Portland, Oregon. Students learned about the research conducted at the center and even got to do a food tasting of samples of Masala Pop’s handmade Indian-spiced popcorn! Following a tour of Charlie’s Produce, the group ended the day by touring the Clackamas Land Lab, learning about the operation, and having dinner provided by the North Clackamas FFA Chapter.

The Agraland tour group loaded the bus bright and early Saturday morning and headed to Stumptown Coffee to learn about the company’s practices. Coffee tasting helped everyone wake up! After working up an appetite, the group traveled to the Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University to eat lunch and explore the booths. The group then headed to Widmer Brothers Brewing to learn about the Craft Brew Alliance and the process of brewing. Cloud Cap Farms, a family farm part of Organic Valley, was the final stop for the day. The group then got pizza for dinner and settled in for the night.

Sunday morning started with a buzz as the group visited Bee Thinking, a beekeeping supplier based out of Portland, Oregon and company committed to education regarding honey bees. From there, the group traveled to Langdon Farms Golf Club to have lunch with Harvest Capital Company. Northwest Transplants,  a seedling production operation, was the last stop on the tour.

After the three day trip was concluded, student took a survey to help evaluate the trip and give suggestions for next year. The annual industry tour is one of the most looked forward to events. It helps students to connect with industry professionals and expose them to various careers. The Agricultural Executive Council makes events like the Agraland Industry Tour a priority, because of the great opportunities it provides students.

Day1 Day2 Day3

Winter Term 2016 Recap

A view of the lively CAS Dance

The Agricultural Executive Council started off Winter Term by hosting the annual Etiquette Dinner. This event was open to any student involved in an Ag Exec club. Brian Field, President, and Royce Ann Simmons, Vice President, of Harvest Capital Company were our speakers for the evening. They gave a presentation on proper etiquette for professional dinners and demonstrated how to mingle during our “mocktail” reception. The Council looks forward to providing more professional development events to students in the future, as this event proved to be so beneficial!

Our annual Ethics Panel took place the next month. The panelists Dr. Mary Santelmann, Mr. Shaun McKinney, and Mr. Jerome Rosa did an exceptional job of discussing how ethics plays a role in the theme for the night, “Conservation vs Preservation.” They were able to draw from each of their individual professional experiences in answering questions posed by the audience concerning issues in the agricultural industry. The insight from the panelists was greatly appreciated by council members.

Shortly following the Ethics Panel, the officer team hosted the annual College of Agricultural Sciences Dance at the Women’s Building on campus. The Country Western Dance Club co-hosted the event and provided music and a fun atmosphere filled with dancing, and a spaghetti dinner was provided! Guests were asked to donate canned food or pay an entrance fee for the event, which made it possible for Agricultural Executive Council to donate over 500 dollars and a substantial amount of canned food to the Linn-Benton Food Share. Clubs had the opportunity to get creative and enter a centerpiece into a contest. Steer-A-Year Club took 1st place with PVMA Club following closely behind, and Agricultural Education Club taking 3rd.

Several guest speakers came to monthly council meetings to provide information upcoming events and opportunities. Council members were able to learn more about the Oregon Young Farmers and Ranchers Program, the Leadership Academy, open to all students in the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry, and the Winter CAS Panel and Networking Event.

The Spring Industry Tour, also known as the Agriland Tour, will take place in Portland and the surrounding areas from April 8th-10th. Students will tour a variety of locations and have the opportunity to speak with leaders in several different areas of the agricultural industry. In early May, Ag Days with the theme of Oregon Beyond Borders will take place. Clubs in the College of Agricultural Sciences will be in the MU Quad and the SEC Plaza promoting their activities. There will be speakers and many other events taking place during the week as well. Come check out Ag Days to see some adorable animals and learn more about agriculture!


A group shot at Etiquette Dinner


Ethics Panel attendees


Council officers dropping off canned food from the CAS Dance.

Fall Term 2015 Recap

Officers greeting students at the Annual Fall Gelato Social

The Agricultural Executive Council had quite an eventful Fall Term to start out the new school year. The officer team began the term with a one-day retreat at Peavy Arboretum and worked to plan events for the year and to revise the Constitution while bonding as a team. We shared individual goals and came up with team ones, as well. Only a few days later, the College of Agricultural Sciences Fall Kick-Off Gelato Social took place at the newly renovated Strand Agriculture Hall’s front plaza. New and returning students were able to learn about all of the clubs in the College. It was the perfect sunny weather to enjoy some gelato from a local business!

The Ag Exec officers represented the College of Agricultural Sciences throughout football season by traveling to WSU for a tailgater, celebrating Homecoming and assisting with booths at the Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility during Dad’s Weekend. Oregon State pride was abundant, as we never miss a chance to attend a Beaver game! Connecting with alumni and donors is something we enjoy on all occasions while celebrating agriculture and the excitement of game day.

Members of the officer team attended the College of Agricultural Sciences Dean’s Dinner, held at the end of October, as well. Students assisted with setting up for the event and were seated at various tables to interact with faculty, alumni and industry leaders. We heard about scientific research and notable work in agriculture and watched recipients of the College of Agricultural Sciences awards receive those awards. These types of events are what make being a student in the College of Agricultural Sciences much more interesting and rewarding.

After an extensive two-year upgrade to Strand Agriculture Hall, which included significant seismic, accessibility, and energy upgrades, its reopening was celebrated at the end of October. The event began at the West Portico Entrance facing the MU Quad and highlighted the new building. Strand has housed several different departments, but its emphasis throughout its history has always been agriculture. After a short program to celebrate the reopening, in which Dean Dan Arp presented, members of the officer team gave tours of the building. The event allowed people to see the beautiful new space that is Strand Agriculture Hall and to explore agricultural sciences.

Members of the officer team went on an industry tour with the Ambassadors for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources. That afternoon we traveled a short distance south of Corvallis to visit a winery and a learn about practices at a biodynamic farm. We finished off the day with a visit to a U-Pick pumpkin and apple farm. This was an excellent way to become more familiar with each other and explore agricultural industries!

Keep an eye out for information on our annual events including Etiquette Dinner, the Spring Industry Tour occurring the second weekend of Spring Term, and Ag Days!

2015 Gelato Social 3

The Organic Growers Club leading an activity at the Gelato Social


Part of the officer team at the College of Agricultural Sciences Dean’s Dinner

Industry Tour 11

Roasting marshmallows at Pfeiffer Vineyards


Meeting President Ray at the Strand Open House