Author Archives: marchmeg

Ag Days with Director Alexis Taylor

This year’s Ag Days spanned across three days at the beginning of May. Our focus this year was more global than past years and entitled “The Future of Ag.”

We had the privilege of hosting the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Director, Alexis Taylor, for part of our celebration. Director Taylor gave an empowering speech on women in agriculture while touching on the current status of the industry and its future.

Director Taylor had a more intimate lunch with a group of folks from the college where she was able to address more questions and concerns from students and faculty! We appreciated having Director Alexis Taylor and being able to learn from her knowledge and experiences within the agricultural industry!

Industry Tour Recap

The College of Agricultural Science’s Industry Tour was held during the weekend of April 21st. We travelled around the Columbia Gorge area in an Experience Oregon tour bus with minimal air conditioning and a total of 45 students and advisors. We also had the pleasure of having Karen Withers, an ER Jackman Board Member, accompany us on our adventure!

We departed from OSU’s Corvallis campus at 5am on Friday and headed straight for the Dalles to visit Mid Columbia Producers and their grain elevator. After our tour there, we headed to Pendleton to have a delicious lunch at Hamley’s Steakhouse with Northwest Farm Credit. We walked our full bellies off with a tour of the the Woolen Mills, Pendleton Undergrounds and the Pendleton Round-Up Fairgrounds before exhausting ourselves and heading back to the hotel.

We started up again on Saturday at 8am and headed straight for Boardman to Threemile Canyon Farms. We toured their 93,000 acre farmland for four hours before heading to our next destination: The Hermiston Experiment Station! After visiting with our OSU extension partners, we were hosted by the Hermiston FFA chapter for dinner at their high school!

Sunday morning began with a visit to the SAGE Center in Boardman where we celebrated one of our member’s 19th birthdays! Next, we stopped for lunch in the Dalles at their local delectable fast food restaurants. Our last stop, but certainly not least stop, was at Orchard View Farms. After touring the cherry orchard, we began the six hour trek back to Corvallis.

Though this year’s tour was smaller in relation to the amount of businesses we visited it certainly was still just as rich in new knowledge and experiences!

Thank you to everyone that supported our tour and those that continue to support our council year-round.

CAS Dance

At the end of winter term the Agricultural Executive Council held the annual College of Agricultural Sciences Dance. More than 60 students and community members came out and kicked the dust up out in Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility with us. The event lasted for three hours on a Friday night in March. Dinner and dessert was included in the cost of entrance to the dance and guests had the opportunity to enter a swing dancing competition at not extra cost as well. Along with this competition there was one offered to clubs that required a bit more preparation prior to the event, a centerpiece contest. Clubs were notified in advance about this competition and opportunity to win Battle of the Aggies points at our earlier meetings and over the listserv.

The winners of the Swing Dance Competition were:

Rueben Eliason and Alyssa Lilijequist

The winners of the Centerpiece Contest were:

1st place: Ag Ed Club

2nd place: Collegiate FFA

3rd place: Steer-A-Year

Thanks to all of this participation we were able to raise about 300lbs in canned food and $270 cash!

It’s Finally Spring!

It’s finally the BEST term at Oregon State University: Spring Term!

That bright thing in the sky finally peaks through the clouds and students’ attitudes reflect the sunny weather! Though classes may not be any easier and workloads may not be any lighter, spring term is always fun and exciting!

The Agricultural Executive Council has been busy planning the spring industry tour and 2017 Ad Days. The theme for Industry tour is Gorge-ous Oregon. The weekend of April 21st, we will be taking just under 60 students around the Columbia Gorge area to learn about the opportunities in agriculture the area has to offer. The Ag Days theme this year is The Future of Agriculture. Ag Days is the first week of May and we have events scheduled throughout the week!

Aside from these events we have our term meetings, the first being April 12th, then May 3rd and a year wrap-up along with Ag Exec elections on May 24th. All meetings will be at 7pm and held in Weniger 153 (unless otherwise specified).

We look forward to enjoying this term with you!

Leadership Academy with Haley Clement

Haley Clement, Agricultural Education PhD student, joined Leadership Academy for the sixth year of the program and plans to stick around for year seven.

Mrs. Clement comes to us from Paso Roble, California. Though she didn’t live on a farm, she grew up in agriculture and raised sheep and cattle for 4-H and FFA. Upon graduation for high school Mrs. Clement began her pursuit in higher education at Chico State where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Sciences in 2010. Immediately after she pursued a credential program to became a certified teacher. Mrs. Clement taught at Liberty Ranch for four years, teaching all the fun ag classes such as agriculture chemistry, agricultural government and agricultural economics.

In the Fall of 2014, she was recruited for AgriCorps. Within the next six months Haley and her boyfriend got engaged, married, quit both of their jobs and moved to Ghana. In Ghana, they developed 4-H programs and conducted teacher training programs. This work is where Mrs. Clement discovered her love for teacher education. She decided to come to Oregon State because obviously we’re the best (my personal opinion, not Mrs. Clement’s), but more specifically she toured campus and everyone she met was “incredible.” And more specifically she, “really admired Dr. Velez and really admires the Leadership Minor.”

When Mrs. Clement received the offer of being a student AND teacher with full teaching responsibilities rather than just a Teaching Assistant she couldn’t pass it up. Since accepting the offer, she has been officially deemed the coordinator of the Leadership Academy. This means she is in charge of all the logistics: writing lesson plans, preparing class material(s) and seminars, contacting advisory board members, members and other stakeholders, the recruitment and application process of new fellows and other administrative tasks. Mrs. Clement is a busy woman; her current school schedule precludes her teacher role to be physically present in the classroom. This being said, without her two other partners in success, Dr. Jonathan Velez and Lauren LaGrande, the Leadership Academy wouldn’t be nearly as organized and productive as it is today.

To Mrs. Clement, Leadership Academy is, “an opportunity for students to grow as professionals.” She believes though the Leadership minor is fantastic, not all students have the time or funds to go through the coursework. “It provides these same opportunities to the students. Opportunities are provided rather than forced and fellows are responsible for taking the opportunities and growing from them.”

There are currently 27 students and three instructors in the cohort. The students span across eight different departments within the college fostering a unique and diverse learning and working environment which Mrs. Clement says is valuable to the experience.

The 2016-2017 Leadership Academy Cohort.

The current cohort is in its last term together and are currently working together in small teams to conduct service learning projects. This term’s main focus is for fellows to understand and learn who their authentic selves are as well as what it means to serve and give back. These “lessons” are only small aspects of the Leadership Academy though.

Fellows have been working together throughout the school year learning about their personal leadership abilities and qualities in the fall and how to conduct personal and organizational change in the winter. Along with this fellows are purposely matched with mentors for the year who serve as life coaches. Mentors are committed to their student through their own free will; they serve to challenge and inspire their mentees to become better leaders.

The Leadership Academy cohort is expected to grow by eight next year for a total of 35 incredible, insightful individuals. Though the administrative team may be changing a bit with Lauren graduating, Mrs. Clement is excited to play a heavier role with teaching next year due to the Academy’s meeting time being switched to Wednesday nights.

Mrs. Clement acknowledges that this is not a “one-woman show,” like she expressed earlier, “Dr. Velez and Lauren are very essential to making the operation run.” Along with that, the Leadership Academy is backed with a lot of support from the college, department and industry which enables them to, “really be the best that we can be.”

To learn more feel free to visit their website:

*Almost* Snow Day

Corvallis campus was hit with a light snowfall on Sunday night of Week 9. The snow stuck around until about mid-Monday. Students were hopeful that administration would cancel school on Monday and they’d get an extra day to study and finish up homework assignments, but at 7:24 AM students received the message they were all waiting for via the Oregon State Twitter account: “Good morning. Corvallis campus operations will run as normal today. Please use personal discretion navigating to and from campus.”

Some students decided to make the trek to campus and experienced some icy road conditions while others stayed in and emailed their instructors to let them know they would not be in class. Spring is right around the corner, yet we’re still experiencing wintery weather! Please be wary about your safety and traveling anywhere!

With that being said the term is quickly coming to an end, but we still have a few events for you to attend! The last Agricultural Executive Council meeting is tomorrow, March 8 at 7pm in Weniger 153. The College of Agricultural Sciences Dance and Dinner is on Friday, March 10 from 7pm to 10pm at the Oldfield Arena off of 35th and Campus Way. Lastly, don’t forget to register for our Spring Industry Tour; to get the $50 registration fee sign up by 5pm on Friday, March 10! You can find the Google form here and more information about the tour here. The registration fee will bum up to $65 after the 10th and will remain open until noon on April 3rd. Sign up, meet some new friends and professionals, get a cool shirt and a Gorge-ous tour of Oregon!

Check out our Facebook page for future events and subscribe to get reminders!

Have a great rest of the term!

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 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


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