Category Archives: Agriculture

What I Learned During my Freshman Year at K-State

Like many college freshman, college was a whole new territory for me. In high school, I graduated at the top of my class, knew everyone in my school, and never really had to spend time outside of school studying; however, college is the exact opposite for me. College definitely took some time to get used to and find my place among the 24,000 other students. Below are the top 5 things I learned during my freshman year at K-State.

It’s okay to not know anyone the first day!

When I first moved into my dorm room at the beginning of the fall semester, I knew very few people at K-State. Of course I knew of some people through FFA and the few kids from my high school that attend here, but as far as close friends, I had none. College is a completely new chapter in my life, a new start. It’s exciting to be able to start over and create a whole new path for yourself. So many new friends to be made. While in college, I was able to find friends that were interested in the same things I was and find my lifelong friends.

Try new things!

College is a time to branch out and try things you never thought of or had the chance to do back home. Don’t be afraid to go and sign up for that club or take that class that is outside your comfort zone. You never know what you might learn, and who knows you might end up loving it. For me, joining Sigma Alpha was something that I’d never thought I’d join. Because I decided to branch out and try something new, I have had so many great opportunities and met so many great women in the agricultural field.

Don’t bring all your clothes!

As much as I wanted to bring every article of clothing and every pair of shoes, my small dorm room wouldn’t allow it. When I moved into my dorm room in the fall, I brought way too much stuff. The dorm rooms are small, but when you over pack and bring to much stuff, you room seems even smaller. I promise you can live without the sandals that you haven’t worn since two summers ago.

Your GPA doesn’t depict your future!

All through high school I easily got straight As, but that’s not as easy to do in college. Don’t let grades define your self-worth. Of course we all want a 4.0, but it’s okay if we don’t achieve that goal. There are going to be some classes where you struggle a little more and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get an A. Your experiences, study abroad, internships, and connections made is what is really going to make you stand out to an employer, not just the high GPA.

Have fun!

Everyone says the college years are some of the best years of your life, and I truly believe that. This is where you make life long memories and friendships. You get to explore things you never knew existed and finally become the person you want to be when you grow up. Don’t just spend your days away studying for every class, set time aside to have fun and make those lasting memories, because on day you’ll graduate and your college years will be over.

In Sisterhood,

Mallory Meek

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Kansas State University, livestock, Our Sisters in Agriculture, Uncategorized



Respect is the outcome of integrity and generosity of spirit in personal as well as public life. Both are important.

Respect of others is a critical measure of the significance of your own life. Have you noticed as people grow older, how important being respected becomes to them? As life plays itself out and the end seems near, the only things that seem important are love and a healthy regard by those who matter to us. Respect is a measure of a life well spent, a life that was useful to others.

Men had it easy in earlier times. Regardless of his position outside, a man was the king in his own home, with wife and children pandering to every wish, tiptoeing around him and creating a respectable aura for him. Remember how Grandma treated Grandpa? Or, how our parents barely spoke with their own Dads out of a respectful fear and a distant regard? Grandma made sure to create a respectful aura around the man of the house, and he reveled in that feeling of regard.

Such respectful pandering creates an aura around a person, which forces others to look at him in a new light, a rub off from the regard of others. Those men earned that respect merely by being the providers and protectors.  As roles diffused, the man’s aura diminished and he came to be treated as less God-like. Now he had to earn that respect by other means. Some accepted this easier than others.

Respect does have a ripple effect. You tend to respect those who are respected by others. And so, it becomes important to be respected by those immediately around you. Certainly there is a regard you gain by sheer dint of your position or your relationship to someone. But far more precious is the regard you earn through who you are, how you conduct yourself, and how you interact with others.

The first step towards gaining respect of others is to be able to respect your own self. The confidence and aura that a healthy self-respect gives is unmatchable. It serves as a magnet that attracts the regard of others. In order to respect yourself, you have to live and conduct life on your own terms, in a sincere and honest fashion. Understand what you value most, and then live by your values. Curiously, self-respect increases further when you see others respecting you for your qualities or contributions. And so it becomes a golden circle – self-respect arouses respect in others, which further enhances self-respect!

The second step is to respect others. When you do that, you attract respect back. Respecting another means to treat all as equals, make time for them, and appreciate them. It means lending an ear and letting them know they are important to you. Inculcate the belief that in some way everyone is better than you at something or the other. This nurtures humility, which is an attractive, respected quality.

Living by your values ensures that you are consistent and dependable. People appreciate dependability. It is a virtue that earns you a reputation like nothing else.  So, always keep your word and do what you promise if you wish to earn people’s respect. Say what you mean and do what you say.

Sticking to the truth no matter what the provocation or outcome is a laudable quality that earns you high regard from all. Always doing what is right earns you lasting respect. Don’t just do what is expected of you – everyone does that anyway. Step up to participate in causes you believe in, and to speak up for what is right.

Respect is the outcome of integrity and generosity of spirit in personal as well as public life. Both are important. One at the cost of the other exposes your underbelly and leads to loss of reputation. Inculcating a passion and pursuing excellence in public life, and ensuring a good character in personal life, are the keys to earning respect all round.  It is when you are above reproach in both that you gain lasting respect and love from those around you. Respect cannot be taken from someone you bully, it’s earned from a life-time of self-respect and integrity.

In Sisterhood,

Dandi Thomas.

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Fellowship, Kansas State University, Leadership, Our Sisters in Agriculture, Professional, Sigma Alpha, Uncategorized

Life of a Coach

So I’m trying something new — serving as the Assistant Coach of the KSU Dairy Judging Team. I loved my time spent on the team; I learned SO much about myself and the dairy industry as a whole!
Now, coaching is an entirely different process. Sure, I’m still judging cows and heifers, but I also get to teach the other K-State judgers how to defend their placings using oral reasons. As a communications major, talking has never been hard for me … but learning dairy terms proved to be challenging.


This past weekend, I coached the Kansas 4-H Dairy Judging Team at the NAILE (North American International Livestock Exposition) in Louisville, Ky. They are a very talented group of college freshmen! These three individuals all grew up on dairies, so they know plenty about cows, but it was my job to fine-tune their reasons. I’m happy to report that they did great, and finished 9th overall in the contest, 5th in reasons, and placed in the top 10 in 3 separate breeds! Additionally, a few individuals got their names called individually!

The team at the awards breakfast (L to R): Myself, Darren Mueller, Andrea Steenbock and Maggie Seiler.

We even made time for some sightseeing while in Louisville! We went to Churchhill Downs and took in a few horse races as part of the Breeder’s Cup weekend. Here’s some of the teams’ shenanigans!




By Robin Kleine

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Cows, Dairy, judging, Kansas State University, Leadership, Milk

Ag Fact of the Week # 9

Hi!!  How are you all doing this week?  Do you have everything you need for Thanksgiving dinner?  Well today I have a little of a gobble fact for you. 

The U.S is the largest turkey producer.  Each year on average one person eats 13.6 pounds of turkey!

Wow that’s a lot of turkey!!  Gobble Gobble!!

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By Becca Landgraf

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Filed under Ag Facts, Agriculture, agvocacy, Weekly Agriculture Fact

Miss America at Kansas State University

Appreciation & agriculture; there isn’t any better combination that fits Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, who will speak to K-State on Tuesday, November 15th at 7p.m. in McCain Auditorium.

Coming from a rural agriculture focused town in Nebraska, Teresa makes it her passion to inform the nation about supporting farmers and their contribution to feed the nations ever-growing population.

Miss America will speak about “Agriculture in America Today” fall presenter in the Upson Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations of nonperishable food items for the Flint Hills Breadbasket are encouraged.

I encourage everyone to attend as she is a great representation of not only our nation, but agriculture as a whole. Check out her video titled “Real Farmers, Real Food.”

By Natalie Laubner

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Filed under Agriculture, agvocacy, College Life, Cows, Crops, Dairy, Kansas State University, Leadership, livestock, Milk, Nebraska

WTF? Where’s the Food…Without the Farmer?

I am Beth Holz and I love farmers!

Which is why I am supporting the WTF? Where’s the Food Without the Farmer? movement coming to K-State on November 10th.

K-State students will be around campus on November 10, 2011 educating consumers about agriculture, passing out information, and telling students where to find credible information about their diet choices.

K-State will be joining other schools, such as:

  • Texas A&M
  • Cal Poly State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Arkansas
  • Fresno State University
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • Iowa State University
  • Woodland College

Use social media to follow the activites!

Twitter Hashtag: #WTFILF2011

Don’t forget to “like” and check out the facebook page “NEW I love Farmers…They Feed My Soul”

Help support this movement and get involved with WTF? Day!


Beth Holz

By Beth Holz

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Filed under Agriculture, agvocacy, Cows, Crops, Dairy, Economics, Kansas State University, Land, Leadership, livestock, Milk, Philanthropy

Ag Fact of the Week #8

Ag Fact of the Week #8

Hi!  Are any of you ready for Thanksgiving? Only 19 more days until Thanksgiving! I have a beefed up Ag-Fact for you this week.

Beef is one of the most important dietary sources of iron.  To get as much iron as a 3 ounce serving of beef you would have to eat 3 cups of raw spinach.

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Becca Landgraf

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Filed under Ag Facts, Agriculture, agvocacy, Sigma Alpha, Weekly Agriculture Fact

Ranching with Rhinestones

First—-I love the title of this new blog. Leave it to Sigma Alpha Alumnus-Jessie Vipham (also my big sister) to come up with something so creative.

Jessie is putting her fingers on the keyboard with her first blog. For those of you that know Jessie, she has a witty personality, and it definately comes through in her blog. Although only two posts old, I know she could bring a lot to the blogging world, because frankly, nobody says it like Jessie can.

I want to connect all of the K-State sisters located around the country (and the globe!), so if you know of a Sigma Alpha sister with a blog, feel free to comment it below!

Keep in touch with Jessie and see what she is up to by visiting her blog Ranching with Rhinestones



By Beth Holz

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Filed under Agriculture, Alumni, Kansas State University

Text Free Tuesday: Edition #6

This barn was built in the 1870’s and is owned by the Mertz family. Bob and Mary Mertz hosted a gourmet dinner here called the Feast of the Fields.

For more information about The Feast of Fields, click here.


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Filed under Agriculture, Text Free Tuesday

Ag Fact of the Week #7

BOO!!!  Happy Halloween everyone! Did I scare you?  Well if not then this Ag Fact of the Week surely will!  Ever wonder about pumpkin pie?

In early colonial times, pumpkins where actually used as the crust for pies, not the filling.  The pumpkin shell was filled with milk, spices and honey and baked over hot ashes.

I wonder how we got to pumpkin as the filling of the pie!

Have a wonderful Halloween!

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Filed under Ag Facts, Agriculture, agvocacy, Kansas State University, Sigma Alpha, Weekly Agriculture Fact