Category Archives: livestock

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

Leave a comment

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Innovation Breeds Excellence

Above is the current slogan for Accelerated Genetics, the beef and dairy semen sales company that I worked for this summer in Baraboo, Wisc. (about an hour from Madison.)

(Background on the semen industry: Farmers and ranchers breed their cows with semen collected from elite bulls to give them access to the best genetics in the industry without making a huge investment on a bull themselves.)

Before I got to the land of cheese, I really didn’t know what I would be doing, other than “marketing and communications work” for the beef division. Pretty broad if you ask me…

I started with some press releases, and my projects got continually more complex. And for those of you with any design experience, I got REALLY familiar with InDesign REALLY fast.

Besides some other design work, and my first nationally syndicated advertisements (I had ads in Angus Journal, Red Angus Magazine and Livestock Plus), I also got to travel and try my hand at photography. Little did I know, I would become best friends with a Canon Rebel!


The advertisement I made for Red Angus Magazine


I spent about two weeks on the road, first traveling to VA, WV, MD & PA. to ride with our district manager in that area, Robert Whitacre. He showed me around some beautiful country, and some even more beautiful Angus cattle. Despite the recent outbreak of pink eye in the area and my constant battle with carsickness from driving in the mountains, I LOVED what I saw!

This is 014AN00317 Poss Total Impact, I snapped this picture at North American Breeders in Virginia. Total Impact is the #1 $B Bull in the Angus Breed. This picture is currently being used by Accelerated Genetics in their marketing campaign.

 Three days later, I was back in the Madison airport, bound for Denver, CO.  Here I met up with Harold Miller, a Regional Beef Specialist with the company. We toured around the state for four days, looking at herds of every breed and color. Harold and I continue to keep in contact, as he also serves as a herd consultant, assisting farmers and ranchers with breeding decisions.

This picture was taken at Coleman Herefords in Westcliffe, Colorado. This little heifer calf is sired by one of Accelerated’s horned Hereford bulls, 175E.

 I got to learn SO much about the commercial cattle industry, and really reinforced what I had learned in my Farm Animal Repro class I took at K-State. Before this internship, I was certain that I needed to stay in school and get a graduate degree or two. Now, I’m not so sure … maybe industry is the place for me?

If anyone is interested in this internship, or another internship with the company, I invite you to check the website: and look under the company tab for the internship page. They offer about 9 summer internships a summer, and have many possible jobs for someone interested in the beef, dairy or semen collecting business.



By Robin Kleine

Leave a comment

Filed under Agriculture, Cows, Dairy, livestock

Fundraising Chair

Hi all,

I am really excited to be Fundraising Chair this year! My main responsibility is to make sure that Sigma Alpha has money coming in so we can afford to do things as an organization. I also coordinate events and activities to make it happen.  My goal is to incorporate new ideas this year that can also be fun to raise money for Sigma Alpha. Last year Sigma Alpha held a boot raffle at Cattlemen’s Day that was very successful. I would like to continue this tradition for the upcoming year because it was effective and a great atmosphere to be around. At Fall Retreat, there was discussion about an Alumni raffle drawing. We would essentially send raffle tickets to Alumni so they could be involved in our fundraising no matter how far they are from Manhattan.  Another idea was a cookbook filled with favorite recipes from active members as well as Alumni. This would be a great keepsake for all of us that can be used and shared for a very long time. I am very eager to get these ideas rolling and make this a successful year! I would gladly accept any other fundraising ideas anyone might have to help us be even more successful.

Fun Fact: Cattle are probably the oldest of all forms of money!

Take care,

Jessica Solo

1 Comment

Filed under 4 Pillars, Agriculture, Alumni, College Life, Economics, Kansas State University, livestock, Recipes, Sigma Alpha

“You Gotta Want It” – KSU Dairy Judging Team

In the world of animal production today, the importance of conformation and performance is on the rise. We search for the most correct animals with the greatest combination of qualities. In the world of dairy cattle it is no different; you’re looking for the “good uddered dairy cow.” There is a large need for the understanding of dairy judging in the production world today. Without the ability to measure sustainability and performance, and increase the production of these cattle we will lose the ability to provide the nation with so many different dairy products. My thoughts and knowledge of the dairy industry both have been amplified since joining the KSU Dairy Judging Team.

An Unusual Start

My background in the dairy industry and dairy judging is very short. With my Grandpa operating a dairy (back in Michigan) I had the opportunity to help in the milking parlor and even show some registered Holsteins, however my knowledge of the industry and the way it works stopped there.  My judging experience is all in Livestock Judging where I have competed in 4-H, FFA, and a few collegiate events.

The 2010 team was very small and looking for new recruits to take on the challenge of dairy judging, this is how Beth Holz and I became members of the KSU dairy judging team. After a very rough introduction, a lot of help and a quick contest, I was hooked.

The Team

You don’t need a background in dairy to be a member of the team; all you need is the passion. If you want to get involved start by enrolling in the dairy cattle evaluation class (ASI 396) taught by the coach of the team, Jon Pretz.

The team competes in four main contests during the year; the Southwest in Ft. Worth Texas, the World Dairy Expo in Madison Wisconsin, the Accelerated Genetics contest in Viroqua Wisconsin and the NAILE in Louisville Kentucky. Along with these the team often travels to smaller contests that we are invited to and on the way stop at many dairy farms to practice and learn more about judging. To learn more about the team’s history and contest results check out our page on the k-state website!

Motivation, Dedication & A Whole Lot of Cows  

Judging dairy cattle is a fun and exciting way to learn more about a dynamic agricultural industry. You can’t be afraid to get dirty, or reach out of your comfort zone just a bit. When I began judging I didn’t know what I had gotten into, however with motivation, dedication and a whole lot of cows, it’s been the experience of a lifetime.

Being on the Dairy Cattle Judging team has allowed me to learn so much and get to know so many great people even better than I did before. It has been the greatest opportunity and I would recommend judging to everyone! And always remember, “You gotta want it!”

God Bless,

Sarah Harris

By Sarah Harris

Leave a comment

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

My Experience at Pfizer Animal Health-Natalie Laubner

Prior to deciding what I was going to do for the summer, I had numerous options running through my mind: 1.) I could go home for the summer to lend a hand to my parents with farming/ranching which would be VERY helpful to them, 2.) I could take summer classes and stay inManhattanto graduate early or 3.) Obtain an internship hopefully from 1 of the 4 companies I applied to, to help me decipher what I want to do with the rest of my life. While I pondered these options and after hearing disappointing news from 3 of the 4 companies that they had already hired there summer interns, I had faith in my last company, Pfizer Animal Health.  A couple months later I got a step closer by getting a phone interview and then with a follow up call that I had got the internship. After telling my parents I wouldn’t be there to help them this summer (which went better than I thought it would), I packed up my stuff and headed to Kalamazoo,Michigan.

I had not a clue what I was going to get myself into as the internship description was very brief due to Pfizer’s confidentiality policy. After meeting my supervisor, I entered my first week of the internship and went through training.  As weeks passed I was working both downtown and at the farm preparing protocols, attending team meetings, processing cattle, going to family farms … etc. 

It was a busy internship which I really enjoyed. I was involved primarily in cattle studies and one swine study.  The cattle studies were focused on trying to alleviate the #1 challenge for producers today, respiratory diseases, both viral and bacterial. Moreover, I spent most of my time assisting in the development of vaccines for cattle or improving those that are on the market already.

I got to meet 30 other great interns that had diverse backgrounds, and they all had a variety of positions from veterinary assistants to statistics to chemistry. Overall, it was one of the greatest internships that I could have ever asked for. Although I can’t say every detail of my internship, it was a heck of a learning experience where I got a 10 week job interview, great pay and available overtime. I have learned so many valuable lessons while stepping into the “work force.” I know that I don’t really prefer an 8 to 5 type of job because of the freedom I had growing up on the farm,  I don’t want to graduate early, I don’t particularly care for paperwork, and how small the agricultural world is getting by making numerous connections with Pfizer colleagues. I’d encourage any other undergrad, vet student or even graduate student to apply for the variety of internships Pfizer offers in January.  If you are one that gets concerned about being away from home—step out of your comfort zone and take the chance to see what it feels like to work at a great company. It will be one of the best summers of your life without a doubt!

By Beth Holz

1 Comment

Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Cows, Kansas State University, livestock

Amazing Things

I want to take a moment and just congratulate our sisters for doing great things! They are all wonderful people, and K-State and Sigma Alpha were LUCKY to have them!

 Julie White is an alumnus, and a native of Missouri. Julie blows my mind with her creativity, and she does all sorts of things well, (including teaching me InDesign in just a few hours.) Now Julie is a grad student at Oklahoma State University studying International Agriculture, and is currently in Sierra Leone doing research and exploring.

For those of you that know Julie (and even if you don’t) Julie is naturally soft-spoken and well put-together, she has the biggest heart … lots of compassion and a real passion for international travel. She is also braver than I am, and is living in a small village, where electricity is limited and people call her “pumuy” or white man/woman.

I invite you to follow her blog at I love following her travels and reading her outlook on life. Julie is an eternally positive person, and I often envy her in many ways!

Please join me in admiring Julie, and maybe say a little prayer for her in her travels.



By Robin Kleine

Leave a comment

Filed under Agriculture, agvocacy, Alumni, College Life, Graduate School, International, livestock, Sigma Alpha

Farm Land After the Missouri River Floods

I got these pictures from a farmer in south east Missouri, and I wanted to share them with everyone on here. These are the pictures of the farm land after the floods earlier this summer. I actually don’t have anything to say., I am completely speechless. Have a look for yourself, and I imagine your reaction will be similar.

More information on the status of the flood land can be found here:

This has been a voltile year for farmers, so please continue to keep them in your thoughts.


Beth Holz

By Beth Holz


Filed under Agriculture, agvocacy, Economics, Floods, Iowa, Land, livestock, Missouri, Missouri River, Nebraska, Weather

Heat Stress in Cattle

As I’ve mentioned before, my family raises cattle inIowa. During the heat-wave going through theMidwest, my family unfortunately has experienced some loss of cattle due to the heat. It is difficult to manage heat stress in cattle, but according toIowa State University, these five tips will help cattle farmers.

  • Plan ahead. After cattle get hot, it’s too late to prevent problems.
  • Don’t work cattle when it is hot. Finish working cattle before 9 to 10 a.m. in summer, and remember that during a heat wave it’s best to not work cattle at all.
  • Provide plenty of fresh, clean water. When it’s hot and humid, consuming water is the only way cattle can cool down. Make sure the water flow is sufficient to keep tanks full, and ensure there’s enough space at water tanks (3 inches linear space per head). Introduce new water tanks before a heat event occurs so cattle know where they are.
  • Feed 70 percent of the ration in the afternoon. Heat from fermentation in the rumen is primary source of heat for cattle. When cattle are fed in the morning, peak rumen temperature production occurs during the heat of day when they can’t get rid of it. By feeding 70 percent of the ration in late afternoon, rumen heat production occurs when it is cooler.
  • Provide ventilation, shade and/or sprinklers. Environmental temperatures compound the heat load for cattle during a heat wave. Remove objects that are obstructing natural air movement. Indoor cattle will benefit from shade provided by the building as long as ventilation is good. Outdoor cattle will benefit from sprinklers to cool them off. Make sure cattle are used to sprinklers before employing them during a heat wave.

Please keep farmers in your thoughts this summer. Nothing is more difficult than loosing animals due to environmental conditions, while doing everything you can think of to lessen the severity of the situation. Beef farmers need your support this summer, so make sure that you thank a farmer for all of the daily struggles they encounter to put food on our tables.

Leave a comment

Filed under Agriculture, livestock