Meet the Rho Class!

Emilee Smith

Union, Nebraska


Hi! My name is Emilee Smith and I am a current sophomore with a major in Animal Science & Industry-Business option and a minor in Business. My current anticipated graduation date is December of 2016. I am from Union, NE, which is a small farming community in the Southeast corner of Nebraska. I grew up on a heavily diversified family farm. We farm corn and soybeans but also at some point during my childhood we had chickens, horses, cow/calf operation, and a farrow to finish hog operation. I am the youngest of four kids and currently have four nephews and two nieces (although that number seems to be growing as well!) I was very involved in 4-H for over 10 years and FFA for a few years during high school. It was through these great organizations that I truly began to foster my already deeply rooted love for the agriculture industry. Deciding to join Sigma Alpha has been one of the best choices I have made at K-State thus far. I am so grateful to be apart of a sorority that is not only focused on professionalism but also the Ag industry.

Chloe Shearon

Olathe, Kansas


Hi! I’m a freshman pursuing a degree in Bakery Science and Management with a minor in Spanish. I absolutely love the Grain Science program and enjoy attending bake club every Tuesday.

I am from Lenexa, Kansas and have two siblings – a younger sister and a younger brother. While I love KSU, I certainly miss my family and our old fat English Bulldog! I graduated from Olathe Northwest High School, where I sang in the choir and was a member of the Thespian Board, Link Crew, and Scholar’s Bowl.

Although I grew up in the suburbs, I have always been passionate about agriculture. Many of the members of my family are farmers or otherwise connected to agriculture. I am proud to carry on the agriculture legacy, as well as to honor my great-grandfather (a miller) through my pursuit of the Bakery Science degree.

Here at K-State, I am a part of the Bakery Science club, Reformed University Fellowship, a musician at Manhattan Presbyterian Church, and, of course, a member of the Sigma Alpha Rho class! I also enjoy swing dancing, knitting, sewing, reading, playing the piano/guitar/ukulele, singing, and occasionally writing.

I hope always bring glory and thanks to my faithful savior Jesus Christ.

Darby Patterson

West Virginia


Hello, my name is Darby-Rose Patterson, I am a freshman at Kansas State University Majoring in Feed Science and minoring in Leadership Studies. I grew up in Jefferson County, West Virginia and have spent my entire life there up until I moved to Manhattan. I give full credit to the FFA and 4-H organizations for making me into the individual I am today. My favorite things to do include showing my horses in the hunter jumpers as well as showing livestock (primarily Boer goats). Agriculture has always played a big part of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I strive to be as successful as my role models Mr. Greene and Mr. Fincham (my FFA advisors) and my mom.  I can only hope that one day I will be able to inspire others like they have inspired me. I have been very blessed with the opportunities that I have had, one of which has been being an MC for Sigma Alpha. ​GO CATS!

Brittany Burford

Olathe, Kansas


I am a freshman at Kansas State University studying to get a degree in animal science with the option of bossiness. I hope to work in the agriculture industry and work with animals. While in college I am In Sigma Alpha in the great 2014-2015 Rho class. A few things that are interesting about me is that I am obsessed with turtles and elephants, I’m very creative and love doing film photography.

Tara Cook

Atwood, Colorado


Hello! I am Tara Cook from the great state of Colorado. I grew up in rural Northeastern, Colorado and lived on a farm. I have a little brother who is nine years old and a lovely sixteen year old sister. My friends and family back in Colorado are all very important to me and have helped me to be the person I am today. I praise and worship Jesus Christ as my savior, because through him, I know I will become the person I am meant to be. I graduated from Sterling High School in the spring of 2014. Now, here I am at Kansas State University as a freshman majoring in food science! Go Cats!

Throughout high school, I was actively involved in many organizations; however by far, I was the most active in FFA. Through this organization, I became very passionate about agriculture, and I decided that I wanted my career to be one that I could help to better the industry. FFA taught me many skills and lessons, and through it, I made so many connections with other members passionate about agriculture. I recently wrapped up my FFA career at the 87th annual National Convention as a competitor in prepared public speaking and agriscience.

Here at Kansas State, I am very excited to be getting involved in student organizations. Sigma Alpha allows me to come together with other women who share the same dedication towards serving the agriculture industry in various ways! I am very excited and honored to be a membership candidate for Sigma Alpha. In addition, I am involved in the food science club and the College of Agriculture Training Program, which will allow me to apply to be a K-State College of Ag Ambassador. The last few months at Kansas State have shown me that I made the right decision on where to attend school. The people I have met and connected with have been truly amazing. I am looking forward to my journey here!

Halli Wigger

Troy, Kansas


Hello world! I’m a freshman at Kansas State University with a passion for agriculture and the tools needed to face the issues and challenges it faces today. This being said, I am seeking a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture with a major in Agricultural Economics with a Specialty in Marketing and a minor in Political Science.

I’ve grown up all over the state of Kansas and have lived in every corner besides the Southwest. This has made me adaptable and given me a love for the diverse face of agriculture and the people in it. I graduated from Troy High School in Troy, Kansas in May 2014. While at Troy, I taught baton classes to young ladies at the Troy Fitness Center. In school, I served as the editor of the school paper, the Trojan Trumpet, and the copy co-editor of the yearbook, The Trojan. I was also heavily involved in the best student organization in the country (FFA of course!) and served as the Vice President of our chapter. Some of my other leadership roles were in Student Council and Drama Club.

In everything I do, I try to find the truth as well as give Jesus Christ the glory for any success, failure, opulence, or hardship I encounter. Some of the activities I am involved in here are the College of Agriculture Training Program, and volunteering and advocating for Konza United Way. In my free time I love reading, fishing with my dad, blogging, keeping up with the news, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying God’s great outdoors.

I’ve met some pretty incredible people through Sigma Alpha already, and I love the networking opportunity it has provided.

All in all, I know I’m in the right place. Kansas State University, Sigma Alpha, Rho Class!

Melissa Poet

Flagler, Colorado


I have lived on a farm east of our small rural town of Flagler, Colorado since I was born. In my family, I have my three older sisters and parents.  My parents, Steve and Charlotte are both teachers.  My oldest sister Faith is married and has a boy who is two years old.  They live in Montana.  My next oldest sister, Tiffany, is the ag teacher at St. Francis High School.  Next is my sister, Eliza, who is an advisor of undergraduates at Colorado State University.  Also in my family through the years we have had several pets that include over 100 pigs, several cats, Brown Swiss dairy cows and my dogs, Daisy and Molly.  Our barn animals are considered family because they always had names and would follow you around just like the dogs.  Agriculture has been a part of life since I can remember.   I was always that kid who was up at the crack of dawn doing chores, going to school, doing every sport and extra-curricular activity, then doing chores again and then somewhere in there I took time out to spend with my loving family and friends and going to church.

I have been involved in 4H and FFA and it has impacted my life the most.  My animals were my closest friends and I talk about my animals all the time.  I enjoyed showing goats, pigs and cattle at shows and fairs.  I enjoy painting and photography.  I enjoy rock climbing, running, playing basketball and swing dancing about every weekend at Dirty Dawgs.  I also enjoy fishing and would like it if my roommates or my country guy friends would take me hunting sometime.  My hobbies also include cooking and baking.  Most of all, I like to tailgate and cheer on the K-State Wildcats and my alma mater, Flagler High School.

Here at K-State, I am involved with AgEd club, the Swing Dance club, Block and Bridle, and Relay for Life.  I am now involved with the fantastic home away from home I like to call Sigma Alpha!  I also belong to the Pet Tribute program at the Vet School because they steal all my time between classes.  I’m getting paid to be owned by them so it’s alright with me!

Sidney Bigger

Media, Illinois


Hi all! For those of you who don’t know me yet, my name is Sydney Bigger and I am from Media, Illinois. Every time I introduce myself on campus, I get asked the question, “Why K-State?” and sometimes, when I miss home, I ask myself the same thing- why did I move 7 hours away to go to an ag college, when I have one in my backyard? Then, I remember all the opportunities I have here, the great people I have met, the friendships that I have made, and the great time I am actually having! Kansas State has an indescribable atmosphere. Even though campus is fairly big, it seems so small and everyone is friendly. I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of strangers who say hello when passing on my way to class, or get the door for me when my hands are full. K-Staters truly have the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met, and I am extremely grateful for my experiences here!
On campus I have tried to get involved, and am currently a member of Pre-Vet Club, Collegiate Cattlewomen, Block and Bridle, the College of Ag Training Program, and Sigma Alpha! At first all these groups seemed overwhelming, but as I settle in, I am confident that I have found the organizations that interest me the most, and that I can contribute the most to during my undergrad. I am most looking forward to getting involved in Sigma Alpha and Collegiate Cattlewomen. It is inspiring to be active in two organizations full of women as passionate about the ag industry as I am, and I look forward to someday holding leadership roles in both organizations.

Karin O’Leary

Fargo, North Dakota


Hi everyone my name is Karin O’Leary and I was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota. Fargo is a town of 100,000 people with extremely cold winters and hot summers. Fargo was a great place to grow up in because of low crime rate and unemployment and because the people were friendly as well. I come from a family of four and my sister and I both attended a private Catholic high school. My sister Michaela is a sophomore this year and I am hoping that she will attend K-State for college as well. I also have two pets a dog named Jack and a horse named Melody.

I decided to pick Kansas State for college because my major is Animal Sciences with the option in Pre Veterinary Medicine and I wanted to attend a college that has a vet school on its campus. It also was a very major factor in my decision that if I did all my prerequisites at K-State that I did not have to take the GRE to get into vet school. I completely fell in love with how pretty the campus was as well and I enjoyed the fact that it allowed me to get away from home and have a fresh start. Everyone that I met on my campus visit over the summer was extremely friendly as well which helped the cement the decision that K-State was the decision for me. Now that I have been here for four months I know that I made the right decision to pick Kansas State and I can honestly say that I have not had a single bad day since I have been on campus. I have made an incredible group of friends here and I have loved being able to get involved in Sigma Alpha as well as Pre-Vet Club. It has been a great adventure so far and I can not wait to see what the rest of the year holds.

Elizabeth Gieseke

Sweet Springs, Missouri

I was born and raised on a small farm in central/western Missouri. (Sweet Springs/Houstonia area) I absolutely love the agriculture industry. My ‘hometown’ is pretty small, so my high school was small as well; I graduated with 30 other kids. I was VERY active in FFA; I definitely bleed blue and gold. I was, and still am, extremely blessed to be a member of one of the top chapters in Missouri. FFA has given me so many opportunities and taught me so much. I earned my State FFA Degree, competed at the State level three times and have earned numerous awards at the chapter and area/district level. FFA helped me grow and develop as an individual. I did things I never would have thought of doing, and actually did pretty darn good. (Speaking contests; my advisors forced me to ;)) I was able to travel to Washington D.C. to attend WLC as well as National Convention (Indianapolis and Louisville). Through FFA I learned about this wonderful University which I attend! I’m currently a freshman here at K-State. Animal Sciences and Industry is the major I have chosen, no. Not pre-vet. I am very passionate about the agriculture industry, but more so the animal side. I LOVE letting people know the real facts and supporting the industry that is so near and dear to me. The swine industry is also something I love. I have shown hogs about 7 years now and have become very interested in genetics and breeding, so that is the direction I might choose to head in. Other than that, I’m very close to my family, I have one older sister and a younger brother. We love to drive our parents crazy. We do a lot as a family and always seem to have a good time. I’m very excited to continue my journey here at K-State and hope to have wonderful memories with my new sisters!

Renae Tokach

St. Anthony, North Dakota

I am currently a sophomore dual majoring in Animal Sciences and Industry and Agricultural Communications and Journalism. My plans for after graduation are still up in the air but I would like to either write for a trade publication, be an extension agent, or an agricultural education teacher.

I was born and raised on my families purebred Angus ranch so I have been surrounded my agriculture my entire life. Having two older siblings, I was constantly drug around between their 4-H meetings, cattle shows, and FFA activities. As a result, I began showing our Angus cattle and participating at livestock judging at a very young age. I have shown at my local county fair, receiving high overall heifer my last year of showing,  and at the National Junior Angus Show.

Throughout high school, I was very active in my local FFA chapter serving as President and Vice President, local 4-H club serving as President and Vice President, speech, leadership group, varsity soccer team, and student council. In FFA, I received the coveted “baby bison” for being high individual in the Dairy Evaluation Contest my sophomore year and received my State FFA Degree my junior year.

Well attending K-State I have become involved in Block and Bridle, Collegiate CattleWomen, and College of Ag Student Council. Last year as a freshman, I was chosen to be apart of Quest Freshman Honorary. I am also active in the National Junior Angus Association, North Dakota Junior Angus Association, and the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association. In my free time​, I enjoy being around Angus cattle, spending time with friends, playing sports, and being outdoors.

Kaitlyn Alanis

Los Banos, California


Hello, my name is Kaitlyn Alanis and I am a freshman here at Kansas State University majoring in Agricultural Education with a minor in Leadership Studies. I am originally from Los Banos, California, where I did not grow up with an agricultural background, but I decided to join our local 4-H in the 4th grade, and since then my passion and knowledge for the agricultural industry took off!

Once I entered my freshman year of high school, I became very active with my FFA Chapter. From raising goats and rabbits, serving as our chapter reporter and secretary, representing California FFA as a National FFA Delegation member, and being named the 2013 FFA State Star Reporter, I was nothing short of busy! In addition, this past year I was fortunate enough to be selected to serve as Miss May Day, which is our county fair’s agricultural advocate. I had a platform of “Ag in the Classroom” and worked to promote agricultural literacy in our local elementary schools. Because of this, I could not be more excited to start working with our sorority’s philanthropy of Ag in the Classroom! It was through these busy times advocating for agriculture that I truly found my passion, and discovered my major and future goals of becoming an agricultural instructor and FFA advisor.

Now at K-State, I am a member of Sigma Alpha and the Agricultural Education Club, a student intern for the Student Governing Association, and the president of my Floor Governing Board. It is through these organizations that I can now call K-State my home, and Sigma Alpha has given me so many new sisters in my home who share the same passion for agriculture and purple as me!

Karley Stockton

Meade, Kansas


Hi, my name is Karley Stockton and I am currently a freshman at Kansas State University.  I am majoring in Animal Science with a Pre-Veterinary Medicine option.  I have lived my entire life on a farm right outside of Meade, KS with my parents and younger brother, Kody.  At KSU I participate in the Block and Bridle club, the Bakery Science club, and the Pre-Vet club.  During high school I was very active in Key club, National Honor Society, Kayettes, and Future Business Leaders of America. I was also a volunteer for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters in School. I was a member of the Town and Country 4-H club for 11 years. While in 4-H I showed beef, swine, goats, and dogs. My other 4-H projects included cooking, crochet, and photography.  I’m so excited to be in Sigma Alpha and make lifelong friends that share the same interests as I do!

Jacqueline Newland

Neodesha, Kansas


Hi, I’m Jackie Newland a current sophomore at K-State double majoring in Agriculture Communication Music Theatre. I grew up on a small farm outside of Neodesha Kansas. Besides a wonderful mother and father I have three older brothers. I love music, dancing, being outdoors, spending time with my pets and scuba diving with my dad and brothers. Mainly my interests include spending time and having fun with friends and family.

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