Meet the Xi Class!

Nicole Lane

John Day, Oregon


Hello! My name is Nicole Lane and I am from John Day, Oregon, a small piece of heaven in Eastern Oregon filled with cattle ranchers and nested in the gorgeous foothills of the Strawberry Mountains. Unlike most college students, I knew exactly what my major was going to be and that determined the school I was going to attend. The incredible Agriculture Communications and Journalism program at K-State and a lack of an ag comm program at Oregon State brought me to the land of purple. Though many people often ask me “Why Kansas?” with a puzzled look, I have loved this state and university from the moment I set foot here. My love for purple, K-State football, and wheat fields now nearly runs just as deep as my passion for mountains. Sharing my passion for agriculture is what I love, and that brought me to Sigma Alpha. It is with these girls that I have truly found a home, and wonderful friends who share my passion for agriculture, and the color purple at K-State.

Bailey Spencer

Wichita, Kansas


Major: Animal Science and Industry with a Pre-Vet Option
Graduating: May 2016
Hobbies: Reading, going to the lake, hunting, fishing, drawing, spending time with my family and friends, playing cards
Reason I joined EA: I wanted to join Sigma Alpha because I needed to get involved with a group of women who are dedicated to advocating for Agriculture and growing in our professionalism. These girls have become my family and support system here at K-State and I am so blessed to have gotten to know each every one of them. I never imagined I would be in a sorority, but being apart of Sigma Alpha has become one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Hillary Breene

West Greenwich, Rhode Island


Growing up in rural West Greenwich, Rhode Island on a dairy farm, agriculture has always been a passion of mine. The fact that my parents had four kids was a blessing on our farm, with more hands to bale hay, willing helpers to feed calves, and someone always available to get the morning milk from the barn. Being the youngest, it was often my job to get the milk; however, it usually took multiple trips, as half the jug would be covering me by the time I got back to the house. My experiences on the farm have manifested into a passion for agriculture that drove me to move hallway across the country to attend Kansas State University.

This past summer I had the opportunity to intern with Cargill as a Grain Farm Marketer. This experience allowed me to have a comprehensive understanding of the grains industry and also meet with producers across Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri.

After graduation in May 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Agribusiness, I will be moving to Ohio to start work with Cargill as a full time Grain Farm Marketer. Long term, I hope to pursue a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics and Public Policy Analysis. I aspire to work for a large agricultural firm as a policy analyst and assist farmers and agriculturalists through legislative efforts.

Billie Chesney

Stockton, Kansas


I’ll be graduating from Kansas State University in May of 2015.  I’m majoring in Animal Sciences and Industry with a Beef Cattle Ranch Management Certificate.  I’m from Stockton, Kansas, and grew up on the family farm outside of Woodston, Kansas with cattle, various crops and the few horses my dad let me keep around.  Other than my folks, I have two sisters, three nieces and one nephew who have been so supportive of my career at K-State, and my membership in Sigma Alpha.

I hope to become a livestock extension agent after graduation.  If I don’t end up running my own operation, I would like to help other farmers and ranchers succeed with theirs.  I also would like to work for 4-Hers, as I loved being one myself for eight years in Rooks County.  Sigma Alpha has really opened my eyes to what my talents are, and how I can best use them.  When I’m not occupied with school, I enjoy spending time with my horse when I can, playing guitar with my cousin, Tyler, cooking, and watching classic films.  Of course, that is, AFTER  I’ve read the books first!

Amy McVey

Fredonia, Kansas


“A day in the country is worth a month in town.” I feel as if this quote holds true to me. I was born and raised outside of Fredonia, Kansas. I love the outdoors, riding fourwheelers, fishing, hunting, and star gazing. I enjoy nothing more than spending my days in the country. Hopefully someday I can return to my hometown area, but for now, I am enjoying my time at KSU. I will be graduating in May 2014 with an Agribusiness degree.
Due to both sets of my grandparents farming, I grew up with an agriculture background. This soon turned into a passion. I enjoy helping out with anything I can back home on the farm. We grow wheat, corn, and beans and raise  some cattle on the side. I am currently involved in many organizations, including Collegiate Farm Bureau where I hold the office of Vice President of Community Outreach, and the wonderful Sigma Alpha, where I am the Historian. Sigma Alpha has benefited me in so many ways throughout my college career. I could not be happier with the wonderful ladies it has given me of which I can call my sisters.

Lisa Tenny

Leawood, Kansas


I’m majoring in Animal Sciences with a Pre-Veterinary Medicine Option and a French minor. I come from a rather large family of six kids, having four brothers and a sister.  Ever since I was little I have been interested in production animals and Veterinary Medicine. Growing up in the suburbs of Kansas however, I had limited experience with them before I came to K-State.  Moving to such a “small” city was a little bit of an adjustment for me at first, but it wasn’t long before I fell in love with Manhattan. I have come to enjoy the agriculture industry more than I ever thought possible. In my time here I have found an interest especially in poultry. It is my goal to be a Veterinarian for a poultry company.

Mackenzie Mortimer 

Minneapolis, Kansas

Mackenzie Mortimer

Being a “small town” Kansas girl, coming to the “big city” I experienced some culture shock, but not enough to stop me.  I am a sophomore in Agribusiness. I decide on this major only after declaring two others, and then deciding that they weren’t the right fit. Luckily I have found my niche here in Manhattan, the best school in the Big 12, or in my opinion the world.

I grew up living in the town of Delphos, if you can call less than 500 people a town; which I do. I don’t have the usual agriculture background as some of my fellow sisters, my mom is a teacher and my dad is a feeder truck driver for UPS. Even though farming is in my family, my parents don’t farm. So the way I found my roots in agriculture is through a job that I received on a local wheat and alfalfa hay farm, where I have worked for the past three summers. On the farm I have learned to run every type of machinery as well as being efficient at working on most of them. If you ever need to tear apart a tractor engine and then put it back together, I’m your girl!!


Kristy Denton

Senior pics 002

I’m a junior in Animal Science and Industry with the production management option. I have only one sister, Jackie; she is 24 and attending Emporia State University. After high school I attended Highland Community College and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Art and Science. I then transferred to K-State as a junior and plan to graduate in May 2014.

When coming to K-State I was a little scared because I have only went to high school and college in my small hometown. But now that I have joined Sigma Alpha and got to know a lot of wonderful girls it has made me enjoy my college experience.

I have been raised around cattle and horses all my life and participated in 4-H and FFA.  I love to be outside any chance I get, whether it is playing with my dog, riding my horse, fishing, four-wheeling, shooting guns or just being out on the farm. These experiences helped me decide that I want to own my own ranch and artificially inseminate both horses and cattle.

Anna Monson

Gratiot, Wisconsin

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Currently a freshman in Food Science- Business and Operations Management option along with a minor in Animal Science. I am originally from a small town called Gratiot, Wisconsin that is in the Southwestern part of the state. My family and friends are very important parts of my life and I am the youngest of 4 kids and the only girl. I have a love for animals, the outdoors, and sports. Growing up with a passion for agriculture and a love for food and cooking I decided to tie them together in a way that could really benefit others in the long run, that’s when I made my way down to Kansas State and I fell in love with the school and knew that it was the right place for me to be.

Bailey Boomhower


A transfer student from Butler Community College, I am junior at Kansas State University majoring in Agribusiness.  It’s true what they say, when you transfer to a big kid school, you’ve got to hit the ground running. You can’t wait to get involved and meet people cause in two years, hopefully, you’ve earned that degree. That’s why I joined Sigma Alpha. I wanted to be able to make new friends and then to learn more about agriculture.

Even though Sigma Alpha is becoming my family, none of this would be possible without my biological one. My roots run deep in central Kansas on Boomhower Ranch. My mom, dad, 2 brothers, and a couple adopted brothers along the way, operate a Red Angus cow/calf operation that emphasizes in strong carcass traits. Our family also operates Boomhower Ranch 5 Star Quality Meats where we sell processed select cuts of meats from our own beef herd. The thing I love most about going home is how it is a family operation. We work together to keep everything running.

Shonda Unruh

Moundridge, Kansas


I am currently a freshman studying agribusiness at Kansas State University.

I have always had a love for agriculture, but it wasn’t truly realized until I became a very active member of my high school’s FFA Chapter. There, I served as chapter President for two years. I also participated in various livestock and dairy judging competitions and leadership activities. Additionally, I have been involved with a local dairy cattle farm for the past few years where I really learned to love agriculture.

Being a freshman, it is pretty tough to determine exactly what you want to do with your future, but I do know that I want to be a part of the agriculture community.

Emily Knobbe

St. Louis, Missouri

emily k

I’m a sophomore majoring in Animal Science and Industry with an Equine Certificate! In high school, I spent many hours in the saddle and I participated in local horse shows around town and developed my passion for the agricultural industry through hard work and passion.

This past summer I spent my time in Belgrade Lakes, Maine teaching riding lessons to girls, ages 7-15. It was an experience of a lifetime and I became more aware of the agricultural industry on the east coast. In order to continue my growth in the equine industry, I am involved with the Kansas State Horseman’s Association as well as being an active working student at Dry Creek Equestrian Center. I am hoping to one day own my own horse and potentially continue on with teaching riding lessons.

Although I am in the process of deciding what specific job I would like to do upon graduation, I know that my heart and soul belongs to the agriculture industry and I will be always striving to make a difference in the lives of others!

Bethany Ericson

Hiattville, Kansas


I’m a junior in Animal Science with the Bioscience option. I attended Uniontown High School. I grew up on a 200 head cow/calf registered Angus cattle farm we raised commercial pigs for a while but we got out of that business. We also grow corn, wheat, and soybeans. I was very involved in 4-H and FFA. I won district Star Farmer in Entrepreneurship with my cow calf herd, I then went on to state to compete state
wide but didn’t win to move onto the national level. My future goals are to possibly go onto grad school and persue my interest in ruminant nutrition and animal reproduction in embryo transfer. I love being a farm girl through and through, I love being involved with our cattle operation when I go back home, and I love the atmosphere.

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