20 Oct

Soils Team qualifies for nationals

David | October 20th, 2014
Soils Team 2014 Regionals

A second-place finish in regional competition has qualified the West Virginia University Soils Team for the National Collegiate Soils Contest next spring.

Ten students from WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design traveled to Clemson, South Carolina, Oct. 6-9 to compete in the 2014 Southeast Regional Collegiate Soils Contest. WVU’s team members were among 71 students representing 11 schools digging into the red clay dirt of the southern Piedmont landscapes.

“After three days of practice, the team members were prepared for the unfamiliar soils and were able to calibrate their judging skills to the local conditions,” said James Thompson, a professor of soils and land use in the Davis College and the team’s coach.

The students who traveled with the team were: David Ackley, a junior in agribusiness management and rural development from Edon, Ohio; Ellie Bell, a senior in soil science from Snowshoe; Riley Biddle, a junior in agronomy from Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.; Caleb Griffin, a senior in agroecology from Friendsville, Maryland; Jimmy Leonard, a sophomore in argoecology from Middletown, Middletown; Emily Lessman, a sophomore in soil science from Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania.; Adrienne Nottingham, a senior in soil science from Green Bank; Katie Stegemerten, a senior in multidisciplinary studies from Annapolis, Maryland.; Becca Swope, a senior in agricultural and extension education from Salem, Ohio; and Emily Wells, a senior in agribusiness management and rural development from Sistersville.

When the results were tallied, six WVU students placed in the top 25. Nottingham finished second, Griffin seventh, Swope 11th, Stegemerten 12th, Lessman 21st and Bell 23rd.

This strong individual showing propelled WVU to a second-place finish in the team competition. This is fifth time in the last six years that WVU has placed in the top three in the region, including two regional championships in 2009 and 2013.

The team will now begin to prepare for the National Collegiate Soils Contest, which will be held in the spring and will be hosted by the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

“As always, I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of all of these students,” Thompson said. “These students continue to build upon the past success of the WVU Soils Team, and students and faculty from other schools are noticing these students’ achievements.

“I believe this speaks to the quality of the training that these students receive from WVU’s Division of Plant and Soil Sciences,” Thompson said. “It also reflects the overall strength of the academic programs across the Davis College.”

17 Oct
Keystone (4)

A team of West Virginia University students brought their knowledge of livestock to a regional tournament and came back with a second-place finish.

WVU’s Livestock Judging Team traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., on Oct. 4 for the Keystone International Livestock Expo. The WVU team finished second overall, second place team in both sheep and swine and third place team in cattle and reasons.

Robby Currey, an agricultural and extension education major from Salem, Wa., was second place individual overall, first in sheep, second in reasons and fourth in cattle. Shawna Rhodes, an animal and nutritional sciences major from Statts Mill, was eighth place individual overall, second in sheep and third in swine. Amanda Kline, an animal and nutritional sciences major from Sabillasville, Md., was tenth place individual overall and fourth in swine.

WVU’s team competed against students from Ohio State University, the University of Missouri, Clemson, the University of Florida, the University of Tennessee, Penn State, North Carolina State and Delaware Valley College.

They are coached by Scott Bowdridge, assistant professor of animal science in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, and Taylor Harrison, a graduate student pursuing a degree in beef nutrition.

“We have a very talented and hard-working group of students that have an ability to compete with schools with a tradition of winning these national contests,” Bowdridge said. “The students will be spending the next few weeks in preparation for the final two contests of the year and their careers as collegiate livestock judges. I am very excited about their potential to perform well in the coming weeks.”

This success comes off from a top ten overall finish and fifth-place finish in swine at Ak-Sar-Ben competition in Omaha, Ne. on Sept. 28. The team kicked off the fall season in Austin, Minn., Sept. 9 at the National Barrow Show, traveling to various swine producers throughout the Midwest prior to the contest.

The team’s next contest is Oct. 31 in Kansas City, Mo., at the American Royal where they will be competing against 30 other teams from across the United States. The season will round out at the national championship in Louisville, Ky., competing at the North American International Livestock Expo on Nov. 17.

2 Jun

As part of the centennial celebration of the Smith-Lever Act, West Virginia University will host a research symposium to discuss the past, present and future of the Cooperative Extension Service through submitted scholarly papers.

The Smith-Lever Symposium and WVU Extension Service Exhibition will take place Sept. 24-25, and is part of a series of events happening on WVU’s Morgantown campus. WVU President E. Gordon Gee and former WVU President C. Peter Magrath will serve as keynote speakers. Registration for the conference will be available soon.

The deadline for proposals is June 10, but early submission is encouraged. The call for papers addresses either historical or contemporary issues of the Cooperative Extension Service and the Smith-Lever Act.

Visit WVU Extension Service’s newly created Smith-Lever website smithlever.wvu.edu to learn more about the Smith-Lever Act and the celebrations happening throughout the year, both on and off WVU’s campus.

– See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2014/05/27/wvu-accepting-papers-for-submission-at-2014-smith-lever-symposium-in-morgantown#sthash.VhpTRk1h.dpuf

28 May

Teachers will become the students during this year’s Summer Agricultural Institute sponsored by West Virginia University Extension Service, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, and West Virginia Farm Bureau. The Institute gives educators the materials and know-how to teach their students about agriculture through a variety of school subject areas.

The two-day seminar, sometimes known as “Ag in the Classroom,” will be held June 12-13 at the Hilton Garden Inn, located in the Suncrest Town Center in Morgantown. Registration deadline is May 30.

Free teaching materials are included with registration, and offer practical hands-on lessons and ways to apply ag-related, classroom education.

Along with training and education about agriculture in the classroom, attendees can also learn about careers in agriculture, and about how the latest technology is being used in farm and agriculture education and industry.

The seminar offers three credit hours of graduate or professional development credits available from WVU. Registration with both the West Virginia Farm Bureau and WVU is required.

Registration fees for the two-day event vary from $75-$205, depending on lodging preferences and available discounts.

Professional development credit registration can be completed online at online.wvu.edu/Registration/forms/ProfDev.pdf.

Scholarships are available for qualified registrants, for more information call 1-800-398-4630, ext. 306.

For more information regarding the 2014 Agricultural Institute for Educators, contact Jean Woloshuk at 304-293-2708 or Jean.Woloshuk@mail.wvu.edu.

– See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2014/05/27/wvu-helps-plant-the-seed-of-agriculture-education-with-summer-agricultural-institute#sthash.oZ357A7b.XiIWvjD2.dpuf

21 Apr
WVU Soils Team

The West Virginia University Soils Team recently traveled to Quakerstown, Pa., for the 2014 National Collegiate Soils Contest.

Becca Swope, an agricultural and extension education major from Columbiana, Ohio, placed 13th in the field of 76 competitors and was the team’s top individual finisher. Overall, WVU placed 10th as a team – its sixth top 10 finish in the past nine years.

Hosted by Delaware Valley College, the competition featured 19 teams representing colleges and universities from across the country.
The nine-member team includes Swope, Nicholas Beaver, a Dec. 2013 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Sistersville, W.Va.; Elenaor Bell, a soil science major from Snowshoe, W.Va.; Riley Biddle, an agronomy major from Carmichaels, Pa.; Caleb Griffing, an agroecology major from McHenry, Md.; James Lenoard, an agroecology major from Middletown, Md.; Emily Lessman, a soil science major from Sistersville, W.Va.; Adrienne Nottingham, a soil science major from Green Bank, W.Va.; and Emily Wells, an agribusiness management and rural development major from Morgantown.

“As always, I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of all of these students,” said James Thompson, associate professor of soils and land use and the team’s advisor. “These students continue to build upon the past success of the WVU Soils Team. I believe this speaks to the quality of the training that these students receive from the Division of Plant & Soil Sciences. It also reflects the overall strength of the academic programs across the Davis College. Thank you for your support of these students, particularly when they are away from campus for extended periods at critical times during the semester.”

14 Apr

Senior spotlight 2014: Lauren Daub

David | April 14th, 2014
Lauren Daub

Lauren Daub, Harrisburg, Pa., is one of only 34 students to be named a 2014 WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior. Lauren will graduate in May 2014 with a degree in agricultural and extension education from the Davis College. She’s also the outstanding senior for the Division of Resource Management.

How did you choose your major?

Growing up in Harrisburg, Pa., I did not have the chance to go through a high school agriculture education program. It seemed strange to change my major during my first semester to agricultural and extension education. I have always loved helping others and had a passion for agriculture. I wanted to share and educate others about this passion for agriculture. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students and help them discover a love for agriculture. After only a semester in my new major, I knew that this was the right path for me. I have loved learning during my time at WVU. During student teaching, I was able to see glimpses of my dream. When students’ faces light up when they learn something new and love a lesson I confirmed that my choice as a freshman was right. Agriculture and extension education has helped me become the person I am and is the basis for the careers I want to have.

What have been some of your most memorable experiences at WVU?

The summer before my freshman year I participated in Adventure WV. Our group did Habitat for Humanity with other incoming freshman. I made memories with new friends that I still cherish. Joining the WVU Archery team was one of the greatest decisions I made. I got to share a passion for a sport with other people who quickly became my friends. Getting involved within the Davis College and getting to know my fellow classmates has been a blessing. Becoming involved in Collegiate FFA, I had the chance to travel to Kentucky and attend the National FFA Convention. So many great times were had on that trip. Being a teaching assistant for Agriculture Communications was one of the greatest experiences I had at WVU. I was able to help, teach and work with my students to become career ready graduates. The greatest memories I have are of attending Mountaineer football and basketball games. WVU students are the most passionate fans. I have loved being a part of something as big as being a Mountaineer.

What kinds of extracurricular and out-of-the-classroom activities did you pursue while you were a student?

My first week at WVU, I wanted to join a club with an activity that felt familiar to me. In high school, I shot with an archery league. I joined the WVU Archery club team. I served as secretary for two years and vice president for one. During my time in Archery club I had many volunteer opportunities. I even had the chance to involve a non-profit organization from my home town. Caitlin’s Smiles is a non profit organization that I volunteered with since I was a freshman in high school. The founder, Cheryl, lost her daughter Caitlin to cancer at a young age. She started the organization in her honor and supplies craft supplies, Caitlin’s favorite activity in the hospital, to hospitals all around the country. I was able to start delivering the craft supplies to the WVU Children’s Hospital with the Archery team and continue to do so today. I have also volunteered at the Maple Shire Nursing Home and Sundale Nursing homes. I am an active member of Mountaineer Collegiate FFA and Alpha Tau Alpha. I have also had the opportunity to serve with AmeriCorps and Energy Express for two summers. Both summers the site teams conducted service projects to help give each student a backpack full of new school supplies and give families board games to hold family nights. Helping the community has always been one of the activities I enjoy the most.

What advice would you give for a student who wanted to pursue your major at WVU?

Be confident in yourself! I did not grow up with the FFA or an agriculture program at my high school, which many others in my major did. I was able to learn everything first hand. I never doubted my knowledge and asked for help whenever I needed it. Professors are there to help you. They want to make sure you understand the material and will give you extra help if you ask for it. Get involved on campus. I have met so many friends from joining new clubs and volunteering.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I am planning on attending graduate school at WVU to further my education in agriculture and extension education. I feel that there is more to learn and would like to open more career path opportunities.

In the long term, what’s your dream job? If you could look at your resume in, say, 10 years, what will it say you’re doing?

In the long term, I hope to become an extension agent or an agricultural sciences teacher. I have always liked working with the people in the community. It is so important to have activities and educate youth. Either career path has many aspects that I love. I want to help others and make a difference in the community and the world of agriculture.

2 Dec

Student wins National FFA office

David | December 2nd, 2013
Wes Davis National FFA

Wesley Davis had a characteristic reaction to learning that he had been elected Eastern Region Vice President for the National FFA organization.

The West Virginia University student was sitting in a Louisville auditorium with thousands of his peers at the FFA national convention, meeting the organization’s new leadership roster.

“As soon as I heard, ‘From the State of West Virginia?’ I just started running.”

Running is Davis’s natural state, whether in the literal sense for exercise or in the metaphorical sense suited to a multitasking high achiever. And, for the next year, he’ll be racking up some serious mileage.

“The FFA expects that we’ll travel about 300 days out of the next year,” Davis said. Some destinations include Wisconsin for training and Japan to check in with the emerging Future Farmers of Japan group that the U.S. FFA helped form.

“It gives me chills to think about it,” Davis admitted. But the chills are of anticipation rather than anxiety. “I want to work with members to create opportunities and meet challenges.”

Davis, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., is pursuing a dual major in agribusiness management and rural development and agricultural and extension education in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. He’ll have to put his WVU education on hold for his year in office, but he expects the experience to be akin to “another degree tacked on to the ones I’ll earn on campus.”

– See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2013/11/26/wvu-student-wins-national-future-farmers-of-america-office#sthash.umSXxPbf.dpuf

12 Aug

2013 Dairy evaluation CDE

Harry | August 12th, 2013

The 2013 West Virginia Dairy Evaluation Career Development Event was held on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at Jackson’s Mill 4-H Camp in conjunction with the West Virginia Dairy Show. Fifteen students representing four FFA chapters participated in the event. The top ten individuals included:

1 India Titus – Washington High School
2 Blayne Ott – Washington High School
3 Kelsi Naylor – Lincoln County HS
4 Erica Heflin – Washington High School
5 Brooke Snyder – Tyler Consolidated HS
6 Mikenze Poling – Buckhannon-Upshur H.S.
7 Mikinna Poling – Buckhannon-Upshur H.S.
8 Laura Jochum – Tyler Consolidated HS
9 Bobby Heater – Buckhannon-Upshur H.S.
10 Mikayla Willingham – Washington High School

The team placings included:

1 Washington High School – 1498.88
2 Buckhannon-Upshur H.S. – 1386.86
3 Tyler Consolidated HS – 1328.34
4 Lincoln County HS – 970

The Washington High school team coached by Tim Cunnien and Katlin Thorsell will represent West Virginia in the national contests to be held in Louisville, Kentucky in October.

29 Apr

2013 Horse Evaluation Contest

Harry | April 29th, 2013

The 2013 Horse Evaluation Contest was held at Potomac State College on Saturday, April 27, 2013. Ten teams and 37 students participated in the FFA division.

The top ten individuals included: (1) Sara Duncan, Jefferson HS 406; (2) Justin Poling, Buckhannon-Upshur H.S. 403; (3) Darby Patterson, Jefferson HS 402; (4) Samantha Collins, Tyler Consolidated HS 402; (5) Talon Myers, Musselman HS 401; (6) Cate Raines, Musselman HS 398; (7) Ashley Watson, Tyler Consolidated HS 396; (8) Ruby Morris, Valley HS 392; (9) Spencer Carr, Pocahontas County HS 391; (10) Zoe Ann Bender, Braxton County HS 388.

The top five teams included: (1) Jefferson HS – 1191: (2) Musselman HS – 1186; (3) Tyler Consolidated HS -1166; (4) Buckhannon-Upshur H.S.- 1151; and (5) Valley HS- 1141.

15 Aug

The 2012 Dairy Management and Evaluation Contest was held on Sunday, August 12, with five teams participating. The top ten individuals included:

1 Darby Patterson, Jefferson HS, 371
2 Emma Jean Patterson, Jefferson HS, 368
3 Lane Hedge, Jefferson HS, 360
4 Sara Duncan, Jefferson HS, 354.5
5 Kathryn Voiers Ravenswood HS,, 338.5
6 Dillon Blake, Cameron HS , 314
7 Kirk Shriver, Hundred HS, 313.5
8 Levi Knight, Cameron HS, 311.5
9 Charissa Friend, Ravenswood HS, 309.5
10 Shane Williams, Cameron HS, 306

The team placings were:

1 Jefferson HS, 1533.3
2 Cameron HS, 1275.5
3 Ravenswood HS,
1265.9
4 Hundred HS, 1113.58
5 Nicholas County Career & Tech Ctr., 746.54

The official results are on the AGEE website under “Other Items of Interest.”