Ag Illustrated is a quarterly publication of the Auburn University College of Agriculture.

Katie Jackson
Leigh Hinton
Jamie Creamer


Teresa Rodriguez

3 Comer Hall
Auburn University
Auburn, AL

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Purely Academic

The College of Agriculture offers one of the foremost agricultural instruction programs in the nation, in part because of its commitment to its students (past, present and future) and to its teaching program. The following information offers updates on the CoAg teaching program and student activities. For more information on these stories or on educational opportunities in the College, contact Bill Alverson, assistant dean, or Bill Hardy, associate dean, at 334-844-2345 or visit the CoAg Web site at

Ag Leadership It's a Major Thing, For a Minor

A new agricultural leadership minor, now available through the College, aims to cultivate effective leaders and spokespersons who will help bridge the gap between agriculture and the general public.

And as an added benefit, the CoAg's Leadership Studies (CALS) minor will give graduates a distinct advantage in the job market.

"The program will equip students with the communication and people skills that corporate America values highly," says CALS developer Don Mulvaney, associate professor of animal sciences. "Students who have the CALS minor and the leadership portfolio they will compile as part of the program are going to stand out to prospective employers."

Included in the 18 semester credit hours required for a CALS minor are 10 hours of core classes that cover leadership theory, leadership development and characteristics of effective leaders, as well as a course that will increase students' awareness and knowledge of key issues in agriculture. Learning experiences will range from lectures and classroom work to community service and internships.

"The majority of Americans today are completely unaware of how crucial agriculture is to this nation's economy, security and survival, and it's up to those of us in agriculture to change that," Mulvaney says. "The skills and self-confidence students develop through CALS will prepare them to be spokespersons for agriculture no matter where they are."

Mulvaney's interest in agricultural leadership development began in the mid-1990s and grew out of his interaction with students in his animal science classes.

"Students were learning about animal growth and development, but they were not familiar with many of the important issues facing animal agriculture," Mulvaney says. He began offering the class "issues in animal science," which gradually evolved into "issues in agriculture." Leadership development classes followed.

"We polled students, and the general consensus was that they would definitely be interested in taking ag leadership classes if we offered them," Mulvaney says. Positive response to two leadership development classes that were established soon led to the new minor.

The CALS minor is available to all ag majors as well as to all students majoring in other colleges within Auburn University.

In addition to the CALS minor, the College offers minors in agricultural business and economics, agronomy and soils, entomology, fisheries, animal science, plant pathology, poultry science and rural and community development.

For more information, contact Mulvaney at (334)844-1519.

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Ag Career Fair Set for Oct. 1

The fifth annual Ag Career Fair will be held Wednesday, Oct. 1, at the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center. Representatives from agriculture-related businesses, organizations and agencies will provide exhibits featuring information on career and internship opportunities as they visit with students and faculty during the 1 to 6 p.m. event. Students can share their resumes and discuss the possibilities for future employment. Several interview sessions will be held on Oct. 2 or dates to be announced later.

Auburn's Career Development Services coordinates this annual fair. Representatives interested in having an exhibit at the Ag Career Fair are asked to visit the AU Web site and follow the links by clicking on Employee Services and then Special Events. All required forms may be submitted online or printed and mailed with payment to Career Development Services, 303 Mary Martin Hall, Auburn University, Ala. 36849-5139.

For further information, contact Freddie Killian, special events assistant, at (334)844-3874 or the College of Agriculture at (334)844-2345.

Students are encouraged to utilize this important networking opportunity to plan for future employment.

2003 Fall Ag Exploration Days

Three Ag Exploration Day events will be held around the state this fall in Montgomery. Ala., (Sept. 11), Belle Mina, Ala., (Sept. 18) and Luverne, Ala. (Nov. 18). Area high school students will learn about the admission application process, scholarships, internship/career opportunities and get an overview of CoAg majors. Ag Ambassadors, faculty and deans join local agricultural alumni at these events, which are meant to attract students to the College. Contact Ellen Knight, coordinator, at (334)844-3210 for further information.

Earlier this year, seven Ag Exploration Days were held at Wadley, Fairhope, Selma, Birmingham, Boaz, Headland and Clanton, with an average of 70 students plus numerous Auburn Ag alumni, counselors and parents in attendance at each event. Many entering freshmen report that attending an Ag Exploration Day attracted them to enroll in a CoAg major.

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CoAg Participating in War Eagle Days

The College of Agriculture is helping welcome visitors to the Auburn campus this autumn as part of the Fall 2003 War Eagle Days. War Eagle Days are one-day events held on campus for high school seniors and parents to acquaint them with Auburn University, its programs of study and especially the process for applying for admission.

Fall dates for War Eagle Days 2003 are Sept. 5, 8, 19 and 22; Oct. 10 and 27; and Nov. 10. Early 2004 War Eagle Days, which are intended for high school juniors, will be held Jan. 16 and 30, Feb. 2 and Mar. 15 and 22.

Reservations for War Eagle Days must be made well in advance and can best be made online. See for more information.

Outstanding Graduates

Three May 2003 AU graduates–Ryan Baya, Deana Lasater and Christina van Santen–were honored as the most outstanding students in the College of Agriculture.

Baya, a fisheries management graduate from Theodore, Ala., was named the Outstanding Student in Agriculture by the AU Student Government Association in recognition of his academic excellence, strong leadership and involvement in student and professional organizations at Auburn.

As a student, Baya was a regular on the Dean's List and received several scholarships, including the Mobile County Farmers Federation Scholarship, the Rembert D. Bayne Scholarship, the Alabama Catfish Producers Scholarship and the Hilmer Jones Scholarship. He was active in n the American Fisheries Society, Alpha Zeta, the Ag Alumni Contemporary Ag Program and the Ag Ambasadors. Baya is now pursuing a law degree.

Lasater, of Hazel Green, Ala., received both the President's Award as the College of Agriculture's outstanding graduate and the Comer Award for Excellence in the Agricultural Sciences in recognition of her strong science foundation and exceptional performance as a student in agronomy and soils. She also was tapped to serve as CoAg's graduation marshal during spring commencement ceremonies and carried the CoAg banner in the entrance processional.

Lasater's exemplary performance throughout her time at Auburn earned her the Outstanding Freshman, Outstanding Sophomore, Outstanding Junior and L.M. Ware Outstanding Senior awards from Gamma Sigma Delta agricultural honor society. She also was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Zeta, two other top honorary organizations and was a member of AU's 2003 National Championship Soil Judging Team. She was recipient of the Staplcotn Scholarship, the Emory Cunningham Environmental Scholarship and the Alabama Seedsman's Association Scholarship.

Van Santen, who is from Auburn, Ala., was recognized for her exemplary leadership, scholarship, integrity and character when she was named recipient of the College's prestigious Claude Hardee Memorial Award. Van Santen graduated spring semester with a dual major in agronomy and soils and biosystems engineering.

In her sophomore year, van Santen became the first student to study abroad through the AU International Program when she attended Humboldt University in Germany for six months. While in Germany, she also did an internship at the Soil Research Institute for the state of Lower Saxony, with an agricultural cooperative, adding significantly to her educational experience.

At Auburn, van Santen was an Ag Ambassador and was active in the Agronomy Club, the Cupola Engineering Society and the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. Like Lasater, she was part of Auburn's 2003 National Champion Soil Judging Team and was top individual scorer in the preliminary regional competition.

After completing an internship with Monsanto in October, van Santen will return to Humboldt University to pursue a master's degree in soil science.

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Join the Club!

By: Kiley Harper, Ag Communications Major

Looking for a fun place to meet people with similar interests, learn leadership skills and participate in community service projects? The College of Agriculture offers these chances through its more than 20 student clubs.

Some clubs, such as the Agronomy and Poultry Science clubs and the Horticulture Forum, hold meetings that focus on topics relative to their members' respective majors. Other clubs, such as the Auburn Young Farmers, Block and Bridle and Collegiate FFA, hold meetings that focus on a wide variety of ag-related topics.

Each of these organizations offers its members an opportunity to learn more about agriculture, while also allowing students to participate in charity endeavors, such as blood and food drives, as well as social events, such as bowling outings and annual banquets. Ag Hill clubs also offer added benefits including building life-long friendships, creating personal relationships with professors and developing leadership skills by becoming an officer.

Additionally, the College of Agriculture has a representative organization for its clubs, the Agriculture Student Council. This organization allows each Ag Hill club to appoint two representatives. These representatives help make decisions about the happenings inside the College of Agriculture, as well as the College's involvement campuswide.

An overview of the Ag Hill clubs wouldn't be complete without mentioning its honor societies. The College currently has four honor societies: Ag Ambassadors, Alpha Zeta, Gamma Sigma Delta and Pi Alpha Xi. These honor societies select top students based on grade point average, involvement in campus activities and leadership abilities. By becoming a member of these select groups, CoAg students serve as representatives for the college, make presentations to incoming students, participate in community service projects and list these honored organizations on their resumes.

The College of Agriculture is a happening place because of its clubs. Whether a person wants to gain more knowledge about agriculture or a particular field, increase opportunities to develop friendships with fellow students or professors or simply become involved in volunteer and social activities, CoAg clubs have it all.

Ag Ambassadors Busy Spreading the CoAg Message

By: Elizabeth Op'tholt, Ag Ambassador and Animal Sciences Major

It's been an eventful year for the 40 members of the Ag Ambassadors program. Their schedules were filled with career days, campus tours for prospective students, phone-a-thon to answer last-minute questions from incoming freshman and the occasional social get-together to go rafting and have a party.

The Ag Ambassadors are the official hosts and hostesses for the AU College of Agriculture. As their adviser, CoAg Associate Dean Bill Hardy, would say, Ag Ambassadors are and have always been the "cream of the crop."

The Ag Ambassador program was established in 1983 with 22 ambassadors representing the College of Agriculture. Through the last 20 years the ambassadors have served the college and the general public by recruiting students statewide, becoming involved in the National Ag Ambassador Leadership Conference in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and creating informative lectures to present to any group. The ambassador program has evolved into a prestigious 40-member group that helps promote the College and recruit students at seven annual career days held throughout Alabama.

Last year, their work included more than 50 appearances on behalf of the College of Agriculture and bringing in some of the best students that Auburn University has on campus.

This year, they will be involved in such activities as the Ag Roundup and Taste of Alabama and the annual Scholarship Recognition Program, which is held in September to express the College's appreciation of its many scholarship donors. They'll also attend the Sunbelt Expo held in Moultrie, Ga., a three-day event where the Ambassadors visit with the hundreds of high school students who drop by the Auburn booth.

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