The Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry proudly announce the new 2011/12 Ambassadors for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources:

Stephanie Bledsoe

Senior, Salem, Oregon
Fisheries and Wildlife

My name is Stephanie Bledsoe. I am a senior in Fisheries and Wildlife. 

I grew up in the Bay Area of California. I never really felt at home in the city and always enjoyed being in the outdoors. Ever since I can remember I have been very intrigued by wildlife, their behavior, and habitats. Beings as in love with the outdoors as I am, I first decided to attend Montana State University in Bozeman. It was only an hour away from Yellowstone National Park. While I loved the experience and the scenery, my family was just too far away. However, while I was away, my family moved to Oregon. I decided to transfer to Oregon State University not long after their transition here and have loved the decision ever since. I have always known that I wanted to go into a scientific field where I could conduct different studies, whether observational or experimental in a field setting. I chose Fisheries and Wildlife for this reason. One of the aspects of Fisheries and Wildlife that I absolutely love is the opportunity to develop a specialization. I have chosen to pursue a specialization in wildlife biology. Last year I had applied for a position as an undergraduate research assistant on a dairy for an Animal Sciences graduate student. 

This was quite the adventure. I had never really had any experience with any kind of livestock so I was a little unsure at first at what I had gotten myself into. As I became more accustomed to my job, I found I loved it and the entire experience became something that helped me to grow. Since then, I have been considering adding a minor in Animal Sciences to my college career. I became an Ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences, Forestry, and Natural Resources in hopes of sharing my college experience with new students.

David C. Del Moro

DavidSenior, Walla Walla, Washington
Agricultural Business Management

I was born and raised in a strong wine community in Woodinville, Washington.  After finishing high school at Bellevue Christian High School I moved out to our family’s farm and ranch in Walla Walla, Washington to work and live with my grandparents.  My family and I have many great memories about my childhood on the ranch from riding the tractors and combines on my grandpa’s lap to chasing the cattle in the pasture.  I owe thanks to the people who inspired me to keep moving forward; both my grandparents and my father and mother.  My grandparents showed me how rewarding the ranch lifestyle is and how to treasure what you have.  Even though my parents did not stay on the ranch, they brought the lifestyle with them and taught me at a very young age how to work hard for what you want.  Both my parents and grandparents have molded me into the man I am today.  I am proud to say that working on the ranch has lead me to my passion for agriculture and to continue my education at Oregon State University. 

I am a senior studying Agricultural Business Management with a minor in Agricultural Sciences.  The work that I do on the ranch has opened my eyes to the great love I have to the land and tradition my family has established in the Walla Walla area and the value and beauty that gets passed down from generation to generation.  It was my second summer where I worked all summer on the ranch where I realized that I want to be a part of this great tradition and legacy my family passes on.  After exploring the agricultural department, I quickly found that Agricultural Business Management was what I wanted my focus to be on.  I have such a strong support with the faculty members in the agricultural department and on campus that it has helped my education tremendously.  Being involved in clubs has helped me network and improve my social skills, but most importantly, it has allowed me to help people and educate those who are younger than I am. 

The Ambassador program is an opportunity for me to gain valuable leadership experience that will help benefit me in the future and to help individuals both within the university and outside.  I am honored to have this opportunity as an Ambassador and look forward to meeting new people and representing Oregon State University and the College of Agriculture Sciences. 

Chad Gilbreath

ChadSenior, Glide Oregon
Forest Engineering

Since an early age, I was influenced by my dad, aunt, and uncle, all OSU alumni, to come to Oregon State. Though I was born and raised on a sheep and cattle ranch just outside of Roseburg and was active in my FFA chapter and 4-H club, I aspired to be a civil engineer. I made the decision to come to OSU because of their engineering program, making my family very happy.  I studied civil engineering for three years before my love for the outdoors and summer job experience with the forest service drew me to forest engineering field.

I have been pursuing my forest engineering degree for almost a year now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The forest engineering classes are similar to civil engineering classes but hold more relevance to future job opportunities in which I am interested. I have been extremely happy with how nice and willing to help all of the faculty and staff have been in the college of forestry and enjoy the personal relationship that I can have with my peers because of the smaller class sizes. All of these things have made my transition into the College of Forestry easier.

As an ambassador with my agricultural background and my forestry experience, I hope to reach out and interact with a variety of people from alumni to high school students, even to current students on campus. I am very happy with my decision to come to OSU and will share my experiences with others in hope that they will choose to attend this great college as well.      

Jessie Henshaw

Junior, Pendleton, Oregon
Animal Sciences

Growing up in Eastern Oregon, I’ve had the opportunity to be acquainted with several facets of the agricultural industry.  Whether it is hiking in the Wallowa Mountains, working harvest in Weston, showing animals at the Umatilla County Fair, or just enjoying the Pendleton Round-Up, I have eagerly welcomed any experience.  It was through my service in FFA that I realized my true passion for agriculture.  Luckily I didn’t have to travel far to find one of the most accredited agricultural schools in the country to attend.  Majoring in Animal Science, I hope someday to work as a spokesperson for the beef industry.  As a student in the College of Agricultural Sciences, I am more than just a number.  Being from a rural area I was worried about attending a big university, but OSU is a big time college with a small town feel.  I have found a sense of community by taking part in campus organizations such as; Sigma Alpha Agricultural Professional Sorority, Collegiate FFA, Steer-A-Year, and am excited to add Agricultural, Forestry, and Natural Resources Ambassador to the list.  It is through extracurricular organizations that I believe people develop and find their true potential.  As an ambassador, I look forward to promoting OSU as a top Land Grant college, as well as helping prospective students discover the endless opportunities that are offered to them. 

Michelle Janik

MichelleJunior, Sandy, Oregon
Animal Sciences

I have known since I was young that I would end up being a Beaver.  Both my mom and my grandpa graduated from OSU and when I decided at the age of twelve that I was going to pursue veterinary medicine, OSU was the obvious choice.  I became involved with 4-H starting in the second grade and I grew even more involved in high school having projects in sheep, horse, rabbits, poultry, sewing, knitting, photography, horticulture, food preservation, livestock judging, and leadership.  Raising a small flock of registered Suffolk sheep and competing in livestock judging gave me a greater appreciation for Oregon Agriculture and fueled my passion for food animal veterinary medicine.

As a new student at OSU I was set on pursuing large animal medicine.  However, taking an introductory poultry science class at the suggestion of my advisor showed me possibilities for my future career that I did not know existed.  An internship with a poultry veterinarian gave me hands on experience in poultry medicine and allowed me to relate what I have learned in my poultry science classes to challenges that producers are facing.  Though I never expected to become interested in poultry medicine, I have learned that the professors in the College of Agricultural Sciences are exceptional at helping you find what you are passionate about and giving you the tools to accomplish your dreams.  It is an honor to represent the College of Agricultural Sciences as an Ambassador for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources and I hope that by sharing my experiences with prospective students I will be able to help them succeed as well.

KenKennith King

Senior, Roseburg, Oregon
Fisheries and Wildlife

I have always spent a lot of time outdoors around Oregon growing up.   As I got older, I continued my traditions of getting out and enjoying the landscape of the Pacific Northwest.  After traveling around the world for a few years with the Marine Corps, I decided that I wanted to move back to the Pacific Northwest and pursue a degree.  A quick review of my interests brought me to Fisheries and Wildlife, and I signed on hoping it would be a good fit for me.  I am extremely glad I made that choice.   The program is excellent and the instructors have been a joy to work with and learn from.   I have never ceased to be amazed at the opportunities presented through internships and associated clubs that come as part of the Fisheries and Wildlife program experience.  As an Ambassador I hope to share my experiences and knowledge with current or perspective students who are considering joining the College of Agricultural Science, Forestry, and Natural resources.

Tasha Livingstone

TashaSophomore, Coos Bay, Oregon
Forest Management

After moving from Laguna Hills, California in 2005, I remember being in complete awe on the drive to Coos Bay, Oregon; I had never witnessed so much greenery.  It was like wearing contact lenses or glasses for the first time and exclaiming something ridiculous like, “Look! There’s leaves on that tree!”  This experience was what initially fueled my interest in the outdoors and eventually led me to pursuing a degree in Forest Management.  Since attending Oregon State University, the activities that I have been involved in over the past year include being a member of the Society of American Foresters, volunteering as a model for the Rain Check Fashion Show celebrating positive body image and the Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show, working as a writing tutor for the Writing Center, and working during the summer for the Bureau of Land Management. During the last two summers, I worked for the Bureau of Land Management in North Bend, Oregon, and will be returning next summer.  Aside from Forestry, I also enjoy writing in my spare time.  Therefore, I have aspirations of enlightening the public to a better understanding of forest management; an aspiration that stems from a desire to educate. 

I value the opportunity to connect with students and help them explore a subject they are passionate about.  Therefore, what I’m hoping to gain from this experience is the satisfaction that I am positively influencing the students and faculty that I interact with.  The ambassador program will provide a myriad of opportunities for me to achieve this.

Alejandra Marquez

AlejandraJunior, Tlalnepantla, Mexico City
BioResource Research

As a high school senior living in Puerto Rico, I considered a diverse range of universities to attend. Because I was born in Mexico but lived in Puerto Rico for many years, I applied to universities located anywhere between Mexico to the Caribbean and the U.S. The university in Mexico City, where my father had attended, was a very appealing choice, as was the University of Puerto Rico, where many of my friends were going. I knew that I wanted to complete my undergraduate studies at a university that would prepare me to be a competitive applicant to medical schools by allowing me to gain necessary coursework knowledge along with relevant research experience. It was for this reason that I chose to attend Oregon State University (OSU). Majoring in BioResource Research with an option in Applied Genetics and Toxicology then became the most fitting option for me. What I found to be most intriguing about this program was the curriculum, which involved completing research to develop a thesis as an undergraduate student. I am now currently looking forward to starting a biomedical research project for my thesis, which I know will add a competitive edge to my resume.

Since moving to Oregon to complete my undergraduate studies at OSU, I have met a lot of supportive people, acquired leadership experience in the organization I am a part of (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resource and Related Sciences), and already obtained some research experience in the USDA lab I work for on campus. Being part of the College of Agriculture has given me many opportunities to enhance my professional development that I may not have had at another university. As an ambassador for this college, I hope to promote the many beneficial experiences available to incoming students.

Amanda Mendez

AmandaJunior , Corvallis, Oregon
Recreation Resource Management

My name is Amanda Mendez from Corvallis, Oregon. I am a junior in Recreation Resource Management. I grew up in Southern California, but moved to Oregon right after my high school graduation. After about a year I moved to Corvallis. I was attending Linn Benton Community College and unable to decide whether to major in Anthropology or Forestry. It was there that an advisor informed my about the Recreation Program at OSU. I am able to major in Recreation Resource Management and also have an option in Culture Resource Management. It was exciting to find out I did not have to choose just one, but am now able to study both. When I transferred over I knew I wanted to become involved on campus. It was through the College of Forestry that I became a part of SEEDS (Strengthening Education and Employment for Diverse Students), and also MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences). After becoming a part of both programs I knew I wanted to help get others involved, and help support the College of Forestry. As an Ambassador of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources that is exactly what I hope to do.

Josie Miller

Senior, General Agriculture
??? Oregon

Growing up in a small rural Eastern Oregon community I was raised with a deep respect for agriculture. As I grew up that respect became my passion. I was a 4-H member, chapter president of my FFA chapter, secretary for the Blue Mountain FFA district, Morrow County Rodeo Queen, rural department firefighter and an active participant in all community events. Every aspect of agriculture interested me so when it came time to pick a major and decide what to do when I grew up, I simply could not choose between them. I love the shop, the animal sciences, business management and even policy, so how could I pick just one? Finally, I settled on Agricultural Education. It was a perfect mix of it all and I did not have to choose. I could be involved with all aspects of Agriculture by educating others about its value.

After I picked my major I was excited to get started but was nervous about leaving my small hometown and jumping into a large university. So I chose to start my college education at Blue Mountain Community College. There I was paired up with great advisors who helped me select the right courses to get me started on the fast track to my degree and a smooth transition between community college and Oregon State University. I could have selected another university to transfer to, and I even considered a few, but Oregon State really stood out. The Agricultural Research done by Oregon State is highly accredited and the value of education is outstanding. Being the states Land Grant University meant that I would have access to many opportunities for hands on learning. The scope of my classes address issues on local, state, national international levels. The Agricultural Education degree here at OSU also gives me the power to custom create my degree to fit my interests and goals.

My college experience here at OSU has been spectacular. My classes are engaging, my teachers are help full and I am confident that my education will make me successful in my field. Along with a great education OSU also offers students many chances to be involved. I have had the opportunity to be part of the meat science club, CFFA, photography club, Sigma Alpha and am now looking forward to serving the college as an Ambassador for the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Forestry and Natural Resources. 

Skyler Mlasko

Medford, Oregon
Junior Renewable Materials

My name is Skyler Mlasko and I am currently a junior in Renewable Materials at Oregon State University. I grew up in Medford, OR, and chose to attend OSU because of the great campus environment, well-renowned academic programs and the overall sense of pride in the students throughout the campus.

I originally came to OSU to study Electrical Engineering since I’m a computer geek at heart, and wanted to design microchips in the future. Although I was enjoying the Engineering program, it simply wasn’t for me. I ended up talking with a recruiter for Renewable Materials and have been in the program ever since. I have developed a new appreciation for the surrounding forests in Oregon, which were previously something I took for granted. I also have a minor in Business that will give me the skills to potentially manage a team of employees and run my own company some day.

I wanted to be an ambassador for the College of Forestry because I enjoy helping younger students adjust to the college environment, and I also feel like I owe it to the college that has given me so many opportunities thus far. I feel that this position will allow me to develop professional relationships in the industry, as well as with alums that care so much about the university.

For the future, I hope to graduate from OSU and look for a career in the Wood Products Industry in Oregon. I would also like to work with companies to analyze their overall product life cycles, potentially giving them the opportunity to replace some of their current materials with newer, more renewable materials that will have a lower carbon footprint and possibly lower price tag in the long run.

A couple random facts: I recently became addicted to triathlons and plan to do them for the rest of my life, I have a girlfriend of five years, and have lived an entire summer in Italy.

Bruce Moffatt          

Bruce

Senior, Monterey, California
Natural Resources

I was raised on the Monterey Peninsula in California and have always enjoyed the outdoors. My mother and I would walk on the beach every morning before I went to grade school. Before moving to Corvallis I worked as a river guide in the Western U.S. and Central America and as a ski instructor and guide in New Hampshire and New Zealand, a camp counselor in the California public schools, an outdoor gear designer in Colorado and in the timber industry in Oregon.

 My motivation for becoming an Ambassador was I wanted to let people know more about the university and community. Oregon State University is my daughter’s alma mater and I am currently working towards my degree in Natural Resources with a business minor. I have been a member of the Corvallis community for twenty years and a Beaver fan since the first day.

Gagan Pahuja

New Delhi, India
Junior Crop and Soil Science, Minor Horticulture

I grew up in the capital city of India: New Delhi. I was brought up in a big metropolitan city but my roots have always been associated to agriculture as my family has been into the seeds business for the past four generations. I always wanted to study agriculture at an International level and a scholarship from Oregon State University made by dreams come true.

Presently, I am a junior in Crop and Soil Science with a minor in Horticulture. I am really motivated to enter the seed industry after completing my studies and the ambassador position is a great place for me to broaden my network in the field of agriculture by meeting the leaders of the industry. This program will also help me improve my communication and leadership skills. I feel great to represent the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Forestry and Natural Resources as an Ambassador and am looking forward to meeting future students and alumni of our college.

Nathan Parker

Monroe, Oregon
Senior Agricultural Business Management

Agriculture has always been a part of my life, although I didn’t realize it until recently.  This is because I didn’t take the conventional route most other students in the College of Agricultural Sciences took; that is to say I didn’t participate in 4-H or FFA, show livestock, or come from a farming or ranching background.  My first exposure to agriculture came at the age of 15, when not unlike most teenagers from my hometown of Monroe, Oregon I landed a summer job working for a local grass seed farming operation.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, this job would become a catalyst for my love of agriculture and my desire to pursue the agricultural field as a career choice.

Oregon State was an obvious candidate when it came to selecting an institution of higher education, due to its 17 mile proximity to Monroe, and of course, its renowned College of Agricultural Sciences.  I initially majored in Fisheries and Wildlife because of my passion for the outdoors and preserving our natural resources. Over time I came to realize that even though I love the outdoors, it was more of a hobby to me than a career path.  After a year of rethinking my academic options, I discovered the Agricultural and Resource Economics department at Oregon State, where I am majoring in Agricultural Business Management with a minor in General Agriculture.

 It was around that same time that I was offered a job at the Clark Meat Center on campus, which at time was a means to pay rent, but eventually became an avenue for self-growth and maturity, due to the wonderful people there that I have worked with and befriended.  This in turn, led to me becoming more involved within the College of Agricultural Sciences by joining clubs and participating in CAS events.  It was this new found involvement which sparked my desire to give back to the College of Agricultural Sciences in a way I felt it had given to me.  There was no better way to accomplish this than to apply to become an Ambassador on behalf of the Colleges of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources for the 2011-2012 academic year.  This was an honor I was privileged to receive, and one in which I look forward to using as an opportunity to inform others of the many great opportunities the College of Agricultural Sciences offers.

Nicole Snyder

NicoleSenior, Boring, Oregon
Fisheries and Wildlife

I have not had the traditional path to the OSU Fisheries and Wildlife program in the College of Agricultural Sciences. I have been photographed in the Oregonian for touching a pig’s heart in kindergarten class and for being the lead in opening of plays. I wrote my first conservation plan in my diary in the fourth grade when I learned about wolves and continued on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance from the University of Portland. In middle school, I participated in Salmon Watch, an Oregon educational program on salmon conservation, and participated in over 20 plays. I have volunteered with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers in Scotland, UK as well as acted for the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland.

As you can see my appreciation of Fisheries and Wildlife has continued throughout my life.  The desire to be outdoors, experiencing nature has always been strong, but not always clearly possible. Making a career out of my fascination and inquiry about wildlife was something I had never considered. When I decided to go back to school as a Post-bacc to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife, I looked at different schools but one always rose to the top. Oregon State University and the College of Agricultural Sciences has many opportunities and hands on experience to students of any age and background. I have only been at OSU for a year but already have had many memories and skills that will last me a lifetime. I still audition for school plays and do not regret my past BA. I believe that the experiences you have in life make you who you are today and just because someone has not been involved in their current career all their life, does not mean they will not be successful. I am proud to be an Ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences, Forestry and Natural Resources and excited to learn the leadership skills that will make me more successful in my Wildlife career.

Martine Torres

MartineSenior, Lake Oswego, Oregon
BioResource Research

Being the first in my family to attend a university, college was not ever really an option for me, but I had my own ambitions and one of them was attaining a bachelor’s degree. Upon graduating from Lake Oswego High School, I knew I wanted to attend the University of Oregon and major in international studies, but I chose to attend Portland Community College first to save money. After one year at PCC, I transferred to UO and even though I loved what I was studying, I had a change of heart and decided that it was not practical for my future endeavors. Even before graduating from high school, I never wanted to go to OSU, but two universities later and a major in BioResource Research, I have found my place here at Oregon State. I never grew up around agriculture and I didn’t know much about it until I transferred to OSU, but within my degree program I have realized the importance of agriculture and what versatile and vital role it plays in our daily lives. That’s why I’m excited to become an Ambassador for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources at OSU and hope to share my knowledge and passion about agriculture with others.

Sarah Wright

SarahRedmond, Oregon
Senior BioResource Research

My experiences with agriculture began at a young age. My mom had always been passionate about horses and animals, and she started a horse ranch in Redmond, Oregon, where we also raised chickens, pigs, sheep, hay, ran a tack shop and much more. Helping with animals on the ranch gave me more responsibility at a younger age, and I believe it has helped me even today. When I was 14 years old, our horse ranch was discontinued, and our family was living in Missouri. I stayed in Missouri until my community college education was complete and began deciding which four-year university I should attend.

I chose Oregon State University because the Northwest is my home, the campus is beautiful, the people are wonderful and there is an abundance of opportunities to take advantage of, including undergraduate research projects and scholarships. The College of Agricultural Sciences interested me by offering a unique major, called BioResource Research, and several specialized classes that aren’t offered at other universities in the area. Sine attending OSU, I’ve taken notice of the crop aspect of agriculture in the Northwest, and I’ve been engaged in undergraduate research in this field. I look forward to an excellent year of being an ambassador of Agricultural Sciences, Natural Resources and Forestry for OSU.