2017-2018 Ambassadors

2017-2018 Ambassadors

Ameyalli Mañon-Ferguson – Salem, Oregon

Senior majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences with a specialization in Native American Ecology
Minor in Spanish
Minor in Ethnic Studies with a focus in Native American Studies

I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon, but grew up visiting my family near Yellowstone National Park. When I wasn’t rock climbing at Smith Rock State Park or visiting the coast, I was hiking the beautiful mountains of Montana. I was constantly immersed in nature and I loved it. This was more than just a hobby or interest, as I felt a sense of responsibility for the environment through the indigenous traditions I was brought up with.

Once I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to go into science, so I chose OSU for its incredible research opportunities. By the end of my freshman year, I declared my major in Fisheries and Wildlife to continue my education in conservation. I became involved in a variety of amazing research projects, gaining skills along the way. However, there was one project that made me realize exactly what my path should be. This project worked in the conservation of lamprey eel in the Columbia River and, unlike other studies, took into consideration traditional ecological knowledge from the tribes along the river that had valued lamprey long before the colonization of the Pacific Northwest.

This was my first time seeing science value indigenous traditions. It opened my eyes to a side of conservation I had never considered: working with indigenous people to conserve species that are ecologically and culturally important. By having this career, I will be able to make a difference in the environment, give back to the community I came from, and do something that is truly important to me.

Today, I am completing my second year as Student Leadership Liaison for the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws on campus. I am also the president of the Native American Student Association and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. All these positions have allowed me to network and build relations with the tribes and native communities I hope to make a difference in.

Through all these experiences and through the CAS Ambassador program, I hope to be a role model to other underrepresented students who are interested in STEM fields. I was honored to have been chosen as a representative for the College of Agricultural Sciences and am looking forward to making new connections.

Angel Torres – Albany, Oregon

Senior majoring in Crop and Soil Science with an option in Agronomy

I grew up on the farm always wanting to do what my dad did. I would ride on the tractor plowing the fields away and harvesting grass seed during mid-summers. However, I started to work at a very young age, and I can remember clearly the days I had to go pick night crawlers in the hazelnut orchards before and after school in the spring. I eventually went onboard to work with two of my biggest educational supporters, Wayne and Joann Chambers. It motivated me enough to attend OSU, which led me to majoring in what I fell in love with.

The passion I have for agriculture is embedded in my roots. Coming to OSU, I apply the same work ethic into my studies as I did out in the fields. Coming from that migrant field worker background, I soon realized I had many peers who had similar experiences through the College Assistant Mirant Program. I felt so empowered by the program that it led me to become involved on campus.

I was vice president for Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences, and now serve as president. I was vice president for OSU Men's Soccer club for two years. I have also engaged in research with Dr. Massimo Bionaz in the department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences on a project titled, “the effect of milk on piglet bone growth.” I have also attended many national conferences such as the Latinos in Agriculture, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute and have been to Puerto Rico through a college sponsored Experiential Service Learning Trip with Dr. Katie Gaebel. I've mentored over 200 students in a summer program through the Oregon Migrant Leadership Institute and am currently meeting seven freshmen students through CAMP.

Being a college ambassador will allow me to share my experiences and involvement with prospective students and those who are interested in the College of Agricultural Sciences. It is an honor to serve as an ambassador for the 2017-2018 academic year and represent the CAS to our community. I hope to continue inspiring and empowering students as I reach my professional goals.

Ellie Puttman – Central Point, Oregon

Junior majoring in Bioresource Research
Minor in Leadership

Growing up in Southern Oregon on a five-acre piece of land in the country, I was raised with an entourage of animals and an appreciation of the outdoors. I remember trying to keep up with my older sister as she joined 4-H and started getting involved in the community. As soon as I could, I was training for my first contest. I had entered into the world of agriculture. My involvement in agriculture increased when I joined FFA in high school. My days soon filled with contests, events, and trips that allowed me to explore both Oregon and American agriculture. I competed in events ranging from Parliamentary Procedure and Public Speaking, to Horse and Livestock Evaluation and Veterinary Science. My career interests soon fell on the veterinary world, and I interned at an equine vet clinic.

My experiences lead me to Oregon State University to pursue a degree in Bioresource Research with an option in Animal Reproduction and Development. I cannot wait to apply for vet school in a couple years. I have loved being a part of the Corvallis community over the past two years. OSU has given me the opportunity to participate in a number of activities both extracurricular and academic. Currently, I am assisting a professor in the Animal and Rangeland Sciences Department in her research in beef cattle reproduction. I am excited to continue researching this summer and gain valuable experiences to prepare for vet school and a future in the agricultural world.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the College of Agricultural Sciences ambassador team this upcoming year. I know the friendships I make with my fellow ambassadors, the connections I gain from the many events we attend, and the information I attain from the training and experiences we participate in are valuable for my personal and professional development. My hope is to represent the college well and give back to the community that has provided so much for me.

Evan McFadden – Corning, California

Senior majoring in Horticulture with an option in Turf Management
Minor in Business Administration

I grew up in a primarily agricultural community in Northern California. I am very proud to say that I come from a third generation of farmers. I have fond memories of my grandfather’s ranch and I believe it was there that my passion for agriculture began. I have always loved the outdoors, working the ground, and the feeling of accomplishment after a hard day’s work. It was apparent what my interests were, but I never had a set plan of what direction they would lead me. My high school years were filled with academics, leadership positions, and athletics. Each new season was filled with baseball, football, wrestling, and numerous leadership roles. My focus was set toward Oregon State University knowing full well that I would find my way to new opportunities.

My decision to attend Oregon State University was an easy choice for me to make. To begin with, my grandfather, brother, and numerous relatives have graduated from OSU and call this place home. I felt a sense of comfort the moment I stepped foot on this beautiful campus, but it was my second term at Oregon State that I experienced that “ah ha” moment. I found the Turf Management program within the Horticulture field the perfect combination of my two passions: agriculture and athletics.  I feel passionate about every aspect of this program and those individuals involved that make it top notch.

The turf program at OSU has given me the tools I have needed to excel in my area of focus.  Here at OSU the instructors are phenomenal, the research is at the cutting edge, and the program itself is within the highest caliber of turf programs. Last summer, I was fortunate to have an internship with one of the top 50 courses in the country, Victoria National Golf Club in Indiana.

I am an active vice president in my fraternity, and am also serving as the president of the OSU Turf Club. After earning my Bachelor’s Degree, I plan on acquiring a job as an Assistant Superintendent at a golf course and working my way up to a Superintendent position. This major is multifaceted with many areas of interest that I may consider pursuing at some time in my career. I am interested in chemical sales both for golf courses and agricultural, but I am fortunate to be limitless on my choices within my field of interest.

I am extremely honored to be a part of the 2017-2018 Oregon State University Agricultural Ambassador Program for the College of Agriculture Sciences.  I look forward to representing my university, sharing my experiences with prospective students, and promoting all that Oregon State University has to offer. Go Beavs!

Jerry Carter – Seneca, Oregon

Junior majoring in Agricultural Business Management
Minor in Animal Sciences

I was raised on a commercial beef ranch outside of Seneca, Oregon. I am a part of the third generation of the operation, and I have grown fond of both the cattle industry, as well as agriculture as a whole. During my childhood and teen years, I spent the majority of my free time and summers working on the family ranch with day-to-day operations and gained a large amount of knowledge about raising commercial beef cattle. I was heavily involved in 4-H and joined FFA as soon as I entered high school. My involvement with both these organizations fueled my passion for agriculture through the diverse experiences and contests they both offered.

Choosing Oregon State University was an easy choice for me since I knew from a young age I wanted to have a career somewhere in the field of agriculture. Since OSU has one of the best agriculture programs in the country and was relatively close to home, the choice was simple. I chose the Agricultural Business Management degree program, and thus far have enjoyed both the curriculum as well as the people I have met through the program.

I am honored to be part of this year’s ambassador team, and hope to help make the experiences of current and future students an enjoyable and enriching experience.

Joanna Kubes – Dayton, Oregon

Senior majoring in Agricultural Business Management and Public Health

Growing up in the small rural town of Dayton, I did not live on a farm, but I was surrounded by them, which is what gave me my passion for agriculture. My freshman year of high school I took a mechanics class and that is where the FFA advisor first approached me about joining FFA. A few district officer positions and a FFA national championship later, I found myself applying to Oregon State University and relying on my past experiences to help me declare my major in Agricultural Business Management. My passion for helping others has been fueled by agriculture for years now, but it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I was exposed to the field of public health and realized I wanted to help build healthier people and communities through public health and agriculture.

This year will be packed with challenges like being my sorority’s Chief Financial Officer, a 2017-2018 College of Agricultural Sciences Ambassador, and most importantly graduating at the end of spring. After graduation, I plan to go to graduate school and obtain my Master’s in Public Health with a focus in Health Management and Policy and Epidemiology. Hopefully once I have a stable career and some land, I will start my dream of owning a pumpkin patch and a Christmas tree farm.

In my new ambassador position, I am excited to meet all the amazing alumnae and donors of this great university and hear their own stories. Additionally, helping incoming students find their passion and future career within the College of Agricultural Sciences will be one of the most fulfilling rewards I could ever receive from this opportunity. I look forward to all the growth that my team and I have ahead of us.

Lauren Coe – Beaverton, OR

Senior majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife (Honors) with a specialization in Conservation Biology

The first eight years of my childhood were spent near Seattle and the years since then in a Portland suburb, which gave me a different perspective on the world of agriculture. Despite growing up near two cities, my early love of horses always drew me to the nearest stable. Equestrian activities became a significant part of my life throughout high school where I eventually competed on my high school’s OHSET team.

I’ve also had a passion for anything wildlife related since I was young, starting as a fascination with Animal Planet that transformed into a career path when I began working at the Oregon Zoo in 2010. I was a ZooTeen volunteer for five years where I gained experience with wildlife conservation, animal care, and visitor education. OSU was a natural fit for me because it is an in-state college and the Fisheries and Wildlife program is incredibly unique in that you can mold it to fit your career goals. Additionally, the program has multiple required internships to give students job experience before graduating. The last two summers, I have worked as an education aide at the San Diego Zoo and plan on continuing to work in the zoo’s education department after graduation. These experiences demonstrated how fun and rewarding environmental education could be.

Another aspect that led me to OSU was the Honors College. I was drawn to it because of the small class sizes and encouragement of individual research. I’ve worked in multiple research labs within my department and am currently working with Dr. Taal Levi on an undergraduate honors thesis regarding jaguar ecology in Brazil.

As am ambassador for the College of Agriculture Sciences, I’m excited to work with future students and help them find their place within the university.

Lea Hudson – Amity, Oregon

Senior majoring in Animal Science (Honors) with an option in Pre-Veterinary Studies
Minor in Chemistry

Growing up on a vineyard on the hill of Amity, I was exposed to both agriculture and chemistry from a young age. My dad showed me the chemistry behind viticulture and the care required in the vineyard. My love for agriculture was built during the long days spent in the vineyard every summer. Within the scope of agriculture, my focus on animals was instilled by the multitude of pets I had growing up. This love of animals prompted me to join 4-H where I became very active within the local horse club gaining leadership and life skills that I still use today.

I decided to attend Oregon State University after visiting multiple other schools; each school had their good points and drawbacks, but OSU just felt right. From the moment I stepped on campus, I felt at home. I chose Animal Sciences with an option in Pre-Veterinary because of how perfectly it would set me up to apply to veterinary school. My major gave me the animal experience and focus while still providing me with the hard science background required for veterinary school. Currently I am a senior, and haven’t regretted my choice once. Beyond academics, Oregon State University and Corvallis in general has provided me with so many opportunities to learn, be involved, and get experience in the veterinary field. I truly feel that I made the perfect choice in colleges.

After earning my Honors Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, I hope to attend Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine to earn my Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. I hope to be able to practice both large and small animal medicine in a rural clinic.

As an ambassador, I am excited to share my love of Oregon State University with new and prospective students as well as represent my university and college.

Scott Jacobson – San Diego, California

Senior majoring in Agricultural Sciences
Minor in Animal Sciences

I grew up in the suburbs of San Diego, California and was always outside chasing reptiles and trying to catch rabbits. I also grew up practically living in the livestock barn as my mom was the livestock coordinator for our county fair, and when I was not there, I was helping in my dad’s dog boarding facility. Growing up in this style gave me a love of animals and I was always bouncing between 100 different things I wanted to do when I grew up.

It was not until I turned nine when I first joined 4-H and started raising swine that I realized I loved agriculture. I started with sheep and swine, but found my passion in beef cattle. I had the amazing opportunity to actually work for a ranch in Turlock, California. Growing up raising livestock taught me hard work and how to manage my time around all of my other activities.

After graduating high school, I attended the University of Wyoming as an animal science major. I quickly realized that it was not the right for me and was thinking about going back to California and going to a local community college. It was not until the spring when I visited Oregon State University and realized the second that I stepped foot on campus that this place had something special to it.

The next year I attended Linn Benton Community College before transferring to OSU, and I have not looked back for a second. Since coming to OSU, I have been involved with multiple clubs including Steer-a-Year and the Agriculture Education Club. This past year I have also had the opportunity to be the director of Agriculture Days for the Agricultural Executive Council and travel to Puerto Rico twice for an experiential learning experience and a service-learning project.

This next year as an ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences, I am looking forward to sharing my experiences and all that OSU has to offer to potential and future beavers. GO BEAVS!

Gabrielle Redhead – Central Point, Oregon

Ambassador Student Director
Senior majoring in Agricultural Business Management
Minor in Leadership

Growing up in the town of Central Point Oregon, my family always was outside working together, playing together, and just having outright fun. Being raised in the Rogue Valley you gain a new appreciation for agriculture at an early age. From county fairs, to driving around and seeing the immense diversity of agriculture, planted the seed for my passion for our industry. My competitive drive led me to raise 4-H animals with my cousins, which I transitioned into an FFA member in high school. From there I participated in numerous career development events, facilitating and growing my love for this industry. During my high school years, I could always be found in the Crater FFA Ag Lab working on the next event for chapter.

Over the years, my interactions with faculty members and students from Oregon State gave me the idea that one day I would be able to attend this amazing university. I am currently a sophomore studying Agricultural Business Management with a minor in Leadership and I can’t be more excited about my future. During the summer I will have the opportunity to work for Northwestern mutual, being an intern in their Central Point branch, where I will be able to grow and diversify my network. Over this next year, I’m extremely blessed to have the opportunity to be the student representative for Oregon State on the Oregonians for Food and Shelter board as well as being an Ambassador for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources through the college.

What I hope to gain from the Ambassador Program is a deeper appreciation and understanding of the diversity that agriculture has an Oregon, as well as Oregon State University’s role within the industry. I’m extremely excited to be traveling other students that just as passionate, if not more passionate about the agricultural industry as I am. I look forward to all of the adventures and relationships that will come from this amazing opportunity.