Spotlight on Kansas State University’s College of Agriculture
This column originally appeared in our Spring 2018 Ranch House Journal. Never miss another college of ag feature, subscribe to the publication here.
By Meg Drake
Remember back in 2012 when Yahoo published an article that deemed agriculture, animal science and horticulture as three of the five most useless college degrees? At the time, I was a junior studying agriculture communications and animal science at Kansas State University, and I distinctly remember being upset by the feature. Mainly because I was excitedly planning for a future in a profession that I believed in, and I was a member of what I felt was one of the greatest colleges on earth, Kansas State’s College of Agriculture.
I’ll refrain from focusing this feature on disputing the Yahoo article and instead channel that energy toward bragging on one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. For those of you considering Kansas State for your undergraduate, graduate or even doctorate education, here is why I highly recommend becoming part of the Wildcat family…
From more common agriculture majors like animal science and agriculture economics to specialized areas, like bakery science and management and milling science and management, K-State’s degree programs are diverse. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to determining each individual student’s educational track. The opportunity to major and minor in different degrees that cross over into one another allow students to personalize and tailor their experiences.
“K-State’s College of Ag allowed me to maximize my college opportunities by seamlessly weaving together my passion for livestock production with my interest in business and economics,” said Lauren Perez, 2012 graduate in Agriculture Economics and Animal Science.
Plus students involved in agriculture-related majors at Kansas State get tons of hands on experience. Not everyday in the classroom is the same. Many hours are spent in the lab, on field trips and visiting the livestock units across campus.
“With where I see the ag industry heading, I feel it will be necessary for an individual to have both agriculture production and business knowledge. K-State is one of the few schools that allows this opportunity,” said Perez.
Hands on experience coupled with coursework allow college of ag students to receive a diversified education. For example, agriculture communications majors not only take classes within the college of ag, but they’re also expected to complete hours within the school of mass communications and journalism. Along with this, students receive real-life editorial experience when they complete the college’s senior level magazine course.
“The students are involved in all aspects of creating a magazine from story planning and writing to advertising sales to graphic design. They have to work as a team to create this 72-page, four color magazine,” said Lisa Moser, Agricultural Communications and Journalism Instructor. “My goal is to make this a real world experience. Our students must also invoke critical thinking and peer mentoring as they work to create this publication.”
Lastly, the college of ag also allows students tons of opportunities for continued education. Graduate, doctorate and veterinary student programs allow students to further hone and develop their areas of expertise before entering real life professions.
Another item that sets Kansas State’s College of Ag apart, is the ability for students to participate in a broad range of extracurricular activities. From judging teams to professional organizations and specialized clubs, there is quite literally an out-of-classroom activity for just about every student to participate in.
Over the years, judging teams have become highly competitive and popular among students. From livestock and horse judging to meats and wool judging, Kansas State has a rich history of fielding some of the most competitive teams in the senior collegiate arena.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. K-State also has tons of clubs and organizations for the agriculture enthusiast to get involved in. For example, there’s the Block and Bridle Club, an agriculture advocacy group called Food For Thought, Collegiate Cattlewomen, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and so much more.
If joining a sorority or a fraternity is more your thing, agriculture students at Kansas State find themselves at home in either the Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) fraternity or the Sigma Alpha sorority. Although AGR is not directly affiliated with the ag college, the majority of its members are students studying agriculture majors at Kansas State.
Sigma Alpha is slightly different. The sorority does not have a house on campus, but women involved in the organization meet regularly on campus and plan gatherings in conjunction with the college.
It’s difficult not to recite the first line of the Kansas State Alma Mater when thinking of the university and its culture. “I know a spot that I love full well,” seems to sum up many students’ experience in Manhattan, or the Little Apple as they call it.
Joining the Kansas State campus is like becoming part of one big purple family. There is a long history of camaraderie and athletic and academic excellence. From joining and participating in clubs and events to cheering on the Cats during Big 12 games, there’s always something fun going on.
Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself. Follow the university on Instagram at @KansasStateUniversity, or visit www.k-state.edu and learn more about Wildcat nation.