Monday, April 14, 2014

Sampling The Wabash | Claudia Benitez


Last Friday, I participated in the Wabash River Sampling Blitz alongside one of our newest ambassadors, Brittany McAdams. The sampling blitz is a volunteer event that has been put on by the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation since 2009 in order to assess water quality in the Wabash River watershed. We were assigned a location, which involved driving to three different sites in order to find and sample three different access points for this location. Fortunately, we were graced with fabulous weather and were able to enjoy venturing the back roads of West Lafayette with the windows down and warm breeze caressing our faces. When arriving at each location, finding access points to the streams involved miniature hikes through bushes, shrubs, and hill slopes. We measured water temperature and turbidity and collected water samples from each stream. When we returned to Celery Bog, we tested the nitrate, nitrite, pH and phosphate levels of our samples and then recorded them on a large color-coded map where all the other samplers would also document their findings. Needless to say, we had a blast and were sad when our time pretending to be professional water quality testers came to an end. Through the College of Ag, we are kept up to date on neat upcoming events and opportunities like this. The Wabash River Sampling Blitz is an activity I definitely recommend participating in; not only was it loads of fun, but it also helps maintain important and current water quality data for the Wabash. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Turf Club

Hello Everyone,


If you’re anything like me I’m sure you’re wondering where the spring weather is hiding! I wanted to take this post to give a deeper outlook on a club in the agronomy department, Turf Club, and the importance of becoming involved on campus.  Joining clubs and becoming a leader within is something I remember hearing on almost every campus visit I made and it has been an extremely rewarding process taking that advice.  It seems like in all the job interviews I’ve had, the majority of the questions asked I have been able to answer from an experience I’ve had as the leader of a club.  The turf club is a group of students whose main goal is to compete at collegiate quiz bowl tournaments.  The first tournament we attend is hosted by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA), which is a comprehensive exam over the management of baseball and football stadiums.  The second is hosted by the Golf Course Superintends Association of America (GCSAA), which as the name implies is an exam over turfgrass management on golf courses.  These exams are taken in teams of four and include anything from soil management and aerification practices to everyday turf health concerns.  Each event surrounds a conference, which provides great networking opportunities in which many students have came out with internships.  When not in competition mode the group has cookouts and golf scrambles making this a very tight knit community.  Clubs are a great way to meet new friends and become leaders in your industry setting you apart from the rest and something you should definitely consider making time for while at Purdue.  As mentioned in a previous post I have been president for the last three years and just recently stepped down with graduation upcoming.  It has been an extremely rewarding experience and I want to thank all the members who made it possible and I would like to wish future success to upcoming teams.  If anyone has any questions or would like information on joining please don’t hesitate to email me (mille926@purdue.edu). Until then look for our putt putt fundraiser outside Lilly Hall at Spring Fest!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meet an ambassador advisor

Hello Everyone,

I would like to showcase one of the Agronomy/NRES Advisors. Sherry Fulk-Bringman is dedicated and passionate about student success across the department and college.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Keeneland Race Course: Lexington, Kentucky

Hello Blog Followers

This past week was our spring break, unfortunately I was not sitting on the beach with my feet in the warm sand, sun shining, and ocean breeze in my face. Instead I was taking full of advantage of my free-time and networking with some of the top professionals in the horse racing industry. Since I will be interning this summer over in Ireland at some of the most prestigious horse racing tracks in the world, The Curragh and The Naas, I thought it would be wise of me to see the day in the life of a horse track superinetendent before hand. I contact numerous people and worked my way through the grape-vine before being put in contact with the Director of Maintenance at Keeneland Race Courese in Lexington, KY. I called the Jimmy Young, Director of Maintenance at Keeneland Race Course and explained to him what I will be doing this summer and that I wanted to visit him and his staff to experience what it takes to prepare for opening day and the upcoming racing season. After speaking with him, he invited me down for a visit to Lexington, KY and work side-by-side with the turf track and Polytrack superintendent to pick their brain. I hoped in my car Wednesday and drove from Purdue down to Lexington, slept on friends couch, and woke up before the sun Thursday at 5:30 a.m. to head to the horse track. I was beyond excited when I arrived at the track and was going to make the most out of this great learning opportunity. I met with Jim and his staff for a morning meeting and talked about what was on today's agenda and had a nice cup of coffee with some good ole Kentucky boys. I started out the first half of the day with Fred, the Polytrack superintendent. We headed to the race track and I picked his brain and learned all about the first of its kind to be installed at such a facility.  The Polytrack is composed of 80% river-bed sand, and  20% shredded carpet and rubber fibers, crumb rubber, and a glue to hold structure. It takes many different peieces of equipment such as a gallop master, harrows, spring tines, and tillage. It does not to be maintained with supplemental irrigration to maintain optimal moisture. At lunch I switched and went the Mark, the turf track superintendent. The turf track is composed of Turf Type Tall Fescue with three different varities.  It is cut between 4"-5" at racing height and maintenance height is 3".  It gets solid-tine aerated two times a year with a vert-drain down to 12" on 3" spacing. It is over seeded and topdressed with sand two times a year. The turf track receives 5 lbs N/1000 sq. ft annually along with a judicious use of fungicides to combat with the transition zone weather.  At the end of the day, I could not have asked for a better learning opportunity with a world class horse racing track maintenance department, and an invitiation to come back down for opening day and have the best seats in all of Keeneland along side with the maintenance staff.  I would like to thank Kenneland Race Course and Jimmy Young for taking the time in allowing me to visit and pick the brains of the superintendents to learn everything that goes in to horse track maintenance. Stay tuned for future blog postings on my summer internship in Ireland and Scotland.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Colleen Harvey - Agronomy Ambassador

Hi all!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic spring break!  My name is Colleen Harvey and I am a nature enthusiast and storyteller.  I am a senior and I study Natural Resources and Environmental Science and Film and Video Studies.  I have combined my two passions and currently am a student employee for Agronomy Communications.   At my job, I make short videos about the professors, students, and activities that go on in the Agronomy Department.

Through my experience, I have been able to work with truly passionate and caring individuals.  I have gained so much knowledge and skills over my years at Purdue and I owe a lot of this to the education and supportive advisors and teachers within the department.

Here is a video I recently worked on about a fellow Agronomy Ambassador.   While creating this video, I couldn't help having a sense of pride in how my fellow Agronomy Ambassador, as well as myself, have grown up over our years here at Purdue.

Agronomy Ambassador  - Ashley Sheetz Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6u-CMvIam0&list=UUfubstjBK2UyVLf1tnX8d6A

My Website Link
http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~harvey12/colleenharvey.com



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oh the Places You'll Go

The bad news is that mother nature keeps teasing us with warm weather, then brings a snowstorm. The good news is Spring Break is next week! Whoop! Whoop! Although I will be traveling home, some friends are studying abroad for the week in places such as Ireland and Costa Rica...jealous!! A great aspect of Purdue is the opportunities to travel abroad; you could go for a week, Maymester, summer, semester, or an entire year!! There are scholarships to help financially and you can earn credit by participating..does it get any better? Yep! Here are just a few of the places you may travel... Australia, Brazil, China, France, Italy, and Jamaica. And it's not just class work- it's exploring a new place while meeting new people along with many memories! So pack your bags and discover the world!! 
 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hello all! Kelsey here. I wanted to talk a bit about one of my favorite experiences of my time here at Purdue. Each of the past two years, I have participated in the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leaders Conference, and I consider my participation to have been extremely valuable.

AFA brings together 500 of the top agricultural students in the country to grow in leadership, network with industry leaders, and plan for a bright future in agriculture. To attend, you must apply and be chosen to be sponsored by a leading agriculture company.  Purdue always represents the largest number of students at the conference; it only goes to show the high caliber of agriculture students that attend the university. Once there, students are split into four "tracks" according to their year in school, where they learn about professional communication, farm succession planning, being an agricultural advocate, project management, and so much more.

To top it off, throughout the entire four-day trip, students are rubbing elbows with some of the best and most influential people in the agriculture industry.  It is an incredible networking resource, and it's impossible to attend not come back a more enlightened, professional, and polished person.