Sunday, December 17, 2017

One Last Time

Boiler Country,

I do not know where to start besides, I graduated this morning.  I started this morning as a Purdue student but am writing to you as an alumni...SCARY!  It is bittersweet, and honestly, it didn't really set in that I graduated until just a while ago.  I cannot stop thinking about all of the memories I have made and the people who have helped me succeed.  There are a few people within the agronomy department that I am dedicating this post to. 

First, Sherry Fulk-Bringman, Sherry was one of the very first agronomy faculty that I developed a relationship with as she is the faculty advisor for the agronomy club.  I served for two years on the agronomy club officer team, butting heads with Sherry from time to time but always knowing she had my back and I had hers.  To this day I know walking into the SRC I will be welcomed with a warm smile and probably a snack!  I am so thankful for her giving me leadership opportunities and driving me forward early in my college career. 

Next, Jane Wiercioch, Jane was someone I met later in my college career as I ran for an agronomy ambassador position.  Up until receiving this position I did not even know who she was!  (Most likely due to her role with NRCS and not 100% agronomy like it is today) However, Jane is one of the nicest, most caring, and thoughtful faculty members in the department.  Honestly, I am not sure how she survived me as an ambassador but I owe her a lot for it!  You can always expect a friendly hallway conversation from Jane.

Finally, Dr. Lee Schweitzer, Dr. Schweitzer is hands down the nicest most genuine man on Purdue's campus.  He probably knew my name before I knew his and he will make sure to wish you the best every time you see him.  I was able to take three of his classes where I not only learned the material, but learned how to be a better person.  It is little things like a handshake and a small word of encouragement that can mean the most to some students, okay.

This list could go on and on in the department, it is truly a family.  Thankfully, I am continuing my education within the department to obtain my masters, I am not ready to say goodbye to any of these folks yet!

Happy Holidays Boilers,

Nick Thompson
P.S. - This is the look when you are moments away from graduating, yet still have no clue what to do with your life.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Semester End

Hello All!

Hope your start to finals week hasn't been to bad yet! I know that I've got a tough exam tomorrow that I should probably keep studying for! Besides the crazy weeks leading up to finals, I was able to escape campus for a few days to attend the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health in Indianapolis. I went with the president of the Environmental Sciences Club here at Purdue; who just happens to be my best friend from day one on campus freshman year! The conference was very informative, and I learned a lot about cover crops and specific soil health concerns around the United States. The conference started each day with an opening and then a keynote address or a plenary session. We then were given the choice to attend three breakout sessions of our choice. One of keynotes featured a geologist discussing his view on soil health around the world. It was quite interesting to hear his perspective on the topic. Pictured below is David Montgomery (the geologist) discussing soil fertilization.

David Montgomery--University of Washington

I chose to attend a breakout session on organic farming with cover crops across the United States, one about business opportunities with cover crops and soil health, and a multi-university discussion on herbicide uses in cover cropping systems and resistant weeds. Overall, these topics gave me a lot of new information and understanding to different systems that I might encounter in my future career.

Over the past semester, I have been able to attend three different conferences; each offering a unique perspective to agronomy and soils. For anyone interested in applying their classroom knowledge and learning more outside of it, I recommend trying to attend these events. The information you learn at them is great to take into the classroom for discussions. I look forward to the coming semesters and the conferences I can attend!


Have a great break everyone!

Sarah Voglewede

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Semester Wrap-Up

Welcome to finals week my fellow Boilermakers!

            Wow, has this semester flown by! It feels like just yesterday we were all returning back to campus! Though I love all the breaks we have throughout the school year, Christmas break is one of my favorites! There are so many wonderful traditions this time of year!
            Last week the Horticulture Club had our annual Christmas party. We gathered at Dr. Dana’s home in Lafayette. We had a carry in dinner and a white elephant gift exchange as well. In the exchange the Hort. Club tradition is to pass around the Pinecone Santa. I ended up with it last year, so it was my year to return it, hidden in a gift to wait and see who got it this year. Luckily, the only Santa I got this year was on a plate that says “cookies for Santa” along with a mug and some Christmas dish towels.
            In my family, we have some special traditions that we do together. One day over break we set aside for all the grandkids and my aunts to all go to my Grandma’s house to make Christmas cookies together. Thankfully she has a large kitchen for us to do this in because we make many different cookies as well as dipped candies too.
            Another one of my favorite traditions is going to church on Christmas Eve with my family. Usually it is a late service, around midnight, so that by the end it is Christmas morning. The music always sounds good because we sing Christmas songs that everyone is familiar with. In our church, we put large wooden candle holders in the windows that we only use for the Christmas Eve service. My favorite part is the last song. We stand in a circle and sing Silent Night. Everyone has hand held candles and we turn out the lights and sing in just the candle light. It is a very beautiful way to remember the real reason for the season!
            Looking forward to the summer now, I plan to have another summer internship. I am going to intern with a company from back home called Tech Services Inc. My mom worked at TSI for almost 20 years, and I am proud to follow in her foot steps and work there too. I might even get to sit at what was her desk too. TSI is an ag research company. They have plots in several different states across the U.S. and work with corn, soybeans and wheat. At this point, I am not entirely sure what it is exactly I will be doing, however they told me I would get to move around and experience many different jobs throughout the summer.
            As we are heading into finals week I wish everyone the very best! Keep your head up and continue to work hard! Safe travels for everyone going home, where ever home is for you!

Have a safe, relaxing break and a Blessed Christmas!
See you in 2018!

As always, Boiler Up & Hammer Down!!


Friday, December 8, 2017

Looking Into Winter Break...

Hey All,

As the stress of finals has approached, I'm trying to keep my chin up and focus on all the fun activities and relaxation I will get to experience while on winter break.

For starters, my best friend since freshman year is graduating, so I'm really looking forward to spending some time with her before she moves to New York.  While it will be sad being so far away from her next semester, I hope that I'll have some free weekends to visit her and explore the city.

I am excited to get to spend time with my mom and family in Kentucky.  It's unfortunate that they live (somewhat) far away, but it definitely makes the time I do spend with them memorable.  I'm hoping that my mom and I will get a chance to visit some wineries and eat her homemade chicken and noodles.

It will also be nice to spend some time with my friends back at home who I don't get to see as much during the school year.  My friend Lauren goes to Butler, and she and I have both been rather bogged down with graduate school applications and preparing for/ taking the GRE, so it will be nice that the two of us will have some time to kick back and relax.

Speaking of graduate school, while it is still early, there's a chance that I might start hearing back from some schools while on break.  I'm very much looking forward to finding out which schools will interview me and have my visit.  I've applied to schools all over the country, so I honestly have no idea where I will wind up next year, but I find it exciting.

I wish everyone the best of luck on their finals and a wonderful holiday break!!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Final Weeks

What Up Boiler Fans?!

We are strolling into the final weeks of classes for the semester and students could not be more excited. The excitement is not just for the ending of classes but for the basketball games, holidays, family, and friends.

Even over Christmas break I am so excited to stay involved on campus by attending a bunch of basketball games. It is always a great time to hang out with friends and scream "Boiler Up" at the top of your lungs. The atmosphere is so energetic and makes you really proud to be a boiler. The holidays are about so much more than just celebrating the end of school and a great basketball team though.

I am most excited about spending some quality time with family and friends. It seems like break flies by so quickly because you are so busy having fun with Christmas parties, friends, watching Christmas movies, and eating way too much food! Before you know it January has arrived, it's a new year, and a new semester on the horizon.

Being a senior I am sure this spring will feel like it is taking forever, when really it is flying by without me knowing it; just like Christmas break. Being at Purdue is sometimes a challenge with the classes you have to take, but it is also a blessing to be around the great people in your department who makes the time fly by. There is so much to do and look forward to after college, but as I am in the middle of my senior year I am also realizing there is a lot to look forward to and do while you are in college.

Remember to always count your blessings, never wish time away, and always find the best in every situation. Just after you blink you will realize time has passed and you'll realize that time wished away could have been one of the best times of your life.

Boiler Up and Merry Christmas!

Dakota Westphal

Dead Week onto Finals

Hey folks,

Its that time of year again... time for studying and exams! While Christmas will come soon enough, all I can focus on right now is getting great scores on my final exams. One thing you will learn about college is the exams are much harder than high school. Each class requires time to adequately prepare yourself for the final exam. However, since most of these classes are classes you choose to take, they reflect well on real life skills that you will use in your career. That is why is it so important to do well on them!

One thing about dead week (the week before finals) and finals is that it is also one of the most relaxing times on campus, because Purdue as well as the college of Ag put on a lot of great programs to help students take a break from studying. My favorite is going to the union and seeing all of the wonderful Christmas decorations they put up. In the center of the union they put up a massive Christmas tree! Along with this, the College of Ag provides hot chocolate and candies in Agriculture Administration during finals week, giving agriculture students a nice space to go and relax for a bit.

Overall finals in college can seem daunting, but there are a lot of great resources and study sessions to make it manageable. 

Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 5, 2017


I cant help but think as I am writing this of where has time gone.  You will hear day in and out that college will FLY by.  Honestly, I was told several times that college will go fast and that when you graduate you will regret not making the most of it.  When I was a freshman I heard the same story, make the most of college it is the best time of your life.  Now, as a senior I am writing this thinking of all of the things I could have done differently.  I could have studied harder, got more involved in clubs, stayed on campus more, and so much more.  I feel like I should have focused more on becoming involved on campus.   Becoming involved on campus will help you build your resume, and friend base.  Friends are what make college a blast.  The people you meet in college will become the best man/woman in your wedding, your roommates, wife/husband and so much more!  I met my wife in college and will be holding our reception on this very campus, as it has meant so much to us. 

Honestly, the goal of this post is not to encourage choosing Purdue as a college, or even to chose agronomy as your major, but to influence you to do the most you can during your time in college.  I graduate in two weeks, actually less than two weeks.  I never believed people when they said college will go very fast, when I was a freshman I thought college would last forever, it will not.  I miss freshman year, I miss sophomore year, and I miss my last semester of senior year since I am graduating early.  I wish I could go back and join that club I was interested in, run for an executive position for my fraternity, and go hang out with my friends instead of studying for an exam I already felt comfortable with.  Now, my next transition into the real world will not be too much different as I will be attending graduate school at Purdue.  But, it will leave many memories behind with my undergrad.