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

My Website Link

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.
Hello all! Hope everyone is enjoying their day.  My name is Brock Miller and I am a senior in Turf Science and Management.  I am a non-traditional turf student in that I come from a grain farm in Central Illinois, which led me to agronomy, but my passion for the game of golf made the turf program a perfect fit.  I took on the role as an agronomy ambassador in the spring of 2013. This has given me a great since of pride being able to give back to a program that ultimately swayed my decision to attend Purdue University.  I have also been President of Turf Club for the past three years as well as a participant on the Collegiate Quiz Turf Bowl teams.  Last summer I was selected for an internship with the USGA Green Section where I traveled to numerous golf courses shadowing the head agronomist for the USGA while he made suggestions to superintends on how to improve their playing conditions.  This summer I will be staying on campus doing research at the Daniels Turf Center.  Following early graduation I hope to attend graduate school and become an agronomist myself or take on a sales position.  That’s a little bit about myself if you have any questions feel free to email me at  I’m looking forward to more posts in the future and warmer weather!

Daniel Bechman-Ambassador Introductions

Hello All!

I hope we are all still enjoying the snow that we just can't seem to ditch for good this winter. My name is Daniel Bechman and I am a senior at Purdue majoring in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics. I am currently in my third year serving as an Agronomy Ambassador.

 Here at Purdue I have developed many new interests and I am involved in several student organizations. I am most involved in the Purdue Reamer Club, a spirit based organization that is the caretaker of the official mascot of Purdue University, the Boilermaker Special. I am actually one of six members of the club who is an official Pilot of the Boilermaker Special, so if you have ever been annoyed by the horns or woken up by them, feel free to blame me!

I have also become very involved as a basketball referee within our intramural program. I have always been very passionate about sports and I have now found a new love for officiating a sport I truly enjoy. I am actually a licensed official for the Indiana High School Athletic Association and I have worked games at the varsity level.

Well I think that's the basics about me so I won't make you read any more.

Have a great day!

Hi everyone! My name is Jamie Hans and I am a sophomore studying Plant Genetics, Breeding, and Biotechnology. I have been an Agronomy Ambassador since March of 2013 and love getting the opportunities to network with others about what agronomy is and what we do. I am from the Fishers/Noblesville area here in Indiana, so I do not come from a farming or agriculture background. I was a four year FFA member and a ten year 4-H member. Those two clubs are what really got me involved in agriculture and made me want to pursue a career in it. Since coming to Purdue, I have gotten really involved in the Agronomy Club, where I am also an officer. This past summer (2013) I interned for one of the agronomy professors, Eileen Kladivko, and really enjoyed learning more about soil and cover crops from more of a farming perspective, which I had not had before. This coming summer (2014) I am looking forward to my internship with Pioneer in Maize Product Development. If you have any questions that you would like to ask me, my email is