Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring Break 2017

The land of fine cheese, pasta, and wine is where I got to spend my spring break. Going to Italy was not something that I had really ever thought too hard on, but when the opportunity to go fell into my lap, I couldn't say no. I wouldn't say I'm a real history buff but I am always in awe of the relics of past civilizations, and Italy is full of them. It was incredible to eat delicious food and enjoy a few glasses of the (cheapest) fine Italian wines, but the history that is scattered throughout the countryside and it the cities was by far the neatest part of the trip. 
We started our week in a small city called Parma. Parma is not to terribly different than a small American city, so as beautiful as it was, I was ready to see bigger things after our two day stay. Next we went to Florence. Here we ate way too much gelato, climbed the stairs of the church to the top of its dome, and went to see David. The cobblestone roads were impossible to walk on, but made for a really scenic city. 
Our last stop was Rome. It's a HUGE city that is loud and busy, but in the midst of all of the chaos there are the Roman ruins. Everywhere you looked there were more and more. It's incredible to think that those things had been standing for so stinkin' long. We got to walk on an old Roman road, see where Julius Ceaser was killed, and even got to walk around the Coliseum. How can all of it still be standing? The whole trip I was baffled by what we were seeing. 

Along the way we stopped at a few food processing factories (study abroad right?) to learn about all of the special regulations that the country has in place that makes their food so unique and delicious. The trip was really incredible and I tossed my coins in the Trevi Fountain so I'll have to make my way back someday!

 Enjoy this random conglomeration of photos :)
Until next time,

Shelby Sigman

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Semester in New Zealand

Greetings from New Zealand everyone!

This semester I decided to study abroad through a Purdue exchange program at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. I am going to share with you some of my experiences and what it is like living in another country. My adventure begins in early February when I got on a plane and left the US for the first time in my life. When I arrived in New Zealand I was able to tour around the North Island with some Purdue students and after a week on the road settled into Massey. With schoolwork taking up most of my weekdays I traveled around during weekends with friends I met from all over the world. Below are some pictures highlighting the places I have been.

Redwood Forest in Rotorua

Massey University Alpine Club from the Bell Rock lookout

Last weekend we climbed Mt Ngauruhoe (aka Mt. Doom).
This hike was the most physically challenging thing I have done to date.

Boiler Up! On the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Visited the Hobbiton Movie set from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Films. 

New Zealand agronomy is quite different than what agronomy is back in the states. The concepts are the same but they focus pretty much completely on forage and pasture production rather than crop production. Both the sheep and dairy industries are huge here in New Zealand as they export lots of lamb and milk powder to many parts of Asia and the Pacific south. The cows and sheep are sustained through pasture grazing which differs completely from the States. Everywhere you drive you can view sheep grazing on the hillsides and the beautiful green pastures, as seen below, are evident through most of New Zealand. The hardest things to get used to in New Zealand for me were driving on the opposite side of the road and all of the slang words the kiwi's use. The Kiwi people are very accommodating and do not shy away from helping an international student out. 

The land divided at cloud level on the summit of Mt. Tauhara in Taupo, NZ. 

I have been in New Zealand for almost 2 months and I can agree with why so many people call New Zealand the most beautiful country in the world! In 2 weeks time, I will be traveling around the south island during a two-week Easter break. If you are contemplating studying abroad or want to learn more, the college of agriculture has a wonderful study abroad office that can give you so many resources to help you fulfill your dreams. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at:


Andrew Chupp

Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring is FINALLY coming! We keep getting tricked with days full of sunshine and 70, followed by days where scarves, hats, and coats are required! I just thought I would give a little insight on what it looks like to be ALMOST graduated! Things are fun to say the least. Classes are enjoyable, free time on campus is precious and such a good time with friends before we all part ways. My weekends have included watching a Pacers game in a suite, trips to visit family while I have that extra free time, lazy Sundays with my roommates, and honestly a lot of Netflix between study sessions. Another part of several seniors lives, is what is coming soon. For some of us, that means getting married to a fellow Purdue University College of Agriculture graduate. I am quickly approaching my own wedding date. My friends from college threw my fiancé and I a lovely shower with lots of friends and fun times! 

Us seniors have been getting emails consistently about the graduation ceremony. Commencement here is split up into divisions by colleges. College of Agriculture this May is in the 4th division, so we walk the stage Saturday afternoon. Seniors get 4 tickets for guests to attend the ceremony and we have been reserving those as well as our caps and gowns. This seems to make it more real that I will be a Purdue Alumni in only three months!!! 
Looking back, I am more grateful than I could express for the experiences that Purdue has given me. I have made life long friends, lasting memories, earned a degree, and grown as an individual in many ways. For all of you perspective boilermakers, I hope you take my words of wisdom from a graduating senior. Purdue will provide more opportunities than you can imagine, the four years you spend here will create a future you can't wait to start! I am so excited for y'all to start this journey as a boiler in 2017. Y'all have big shoes to fill on campus, this class has been legendary! 

Until next time, 
Christy Kettler 

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Hello all,

I just wanted to talk a little about some opportunities I have had from being a part of Agronomy club here at Purdue University.  One opportunity that I am very fortunate I have been able to be a part of are the regional and national SASES meetings.  The national SASES meeting is held every fall and gives you an opportunity to compete with other agronomy students all around the country.  Some events that you can participate in are crops judging, visual presentation, speech contest, and many more.  Then the regional meeting is held every spring and is more of a laid back and fun event.  There are different speakers and tours that you can go on as well as different social events which allow you to get to know other students at different colleges all around the United States.  I have been to Lubbock Texas for a regional meeting and then Phoenix, Arizona for the national meeting where I competed in crops judging and the visual presentation.  Coming up in a month or so will be the regional meeting and will be held in South Dakota on South Dakota States campus.  Below are a few pictures of the previous meetings I attended.  The first being a picture of a cotton field from a farmer's farm in Phoenix, Arizona.  Then the next one is me standing in front of part of Texas Tech's campus in Lubbock, Texas.  And finally is me in Arizona just doing some exploring in Phoenix..

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Senior Year is Almost Over...wait what?

Hello Everyone!!

Wow. I cannot believe that I only have 7-weeks left until graduation! Senior year has been a crazy whirl-wind for me, but I have got to take part is some incredible opportunities and experiences.

Over the past 2 years, I have been working on an undergraduate research project comparing the prey base of eastern hellbenders across 3 streams. The eastern hellbender is the largest salamander in North America and endangered in the state of Indiana. Over the past summer I collected macroinvertebrate and crayfish samples from the Blue River, IN, Indian Creek, IN, and Toccoa River, GA. I identified over 15,000 macroinvertebrates to order over the past several months and spent 378 hours in the lab on my project. I just finished running my statistics last week before leaving for Cuba on a Mission Trip with St. Thomas Aquinas. Cuba was a breath of fresh air and I got to meet some incredible people who greatly impacted my life.

Mission Trip in Cuba with St. Thomas Aquinas. 

This weekend I will be presenting my research at the Indiana Academy of Science Conference at the J. W. Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. I found significant results in my data that will help with advance hellbender conservation in the state of Indiana and I am excited to present my findings professionally.

Me working in the lab on my project. 

I will be forever grateful for the opportunities that I have gotten thanks to being a Boilermaker. 
Hail Purdue,

Veronica Yager
Natural Resources and Environmental Science

Monday, March 20, 2017

First Day of Spring!

Hello Everyone!

Welcome back from Spring Break to all the Purdue Students out there! And a happy first day of spring! It has been a whirlwind of a spring semester, and this spring break was no exception! Some friends and I traveled down to Kentucky Lake for the latter half of the week and spent our time hiking the beautiful trails. We even made it to Nashville, Tennessee for a day, which was probably one of my favorite adventures from the past week. I was able to tour the majority of the downtown area and see the Ryman, the Johnny Cash Museum, and the old saloons. We spent the majority of the morning in the Country Music Hall of Fame, which was an incredible experience! All of this wouldn’t have been as fun if I hadn’t met my friends at Purdue!

To all of the new and prospective students out there trying to decide the best school for you, I know you are going to make the right choice! As a second-generation Boilermaker, I can only tell you that Purdue Agronomy and NRES is a great place to go to school and earn your degree(s). However, there are a lot of other great schools and programs that might fit your needs as a student better. The Purdue Agronomy Department has been very helpful and answered all my questions. My advisors have been there every step of the way and have been beyond helpful. I have been blessed to meet so many people here at Purdue that have made my college experience so much more exciting. One thing I wasn’t told enough before I chose a university was to also chose a school that also fulfilled all of the experiences you want to have during this time of your life. Through Purdue’s many clubs, both in and out of my Department and College, I have made many memories and many friends. For all of those thinking about accepting into the Agronomy Department know that we as Ambassadors as well as all the facility and staff are here to help and guide you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me:

Sarah Voglewede
Sophomore in Agronomy: Agronomic Business and Marketing

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Snowy Spring Break

Hello from Home!

Now that the rush of projects and exams are over, spring break is finally here! I thought I would just be home with my family and enjoy some down-time maybe playing basketball and grilling out. That was, until it started snowing this morning. I honestly was expecting at least some warmer weather that I could spend part of break outside, but one thing Purdue has taught me is to learn and adapt to the situation, especially Indiana weather! I suppose this gives me more time to get projects done ahead of time and plan out my next semester, while catching up on some Netflix.

This is also the time for new and prospective students to start accepting their college offers. Of course as a Purdue Boilermaker I encourage all those students to join our family here at Purdue Agronomy, but I also know there are many great schools out there to choose from and it can be overwhelming. To share a little bit about Purdue agronomy to calm some nerves of future students, I want to share part of my experience. Our department has very caring advisors and professors who truly believe in students' ability and tries to help them at every chance they can. You will never be a stranger in the department because there are plenty of clubs and organizations to join who will welcome you as their own in the first week. These clubs provide friendships, growth opportunities, trips, competitions, and advice to find your career in agronomy. The students and faculty throughout the department will help you find your passion by leading you to one of our many concentrations with many different topics but some including: business and marketing, crop and soil management, and international agronomy.

Image result for purdue Agronomy

As I sit here inside watching snow fall in the middle of March I can't help but think that although our plans don't always work out the way we want them to at that time, our story still turns out with a happy ending if we let it. Not everything at Purdue has gone as planned for me, but I have traveled down a path with something new with every turn and it has made me into a better person. I hope that all potential students out there realize how welcome they are to our department and that all of us are willing to help them find their way down the Purdue path whenever we can. Email me with any questions and I would be happy to help:

Best Wishes,
Dakota Westphal
Agronomic Business & Marketing

Sunday, March 12, 2017

¡Bienvenidos a España!

¡Hola, y bienvenidos a España! Soy Kasha, y actualmente estoy estudiando en Madrid España para este semestre. Madrid es una ciudad buenísima, y recomiendo la ciudad mucho (¡para estudiar o viajar!). De verdad, mi semestre ha sido un poco loco. Mis clases son en español, mis citas con mis coordinadoras son en español, y mis compañeras de cuarta son españoles. ¡Mi español ha mejorado mucho, pero es muy frustrante para no tener las palabras que se quiere! A pesar de que tengo tarea mucho del tiempo, todavía viajo también. He estado en dos palacios (que son magníficos, El Escorial y el Palacio Real de Aranjuez), un alcázar, muchos catedrales e iglesias (¡incluyendo la Sagrada Familia en Barcelona!), un acueducto antiguo en Segovia,  un partido de FC Barcelona, y he visto muchas muchas obras del arte en el Museo del Prado, el Museo de la Reina Sofia, el Museo Sorolla, el Museo Cerralbo, y más. Muchos museos. Todo el tiempo. ¡Pero todo es magnífico! De verdad, es un cambio muy grande y difícil, pero también soy más independiente y confidente, ¡y tengo cuatro meses más para madurar! Es una experiencia inolvidable ya, y no intercambiaría esta experiencia para nada. ¡’al luego!

No worries, if you don’t speak Spanish, I got ya’ covered here! Hello, and welcome to Spain! My name is Kasha, and I’m currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain this semester. Madrid is an incredible city and I definitely recommend the city (whether it’s to travel to or study abroad for!). For real, my semester has been a bit crazy. My classes are in Spanish, my appointments with my advisors are in Spanish, even my roommates are Spanish. My Spanish has improved a lot, but it’s frustrating to not know all the words you want to say! Despite the fact that I do have homework to do much of the time, I still find time to travel. I’ve been to two palaces (and yes, they are amazing, one is El Escorial and the other is el Palacio Real de Aranjuez), an alcazar, many cathedrals and churches (including the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona!), an ancient aqueduct in Segovia, an FC Barcelona game and I’ve seen many many works of art in the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum, the Sorolla Museum, the Cerralbo Museum, and more. So many museums. All the time. Everything is magnificent though! Honestly, study abroad is a difficult and big change, but I’m also already more confident and independent than I was, and I still have four more months to grow! It’s an unforgettable experience already, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Until next time!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Spring Semester!

Hey everyone!

       I hope everyone is doing well and getting through their hard midterms and exams. I don’t know about anyone else but I am ready for a nice long week break from classes. Even though the weather has been getting nicer here in Lafayette as spring approaches us I am excited to get away and spend some time on the beach! The semester has flown by and we are just about half way done with classes. This semester has treated me pretty well so far, I moved into my sorority house, became the historian for the agronomy club and secured my internship for this upcoming summer. After spring break is over I will be counting down the days until summer arrives. I’m looking forward to spending my summer up in Constantine, MI working for Monsanto as a seed production research intern. I hope to gain some great experience and put to use the skills and information I have been learning in my classes here at Purdue. 
       As spring rolls around for seniors in high school, it is time to start making some big decisions on where you want to go to school and spend the next four years of your life. This decision was one of the hardest ones I have ever made especially since choosing Purdue as my new home meant that I was going to be 1,000 miles from my family and friends. But I can say without a doubt that choosing Purdue was one of the best things I have ever done and I encourage everyone to take a tour and reach out to an ambassador to talk about their experience as an Agronomy major at Purdue!

Julia Fibbe
Agronomy: Crop and Soil Management

Sunday, March 5, 2017

G'day from Australia

Desert climate in Queensland
Hello everyone!

Some of you may or may not have noticed that I haven't been around Purdue's campus this semester... that is because I'm currently studying abroad in Australia, and I must say, I have been absolutely loving it!  On top of the fact that I got to avoid the cold, Indiana winter and indulge in the 70 degree F Aussie weather, I have had a fantastic time so far making new friends, exploring the country, and being active in my residence college.

Goondiwindi cotton fields
Currently, I am taking the following classes: genomic analysis and bioinformatics, cotton production,  digital and social media, and ecology of plant populations.  I absolutely love the genomics class, because it's allowed me to get more savvy with the R program many geneticists use to detect QTL's, work on genome wide association studies, etc.  It has also been really interesting learning more about Australian agriculture, and particularly agronomy, in my cotton class.  Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go on a 3-day cotton excursion in Goondiwindi, Queensland, where I learned a lot about their irrigation systems, cotton gins and grading, and what the overall growing season is like.

Cheering on Ablies rugby as
they played against Sydney
Beyond the classroom, I have been extremely involved in St. Albert's residence college.  In Australia, the concept of residence college is a lot different than residence halls in the US.  St. Albert's is very much a social organization, with opportunities to get involved in sports, religious activities, networking with alumni, and of course, academics.  I've had a blast so far, making new friends, cheering on our Albies rugby team, and attending the many social events our college puts on.

All dressed up for Albies Ladies Day

I'm really looking forward to seeing how the rest of my semester goes in Australia, and I can't wait to come back home and share with all my friends and family all that I've learned and the memories I've made.  For now, I have a major ecology essay to write... 📚 "Work hard, play hard," as our Albies Deputy Head, says. 😉

You can also keep up with my Australian adventure at my travel blog: