For the last year I have had the privilege of serving as the President of this fantastic organization. What started as group of friends around a meeting table at the local bistro just a few years ago has grown into a diverse team of young men and women who come together to accomplish so many wonderful things. I have learned so much from working with my peers in this amazing, 100% volunteer organization, and I am now honored to be stepping down from an active leadership role in the group and passing the torch to an excellent executive officer team.
I cannot thank the group members and the 2013 executive officer team enough for all their hard work over the last year. Below are a few bullet points on just *some* of the outstanding things the group has accomplished:
- The group has to date raised nearly $150,000, mostly through generous private donations, to fund one of our activities, the Upson Lecture Series at Kansas State University. There is still work to be done however, to meet our goal of $250,000 to complete the endowment and ensure the long-term sustainability of the lectureship. I am confident that the new leaders, along with our faculty advisers, Drs. Dan Thomson and Don Boggs can and will accomplish this goal in the near future, cementing and honoring Dr. Upson's lifelong commitment and passion for educating K-State students and the community.
- The group hosted two extremely successful Upson Lectures led by outgoing ULS Chair, Lacey Robinson, in the Spring and Fall of 2013, by Rachel Ramsey-Cruze and Dr. Jude Capper, respectively.
- The group has recently partnered with K-State's PowercatPR chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, led by outgoing Communications Chair, Cassie Kniebel, to aid in managing communications, design, and event planning for the group's effort while also providing an avenue to actively engage a group of future influential peers and share experiences about agriculture.
- The Outreach committee, led by outgoing and incoming chairman, Jacob Hagenmaier, has engaged a group of students at the University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City and has begun initial plans and feasibility assessments for a Joint Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance to take place in the Kansas City area which will target human & veterinary medicine and agricultural students at the state's two top universities. While the conference hopes to bring to light and discuss an important and inherently controversial topic among parties from human medicine, veterinary medicine and agriculture, it will also provide a novel and dynamic venue for communication and networking among groups of students that is not provided anywhere else.
- Food For Thought, led by logistics chairman Kiah Gourley, partnered with the Kansas Soybean Association and the Kansas Pork Association to help plan and execute an outreach event at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, in February. The event provided hundreds of primarily urban JCCC students information and education of how pork and soybeans are produced and the importance of the two industries to one another, family farmers, and the consumer. The JCCC culinary program also participated in the event, providing a bountiful supply of everyone's favorite meat candy, BACON!
- Perhaps most important of all for the future success and sustainability of the group, new members abound in the roster thanks to the tireless recruiting efforts and activities of outgoing Membership chairman, Alex Moran.
President: Hyatt Frobose
Hyatt was born and raised on a diversified livestock and cropping operation in Pemberville, Ohio, and is currently a 2nd year PhD student at K-state focusing on Swine Management and Nutrition. Hyatt serves as the head coach of the KSU Meat Animal Evaluation Team and assistant coach to the KSU Livestock Judging Team. As a founding member of Food For Thought, he is excited to continue our mission of bridging the gap between production agriculture and the end consumer. The group is currently engaged in multiple outreach and agricultural advocacy programs, and will continue to serve as a conduit for increased awareness about modern food production.
Logistics Chair: Tonia Traas
Tonia grew up in Waunakee, a small town in Wisconsin and attended University of Wisconsin-Madison where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. She is currently a second-year veterinary student at Kansas State University interested in a career in beef production medicine. Although not from a farming family, she worked on a dairy farm during her undergraduate years which only fueled her desire to work in agriculture. Tonia has a great amount of respect and passion for the agriculture industry and is excited to be a part of the Food for Thought team!
Communications Chair: Brandi Buzzard-Frobose
Brandi Buzzard Frobose is a native of Colony, KS where she grew up rodeoing and showing livestock with her family. She attended Kansas State University where she earned her B.S. in Animal Sciences and Agriculture Economics and her M.S. in Animal Behavior, Well-Being and Health. Currently, Brandi is the Manager of Issues Communication for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Outside of her professional interests she enjoys spending time with her husband and family, rodeoing, K-State sports, working on the farm and globetrotting. Her goals going forward include increasing the number of monthly blog posts and taking reader requests for blog content.
Upson Lecture Chair: Kiah Gourley
Kiah is a junior in Animal Science and an Oregon pig farm is where she calls home. She has plans to attend graduate school for swine nutrition once she graduates. Kiah is currently on the livestock judging team and enjoys traveling with them to see the many different areas involved in agriculture. She loves speaking on behalf of Ag to show transparency within the industry that feeds us all.
Membership Chair: Karly Frederick
Karly is a freshman in Ag-Business with a minor in Leadership from Alden, KS and grew up on a farming and custom harvesting operation. She serves as an Ag Ambassador for the College of Agriculture and enjoys promoting all things K-State and Agriculture. As the new Membership chair for Food For Thought, she hopes to recruit new members from diverse backgrounds and interests. She looks forward to working with FFT in the next year and helping to educate others about where their food comes from.
Outreach Chair: Jacob Hagenmaier
Jacob is a second year veterinary student at Kansas State University, with an emphasis on Beef Production Medicine. He grew up on a commercial cow-calf/backgrounding operation in the Flint Hills of Northeast Kansas that sits on the homestead originally settled by ancestors from Germany. Jacob developed a passion for agriculture at a very young age. He was very involved in activities such as 4-H and FFA while growing up. His love for the beef industry and agriculture in general has led him to veterinary school. Jacob’s career goal is to obtain a position within the animal health sector that allows him to work among the different segments of beef production and help producers continue to meet the demands of a growing world population. He hopes to find a position that fulfills this desire that is close to home and will allow him to stay involved with the family operation. He enjoys being a member of Food For Thought because of the ability of the group to work together and looks forward to contributing to the group’s mission to educate consumers that are removed from the farm.
It's plain to see that Food For Thought is in the capable hands of a great group of young leaders that will continue to advance the standard of excellence for the group and the community.
It has been a great pleasure and honor to serve the group.
“In God's wildness lies the hope of the world." - John Muir