The 2021-2022 Oklahoma Agriculture Leadership Encounter (OALE) class went on a trip to northwest Oklahoma on Sept. 20-21 to kick off the year-long program.
The 13 OALE students, picked from Oklahoma State, will have the opportunity to visit agriculture companies throughout the state, learn about agriculture at the legislative level and assist at the 2022 Oklahoma Youth Expo.
“The most interesting part of our trip to northwest Oklahoma, for me, was being able to see the huge differences in Oklahoma agriculture,” said Kelsey Vejraska, OALE member and OSU agricultural communications and agribusiness senior. “When most people think of Oklahoma, all they think of is cattle.”
Vejraska said their group is excited to tour the many different facets of the Oklahoma agricultural industry and learn all about the “ins and outs” of what Oklahoma has to offer.
“This exposure allows for a rapid and firsthand learning experience in lots of areas," said Toby Denny, OALE member and OSU agribusiness senior. “I’m really most interested in continuing to build relationships with other individuals devoted to agriculture and its value.”
Denny said the OALE class toured Enid Distillery, a wind farm, J & L Oil Field Services, Rock Creek Brewery, Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma and Buffalo Feeders.
“OALE is really exposing students to a wide range of production agriculture, which helps continue traditions of agricultural life,” said Bobby Marchy, OALE member and OSU agricultural communications senior. “I would say the program is specifically for agriculture OSU juniors and seniors who have excelled academically, invested in leadership roles and have a passion for the industry.”
According to okyouthexpo.com, OALE extends the OSU classroom in a “hands on manner” and members will have the opportunity to gain two credit hours towards an undergraduate degree at OSU.
“OALE is a phenomenal networking opportunity for all members,” Denny said. “On a secondary benefit, it is a way for generations before us to realize that there is still an emphasis on giving back to the agricultural community and continuing the traditions formed long before us.”