Ag School: A Day in the Life

Two agriculture school co-eds at Murray State University shoot a day-in-the-life video.

Editor’s Note: We asked Vaughn Reed, a student at Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture, to describe a typical day-in-his-life at the college. Vaughn agreed, and not only wrote the following sketch, but also, along with Claire Crocker, shot some video of activities on campus.

You can see that video below, as well as read Vaughn’s description. Thanks to both Claire and Vaughn, as well as all the other students, alums, professors and administrators that helped us put together this package of insightful stories.

It’s 7:30, as in a.m. The alarm goes off. Snooze. Five minutes later, snooze. Five minutes later, snooze. As just about any college student does, finally, on the fourth ring of the alarm, I roll out of bed. I run through the shower, throw on some clothes, grab my backpack and out the door I go.

As I grab a muffin while walking through Murray State University’s Winslow Dining Hall, I silently thank the farmer who grew each component of it, thank the good Lord for allowing me to wake up and consume it, and together with hundreds of other students, make my way to class.

I begin my morning class load at 8:30 a.m. Computer Applications in Agriculture. In this class, students learn how to use commercial software programs, such as Microsoft Excel, Word, Asset and Powerpoint compute and present information conceived by data and experience in agriculture. At 9:20, I leave Oakley Applied Science hall, and head to the Chemistry building across campus, where I start College Chemistry 2 class.

After two hours of Chemistry [insert words of protest and frustration here], I head back to Oakley, for Agriculture, Food and Rural Law class. Upon the completion of class time, I go back to my room, trade one notebook for another, and head to a lab inside of Oakley to meet with Dr. David Ferguson.  Since my freshman year, I have been assisting Dr. Ferguson with research on how a fungus affects soybeans. For instance, we’ve found a fungus foreign to Western Kentucky, and much of the United States, that is infecting soybeans found in one of MSU’s own fields.

After taking observations of the soybeans we have treated, I drive to the MSU Hutson School of Agriculture Garrett farm, where I meet another student at the bio-burner owned by MSU. We clean out the bin, measure what has been burned, clean out and measure the ash, and set up for the next burn. Our research with the bio-burner is to determine burn rates and ash remains from different sources of fuel, which include sawdust, miscanthus and straw.

I return to campus and help lead a committee meeting with fraternity brothers, as we finish planning our huge fundraising event coming up the following month. By about 9 p.m I head back to my room where I complete my homework, study for a bit and relax.

As I reflect about the day’s activities, I think about what I have accomplished that day. Each and every class I take, every research observation, every meeting, every hour, is to prepare for my future. My future in agriculture.

<< See the full story, “Major Changes: The New Boom in Ag Education”