Meet the Ambassadors
Hi my name is BJ Bender and I am a Senior majoring in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management as well as in Environment and Natural Resources. I have completed my minor in Spanish and am taking my last course through the Honors Program and finishing up my Honors Senior Project, all at the University of Wyoming. I was born and raised in Orange County, California, but I couldn’t be happier living in Wyoming. The amazing array of opportunities and support available at this school, particularly through the College of Ag, make attending college genuinely worthwhile. I love this school and my community of friends and professors I have found here; I call them my “family in Laradise.” I am also involved in a couple of clubs including the Student Range Club, Sigma Delta Pi, The Ranch Horse Team, Cowboy Country Swing Club, Wyoming Collegiate Cattleman’s Association and The Ag Ambassador Team, of course! These student organizations have helped me make so many friends and have provided me with many fun social and educational events and employment opportunities to attend and participate in throughout the school year. The University of Wyoming and the College of Ag have provided me the opportunity to study and travel to India last winter break- see my blog post about it! This winter I will be traveling to Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia to learn about Rangeland Management, work on some sheep ranches, and practice my in South America. One day I would like to work for the BLM or another resource management agency so I can use all I have learned in Range and ENR. I love Wyoming so much and I plan to keep working and living in the state after I graduate.
Hi there, I am Rael Otuya, an international student from Kenya. I am a junior majoring in agroecology, Plant Sciences Department, College of Agriculture, at our prestigious University of Wyoming. I officially joined the Student Ambassador team in 2015, nevertheless I have always been an “Ag ambassador” from the very time I joined this community. I am also a senator for the College of Agriculture in the student government, Associated Students of the University of Wyoming (ASUW). I am part and parcel of Agriculture Community Resource for Everyday Sustainability (ACRES Student Farm). I have served on the University of Wyoming College Women Student Leaders.
My passion in Agriculture developed as grandmother and I toiled in the red degraded, ferralsols in the hot tropical sun and harvest very little in return, hardly enough to feed the family. As a child, I decided when I grow up, I would pursue agriculture and learn ways to “grow the soil” while growing food. Rapid population growth, increasing demand for food with an increasing pressure on land, water, and energy, coupled with climate change and its effects further drove me to seeking agricultural ways that would maximize productivity with limited resources while conserving the environment, I have found Agrocelogy to be an alternative farming system that can meet the above.
Hi! My name is Jessica Windh and I am a senior here at the University of Wyoming. I am majoring in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management with a minor in Ag Economics. I grew up in Reedley, California, where my family grows grapes and citrus, and moved to Laramie in 2014- transferring to UW from Fresno State. I am an active member of the Range Club and have been working with Ecosystem Science and Management professor and Extension specialist, Dr. Derek Scasta, doing research projects, the first of which was published in the October 2015 Rangelands Journal. When I’m not at school or work, I enjoy spending time with my dogs (Dodger and Delta), hunting, and adventuring! My goal after graduation is to go on to graduate school and do research on how to improve agricultural production for the future, especially as we face challenges such as climate change and feeding a growing population. I am proud to be an Ambassador for the College of Ag because I believe it is important for everyone to realize how important agriculture is to our society and how our students are going to help shape the future!
Hi! My name is Katie Jacobs. I am a junior in Dietetics program within the Family and Consumer Sciences major and love it! I am passionate about helping people any way that I can, especially through nutrition therapy and education. The College of Agriculture has been the most welcoming and helpful place throughout my college career and I will always be grateful for their support in all my endeavors. I grew up in Wyoming and enjoy camping, fishing, kayaking, skiing, and being in the great outdoors, which we have a lot of here! I am the treasurer of the Student Dietetic Association and vice president of the Family and Consumer Sciences honorary, Phi Upsilon Omicron. These clubs, as well as involvement with Ag Ambassadors, gives me a sense of community and really makes Laramie and the University of Wyoming feel like home.
Welcome! My name is Emilee Brinton and I am a Senior here at the University of Wyoming. I am majoring in Animal and Veterinary Sciences on the Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Communications tracks. I plan to attend veterinary school and would love to work in global veterinary medicine, helping to establish sustainable agriculture in impoverished countries, before settling down into a private food animal practice. I grew up on a small farm in Newnan, Georgia, but have quickly fallen in love with everything about the great state of Wyoming! I have worked at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory in the Necropsy department for three and a half years and am very thankful for the experiences this job provides. I love living life to the fullest and stay busy with classes, work, several of the organizations offered at the University of Wyoming, as well as being actively involved with a local campus ministry. Whenever possible, I enjoy spending my time outdoors, whether it’s riding, shooting, camping, bouldering, or fly-fishing.
My name is Jake Chaloupka and this is my first year as an Ag Ambassador. I am a Junior studying animal and veterinary science. After I graduate I plan to go to vet school. I am from St. Charles Illinois. I enjoy spending a lot of time outside. My favorite things to do are to go hiking, play volleyball or go skiing.
Hi my name is Bailie Dannels and I am a Junior here at the University of Wyoming. I am majoring in Family Consumer Sciences with a focus on Textiles and Merchandising with a minor in Interior Design. I was born and raised in the town of Sheridan, Wyoming. Agriculture has been a large part of my life since I was young. My dad is an Ag equipment mechanic and I have helped him in the shop and out in field from a very young age. During the summers I work for the Sheridan County Weed and Pest Council as a right of way sprayer on county roads. Currently I live here on campus and am an active member of the Chi Omega sorority which keeps me very active in and around the Laramie community. I am excited for the opportunities that come with being an Ambassador and representing the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources!
Hello! My name is Nika Martin and I am a Senior majoring in Animal and Veterinarian Sciences with a Pre-Vet option. I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming and have grown to love the cold and open skies of WY. I have applied to attend vet school in the year of 2016 and am currently waiting to hear back from several vet schools. Currently I work at Gem City Veterinarian Clinic as a technician. I spend time volunteering for Black Dog Animal Rescue, and am a part of the UW Pre-Vet club as well. When time allows, I love camping or hiking in the many places near Laramie. I currently am chairwoman for the Ag-ambassadors, please contact me with any questions you may have.
Hello, my name is Kailin Ann McClung but I mostly go by KK. I am originally from Big Springs, Nebraska which I believe has a population of around 450 people in total. Growing up on my family’s farm was a blessing and will always be the reason that agriculture is so near to my heart. I am a Junior this year at the University of Wyoming, majoring in Human Nutrition and Food. My goal is to become a registered Dietitian. I chose this major because I have a passion for health and nutrition and I love to help others. Currently I am living on campus in my sorority Delta Delta Delta. I am very active on campus and in the Laramie community which always keeps me busy. One fun fact about me is that I love to travel and have already studied abroad twice. I also love meeting new people and answering many questions about the College of Agriculture and Nature Resources!
Hello! My name is Rachel Purdy, and I am studying Agricultural Business with a double minor in International Business and International Relations/Comparative Government. I come from the small town of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. I served as a member of the 2015 National Beef Ambassador Team. On campus, I am involved with the Wyoming Collegiate Cattle Association and serve as a senator for the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming. After I finish school, I plan on pursuing a career in international agricultural policy. While at UW, I have been able to study abroad to France with the College of Agriculture and Nature Resources. This college has given me many great opportunities to expand my horizons and give back!
Hi, my name is Emily Sikorski, and this is my second year at UW. My major is Agricultural Business with a concentration in International Agriculture. My passions include cooking, baking, and traveling, all of which I got to enjoy this summer when I studied traditional food and agriculture in a rural village in Yucatán, México. In addition to Ag Ambassadors, I also enjoy being a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. I feel so fortunate to have the privilege of serving as an Ag Ambassador, and cannot wait to see what opportunities it brings, as this is my first year as an ambassador.
Hi! My name is Callie Wilson, I’m entering my Senior year here at UW majoring in Microbiology. I grew up in Baggs, Wyoming where I spent my time playing basketball, volleyball, running track, and being an active member of my 4-H club and FFA chapter. My experiences in agriculture have shaped my work ethic and leadership skills. I’m very active on campus, including being in an honorary and being a Resident Assistant in the residence halls. In my spare time I love to fly fish, cook, and travel. I’m honored to serve the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources as an Ambassador, by being a voice for the students and sharing the agricultural way of life.
Hello! My name is Michelle Bartlett. I am a senior here at the University of Wyoming studying Agricultural Business with a concentration in Farm and Ranch Management, as well as I am in the honors program. I was born and raised in Parker, CO. I am very active here on campus. In addition to being an Ag Ambassador, I am a resident assistant in the residence halls, a part of the Wyoming Honors Organization, and am an avid member of Cowboy Country Swing Club. In my spare time, I enjoy being in the great outdoors, swing dancing, and playing with my four dogs. After I graduate, I hope to work for a year and then return to UW for grad school. This is my first year as an Ag Ambassador. I am honored to represent the College of Agriculture, as it has done so much for me and my education the past three years!
My name is Jemma Woods, and I am from Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am an Agroecology major and I hope to minor in Horticulture and Botany. I started off my college career at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, where I was originally an education major. Then I got a summer job working for the City of Cheyenne in the Urban Forestry Department and decided to change my major to Agroecology when I transferred to The University of Wyoming that fall. This is my second year at U.W. and I love it! It is wonderful having the opportunity to be a part of the College of Agriculture and I really enjoy being in Laramie because it is such a neat town with a strong sense of community.
Marc Anthony wrote “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This has inspired me to pursue a dual degree in Agricultural Communication and Business Administration. I am in my third year here at the University of Wyoming and in my first year as an Ag Ambassador. Aside from the Ag Ambassador team, I also have served as an ASUW Senator representing the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the past two years, was a member of the 2014 Women’s Leadership of the University of Wyoming planning committee, and have been involved in the American Marketing Association. I grew up in a ranching family here in Wyoming, with a 4th generation ranch near Lusk, Wyoming. I graduated from Tongue River High School in Dayton, Wyoming in 2013 beneath the beautiful Big Horn Mountains, but the Snowy Mountain range has certainly grown on me during my time here. I am very excited to be a part of the Ag Ambassador team and am passionate about advocating for the agricultural industry.
Hey! My name is Laura Fereday. This is my first year as an Ag ambassador. I am studying Ag Business here at the University of Wyoming and I love it! I grew up in a farming and ranching community in Utah before I moved to Estes Park, Colorado, where there is no Ag, that was a huge culture shock to me, which really made me see the importance of it. I grew up around horses and have competed on them since I was 6 years old from paints to hunter jumpers. I am the treasurer on the Equestrian Team and find myself at the barn with my 2 horses all of the time. Laramie is a great place to live, especially because there is something for everyone. I love this town and this school! The classes that I have taken are all applicable and really help further my knowledge. All in all its a great place to be with great people.
Hi I am Megan Weisensee and I’m from the small town of Deer Trail, Colorado. I am a Senior studying Animal and Veterinary Sciences here at the University of Wyoming. I recently applied to veterinary school and hope to practice food animal medicine. My family owns a farming and ranching operation, and I have been raised in agriculture my entire life. I am a member and former officer of the Pre-Vet club and have immensely enjoyed my last three years here at UW. Being an Ag Ambassador allows me to promote the way of life I know and love, and being involved in the agriculture industry has afforded me many great opportunities to get involved and give back!
Hello, I’m Jacob and I’m from Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am honored to become a member of the Ag Ambassadors at the University of Wyoming, and look forward to representing the College of Ag. Our unique college offers diverse majors, and it will be great to meet and work with students from other walks of life and interests as an ambassador. My major is Molecular Biology. After college I plan on continuing on to medical school, but before that I hope to study abroad. I am grateful for all the opportunities provided to me by the college of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UW.