Eastern’s Agriculture program experiences growth with new offerings
WILBURTON, OK (June 22, 2020) – Eastern Oklahoma State College’s Agriculture program is experiencing enrollment growth with the addition of new offerings under the leadership of first-year Dean Larriann Livingston.
An Eastern alumna, Livingston returned to the college in 2018 to teach agronomy and coach the Soils Judging Team. She became the dean of the Agriculture Division for the 2019-20 academic year and is the first female to assume the leadership role. During that time, she has developed plans to introduce new program offerings and grow enrollment.
“We are constantly reviewing programs and adjusting them to evolve with our always changing times,” Livingston said. “Along with our 40 returning sophomores, we are bringing in 70 new freshman this fall. This will be the first time in more than 10 years that the Agriculture Division will have more than 100 students in the program. We are excited to see what next year holds.”
Dr. Janet Wansick, who will begin her tenure as president on July 1, said she has been impressed with Livingston’s approach to growing the program.
“We appreciate the vision Larriann has developed for the Agriculture Division and her efforts to expand and modify the offerings to meet the demand of students. The college has provided funds for the startup of the Shooting Sports Team and other initiatives to support her efforts,” Wansick said. “Eastern’s Ag program will provide students with an opportunity to study innovative courses and receive the hands-on training and education to be successful in a variety of agriculture-related industries.”
The newest addition to the Agriculture program is a competitive shooting sports team. Livingston said 12 students have accepted scholarships to compete this year and she anticipates bringing in 15 to 20 freshmen each year as the program grows. Coached by Tishina Mindemann, the Shooting Sports Team will participate in trap, skeet, sporting clays and super sporting clays and is expected to compete in five national tournaments during the academic year.
Livingston said she and her faculty have also been working with Oklahoma State University to revamp the Meat Processing and Food Safety program to add an increased focus of food science. She feels this will broaden the curriculum and help meet the industry workforce demands. Along with the changes in the program, Eastern’s Meats Judging Team is also returning this fall. Eastern alumnus Logan Rea will be the instructor and coach for the program.
Eastern’s innovative Ranch Management-Stocker Operations degree is also expecting an increase in students this fall. Livingston said students in the program not only learn the basics of stocker operations, but they also have the opportunity to have part ownership of the cattle to generate revenue that can be used toward college tuition. Students work closely with instructors and professional ranchers to learn how to operate a small business, maintain the financial, operational, production and employment records, and train and supervise employees.
Next year, Eastern will also have 33 members on the Livestock Judging Team, 11 students on the Soils Judging Team, as well as several students competing on the Horticulture Judging, Crops Judging, and Agribusiness Management Teams.
“Students on our competitive teams have the opportunity to travel across the nation, make connections with leaders in the industry and represent the college,” Livingston said. “Eastern’s agriculture teams have a long history of success and we look forward to continuing that tradition into the future.”
For more information on Eastern’s Agriculture programs, contact Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-465-1727.