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Dean Tom Coon Says Oklahoma State is Working to Attract the Brightest and the Best Young People at OYE to Stillwater

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 05:44:10 CDT

Dean Tom Coon Says Oklahoma State is Working to Attract the Brightest and the Best Young People at OYE to Stillwater

Wednesday was OSU Day at OYE- and the Dean of the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Tom Coon, was right in the middle of the action as students from all across Oklahoma stopped by and got information about some of the key Departments in the College of Ag- including Animal Science, Ag Communications and Leadership, Ag Economics and more.

As the day was winding down, Dean Coon spent a few minutes with Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays talking about the day's events and about the why and how Oklahoma State supports the Oklahoma Youth Expo. (Dean Tom Coon is pictured here from Tuesday night when he participated in the OYE Legislative/Celebrity Showmanship Contest)

Simply put, the Oklahoma Youth Expo is fertile ground for the College of Agriculture at OSU. Dr. Coon told Hays "this is a great venue for us to recruit students" and he adds "it's a really competitive environment- they have a lot of choices of where they can go to college- we want them to come to OSU, especially if they are interested in Agriculture."

It appears that the recruiting efforts by the University at events like the OYE is paying dividends, as the Dean says the recent multi-year trend is for increasing enrollment in the College of Ag- and the early numbers of students enrolling for the fall of 2016 suggests it will be yet another record year of students coming to Stillwater to study agriculture on the campus of Oklahoma State.

Hays and Dr. Coon also talked about the current budget crisis that the state of Oklahoma is facing- and how that is impacting the three legged stool that he oversees- the College of Ag, the Research Stations and the Cooperative Extension Service. Extension and Research have felt the full fury of the budget storm, while the teaching arm of the Division has had some of the pain softened by rising tuitions.

The big worry for the Dean may well be the delays in being able to replace key faculty positions as Professors leave for other opportunities either at other Land Grant schools around the country or into the private sector. The budget problems may mean some of the slots opened by those Professors leaving Stillwater will not be refilled in a timely manner. Dr. Coon says the situation gets more complicated when you have increasing student numbers which raises the question about how you keep the quality of classes being offered world class- and you have enough hours in the day to offer students quality advice as you advise what their "next steps" need to be in their academic journey.

You can hear Ron and Dr. Coon's conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

We are proud to once again have a lot of photos helping show the story of the 2016 Oklahoma Youth Expo. Already posted are more than 1,500 photos from the 2016 OYE, spread out over the entire event- and you can check them out on our FLICKR page that is located here. Exhibitors and their families are welcome to download their favorite pictures from our 2016 OYE Flickr Album.

Our Coverage of the 2016 Oklahoma Youth Expo is a service of ITC Great Plains, Your Energy Superhighway- learn more about this high voltage, transmission only utility and their committment to the communities they serve which is the cornerstone of their business- click here for their website. We also salute the title sponsor of the 2016 OYE, McDonalds- click here to learn more about how McDonalds is a leader in sustainability.


Ron Hays talks with Tom Coon about OSU and the OYE.
right-click to download mp3


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