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College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 52
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2331
Moscow, ID 83844-2331

Phone: 208-885-6681

Fax: 208-885-6654

Email: ag@uidaho.edu

Location

From the North

Summer Bucket List

During this semester I have had a wonderful time writing the CALS blog. I have been able to meet with some awesome individuals and have been happy to share some helpful tips and experiences with you all. The blog will be on hold during the summer, so I’ll share some fun bucket list ideas to check off during summer break.

One of my favorite things to do over the summer is to attend rodeos. For some, this seems like a given, but many students have never been to one before. There are plenty of rodeos throughout Idaho during the summer, but one of my favorites is the Caldwell Night Rodeo. Although it is later in the summer, it is still a blast to attend. There are also ones coming up soon like the Riggings Rodeo this weekend. Many students from the University of Idaho go to this and it's always a good time, especially when you are joined by your friends.

An area that I would encourage students to visit would be McCall, specifically during the 4th of July. I have been going to McCall almost every summer and love the fireworks show that they put on. Each year the fireworks show seems to get bigger and bigger and is perfect to watch while on the lake or hanging out on the dock or beach. It is a busy time of year, but I’ve enjoyed going through the different shops downtown and getting a huge ice cream cone at Ice Cream Alley. Other fun things to do are renting paddle boards, jet skis, or a boat to hang out on the lake. Any of these activities is fun, but especially during the 4th.

If you’re in the Boise area, or take a trip down, a great way to enjoy your day is by floating the Boise River. You can buy your own tubes or rent them and relax for a few hours on the water. I would recommend a heavy-duty tube, due to brush and sticks that may pop a conventional innertube. The river is fairly slow but is just right to relax and be with friends. You can get out at small beaches to eat a packed lunch or go all the way through and grab a bite to eat later. I have had a great time floating the river and would encourage you and your family to do it together.

Boise also has a lot of other sites to see, such as Table Rock and Freak Alley. For Boise residents these are very familiar, but for those who don’t live around the area, these could be some places you may want to check out. Table Rock is a 3.7-mile hike located a short drive from Boise. Once you’ve reached the top, you get to see a great view filled with trees and is even better during sunset or sunrise. When going back downtown, many visitors like to check out Freak Alley, which showcases local artists who have used different mediums to decorate an alley. I always find it amazing to see what people can create and think everyone else can appreciate the beauty of it too.

Another family-oriented event I would recommend would be booking a whitewater rafting trip. I have done many of these in Riggings with my family, but you can travel further as well. For students that may be in the north Idaho area for the summer, rafting trips in Montana may be a closer option. Last summer, I went on a rafting trip in Montana with Pangea River Rafting and had a blast. The drive from Coeur d’Alene is about three hours and is nice to take a little road trip out of the area. The guide was very friendly and made us feel safe, while still having fun. This is a fun activity, no matter where it is done or who you’re with.

One of my favorite ideas is to take a road trip to a different state and go sightseeing. This could involve going to Lagoon in Utah, or even attend some of the music festivals that are close. There are tons of national parks and beautiful hikes to see nearby, so those are always options as well. I love taking road trips to visit hot springs and setting up a campsite for a bit so I can relax and enjoy nature for a while. These are all great options to look into if you want to get out of your hometown for a bit.

There are a multitude of activities to do during the summer, and I hope these give you some ideas. Once again, I have learned a lot and enjoyed my time writing for CALS this semester and cannot wait to bring you all more information regarding CALS and the University of Idaho next semester.

A photo of McCall, ID, hotel and street.
McCall is a great place to visit in the summer for a variety of activities, especially during the 4th of July celebrations.
People walking by wall of graffiti.
If you’re in Boise this summer, be sure to stop by Freak Alley to check out local artwork.
A group of people next to river and rafts.
Whether it’s the Salmon River, Boise River or someplace out-of-state, rafting is always a great summer activity.
Mia Stender
Blogger Mia Stender

Welcome to From the North!

Hello everyone, I am Mia Stender, an Idaho native and currently a junior at the University of Idaho. I grew up in a small town in southern Idaho and owned a little cattle ranch with my dad. I am not a conventional ag student, like growing up on a farm, yet I really valued my time in FFA and agriculture classes throughout high school. I had an outstanding ag teacher who threw me into every opportunity possible and I wouldn’t have gotten this far without him. Given that I had many agricultural experiences in high school, it only seemed right that I devote more time to it in the future.

I am majoring in agriculture education and have a passion for all different features of ag and connecting with students of all different backgrounds. The U of I has some of the best courses I have ever taken, and I truly believe the university will help model me into the same type of ag teacher that I had in high school. Being an agriculture education major, I get to learn a little bit about each type of industry and have a desire to continue to learn more. I hope to give students the knowledge to enter an agriculture field and show them just how essential ag really is. This is one of the reasons why I still participate in Collegiate FFA events and try to hang out with members of my cohort who value teaching students about the importance of agriculture.

Besides agriculture, I also enjoy a variety of other things. Since coming to college, I have developed a joy for cooking, even though I am one of the pickiest eaters ever. I love to travel and see new places. Since moving up to Moscow, I have been able to visit so many different locations in northern Idaho and surrounding areas, my favorites being Post Falls for the nature, and Leavenworth, Washington for the rich culture. In addition, I have a huge passion for the sorority I am a part of, Pi Beta Phi, which has given me a multitude of opportunities throughout my college career.

That being said, From the North will mainly be about the variety of opportunities the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences provides for students at the university. It will also give lots of insight about what to expect from the University of Idaho and all the things Moscow can offer students in their years here. This is a way to see the University of Idaho through my eyes, and for me to be able to capture some of the best aspects of life here. I hope to give students a blog that they may find relatable and may find some help or inspiration from. If you’re interested in the university, agriculture or how to enhance life as a student, come back every Friday to learn more about my experiences and thoughts at the University of Idaho.

Why you should attend the Career Fair

Along with all the other great opportunities that the university has to offer, the spring Career Fair is right around the corner. Coming up on Feb. 9, the University of Idaho will have hundreds of employers on campus to speak with students seeking jobs and career experience. This year the event will be held in-person with a virtual option. To get a better look into what the Career Fair is all about, I met with a CALS student, Mackie Griggs.

Mackie is a junior majoring in animal and veterinary science: production option and minoring in rangeland ecology and management. Her future plan after graduation is to become a range manager on her family’s ranch in Elko, Nevada, but could be open to other opportunities that may arise. She has been to the Career Fair multiple times and has gained valuable experience to apply to her life after college.

If you haven’t been to the Career Fair before, you may not know what to expect. The Career Fair is basically where employers from all different fields come to speak with students about what their businesses do and how they can contribute to the goals of students at the University of Idaho. The main attraction of this event is to land interviews for internships over the summer or a job after you graduate. This, in addition to the CALS Networking Night held the night before the Career Fair, are great ways for students in the college to get a job in their field, network with professionals and apply their knowledge. Some of the big name companies that will be there include: Agri Beef, Simplot, Lamb Weston, Amalgamated Sugar, Northwest Farm Credit Services and many more. There are also many other companies in different lines of work that may interest you as well.

I asked Mackie about all aspects of the Career Fair so students can learn about it from a student’s point of view. If you’re wondering if the career fair is for you, Mackie said that anyone can go. One of her worries the first time she went was that she was too young and wasn’t sure if she would want to take an internship that she might be offered. As a freshman, she was offered to intern at multiple places, even though she told them that she didn’t plan on coming back to work for the company after graduation. If you do intend to go back to the company after an internship, this could be a great way to get to know the business and most importantly, get valuable experience.

Before the Career Fair begins, visit their website to RSVP for the in-person session or the virtual session. Provided on the website is a map to get to the in-person session, which will be held in the Kibbie Dome. There is a link on the same page that takes you to Handshake, where you will be able to see all the employers attending. This is a good thing to take a look at so you can be prepared to meet with businesses that interest you.

Mackie explained to me that, “this is an important event to go to so you get a chance to talk to people who could employ you in the future and also give you experience with a professional setting without having to go into the real-world interview.”

Essentially, the Career Fair makes it easy for students to feel more comfortable, but still get the chance to meet with business professionals. Mackie has been lucky enough to intern with two different companies from the Career Fair. If it weren’t for the Career Fair, Mackie probably wouldn’t have gone out of her way to meet with those companies and probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get a job with them. By doing these internships, she has gotten to travel and spend summers in places she may not have ever visited otherwise. From these employers, she has also been given the option to come back over the summer to work in a different area of her choice, which could be an eye-opening experience.

The last take away about the Career Fair is to come prepared and look professional. When you arrive, employers that you speak with will ask for a resume. If you haven’t had a job or you don’t know how to format it, there are great resources at the university that are free and helpful. You can easily look up a format and enter your information then ask the Writing Center or Career Services on campus to review it for you. Mackie also suggested going to the Vandal Success Center located in the ISUB that specifically designates times to look over resumes before the Career Fair. Lastly, Mackie has highly recommended that you dress for success, and present yourself in business attire to make a good first impression.

All in all, the Career Fair can be a great opportunity for any student of any major. This is a chance for you to network and also get your foot in the door to potentially work with influential employers. By being fully prepared for this event, any student can find success, which is why I would highly suggest going. I encourage you all to go and hopefully have a memorable experience.

Best Places to Eat in Moscow on a Budget

For any college student, sticking to a budget can be difficult, especially when it comes to eating out. I mainly cook my own meals, but I still like to treat myself to a meal or drink that I don’t have to prepare myself. While there are tons of great places to eat in Moscow, some are a little more budget friendly than others. Finding the places that are worth it can be tricky, but as a third-year student, I have found quite a few great deals out there.

One of the first places I would recommend would be the taco truck, Taqueria Las Torres, parked across from Jimmy Johns. This taco truck has a variety of great authentic Mexican food that includes many different types of meats to choose from. They also have some options that would be perfect for those who don’t eat meat. The taco truck does have a large array of meals, but I tend to go for enchiladas or tacos. The best part about this place is that every Tuesday their tacos are $1 each. Each taco has a double tortilla and I like to split the meat into both. So, for the price of one, you get two. Given this, you could get 10 tacos for $5, and even pair it with a delicious Jamaica or horchata drink.

The next place that I would recommend is Slice Taphouse, in downtown Moscow. There is outdoor and indoor seating where you can purchase a whole 18” pizza or buy pizza by the slice. This restaurant has a lot to offer. Not only do they serve pizza, but they also offer ice cream, coffee and over 40 beers on tap. This place is great to go to any time of the year. You can get ice cream in the summer and a warm coffee in the winter. If you keep watch for their events, you could possibly see a live band perform which could be a nice outing for you and a couple friends. My personal favorite part about Slice is that I can go and grab a large slice of pizza without having to break the bank. Since they sell by the slice, sometimes it is hard to get exactly what you want, but if you see that it’s available, I recommend trying the potato bacon ranch pizza. It's a great combination and is definitely a hit.

Even though it's not a restaurant, Gypsy Java is an amazing coffee stand that is cheaper than most. While it’s not as convenient to get to as Red Star or Starbucks, the price is worth it. If you are willing to drive a little farther, or are on your way towards Lewiston, Gypsy Java can make any drink at half the price of its competitors in Moscow. I have only been there a handful of times, but I have never been disappointed. If you swing by, try a chai tea latte with oat milk and extra cinnamon for a little bit of a kick. This is by far my favorite drink and is a nice treat with a dose of caffeine.

Next, I would say that every student should go to Palouse Juice. Palouse Juice is located in the heart of downtown Moscow and has tasty smoothies, juices and acai bowls. They offer many options for drinks, most being very healthy. As most of you know, eating healthier can sometimes be more expensive, but I think you really do get your money’s worth out of what you spend here. You can even purchase a wellness shot, which is good for your immune system and can feel almost cleansing. They offer a punch card, so when you purchase 10 drinks, you get the 11th free. Whether you are just stopping in for a drink or a healthy breakfast, Palouse Juice has a cozy vibe and is somewhere everyone should try at least once.

Lastly, I would like to highlight one of my favorite places to go, Mongolian BBQ. It’s located on the east side of town, next to Safeway. While this restaurant is somewhat small, it is a hidden gem. A lot of people don’t know about it or are scared to try it, but it is well worth it. There is a variety of vegetables, meats and sauces to make a stir fry bowl that can be perfectly curated to your taste. A mistake many people make is not adding enough sauce. Remember that some will get lost in the cooking process. For college students, this place is perfect for leftovers. I never spend more than $12 on a medium bowl and can sometimes make three meals out of one. It is a great place with unique flavor mixtures that can suit anyone's palate.

There are definitely tons of places to eat in Moscow, but these are some of my favorites. They all are fairly budget friendly and can be fun places to go with friends. Going to places that are budget friendly make it so much easier to go out to eat with friends without worrying about paying an arm and a leg. I hope you found out about a new place and try some new foods and drinks.

Tips for Staying Healthy this Year

Every new year, staying healthy tends to be a common goal that many people share. While this is a popular resolution, it is also difficult to keep up with for anyone with a busy schedule, including college students. A lot of people start out strong, but after the first month, sometimes it gets harder, and the goal is soon forgotten. This year, staying healthy is one of my many goals, and I have a few ideas on how to stay consistent and make it easy for anyone else to do, even after a month or two.

Staying active is the first way to work towards a healthy year. If you need to start out small, make sure to walk to class. Many students commute to class, even when they don’t need to. I’m especially guilty of doing this, but I have made it a priority to walk to class after I park near campus. By walking to class, you can get your body moving, without feeling like you’re doing a big workout.

If you would prefer to attend a conventional gym, there are several around Moscow. North Idaho Athletic Club and Anytime Fitness are both gyms that require a membership but offer a smaller gym experience. With the smaller gym experience, it is less likely that you’ll see a ton of people you know, which is a common fear of starting off at the gym. Both of these gyms cost less than $45 for a monthly membership and each offer something unique. Anytime Fitness offers personal trainers, 24-hour access and even tanning. North Idaho Athletic Club offers spin classes, childcare, as well as massage therapy. Each has their perks so be sure to check out each of their websites to see which one would work best for you.

If you’re looking for something a little different, Moscow Yoga Center is also a great gym that offers drop-in classes delivered through Zoom. This could be a perfect option for someone who wants to gain yoga experience, but in the comfort of your own home. They also offer a deal for students that are new to the studio where you can attend unlimited classes for two weeks for only $30.

Lastly, I’d like to mention the Student Recreation Center on the U of I campus, which is free to all students, and has a variety of opportunities. It is right on the outskirts of campus, so it is easily within walking distance to most classes. As a student, something to consider is taking an IFIT class through the university, which will not only keep you accountable, but can also get you credits for a fun class. The Rec Center offers weightlifting, yoga and even rock climbing, so make sure to look for the IFIT classes when registration comes around.

Working out isn’t the only way to stay healthy. Being active and eating healthy work best in conjunction. My biggest tip is to try to not eat out too often. Most fast-food restaurants aren’t the healthiest and you don’t necessarily know what all you’re putting into your body. Eating at home can allow you to eat healthier and save some money.

This year, I am going to try to meal plan, which will help me save time when I have busy days. I have found tons of great meals on various YouTube channels and Pinterest, plenty being for people on a budget which is great for a college student. Sometimes these meals can be repetitive but remember to try different flavors and sauces on the meals to make them less boring. Through much research, I have found that most people suggest picking a day of the week that you can prepare all your meals to have it out of the way. For me, Sunday is my refresher day of the week, so that’s the day I would choose. Also, always remember to not restrict yourself so much that it feels like a chore eating healthy. Junk food and treats are okay in moderation, so allow yourself to stray away from a strict regimen.

Finally, time management is the most important thing to make this goal possible. Many use the excuse that there is no time in the day for going to the gym or meal prepping. If you make a schedule and set aside time for everything you need to get done, you will be able to make this possible. An even better way to stay on top of this is to find someone to do it with. If you have a similar schedule to someone else, you could plan a time to go to the gym together, or even a jog around town. If you live with someone who cares about the food they’re eating, you could plan healthy meals to cook together. Finding friends who can keep you accountable can push you towards a healthy lifestyle in 2022.

So, whenever you’re sitting on your phone or watching TV, remember that there is time to be productive and make good choices towards your health. By adopting even one of the tips I’ve mentioned, you may end up reaching your health goals for the year and creating a lifestyle that you grow to love.

Spring Break Destinations

Spring break is right around the corner and if you haven’t planned a spring break trip yet, there is still time. While I haven’t been to all these locations, I’ve done lots of research to find some places that would be worthwhile to visit. Some are a little more spendy than others, but if you budget well, anything is possible. I have compiled a list of both destinations accessible by plane and by car, so there is a place for everyone. To start off, I’ll highlight some of the locations that are farther away.

The first place I recommend is Key West, Florida. Key West is the southernmost point of Florida and is said to have a great atmosphere. During March, the weather looks to be around 80 degrees, and pure sunshine. Many people take the opportunity to bike around the city. There are plenty of places to rent bikes such as Key West Bicycles, and you can even book tours to bike around with a guide.

With many sites to see, I was intrigued by one specifically. The Key West Ghost Tours includes a trolley ride through town with ghost stories throughout the tour. Key West is said to be haunted and could offer a once in a lifetime supernatural experience.

One of the last things I would like to highlight about Key West are the coral reefs. A very popular activity is to snorkel and see the vast underwater life. By renting a boat tour you can snorkel and see the coral reefs, sunken ships and maybe even watch a sunset while on the ocean.

The next place I recommend is San Diego, California. This location is much closer to Idaho, which could result in a cheaper plane ticket. While the weather may not be as warm as Florida, it is still a great spot to consider visiting. I found one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen, Balboa Park, in San Diego. Within the park, there are several trails, 16 museums and of course, the San Diego Zoo. The buildings in this area have been well preserved and could be a highlight to your day, especially if you love interesting architecture.

Another breathtaking attraction is Sunset Cliffs. This spot is popular for surfing, catching a California sunset and seeing new habitats for oceanic life. I am interested in the cave formations that have taken place here, which isn’t something that I get to see every day. There are several caves along the cliff that offer a new look at the ocean ahead of you.

Last in our destination locations, and my favorite by far, is South Padre Island in Texas. South Padre has great food, views and is a very popular spring break location. I recommend going to Lobo Del Mar Cafe. Not only do they make a large variety of food, including fresh seafood, but they also provide water activities right outside the restaurant. You can get a bite to eat, walk to the dock and get picked up to go parasailing or fishing.

Another attraction that I love is dolphin watching. The Original Dolphin Watch offers tours in the morning, day or even a sunset tour, all at a reasonable cost. Lastly, you should go to Sea Turtle Inc. where there are dozens of rehabilitated sea turtles you can visit. When you go, you can watch an educational video, look at sea turtles of all sizes and even feed them. It's fun to learn about the endangerment of the animals and see how the company nurses them back to health to release them back into the ocean.

If the destination locations are too far out of budget, lucky for you, I have a few ideas of where to visit in a closer proximity. There are plenty of nearby places that you may not even have to stay at all week for spring break. Because these are closer, you could drive to them, or find a cheap plane ticket.

The first place that is a closer option is McCall. I have spent a lot of time in McCall over the years and it can be fun all times of the year. One of my favorite things to do is to go to the ice rink and ice skate. You can rent skates and go during the free skate times, which could be a fun activity to do with friends.

Another option is to drive a little way outside of McCall to all the different hot springs. Trail Creek Hot Springs and Council Mountain Hot Springs both have small pools and require a hike. By doing this, you could get a warm getaway while still in Idaho. With McCall being a vacation town, there are plenty of Airbnb cabins and homes available at affordable prices, especially if you split with friends.

Another Idaho location just a drive away is Sun Valley. Sun Valley is a perfect option for anyone who loves winter activities. If you enjoy snowboarding or skiing, there are two mountains, Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. The mountains have plenty of runs that vary for different skill levels. An interesting thing to do is take a gondola ride to see a view of Bald Mountain. On the way, you can stop at Roadhouse Express and get appetizers, a meal or a warm drink. In addition to many other attractions, you can always spend a little time at the Sun Valley Shopping Center which has tons of shops, including many that aren’t in our area.

Lastly, I would recommend going to Seattle, Washington. Not only is it fairly close to Moscow, but it’s also a city filled with fun things to do for college students. Besides the must-see spots like Pike Place Market, the gum wall and the Space Needle, there are many other attractions. One of the places that stood out to me is the Museum of Pop Culture. Currently they have exhibits about horror films, the creative ways people are changing video games and a prop exhibit straight from Harry Potter.

If you are compelled by history, I found just the place for you. After the Great Seattle Fire, the city was rebuilt and elevated to mitigate flooding. There is a whole underground city which you can take a tour of under Pioneer Square where you will explore store fronts, photos of the old city and learn more about Seattle’s history.

Whether you decide to go home, take a road trip, or fly across the country this spring break, looking into any of the places I mentioned is a great learning opportunity. Each of these cities have something special to offer and would be exciting to visit in the future. All in all, just remember to have a safe spring break and enjoy a little time off from school.

Study Tips

With midterms and exams in general coming up quickly, this week I am offering up some of my most helpful study tips. There are tips that work well for one person but not for another, so I hope to touch on multiple things that could work for anyone. For me, there are four main ideas of what good studying entails, and each can have different benefits.

Don’t cram

The first step should always be giving yourself enough time to study. While some students work well under pressure, you should still invest time into studying before it's 10 p.m. the night before your test. I like to review my study guide and then determine how much I know to decide when to start studying. If I know most of the material, then I can wait a little longer to study, but if I don’t, I’m going to clear out some time to look over the things I don’t know.

A big tip is working through your planner or calendar to see what you have going on a few days before your test. If it is a busy week, you may want to start even earlier and block out certain times of day when you want to dedicate your time to studying. I work best during the day at the beginning of the week, so that is generally the time that I set aside for schoolwork. If you work better at night or in the morning, make a note to yourself and set aside those times for studying.

Take good notes

Taking notes can look different for everyone, but always remember that they should work for you. Some people type their notes, while others write them in a notebook. This is up to preference, but it should be something that makes sense for your learning. If you like to physically write down your notes like me, I recommend using indents and highlighters to make sure your notes look neat and are legible when you go back to look at them. If you really want to have perfect notes, you can type or write your notes in class, then transfer them into another notebook where you can organize your thoughts. This not only makes your notes look nice, but also is a great way to view your notes again.

It’s also helpful to know what type of learner you are. Through many of my education classes, I have learned how each of these learners have preferences to a different type of studying and gaining information. The four types are visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading and writing. So, whether you like to learn through graphs, listening, doing the activity or reading over a textbook, know what works best for you and stick to it.

Utilize your resources

Because I take so much time writing down notes in class, sometimes I forget that there are other resources available. Remember that there are tons of methods to study and explore those available to you. I find it helpful to use a few in conjunction. I like to read over my notes and pick out the most important concepts. I review each of the concepts and find the keywords to make flashcards or a Quizlet of the terms.

A helpful tip for studying for an exam specifically, is reviewing quizzes. Many times, there will be repeat questions or questions that are very similar to the ones on the quizzes. This will also allow you to know the format of your professors' questions.

If you have questions about the content you are studying, make sure to keep those in mind and ask them in class or send an email to your professor for further clarification. This can be scary, especially if you don’t know your professor very well, but their job is to teach you and they are always happy to help their students. Along with general class resources, remember that there are sometimes study sessions held by your professor. If that isn’t enough, some classes have SI-PASS sessions available, which are peer assisted study sessions that allow students to better understand the content of their course.

Designated study space

Lastly, you should try to find an area where you know you can study well. Even though I like to sit on my bed and study, I am much less productive when I do. I often have lots of distractions in my room, so getting out of that space helps me focus. I recommend going to the library; the multiple levels provide different environments. Meeting with a group of people is easy on the bottom floor, because it is set up for collaborative study. I like to have a place that is quiet, which is why I prefer the fourth floor, where it is virtually silent.

To keep on task, I like to put my AirPods in and play lofi hip hop music; there are tons of playlists on any music streaming site. I can’t listen to words while I study because I get distracted, so this is a perfect way to listen to my favorite songs without focusing on the words. Whether you decide the library is a good spot for you to study or not, find a place that you can go to without any distractions.

There are tons of ways to study, but it is very dependent on what works for you individually. Try some different methods now, so you know what works best when it comes time for midterms and finals. Starting early on your study methods will not only help you for your coming tests but will also be useful in the long run for your college career. Even if you’ve been at the University of Idaho for a while, there is always time to change things up and try something different to be more successful.

Surviving Midterms

To add onto last week's blog, this week I will give you some tips on how to survive midterms week. While this can be the same for any time you have an exam, it’s great to take all these things into consideration with midterms being next week.

Destress

Oftentimes, because there is so much going on, we forget to take care of ourselves. There are many ways to destress but some of my favorites include catching up with old friends on the phone, going out to lunch and going outside to get some fresh air. Calling a friend from high school always makes me feel better and gives me a fresh perspective on my day. I also love to go out to lunch on busy days or even order take out. This doesn’t take a ton of time out of your day from studying, and as a plus you can get your favorite meal. Lastly, I always try to get out and get some exercise and fresh air. Even though it is colder outside, this is a great time to bundle up and take a walk down Paradise Path.

Eat well and don't forget to drink water

Even though it is easy to go pick up a quick meal, it is important to keep in mind that you should also fuel your body with foods that are good for you. One tip is to make healthy snacks that are in the “brain food” category. Some of these include nuts, avocados and carrots. These all are cheap foods that increase brain functions. If you aren’t a huge fan of breakfast foods like me, making avocado toast is quick, easy and not too filling. In addition, you should continue to hydrate with water. This will help your body feel good and drinking water is also linked to lowering stress levels.

Keep a positive attitude

Having a positive attitude during tests is essential. I know when I am not confident in myself, I always perform worse on my tests. To help with staying positive, try to be as well prepared for your test as possible. Take a second to also appreciate that the week will be over soon, and you will be able to go on spring break after all your hard work. I always feel better when I get to look forward to something else, so try to think of all the great things that are coming after.

Give yourself a break

During midterms week remember that not every minute of your day has to be productive. If you’ve been studying for hours, give yourself some down time to enjoy your day. Instead of only a break to eat or to go work out, I would recommend an actual break time. This can be to watch some TV, take a nap, or sit on your phone and watch TikTok. These are all activities that are mindless and give you some time to slow down for a bit. For my breaks, I like to catch up with my roommates, watch an episode of our favorite show and eat all the great brain food snacks.

Get enough sleep

The most important thing that can truly make or break your week, is your sleep schedule. Make sure to get enough sleep, but not oversleep. Plenty of people feel the need to wake up early and go to sleep late during this time, because there isn’t enough time in the day. If you ensure that you are prepared beforehand, this makes your life a little easier in terms of not having to study every waking hour of your week. Try setting alarms for when you want to try to head to bed, and when you want to wake up so you can be on a steady schedule.

I hope these tips help you out. Each of these steps can help you move towards successful tests and projects. Keep in mind that midterms are not the end all be all to your grade, so try not to beat yourself up too much. There is still time to get the grade you want, and I wish everyone good luck on your midterm’s week!

Living Off-Campus

Living off-campus is an exciting step for any college student to take. While there are a lot of benefits to living in the dorms, or a fraternity or sorority, it’s not always what every student wants to do for all four years of college. There are tons of pros and cons of living off-campus, so I’ll go through a few of the highlights.

One of the things I think is best about living off-campus is the space. I lived in my sorority for two years, and I always struggled with space. Even though my sorority had a lot of room for all my belongings, I seemed to accumulate more and more throughout the years. This seems to be a common problem for students living in the dorms too. I was so excited when I got my own apartment so I could finally have room for all my clothes, as well as a bigger bed.

Although apartment hunting can be tough, it really is a matter of knowing what you want and being ready to apply and sign. Most places will require an application and you may want to look at the space before committing. Make sure to have enough time to look around, and don’t get worried if your first option falls through. There are plenty of places to live, it’s just a matter of looking for them.

Some on-campus living spaces only allow certain things in the rooms or limit you to what you can and can’t have. Items such as nails in the walls, mounted TVs and candles can’t be in the facility, which is bypassed when living off-campus. Although this is nice, there is the factor of having to find furniture for your home if it is not fully furnished. I looked around Facebook Marketplace for some cheap home goods that will last for a few years. You may not get the nicest things to begin with, but you can always sell some of those purchases and save up for something nicer. Yard sales are also great when looking for used cooking supplies or furniture.

If you aren't interested in furnishing your own place, The Grove and Identity apartments come with everything you need, so you can just bring your own belongings and move in. Both locations are beautiful places to live, with cool features like a gym and swimming pool. These are both apartment complexes with tons of great reviews but could be on the expensive side. Luckily, there are plenty of places to live that are within walking distance to campus that tend to be at a lower price. I would recommend living within walking distance or getting an off-campus parking pass, so you don’t have any excuse to not go to class, the gym or any other campus events.

When looking at apartments, make sure to check if utilities are included or what expenses you may have to pay at each place. Once you have done that, you can figure out what is within your budget. A big part of living off-campus is balancing your expenses because you will now have many bills that you probably didn’t have before. It is easy to make a list of all the things you will have to pay, then go from there to allocate your money to other places.

When you move off-campus and don’t have food made for you anymore, it’s a perfect time to learn how to cook or broaden your cooking skills. I loved having food made for me every day but didn’t like that I never had much of a choice of what was being served. By moving off-campus, I now have the ability to cook whatever I want, whenever I want. This can be great for some people but may be seen as a hassle to others. If you aren’t much of a cook, there are many online resources that provide quick and easy meals that are also budget friendly. A quick search on the internet will bring you tons of ideas and tell you exactly what you need.

Not only will you have to cook, but you will also take on a lot of other responsibilities. Part of living off-campus is an abundance of household chores that will have to be done. You may have to fix minor things around the house, so that is something to keep in mind. I always try to remember to break chores up into multiple days, so it feels like I am spending less time on actual household work. Another way to make this easier on yourself is to split it up between roommates. If you live with multiple people, you can take turns or work together on a specific cleaning day. This makes cleaning up a little bit more fun, and less of a chore.

Lastly, I would think about choosing who you live with and be wise about it. I have seen many instances where best friends live together, and it doesn’t work out well. If your living situation in your on-campus room wasn’t ideal, then it will likely only get worse living off-campus with them. Choosing reliable people who are similar to you are the best bets for roommates. You don’t always have to be best friends with your roommates but finding people who you are comfortable with and who you can confront when things bother you, will lead to a better experience. This doesn’t mean that you can’t live with your best friend, but it is something to think about when the time rolls around.

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when deciding to live off-campus, but there are a ton of benefits. I have enjoyed living off-campus this year and will continue to do so next year. I have learned a lot about my living style and how to match that with others.

I think the biggest take away from my time living off-campus is that I have to be resilient and not be lazy. It is easy to stay at home and hang out with your friends in a cozy place that you love, but you still have to be motivated to make good use of your time at U of I.

Living off-campus gives you tons of freedom but isn’t for everyone. Whether you decide to stay on campus or search to live elsewhere, I wish for everyone to be happy in their own living experiences.

The Ins and Outs of Ag Ed

As many of you may know, I am majoring in agricultural education. In high school I participated in FFA and took ag classes all four years. I was lucky enough to serve as an FFA chapter and district officer, where I was able to encourage others to use their skills and knowledge of agriculture to excel in contests. By my senior year, I was fully set on going to college and knew that I had a passion for helping others learn. Both the ag teachers I had were influential people during high school, and even after. For those reasons I decided I would major in agricultural education and be part of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Most students don’t exactly know what being an ag ed major requires or what it will look like when they enter the major, but luckily, I’ve been through three years and have a lot to share. For first year students, most will complete the basic prerequisite classes that many other majors have to take as well. There might be a couple lower-level education and science classes at the beginning as well, which can be a good way for students to see if this major is a good fit for them. After the first year, there are more specialized classes geared towards the content that will be taught in a future classroom.

One of my favorite things about my major is that I have had so many real-life experiences and tons of hands-on learning. Each of my welding and shop classes have not only taught me how to use shop equipment but also given me the skills I need to get a job in that field if I chose to. The Agricultural Education, Leadership and Communications Department has also made it their priority to give us experience judging FFA contests, helping with the setup of big conferences, such as the FFA State Leadership Conference, and giving us the resources we need to prepare our future students.

One of the best things I was able to do was set up the North Idaho FFA Career Development Events with my AgEd 358 class. We were in charge of event planning, running the event, managing our individual contests and problem solving throughout the process. Although this experience was a lot of work, it helped me understand the ins and outs of running an event like that, which I will most likely have to do in the future. Not only was this a good learning experience for how to run an event, but also to learn how to collaborate with others in a stressful setting.

Another great part about being an ag ed major is how small and tight knit the program is. My cohort is about 10 people, so we all know each other fairly well. I have made friends with all the students that I will graduate with. We all have similar schedules, so there is always someone I know in the classes I take. This makes it easy when putting together study groups or asking for help from peers.

Along with the small cohort size, the department itself is pretty small. Because of this, it’s really easy to get to know the professors and you will likely have multiple classes taught by them. This is very different in comparison to other majors because each of the professors get to know you personally and work with you more directly. This is nice because sometimes you can have the opportunity to get jobs with them or recommended for internships during the summer. I was lucky enough to work with my advisor to make aroma kits for FFA food science contests. This was a really cool opportunity where I made wax melts with specific food science scents. I also did the behind the scenes work of sending out invoices, packaging orders and working with buyers from all over the country.

While there are a lot of reasons why I have chosen to stick with my major, there are a few main reasons that come to mind. I have been able to learn a lot of different content because I have the potential to teach many different subject areas. This has allowed me to always be interested in what I’m learning, and each semester is something a little different. I also know that when I finish school, I could go into a multitude of fields, not just teaching. I have also been able to gain a ton of hands-on experience, which I have enjoyed. Both of these factors have made my education seem worth it and makes me excited to teach others.

This leads to what I plan to do in the future. Given that I have knowledge of multiple areas, I could get a job in many fields, but as of now I plan to teach. Ideally, I would like to teach high school agriculture classes, starting off with some of the lower grades, with a focus on plant science. After a few years teaching at the high school level, I would like to go back to get my master’s and hopefully continue to teach and inspire students at a collegiate level.

All in all, agricultural education is a great major for any student interested in ag. The major is perfect for students that want to spread the knowledge of agriculture and keep people in the industry. While other fields such as STEM are growing, there will always be a need for ag, and ag education. I would encourage students to look into the major and give it a shot if they are even the slightest bit interested.

Classes to Take in the Future

As the spring semester nears its end, it’s time to start registering for fall classes. Some students may need a filler class or are trying to figure out which class to take out of a few options. With that being said, I would like to share some of my favorite classes I’ve taken that can be great options for any student.

One of the first classes that I took as a freshman was AVS 109: The Science of Animals that Serve Humanity. Through this class, I was able to learn the basics of animal agriculture. I would consider this to be an intro class for students in any agriculture major but is a good option for anyone who wants to broaden their knowledge with animal agriculture. I was able to learn the basics that I then built upon when I took higher level agriculture classes. AVS 109 was not only interesting because of the content, but because of the professor too. This class is taught by professor Phil Bass, who has tons of knowledge on livestock and meat specifically. Because of this, we learned about animal handling and wellness, meats and reproduction basics. He was able to crack jokes with the class and make us feel comfortable, even as freshmen who were intimidated by a large lecture class. This was truly a great class, and I would recommend it for any incoming freshman or students who are trying to learn more about animals.

One of the other classes that I took as a freshman was ENVS 101: Introduction to Environmental Science. I took the main environmental science class in high school, so I only had to take the lab portion in college. By speaking with some of my friends, they explained that the class was mainly based on topics of ethics and policies regarding the environment. The lab portion of the class, ENVS 102, was really interesting and I loved each lab. Each week we visited a different place, to learn about the environmental impact it has. One place that specifically stands out is the Steam Plant on campus. We got to see the process of how the plant produces energy that moves through tunnels to provide power to multiple buildings on campus. The class also gives you a chance to see certain sites in the Palouse area that you may not have known about before. Through this, I have been able to find some of my favorite hiking spots and learn more about how my lifestyle affects my environmental footprint.

One of the next classes that I would recommend taking would be AVS 222: Animal Reproduction and Breeding, taught by professor Amin Ahmadzadeh. While this is not an easy class, it is very informational to learn in depth about the reproduction and breeding process. We learned about anatomy, hormones and fertilization. This goes through differing reproduction of livestock animals, as well as cats, dogs and other animals. One of the things that stood out to me was Amin himself. Even though this was a lecture class, he would make it a point to learn everyone’s names and help us fully learn the content. He was always lively and found a way to keep everyone’s attention, even early in the morning. I was really challenged in the class, but because of that, I learned a lot of useful information, especially for raising and breeding livestock.

Another great class is REM 151: Rangeland Principles. Throughout this class, we learned all about how to manage land and the different uses of land. We looked at soils, plants and animals that differ in rangeland and how humans may impact them. These concepts helped me gain an understanding of how people can be a detriment to land, but also how we can play our part in restoring the land for future populations of wildlife. A cool aspect of REM 151 when I took it was that we were able to use an outdoor classroom during the nicer months of the semester. The outdoor classroom is located outside of the College of Natural Resources building and is a nice classroom environment. Professor Karen Launchbaugh teaches the class and keeps the class interested with fun activities and by encouraging student participation. She is a great resource for all things rangeland and has been known to help students with intern opportunities or field trips that drive student success. I always looked forward to attending class and working with groups to increase our knowledge of rangelands.

Lastly, one of my favorite classes that I took last semester was ASM 202: Agricultural Shop Practices. While I have taken other shop classes and welding, this class gives a full overview of many different CTE skills. In this class, I learned about everything from soldering to basic plumbing, and even some lathe work. While these have not always been my strong suit, I know that the skills I developed will be put to good use in the future. For anyone who wants some skills within these fields, this is a perfect class to take. Not only is the experience worth it, the professor, Marvin Heimgartner, makes the class fun and is willing to provide as much help as you need. Marvin has been one of my favorite professors to date, and I would encourage students to at least take one class from him during their time at the university.

Each of these classes have been very helpful to me for my major. While I was required to take a couple of them, I would take them again even if I wasn’t required. Most of them are simply nice knowledge to have but can be applicable to a lot of the jobs that CALS students will get in the future. I would encourage students to look at each of these classes in the course catalog and hopefully register for them in the future.

Fraternity and Sorority Recruitment

A huge part of college is the social aspect and making new friends. One of the best decisions I made was going through the formal recruitment processes to enter a Panhellenic sorority. While school isn’t just about making friends, it definitely helps when immersing yourself into a new environment. At the University of Idaho, there are a few different options on joining a fraternity or sorority. While each is a little different, they all help with growing friendships, working on academic goals and giving back to the community.

The fraternities and sororities that you see driving down Greek Row account for most of the chapters that are governed under the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the Panhellenic Council. There are currently 25 chapters, and each goes through a formal recruitment process right before school starts. Some chapters are also able to accept members through the year in a less formal process that allows students to get a better idea of what chapter they may want to enter.

At the beginning of the recruitment process, most students will stay in the dorms for the week and be put into groups led by current members of sororities or fraternities. The members that lead them around, a rho chi or rho gamma, have disaffiliated from their chapters and are there to provide nonbiased help throughout recruitment. Each day, new students visit with current members to get to know the chapters better. At the end of each day, the potential members rank their preferences and continue to whittle down their choice of what chapter to enter. The last day of recruitment is Bid Day, where new members will run home and move their belongings into the chapter facility.

While not all students have to move into the house, it is an experience that I would recommend. Once in a chapter, students will get to meet other people in their majors, contribute to a philanthropy, and get many opportunities to mingle and bond with other fraternity and sorority members. My sorority specifically put me in connection with other CALS majors, raises money to help provide for children who cannot read and visits elementary schools to read with children. We also do sisterhoods — movie nights on our chapter’s sundeck, study sessions at the library and community service activities like making care bags for homeless shelters. Each chapter is unique and have their own special events and experiences.

Another option is the multicultural Greek recruitment process. These chapters are governed by the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) and bond through similar culture and values. To begin the recruitment process, the six chapters have a showcase week that allows prospective students to get a look into what these chapters have to offer. They follow this week with events where students get to meet with members and participate in activities. Examples of events done with MGC this past year was a game night, painting night and an informational event where students learned further how to rush. For some of the chapters, students cannot be a first-term freshman, that way those students have time to explore other Greek life options and get to know current members better. A great part about this is that members will be able to still live in their dorm or apartment once they have joined, since they aren’t able to enter until second term and the chapters do not have a designated house. A current Kappa Delta Chi member, Emilly Perez, let me know that even though their chapter is smaller with about 15 members, they still hold a strong bond together and value many of the same ideals.

For an additional option, there is a sorority on campus that is agriculture based. Sigma Alpha sets itself apart by dedicating their chapter to supporting women in agriculture. They start their recruitment process with a recruitment week after school has already started. It’s generally kicked off with a night where members share information about the sorority and their pillars which guide the organization. Each day of their recruitment process is based on one of the pillars and includes an event with Alpha Gamma Rho, one of the IFC fraternities. While they do a lot of the same activities as typical Panhellenic sororities, they do not have a chapter facility, which allows them to live separately from the members of their organization. This is a selling point to many of their members including Kaelie Brown and Jordyn Bettencourt, who enjoy living independently. Some of the things they do throughout the year are community pig raffles, a formal, and even create a curriculum for elementary students so they can go into the classrooms and teach them about agriculture.

While I have not experienced every type of recruitment or organization, each makes it a priority to base their membership on values, community service and academics. Not all of them have the same requirements, but they are each striving for the success of their members. I have been able to experience three years of my Panhellenic sorority and I have grown so much through each of those categories. Along with that I have been able to meet many amazing people, who have helped me thrive through college. By joining Greek life, you will get to meet students from different backgrounds with eye opening experiences, which in itself is worth it. If you are interested in joining a new community of any kind, look into the University of Idaho website to further explore the Greek life options on campus.

Things to do This Weekend

Since Moscow is fairly small, students sometimes struggle finding things to do on the weekends or in their free time. After a few years of being here, I’ve been able to find some fun things to do. Here are a few of my recommendations of some ideas on what to do with your friends when you’re bored.

I love to go on hikes and enjoy nature when the weather warms up. I have been able to find a few spots that are a nice hike and not too far out of town. One of my favorites is Phillips Farm, which is located about 5 miles north of Moscow. What’s cool about this place is that you can hike two different trails and enjoy several little streams and ponds. Both trails aren’t terribly hard and could be completed by anyone. They do vary in length, but maps posted on the farm can guide you to which trail you should take for your liking. A great add on to Phillips Farm is the covered picnic areas, where you can enjoy a packed lunch or utilize the charcoal grills. This would be a perfect place to bring some friends and enjoy a barbeque lunch together.

Another fun option could be going to Wild at Art to paint pottery or canvases. They offer a variety of options of pottery you can paint from plates to planters, and even some smaller figurines. For painting canvases, a cool option they have is the pour painting kits. I like this because you don’t have to have great painting skills, you just pour the paint right onto the canvas. Another option that I really love is mosaic making. This craft has to be done in their studio, but that does make it easier to get some help from professionals. I personally have done a few of these and have had a lot of fun with them. Some people may find this a little frustrating, but if you take your time and are patient, you will surely get an amazing result. Wild at Art has lots of creative options to choose from and has a nice range of prices so you don't have to spend more than you want.

A newer place that a lot of students haven't visited yet is Virtudome, a virtual reality arcade with many different games to play. They have three different experiences you can rent: an arena, a booth or an escape room. For the arena, you can have up to five people and can play with each other. This could be fun to bring friends to watch and play the game, and it’s only $10. You can choose what game you play, and each have fun elements that will keep you on your toes. The booths are a longer experience and have over 100 games to choose from. Some vary in how many people can play, but this could be a fun option even if you’re going solo. The one that really catches my eye is the escape room. Unlike a typical escape room, with the VR goggles, you will see a whole different world than what is actually in front of you. Each of the escape rooms give you 50 minutes to figure out how to get out and range from easy to hard. I personally would like to try this and think it could be a really fun activity.

During the nicer months, students can also go to the University of Idaho Golf Course. Students can play an 18-hole course or opt for a shorter time with nine holes. The course has a variety of challenging holes to play and features lots of beautiful scenery and nature. If the course is too intimidating, you can also go to the driving range and grab a bucket of golf balls to hit. This is a great option for students who may not be very experienced. You still get to enjoy time outdoors, but don’t have to commit to a full game. It’s also helpful that they rent out clubs. Many students don’t have space or don’t play enough to have their clubs with them in Moscow, so this is perfect. You can always check out the course on the university website if you are interested in prices or what the course looks like.

Lastly, I would recommend going to the Moscow Farmers Market. The market is open May-October every year and is fun to look around on a Saturday morning. If you’re like me, I love shopping and food. This is the best of both worlds mashed up into one. I enjoy waking up on a Saturday morning to grab some fresh produce and stroll through downtown Moscow. Not only do they have lots of fresh produce, but there are also plenty of vendors that provide other goods. Usually there are businesses that serve food such as sushi, donuts and crepes. There are also artists that sell paintings and jewelry which can be fun to look at and even purchase. My personal favorite booths are the ones where I get to grab some fresh plants or a bouquet of flowers to liven up a room. Overall, it’s a great time and a perfect opportunity to support local businesses and all students should attend at least once.

Even though Moscow is small, there are plenty of activities to do. With all these options, there should be at least one thing for everyone to enjoy. I have had a great time going to these places, or intend to make my way to them soon, and hope others partake as well. Check out these local places to switch up your regular routine and have some fun this weekend.

Best Places to Study on Campus

Finals week will be here before we know it, and that calls for some studying. There are tons of places to study around Moscow, but I would like to highlight some of my favorites on campus. With students having a wide variety of study preferences, it can be tough to find the perfect study spot. I talked to a few other students and asked what their preferences are and threw some of those in too.

As an agriculture education major, it would only make sense for me to start off with my favorite building to study at, the Education Building. The great thing about this building is that there are so many different areas to study. Throughout each floor, there is open space with tables and seating next to windows to catch the sunlight throughout the day. On the second floor, there are a few rooms that are open to any students to use, that feels very open and inviting. Some students call these the “fishbowl” rooms, due to the glass doors. I prefer these rooms because even though you’re in an enclosed room with a little bit of privacy, you can still look out. The best part of the Education Building is the roof. If you take the elevator up, you can access the rooftop. On the roof, there are a few tables where you can go study, all while enjoying a nice day. The view is great, and with such a limited amount of people, it tends to be pretty quiet.

If you are one of the people who enjoy being outside and studying, a place you may not have thought of studying at is the Arboretum. Most of the time, this is a pretty peaceful spot. Some buildings are hard for me to study in due to the influx of people who come in for class, or other distractions that take place. Out here, the most distracting thing would be a person running by. To take away some of the distractions, I like to find a place further into the trees and a little way from the main trial. This makes it much easier for me to stay on task and get my work done. I tend to like this for more of a study date with a friend. If you like to study in the sunshine, grab a blanket, some snacks, and your study materials for a productive and fun day.

For some people, they prefer the quiet nature of the arb, but for others, the silence is almost more distracting. If you like to have some background noise, I recommend the campus Starbucks by the VandalStore. This may seem like an odd place to study, but it’s nice for independent or group work. I have studied here a couple of times, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot. For someone who may want to work on their own, there are plenty of seats at the bar area. There are also a few tables where you could work on a project with a group. I like it here because of the lighting. The area is lit up, but not with such harsh lighting as other buildings. I find this spot to be very cozy, and there is food and drinks right by you. I grab a coffee and a grilled cheese to help fuel my study session and enjoy the space. For anyone who likes a little bit of noise, this spot would be perfect for you.

For a study space that could be indoor or outdoor, I recommend the Integrated Research and Innovation Center, or the IRIC building. This is the large building across from the Agricultural Sciences Building. IRIC is interesting because while it is filled with office spaces, there is also a ton of space for studying. An obvious feature of all of my favorite buildings involves sunlight, and much like the Education Building, IRIC is covered in windows. The first floor has an open area with a lot of tables, so many people could fit into this classroom-like space. But if you venture up to the second floor, there are some higher tables for two and my favorite part, the deck. The deck faces the Agricultural Sciences Building and would be perfect to enjoy a nice day. While this could be nice during spring, during the warmer months, the shaded outdoor seating under the large stairs next to the building would be perfect for an outdoor study area out of the elements.

Another highly recommended study spot is the J. A. Albertson Building basement. Many business majors may have already visited this area, but it was completely new to me. I took a visit down to the basement and was pleasantly surprised with the huge study setup they have. There are a couple of different rooms that have multiple couches, desks and large tables for group work. The workspaces are quiet and inviting for all students. Another great feature of this is the TVs in each small station. Students can take a break from studying or connect their laptop to the screen so a group can see an assignment. If you’re looking for a new space to study, this would be a great area to check out.

While there are plenty of different buildings to study, I think these are some of the ones that not all students have checked out. Many other places like the library and the ISUB are great to study at, but if you need a change of space, check out some of the areas.

Why CALS?

Students choosing their major for the first time, or those who may be thinking about changing majors, may ask, why CALS? The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has many reasons why students should choose to major in the college, ranging from a variety of majors, scholarships and special opportunities that other universities don’t offer.

Many people have the perception that only students who grew up on a farm go into CALS majors. This isn’t always the case. While many students I have had classes with did grow up working in agriculture, many students come from very suburban areas. This is because there is a huge variety of undergraduate majors in the college. With nearly 30 different majors, there could be an interesting major or minor for any student. One major that sticks out to me in CALS is apparel, textiles and design. This major is very diverse and gives students a bulk of knowledge on all areas regarding clothing and is a very popular degree. There are also many others that students may not even know are within CALS such as early childhood education and global disease ecology.

One thing I worried about when I got to college was that I was going to be surrounded by peers who had much more experience than I did. While that may have been true, the university provides many experiential opportunities so everyone can be on an even playing field. The CALS facilities on campus are up to date and give students, of any background, the experiences they need to be successful. For example, students in the agriculture education major who have never been in FFA before, still get the opportunity to see what contests look like from a student perspective. Along with that, they get to run the contests from an administrative side and even get to help out during statewide contests and conferences. While that may only be one example, there are many others across the 28 majors that CALS offers.

A unique part of CALS is the specialized experiences that are offered to students. Some of these are formal classes that have a lab attached to them, while others are lab-based jobs or research. Many students participate in an artificial insemination class or a meat evaluation class where you can see different cuts of meat and learn more about that field of work. Something that stands out to me is the new Seed Potato Germplasm Laboratory. Students can work in the lab and contribute to the growth of one of our top commodities. They gain experience through the lab and get to be a part of growing potatoes that will be transferred all over the globe.

Not only can students take these classes, but they can also get certificates for their knowledge, or take what they have learned and apply it to a future job. From this, it is clear that CALS has made it a priority to give back to its students and help them be ready for their future careers or even for an internship while they are still in school.

Another perk of CALS is that the college offers $3.5 million in scholarships each year. These are based on need, academic achievement or are given to students who meet the specific criteria of a scholarship. Being a recipient of some of these scholarships, I am grateful to have been given a little help with my college career. Many students struggle with how to afford school, so this can help relieve some of that stress. With such a large sum of money given out each year, more than 50% of CALS students will receive one of the scholarships offered. This shows that CALS cares about the students within the college and wants to help in any way they can. Not only have I benefited from the scholarships, but many of my close peers have as well.

Even though these are all great aspects of CALS, the best thing is that the professors are all very supportive of our tightknit community. A CALS student, Ashley Swanson, expressed that all her professors have always been friendly and willing to help with anything she needs. I have had a very similar experience and have been supported through every struggle of my education. The CALS professors make it a point to learn the names of everyone in their classes and get to know the students' interests to help them grow and achieve their goals. The professors spend time building relationships with their whole class and enjoy connecting with the future leaders of their industry. I believe these professors play a vital role in the success of students and oftentimes help students get jobs and internships that could potentially change their futures.

All in all, CALS gives students a multitude of opportunities and covers a variety of interests and majors. Without CALS, I wouldn’t have such a wide range of experiences and skills that I have now. I would encourage anyone looking to go into a CALS major or profession to consider my experiences, as well as check out the University of Idaho website to view each major in full detail.

Summer Bucket List

During this semester I have had a wonderful time writing the CALS blog. I have been able to meet with some awesome individuals and have been happy to share some helpful tips and experiences with you all. The blog will be on hold during the summer, so I’ll share some fun bucket list ideas to check off during summer break.

One of my favorite things to do over the summer is to attend rodeos. For some, this seems like a given, but many students have never been to one before. There are plenty of rodeos throughout Idaho during the summer, but one of my favorites is the Caldwell Night Rodeo. Although it is later in the summer, it is still a blast to attend. There are also ones coming up soon like the Riggings Rodeo this weekend. Many students from the University of Idaho go to this and it's always a good time, especially when you are joined by your friends.

An area that I would encourage students to visit would be McCall, specifically during the 4th of July. I have been going to McCall almost every summer and love the fireworks show that they put on. Each year the fireworks show seems to get bigger and bigger and is perfect to watch while on the lake or hanging out on the dock or beach. It is a busy time of year, but I’ve enjoyed going through the different shops downtown and getting a huge ice cream cone at Ice Cream Alley. Other fun things to do are renting paddle boards, jet skis, or a boat to hang out on the lake. Any of these activities is fun, but especially during the 4th.

If you’re in the Boise area, or take a trip down, a great way to enjoy your day is by floating the Boise River. You can buy your own tubes or rent them and relax for a few hours on the water. I would recommend a heavy-duty tube, due to brush and sticks that may pop a conventional innertube. The river is fairly slow but is just right to relax and be with friends. You can get out at small beaches to eat a packed lunch or go all the way through and grab a bite to eat later. I have had a great time floating the river and would encourage you and your family to do it together.

Boise also has a lot of other sites to see, such as Table Rock and Freak Alley. For Boise residents these are very familiar, but for those who don’t live around the area, these could be some places you may want to check out. Table Rock is a 3.7-mile hike located a short drive from Boise. Once you’ve reached the top, you get to see a great view filled with trees and is even better during sunset or sunrise. When going back downtown, many visitors like to check out Freak Alley, which showcases local artists who have used different mediums to decorate an alley. I always find it amazing to see what people can create and think everyone else can appreciate the beauty of it too.

Another family-oriented event I would recommend would be booking a whitewater rafting trip. I have done many of these in Riggings with my family, but you can travel further as well. For students that may be in the north Idaho area for the summer, rafting trips in Montana may be a closer option. Last summer, I went on a rafting trip in Montana with Pangea River Rafting and had a blast. The drive from Coeur d’Alene is about three hours and is nice to take a little road trip out of the area. The guide was very friendly and made us feel safe, while still having fun. This is a fun activity, no matter where it is done or who you’re with.

One of my favorite ideas is to take a road trip to a different state and go sightseeing. This could involve going to Lagoon in Utah, or even attend some of the music festivals that are close. There are tons of national parks and beautiful hikes to see nearby, so those are always options as well. I love taking road trips to visit hot springs and setting up a campsite for a bit so I can relax and enjoy nature for a while. These are all great options to look into if you want to get out of your hometown for a bit.

There are a multitude of activities to do during the summer, and I hope these give you some ideas. Once again, I have learned a lot and enjoyed my time writing for CALS this semester and cannot wait to bring you all more information regarding CALS and the University of Idaho next semester.

Contact

College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 52
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2331
Moscow, ID 83844-2331

Phone: 208-885-6681

Fax: 208-885-6654

Email: ag@uidaho.edu

Location