Meet the Ambassadors

Ag Ambassador Group September 2021

2021 – 2022 Ag Ambassadors

Andrew Anderson :

Andrew Anderson

Hey, I’m Andrew Anderson and I’m a second-year Ag-Ambassador and junior at the University of Wyoming! Currently, I’m studying Ag Business Management, but I also plan to major in Accounting as well. I am from Wray, Colorado, which is a very small town located in the northeast corner of the state. Agriculture has always been a huge part of my life due to the fact that our family business is selling center-pivot irrigation systems for farmers all across the plains. I started working for my father and grandfather at age 12, and have been connected to it ever since. I plan on returning to Wray after I graduate, however, I am currently looking forward to my next few years in Laramie and supporting the college of Ag!

Kyla Baldridge :

Kyla Baldridge

Hi everyone, my name is Kyla Baldridge and I am a Junior double majoring in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management concurrent with Environmental and Natural Resources. I am a part of various activities on campus such as secretary of the Range club, scholarship chair of Sigma Alpha, the ag professional sorority, as well as I have a lab position through the Wyoming State Vet lab (WSVL), and I work for the Outdoor program here on campus. I am originally from a small farming town in northern Illinois where I personally did not grow up on a farming operation but I quickly gained experience through various jobs and opportunities that FFA presented me. I am interested in all areas of Ag but my passion is Rangeland and Wildlife management. My hope after graduation is to attend grad school for a master’s in Wildlife biology to work for the federal government doing research. I really love the Ag college and am so excited to represent it in the next upcoming few years.

Madison Blaeser :

Madison Blaeser

My name is Madison Blaeser and I am a second-year Agriculture Ambassador. I am a Junior here at the University of Wyoming studying Animal Science with a concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine and a certificate in American Sign Language. I grew up in a small town in Colorado where I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by an agriculture focused community which enabled me to be involved in 4H and FFA. I currently work at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory as an undergraduate research assistant. I am the secretary of the Pre-Veterinary Club, the secretary of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. In the future, I hope to become a large animal veterinarian and am beyond grateful for the opportunities that the University of Wyoming and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources have given me as I work towards my goal!

Codi Jo Broten :

Codi Jo Broten

Hello everyone, my name is Codi Jo Broten and I am a third year PhD student in the Department of Animal Science with a food microbiology focus. Originally, I am from Montesano, Washington. In 2016, I graduated with a BS in biology from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. My graduate research with Dr. Bledar Bisha focuses on the development of paperbased rapid diagnostics for the detection of foodborne bacterial pathogens. Besides serving as an Ag Ambassador, I am an INBRE fellow and member of the C4 college ministry and Animal Science Graduate Student Association. Outside of school, I enjoy fly fishing, hiking, hot yoga, and volunteering weekly at the Laramie Animal Welfare Society. My appreciation of agriculture developed as a student here at the University of Wyoming, as I realized its importance for all of the country and the direct link between food safety and production. As an Ag Ambassador, I am looking forward to interacting with students, alumni, and the community in order to communicate the wonderful opportunities available within the College of Ag and Natural Resources.

Cooper Carlson :

Cooper Carlson

Hello! My name is Cooper Carlson and I am currently a senior at UW. I grew up in Atwood, Colorado on a diversified farm and ranch where my family and I grew a variety of crops for our commercial cattle and breeding goats. While my parents have been raising cattle since they got married, I convinced them a little over 10 years ago to buy show goats for me, and now that operation has evolved into about 40 breeding does to which we sell club goats to 4-H and FFA members in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Before coming to Laramie, I attended Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado. There I was on the Livestock Judging Team, an ambassador for the office of admissions, and was elected the 2nd ASG Vice President. Right now, I am currently on the Livestock Judging Team, am a member of the Block and Bridle Club, Wyoming Collegiate Cattleman’s Association, as well as an Ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. I plan on graduating with my degree in Animal Science with a minor in Ag Business and most likely return to Colorado to continue on the farm!

Joseph Cook :

Joseph Cook

Whether it be growing up in France kayaking the local canals and rivers, taking a gap year doing voluntourism building wells in drought ridden Namibia, or simply choosing college classes, a fascination with water was often at the centre of decision making. Over my college years this has led me through a French agricultural college coming out with a dual master’s in engineering and hydrology, before arriving at the University of Wyoming for a PhD researching irrigation management and scientific support to help improve irrigation efficiency and reduce conflict. Fully smitten with the wide-open spaces and mountains of the West, my wife and I intend to remain in the West. For me this will ideally lead to an extension role working with irrigation stakeholders on local issues trying to provide scalable solutions for dissemination throughout the state and West. In my spare time I train as part of the University of Wyoming triathlon club. I am also a firm believer in the need for Universities to be anchored in their local communities with students stepping beyond the bounds of their campuses, and as such I serve as President and board member of the Laramie Railroad Depot.

McKenzi Davison :

McKenzi Davison

Hey there! My name is McKenzi Davison and I am currently a senior here at the University of Wyoming. I am an Animal Science major with a Pre-veterinary concentration. As a Wyoming native, I was fortunate to grow up in a highly agricultural community. Participating in 4-H for many years allowed me to see the importance of agriculture in Wyoming as well as the people whose livelihood depends on it. I am honored to be a member of the Ag Ambassadors Team to promote agriculture and its people. Along with being an Ag Ambassador, I am also an active member of the Women’s Cross Country and Track team, the Pre-veterinary Club, and work in the Necropsy department of the Wyoming State Vet Lab. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, I plan to attend veterinary school and eventually hope to return to Wyoming to serve a rural community as a large and small animal veterinarian.

Joseph Duncan :

Joseph Duncan

Hi everybody, my name is Joseph Duncan and I am a junior here at UW. I am doing a concurrent major with Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management from the College of Ag and Environment and Natural Resources from the Haub School. Looking forward, I am hoping to continue watershed research in the Western United States and eventually become a watershed manager. I am involved in the Fly Fishing Club, Precision Shooting Club, and Navigators here at UW in addition to Ag Ambassadors. I came to UW from a suburb of Minnesota which seems a little out of place but the West, particularly Wyoming, has always felt like home. Unlike many of my fellow Ag Ambassadors, I do not really come from an Ag background. I have always been an avid hunter and fly fisherman which was what led me to Wyoming, but I did not realize that agriculture was going to be my path.  Ever since the first meeting with the Ag college faculty, I knew I was in the right place and am so excited to help incoming students, from an ag background or not, find the right fit for them here in the College of Agriculture..

Brandi Fuller :

Brandi Fuller

Hi! My name is Brandi Fuller. I'm a junior at the University of Wyoming, majoring in Ag Business and minoring in Marketing. I grew up outside of Wright, Wyoming, on my family’s commercial cattle ranch. This was where I built my foundation in agriculture working to support the operation and learning from experience. In addition to the family ranch, my sisters and I have our own herd of club cattle that we raise and sell. I also own wool breed sheep and have started to raise pigs. I was an avid member of 4-H for 11 years and FFA for 5 years. Through FFA I was able to achieve many goals, one being which was being awarded the 2019 Wyoming State Star Farmer. I actively participated in both organizations, exhibiting both static projects and livestock. My newest venture was being selected to join the University of Wyoming Ag Ambassadors Team. I am proud to promote the College of Agriculture and the industry that played a pivotal role in making me who I am today.

Mackenzie Faircloth :

Mackenzie Faircloth

Hello everyone! My name is Mackenzie Faircloth and I am currently a junior at the University of Wyoming with a major in Animal and Veterinary Science, along with a minor in Agricultural Business. This is my first year serving as an Ag Ambassador and I am more than excited to promote the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the backbone that it forms in the great state of Wyoming. I am a Wyoming native from the small town of Burns, WY where I participated in all the clubs and sports that I could get my hands on. I was very involved in the Wyoming FFA Organization as I was the Chair of our local organization and held numerous national standings for Parliamentary Procedure. Growing up, I was always outside whether I was preparing my swine for the upcoming fair or taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible with horses. Currently, I am a member of the Wyoming Collegiate Cattleman's Association, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, and I am the Secretary of the Collegiate Pre-Veterinary Club. I am a student employee at the Wyoming State Vet Lab in the Necropsy/Trimming/Receiving department which assists in my education aspirations of attending a graduate school in veterinary medicine. Once I have received my Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, I would love to return to the state of Wyoming and focus on high altitude reproduction! I am looking forward to getting more involved within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and promoting the agriculture industry for our upcoming generations to further progress and succeed.

Payton Hallsted :

Payton Hallsted

Hello all, my name is Payton Hallsted and I am excited for my first year as an Ag Ambassador and my senior year as a University of Wyoming undergraduate student! I am majoring in Animal and Veterinary Sciences with a Pre-Veterinary Concentration and Agriculture Business minor. I have always wanted to be a veterinarian and working at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory in Necropsy/Trimming/Accessioning as a student employee is just one of the many ways being a University of Wyoming student has prepared me for this career path! Outside of veterinary medicine, my interest in agriculture has always had a foundation in the equine industry. I have worked with jumpers, reiners, and a few things in between in my hometown of Casper, Wyoming. I also have a strong background with FFA having competed in; Agriscience Fair, Veterinary Sciences CDE, and Farm and Agribusiness Management CDE at the state/national level. As a UW student, I am also a member/past officer of the Pre-Veterinary Club, president of Collegiate 4-H, former Associated Students of the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Senator, and UW live mascot “Cowboy Joe” pony handler.

Jordan Johnson :

Jordan Johnson

Hey everyone! My name is Jordan Johnson and I am a junior majoring in Animal and Veterinary Science. This is my second year serving as an Ag Ambassador. I grew up just a little ways from Laramie in Cheyenne, Wyoming. While growing up, I spent a lot of time out on my grandparent’s ranch moving cattle, fixing fence, and helping however I could. It was here that I learned the true importance and impact of small family agriculture. I was active in 4-H in both static exhibits and livestock, as well as being an active volunteer through Cheyenne Frontier Days. Since moving over the hill to Laramie, I have found myself active in many parts of the university, including the Alumni Association, various leadership councils, UW Ranch Horse Team, and both Ag Ambassadors and UW Brand ambassadors. I am also currently the Lady-in-Waiting for Cheyenne Frontier Days, traveling the country promoting CFD, western heritage, and the sport of rodeo. After graduation, I plan to attend grad school for veterinary science and plan to end up in the community that I grew up in. Go Pokes!

Ryan Knuth :

Ryan Knuth

Hello everyone! My name is Ryan Knuth, and I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Animal Science under the tutelage of Drs. Hannah Cunningham-Hollinger and Bledar Bisha. I grew up on a small farm in Loganville, Wisconsin raising commercial Polypay ewes and showing market lambs at the county fair. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2017 before moving to Bozeman, where I earned my Master of Science in Animal and Range Sciences in August 2019. My thesis project titled “Prevalence and production impacts of subclinical mastitis in extensively managed ewes” helped shape my doctoral research, which is focused on source tracking microbes involved in ovine subclinical mastitis and the milk microbiome and quantifying pathogen susceptibility to commonly used antimicrobials in livestock production. In addition to serving as an Ag Ambassador, I have served as president and secretary for the Animal Science Graduate Student Association. My animal production background, passion for science and research, and ability to be an effective leader has lead me here, and I am excited to share my experiences and promote the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources!

Lauren McKinney :

Lauren McKinney

Hi there! My name is Lauren McKinney, and I am the current Chair for the University of Wyoming Ag Ambassadors. I am a senior studying Agriculture Communications within the College of Agriculture and Environmental & Natural Resources within the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. I grew up in southeast Tennessee, with the Great Smoky Mountains as my backyard. I have very little background in agriculture, but after taking one class in high school, I fell in love with working in natural resources through the agriculture industry. I am involved in multiple clubs and organizations at the University of Wyoming. I am the Sisterhood and Fundraising Chairs for Sigma Alpha, the Professional Agricultural Sorority. I have been part of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, and I am also the President of the Rotaract Club. Additionally, I work in the Academic and Student Programs office in the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. I am immensely grateful to the college and the university for all the support and love shown to me, and I am really excited to represent such an amazing organization!

Courtney Newman :

Courtney Newman

Hey! My name is Courtney Newman and I am a Master’s Student in the Department of Animal Science under Dr. Cody Gifford and Dr. Whit Stewart. I am currently in my first year working on a project related to blockchain technology and the sheep industry. I grew up in the agriculture community around Fort Collins, Colorado, heavily involved in 4H. Prior to graduating from UW this last spring, I was a member of the Livestock, Wool, and Meat Animal Evaluation teams as well as being very involved in the Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association and the Collegiate Wool Growers Association. I am excited to represent the very strong College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and continue to advocate for the Agriculture Industry in the state of Wyoming.

Emily Purifoy :

Emily Purifoy

Hi! My name is Emily Purifoy. I am a junior here at the University of Wyoming studying Animal and Veterinary Science with a concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine! I do not have an extensive background in agriculture, but growing up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I was introduced to the importance of agriculture. Cheyenne puts on Frontier Days every year, which I grew up going to, and eventually ended up volunteering with the veterinarian for the stock. Nowadays, I am involved with the University as a member of both the Pre-Veterinary Club and the Wyoming Undergraduate Research Coalition. I am also an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Pharmacy, where I currently work in the Mruk lab studying spinal cord injury and regeneration in zebrafish. Outside of school, I enjoy being in the outdoors exploring the beautiful landscape that Wyoming has to offer. After my time here at the University of Wyoming, my hope is to go to veterinary school and get my DVM, as well as a Master’s in Public Health, and probably become a mixed animal clinical veterinarian or work for the USDA as a veterinarian. I am so excited for the opportunity to express all the amazing possibilities within the College of Agriculture!

Chase Markel :

Chase Markel

Hello, my name is Chase Markel and I am a Master’s student in the Department of Animal Science under the direction of Dr. Cody Gifford and Dr. Hannah Hollinger. I grew up in Wheatland, Wyoming raising commercial and club cattle while also having some involvement in the fed beef segment of the industry. Prior to receiving a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wyoming, I attended Northeastern Junior College where I competed on the livestock judging team. Currently, my research is focused on late finishing phase beef cattle at high altitude and implications with High Mountain Disease and right-side congestive heart failure. My involvement in livestock judging and passion for the beef industry led me to advocating for agriculture and helping with youth involvement. I look forward to representing and promoting the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Todd Paisley :

Todd Paisley

Hey everyone, my name is Todd Paisley. I am a sophomore majoring in Molecular Biology and am looking forward to my first year as an Ag Ambassador. I have been involved in production agriculture my whole life as I grew up on my family ranch North of Wheatland, Wyoming where we raise commercial beef cattle. In addition to this, I have shown cattle and competed in contests through 4H and the FFA for as long as I can remember. This lifestyle has instilled a strong passion for agriculture within me and has given me countless opportunities. I am looking forward to representing and promoting the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the agricultural community as a whole for the next few years!

Jared Schultis :

Jared Schultis

Hello, my name is Jared Schultis and I am a senior majoring in Animal and Veterinary Science.  Prior to transferring to UW, I attended Laramie County Community College and received an Associate of Science in Animal Science.  After I am done here at UW, I hope to return to the family cow-calf and feeding operation to help manage and run it.  I am from a small town in west-central Nebraska called Tryon.  I was fortunate enough to be highly involved in the happenings of our operation from a young age.  In addition to being an Ag Ambassador, I am also on the rodeo team here at UW.  I have developed a deep passion for the beef industry, and I am very glad I chose UW to further my education in the industry.  I look forward to serving the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources any way I can!

Bridger Sparks :

Bridger Sparks

Hi all, my name is Bridger Sparks. I am currently a Junior here at UW and originally, I am from Grantsville, Utah. I grew up showing sheep and goats and raising every form of poultry under the sun. I participated in the National FFA Organization in high school, specifically in poultry evaluation. I am a dual degree student in animal and veterinary sciences concentrated in animal biology with my second degree being physiology. I plan to attend a PhD program post-bachelorette in endocrinology-reproductive physiology or an interdisciplinary reproductive physiology program. My ultimate goal is to study the underlying mechanisms in reproductive neuroendocrinology in an academic setting. I am involved with collegiate cattlemen, undergraduate research, queer community coalition, and more. I hope if you have any questions about ag ambassadors, the college of ag, college life, or just need some advice that you will reach out

Shaylin Stein :

Shaylin Stein

Hello! My name is Shaylin Stein, and I am from a small town in Colorado called Elizabeth. I’m a Senior at the University of Wyoming studying Agricultural Business with a concentration in Livestock Management and a concurrent major in Animal Science and Veterinary Science with a concentration in Business. I actually didn’t get fully involved in agriculture until I was in middle school and high school, where I started showing in the NRHA. From there, I joined the University of Wyoming Ranch Horse team and for the past three years have been showing with my horse Chexie and am currently the President of the team. I’m very excited to be an Ag Ambassador and that I get to represent the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources on a daily basis.

Brittany Vogl :

Brittany Vogl

Hi all! My name is Brittany Vogl and I am from Elizabeth, CO. I am a Junior here studying Animal and Veterinary Sciences concentrated in Production and Equine Science. Throughout my youth, I was heavily involved in my local 4H club and competed in everything horse-related! While my passions primarily reside with my equine friends, during my time in college I have developed a deep respect for all aspects of the production industry. I am involved with the Wyoming Collegiate Cattle Association as this year's President, the Food Science Club, and the Meat Science Quiz Bowl team. I love to learn new things, especially if it is Animal Science related! This University has helped me grow and develop in more ways than I could have ever imagined! I hope you consider UW to continue your education. Go Pokes!

Sheila Walsh :

Sheila Walsh
Hi! My name is Sheila T Walsh, and I am a senior. I am a non-traditional student who transferred to the University of Wyoming from Southern California. My love of feeding others and my interest in the unseen world brought me to Wyoming to study Microbiology. It is my dream of growing the agricultural community here at UWyo which made me an Ag Ambassador. My goal is to be a soil microbiologist. To get prepared for graduate school and my future profession, I work in a soils laboratory on campus. Soil is the most complex and crucial habitat on earth, so I cannot wait to talk dirt with y’all!