The Careers in Ag Safety and Health (CASH) Internship is jointly sponsored by the SW Ag Center and the Noble Research Institute. The experience is designed to help budding agricultural professionals sow the seeds for a prosperous and bountiful career. Applications are accepted February 15th through April 10th from those interested in the opportunity of a lifetime.
Questions about the internship can be sent to:
“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” – Masanobu Fukuoka
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MEET THE PAST INTERNS
Jay Gunner Arms is from Davis, Oklahoma where he grew up on a farm. Agriculture has always been a big part of his life. He graduated from Davis High School in 2018 and attended Neo A&M in Miami, OK on a football scholarship. He later transferred to Southeastern Oklahoma State University in August 2022. He started his CASH internship in May of 22. During his internship he advanced his knowledge of safety and health in the work environment. Gunner wrote safety articles on slips, trips and falls, tractor safety, and noise reduction. He also gained experience with social media messaging, email marketing, chemical inventory, and first aid.
Shortly after he finished his internship, he accepted a job as an EHS Specialist at Ditch Witch located in Perry, OK.
Jesus Sanchez is from New Summerfield, TX. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Wellness from UT Tyler in the summer of 2021. He currently is working on his master’s in health sciences degree as well as teaching/coaching at New Summerfield high school. His parents own a plant farm, “Veronica’s plant farm” where he learned everything he knows about agriculture and was able to create safety posters for his and many local plant farms.
Blake Brawley is from Ardmore, OK. He attends Southeastern Oklahoma State University and plans to graduate in the Fall of 2021.He majors in Occupational Safety and Health with a minor in Environmental Science, as well as a minor in General Business. Blake has received a certification in Site Emergency Response Planning and Basic Life Support. He enjoys the challenges that are presented by the occupational safety field and looks forward to a long-lasting safety career.
“I am beyond thankful for this internship opportunity presented by the Southwest Ag Center and Noble Research Institute. Although we were faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff at both entities were able to come up with a plan that allowed me to perform the internship,” Brawley said. “Even with restrictions, I was able to gain valuable knowledge from the tasks that were assigned to me, and I know this experience will benefit me in the future.”
Zachary Harris attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he studied Occupational Safety and Health and Environmental Science. He trained as a carpenter, equipment operator, and mechanic and worked in the trades since he was fifteen. He offered a unique perspective to the safety industry from his experience in these fields by making safety more accessible, practical, and sensible to the worker. Zac worked alongside the Safety Managers at the Noble Research Institute and gained real world experience. He attended the Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course in Iowa to gain a broader perspective of the field.
Zac also wrote a compelling Shop Safety Mini Series and conducted research on toxic plants in the five-state region. His plant research was compiled into the Thistle Make You Sick tip booklet available here:
Tristan Johnson is from Lone Grove, OK. He attends Northeastern State University where he studies Environmental Health and Safety Management. He will graduate with his bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2019. He has completed the OSHA 30-hour course as well as training in first aid/CPR and defensive driving. Tristan enjoys learning and is excited to pursue a rewarding career as a safety professional. “I am thankful for the opportunity that the Noble Research Institute and Southwest Agricultural Center have offered me and plan to take the information I learn in this internship and implement it in my future career,” said Tristan.
During the summer internship, Tristan learned about hazardous waste management, disaster recovery, risk management, fire action plans, emergency action plans, chemical inventory, professional writing, safety and health outreach and resource development.
Megan Kelley received a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety and Health from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2015 and obtained her Master’s degree in Occupational Safety in 2018. Her professional interests focus on maintaining health and safety standards in the workplace. Megan completed an integrity beef sustainability pilot project. The goal or end product of this project is to have beef in the supply chain (starts with the rancher and ends with the consumer) that comes from sustainable verified sources. She is putting together safety metrics for the cow calf portion on this chain. Megan is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and volunteers with her local community. She resides in Bryan County with her husband and children.
Larimey Curtis, BS
Larimey will graduate from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health in May 2017. He holds an associate’s degree in business management and has been formally trained in welding and metal fabrication.
Larimey was raised on a cattle operation and has tremendous experience working cattle, building fences, welding, performing machine maintenance and doing fieldwork. He has also worked as a hunting guide since 2012. He believes that working in safety allows him to be hands-on in the workplace.
Larimey’s experience allows him to bring a practical, producer-centered perspective to safety. In the future, Larimey would like to work in the safety and health field and have his own cattle operation.
Chelsea graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health. In addition to the SW Ag Center/Noble Foundation Internship, Chelsea also interned with GE Manufacturing Solutions and Michelin.
Agriculture has played a major role in Chelsea’s life. She joined 4-H when she was nine years old and was selected to be an Oklahoma State 4-H Ambassador and a District 3 State 4-H Council Member as a teenager.
Her interest in safety began in high school when an OSHA inspector came to her workplace to conduct an inspection. She talked with the inspector and came to understand his role in ensuring she had a safe working environment. In college, Chelsea’s advisor confirmed that safety was her calling. Chelsea told us that, “safety is very important in the workplace because I want my co-workers to go home safe at the end of the day.”
During Chelsea’s internship, she attended safety conferences and delivered presentations to Noble staff. She also played a vital role in the production of agricultural testimonial videos which will be used to persuade ag producers to perform their jobs safely. Chelsea accepted a full-time safety position at Coorstek in Oklahoma City.
Ugochukwu (Ugo) completed his Master of Public Health degree with a focus in Environmental and Occupational Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNT HSC) in summer 2014. Prior to enrolling at UNT HSC, Ugo attended Nnamdi Azikiwe College of Medicine in Nigeria where he earned Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees.
Ugo accepted one of 2014’s Decade Software-National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) scholarships. Ugo received the scholarship based on his essay, “The importance of institutionalizing capacity building programs at university level,” which refers to the concept of implementing and supporting activities that improve and enhance an organization’s ability to achieve its mission and sustain itself over time. Ugo will also be recognized in November 2014 at the American Public Health Association for his leadership in Environmental Health.
During the summer 2015 internship, Ugo lived in Ardmore, Oklahoma and worked closely with Robert Williams, Safety and Risk Manager for the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. At the Noble Foundation, Ugo got hands-on experience with creating pesticide safety protocols, conducting farm audits and delivering job site safety presentations. The SW Ag Center connected Ugo to professionals who conduct research and outreach within agricultural safety and health. Ugo traveled to Tyler, TX to attend the biennial Occupational and Environmental Conference hosted by the University of Texas Health Northeast. At the conference, Ugo was able to network with leaders in the field, including Kay Kreiss from NIOSH.
Ashton Williams studied animal science with an agriculture business minor at the University of Arkansas. Her passion for the agricultural production began by helping out on her extended family’s broiler and cattle farm. Ashton has pursued several opportunities to build her agricultural skill set including summer work as a wrangler for Camp War Eagle and volunteer service with Salem Springs Stables. She also worked as a research assistant on a project that measures calf stress during castration. Ashton served as the Reporter for the Block and Bridle Club and as their Vice President where she honed her leadership and communication skills.
Ashton completed her undergraduate degree in May 2013. She is particularly interested in animal production and the meat industry. Through the internship experience, she was able to see how the safety and health of the producer is inherently connected to the value and quality of the product.