2013 Ag Man of the Year: Ryan Cochran

Posted: April 28, 2013

Arika sits down with Ryan Cochran, recipient of Ag Student Council's Ag Man of the Year award, to talk about Penn State's influence on his career.

This week I sat down with the College of Ag Sciences’ own 2013 Ag Man of the Year, Ryan Cochran. Ryan is a native of Akron, Pa and is a senior majoring in Agricultural Science.

Why do you think you were chosen as Ag Man of the Year?

I’ve always tried to get involved in as many clubs as time would allow.

What clubs are you involved with in the College of Ag Sciences?

Currently I am involved with Collegiate FFA, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Dairy Science Club, and Alpha Zeta fraternity. There are times, though, that I find myself a little overwhelmed and can’t make it to every meeting, but I try to stay involved. Previously, when I attended Penn State Berks, I was involved with starting the Ag Club and was the representative to the Penn State Berks Student Council.

How long have you been involved with these clubs?

Since I transferred from Penn State Berks campus to University Park, so for most of the clubs, two years.

What is your involvement in Greek Life and what are the benefits?

I am a brother at Alpha Zeta and currently the Professional Development Chair and previously was a rush chair.  Overall, in a Greek community, you’re able to live with other students who have different majors from yourself, but in the process you learn so much from one another. Plus, you make great friendships.

What are your career goals after graduation?

I want to help people involved in production agriculture. I’d like to move back home to Lancaster and work in agricultural finance. 

How do you advocate for agriculture?

I think just talking to people, especially those not involved in agriculture, is the best way to advocate. Listening to them is often times more important than talking at them.

Is there anything you would do differently in your college career?

I wish I would’ve taken advantage of opportunities sooner. This year I got heavily involved, and I gained a lot of experience and built networks with other people. The sooner you become involved, the better it is, and most of my learning experiences came from time spent with my clubs.

What is your favorite Penn State memory?

My favorite Penn State memory happens to be the trips with the Dairy Science Club to California and Ireland. These trips not only were a way to see different aspects of agriculture, but also opened my eyes culturally. During both trips we toured dairies and learned the differences between those places and Pennsylvania and how the dairy industry is marketed in these different parts of the country and world.

What is your favorite Creamery ice cream flavor?

Peachy Paterno

What is your favorite study spot?

At home in my room.

Is there a professor, adviser, or Ag Sciences staff member who greatly influenced you during your time at Penn State?

There are quite a few Penn State faculty members who touched my life while I was here at Penn State. Dr. Marvin Hall, who instructs courses in forages, is one professor who stands out in my mind. He is so enthusiastic about delivering his topics that I became more interested in what he had to say. I like many of the professors here in the college because everyone seems very interested in what they are teaching, are involved in research, and are considered experts in their field.


Ryan, we wish you the best with your future career and congratulations again on being selected the Ag Man of the Year!