Craig Mixing animal science with words.
"I absolutely love it," said Sarah Kawcak, of Craig, when referring to her studies in Animal Science Livestock Merchandising at Oklahoma State University.
In addition to animal science classes, Sarah also has completed coursework in broadcasting, journalism and mass media that is preparing her for work with various animal associations, in advertising as a company consultant or as a writer of agriculture stories for magazines.
"I like working with words," Sarah said. "It's my forte."
After graduating from Moffat County High School in 2005, Sarah began attending OSU. In the beginning, her major was animal science with an emphasis in biotechnology. However, when she was a sophomore, she changed the emphasis to livestock merchandising.
Sarah has been home for a short vacation, but she will go back to the university and spend the summer helping a student finish research for his doctorate. After the research has been completed, Sarah will finish some "little projects" at the university and write up the results, which will be published.
In December, Sarah will graduate from OSU with a bachelor's degree in animal science, and in January, she'll start a master's program in animal science reproductive physiology in cattle.
All this, and Sarah is only 21 years old.
Sarah is the daughter of Frank and Reneta Kawcak, of Craig. She has two sisters, Brittni and Dani. The family has a ranch west of Craig, where they have been raising commercial cattle. Last fall, they began expanding their business to include registered Angus cattle and plan to eventually sell bulls.
This spring, the family artificially inseminated some of the cattle on their ranch.
Sarah said she would like to get into artificial insemination technology. Another goal is to go to ultrasound school to learn how to use ultra-sound technology for things such as aging and sexing an animal fetus or checking the rib-eye area of a beef.
Through seminars, Sarah hopes to earn an American Quarterhorse Association judging card so that she can judge official quarterhorse shows. Already, Sarah has judged smaller shows such as the Rio Blanco Fair and shows in Oklahoma.
Sarah was a 4-H member for 11 years, during which she showed horses, market lambs and a breeding heifer. She also was a junior leader for a while.
While in 4-H and FFA, Sarah competed on the livestock judging teams. In FFA, she also was on the Horse Judging and Meats Evaluation Teams.
Offices she held in FFA included vice president and president, both at junior and senior levels.
Sarah is no stranger to awards, either. For example, during the 4-H years, she won the Morris Powell Award twice, and in FFA she received the Star Chapter Farmer and Star Greenhand awards.
Recently, Sarah was the recipient of the Hill Farm Scholarship, to be used at Oklahoma State University this fall. The award was for leadership and fellowship in helping and tutoring other students.
Sarah also has received the Otha H. Grimes Scholarship the past two years.
An enterprising young woman, Sarah summed it up when she said she likes calving, branding and riding her horse - all parts of ranch work.
Sarah added that since there are only girls in her family, the Kawcak name won't be carried on.
"Even though I may not be carrying on the family's last name, I'm still carrying on the traditions and heritage that were instilled upon my sisters and me," she said.