Forrest Lang, a recent graduate of the agricultural systems management (ASM) program, spent his past four years at Ohio State challenging himself to go beyond his comfort zone. Whether attending classes or serving as an officer for the ASM Club, Forrest's passion for pushing personal boundaries has led him on some invaluable experiences.
"The quote 'you never grow within your comfort zone' is one that I feel most applies to college," he said. "Going outside of your comfort zone is a huge step, but I think that it's crucial for becoming the best version of yourself."
Originally from Wooster, Ohio, Forrest grew up in a tight-knit community and was unaccustomed to the fast-paced nature of cities like Columbus, Ohio. Like many first-year students, he feared that it would be a great challenge to find his home at Ohio State. However, this would change as Forrest became involved on campus.
"I never thought I would enjoy living in Columbus because I come from a rural area," he said. "By branching out and going outside of my comfort zone, I have done a lot in Columbus that makes it feel like home now."
Throughout his time at Ohio State, Forrest has held leadership positions as a range safety officer for the Ohio State Pistol Club, member for the CFAES Celebration of Students Committee and treasurer for the ASM Club. As treasurer, Forrest focused on increasing the organization's funds by reducing the club's spending, managing basic expenses and promoting fundraisers like the Lawn Mower Clinic and the club's food stand at the Farm Science Review.
Each year, the ASM Club works with the Construction Systems Management (CSM) Club to hold their annual Lawn Mower Clinic, which provides maintenance for push lawnmowers. During 2018, an increase in sales generated a significant amount of profit, allowing the ASM Club to not only increase its funds, but also lend a helping hand.
"These funds allowed us to supplement the cost of students' trips to professional conferences and service activities," Forrest said. "Additionally, we were able to donate financial support and time towards two agricultural charity organizations: Ohio AgrAbility and Farm Rescue."
Offered through OSU Extension, the Ohio AgrAbility program assists farmers and other agricultural workers with disabilities by providing the resources and support they need to live independently and to continue or return to working in production agriculture. Alongside other ASM Club members, Forrest helped farmers in this program by completing tasks such as assisting with yard work and performing maintenance on farm machinery.
Forrest believes that being involved with organizations that give back to their community is what Ohio State is all about.
"Being able to 'pay it forward' is a very important concept I learned while participating," Forrest said. "These experiences taught me to focus on how much I have and to be thankful for all that I take for granted each day."
Forrest's advice to other students who are interested in getting involved is to branch out and explore all the extracurricular options that Ohio State has to offer. "There are so many opportunities to experience something new, not only in courses, but also through organizations and events," he said.
Forrest's enthusiasm for going outside of his comfort zone has not only allowed him to find his place but has also led to his success as a Buckeye. Earlier this Spring, he was recognized as a CFAES and FABE Distinguished Senior Award recipient. This college-level award recognizes the top 25 students in CFAES for their leadership, service and academics.
Forrest will be continuing his education by obtaining a master’s degree in agricultural engineering at Ohio State.
by Kiersten Wright