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Faculty Spotlight: Daren Stephens

Panhandle State Communications on 05/05/2021 Daren Stephens Daren Stephens

Inman, Kansas native, Daren Stephens, has made Panhandle State his home for over 20 years. Better known as Chief, he is a long-time member of the Ag Department as both alumni and faculty.

Stephens graduated from Panhandle State in 2000 with a bachelor of science in Animal Science after transferring from a junior college. He said, “I first came to OPSU to participate in a livestock judging contest when I was in Junior College. I liked the campus and people I met that day, so I returned for a JUCO transfer day to check out the school.” He went on the earn his Masters of Agribusiness in 2015 from Kansas State University.

As Instructor of Agriculture, Stephens interacts with students a majority of his time, and they have become one of his favorite parts of Panhandle State. He commented, “I have always enjoyed the type and kind of students we get for the most part. I enjoy interacting with most students. I like seeing where they go in life.”

When he is not in the classroom, Stephens can be found at the Estes E. Firestone Meat Lab on campus. “Having a meats facility to work in has been a great thing.”, said Stephens. There is little free time for Stephens between Panhandle State and the small herd of commercial cattle he is partnered on with a long-time college friend.