From inspiration to Action!

January 1, 2012 - Leave a Response

I noticed that some people have had some questions about the progress of the project…I am happy to report:


I am now in Kabul, Afghanistan meeting with various top officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environnmentl and others here in Afghanistan.

I am writing about it more here: mostly addressing the day to day life goings on in Afghanistan. Shortly I will begin posting further results from the meetings I have been having.

Thank you everyone for your support and efforts! We have so many good things to do in the world together!!


Q4 Update on Poppy

November 25, 2011 - Leave a Response

In the last few months the progress on the poppy oil project has been phenomenal.
In August a team of Colorado State University research faculty agreed to on the project:

Dr Ken Reardon
Dr. Lori Peek

Additionally, US Geological Survey’s Dr. Jill Baron came on board as well.

In September, 2010 CSU Vice President of Climate, Energy and the Environment Dr. Ron Sega (former US Air Force Under-Secretary) formally agree to join the advisory panel along with Dr. Stephen Davies, chair of the CSU Department of Agricultural Resource Economics.

A trip to US EPA headquarters in October resulted in a joint meeting with Dr Sylvana Li who was the US Department of Agriculture’s trilateral agricultural administrator between the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan and the branch chief in Islamabad.
This meeting also lead to a meeting and support from the White House Science Advisor to the US National Park Service, Dr. Gary Machalis.
Besides the prior contact with the U.S. State Department from my time as a Rotary Scholar, we have clearly expanded our net.

Most recently in November, we have brought on Dr. Ajay Jha who has oil seed crop based work going on in Kabul. Dr. Jha is now one of our most enthusiastic supporters and most important, as his work may provide the key link bridging from poppy to the non-narcotic transition. Dr. Jha will return from Kabul on the 27th.

We have nearly located a supplier we can purchase poppy seeds from and have the full support of CSU Engines, Combustion and Energy Laboratory to test the engineering properties of the oil with the assistance of engineer Dr. Dan Olsen and Agriculture Extension specialist Dr Jerry Johnson.

Pending Dr. Ajay Jha’s report and return, Phoenix Mourning-Star’s flight to Kabul will be purchased for a December 23rd departure to Kabul to the University of Kabul, the Ministry of Agriculture and present to the two Rotary Clubs of Kabul

Greetings Rotaians

June 22, 2011 - Leave a Response

Greeting Rotarians!
Thank you for your time and patience in helping me schedule visits to your clubs.
I am hoping that seeing my schedule will help navigate a speedier scheduling of my attendance to you clubs if the dates below happen to not work for you club. I know it’s taken me some time to reply to some of the clubs, so I will do my best to reschedule. At the moment, I am taking courses a CSU until mid-May. In mid-February I will find out if I will be accepted to do an internship in the U.S. White House, I was nominated in December. If I am not accepted for this honor, I plan to be in the Fort Collins area most of the summer, which should facilitate lots of possible times to speak at your clubs.

Right so at this time I would like to confirm the following dates:
1. Greeley Redeye Feb 8th
2. Jackson Hole Noon and Evening March 15th
3. Jackson Hole Noon March 16th
4. Jackson Hole Breakfast and Noon March 17th
5. Longs Peak Evening March 23rd
6. Garden of the Gods April 12th
7. Breakfast and Downtown Fort Collins Clubs April 13th(my birthday)
8. Noon Club Estes Park May 5
9. Noon Loveland 3rd week of May
While I was on my Scholarship in New Zealand, I did not limit my representation to Rotary Clubs; I spoke to City Councils, boards of directors, attended business meetings, I brought the U.S. Ambassador to the Incoming Scholars Orientation… I hope to do the same now that I have returned. I am extremely passionate about my involvement with Rotary and encourage you to access your Rotary Scholars and GSE to present to other organizations as well as Rotary Clubs. This is a link I feel sad may be missing from outreach on behalf of Rotary. If you think of anyother groups, businesses, organizations, news outlets you would like me to spread the word of Rotary to, please, help me repay Rotary’s investment in me the best way I know how!
President Ray said at the Greeley Luncheon: we as Rotary mustbegin to stand up and take credit for what Rotary does and is. In my opinion, maybe it’s because I am a recipient of the Rotary Foundation’s work, there is no better way to get the word out than to engage your Rotary Scholars to speak out on your behalf.

….a new Rotary Project?

April 23, 2011 - Leave a Response

I've been presenting about this project, and its taking hold - a very hopeful, ambitious and attainable project.

Update on the Loveland Interact Shelterbox Tent-a-thon Fundraiser!

April 19, 2011 - One Response

Hi! I’m attaching a cool idea the Interact students came up with for their fundraiser (see

They have an idea that raising funds can take on an ‘evacuation theme’! SUPER creative – in that you can have you donation ‘sponsor’ one of the students to ‘evacuate the tent-a-thon tent city’!

Check it out:


Tsunami Evacuation Notice

You have been summoned to be evacuated by a caring person (who paid $25 to evacuate you):


Caring Person’s Name:_________________________________________Phone:_____­___________

Caring Person’s email: _______________________________________________

You must appear at “TentCity” on theMainPlazaat The Promenade Shops at Centerra during the hours of 5 p.m. on 4/29/11 through 5 p.m. on 4/30/11.   Yes, it is an ALL NIGHT TENT-A-THON!!!   You will be joining the Big Thompson Interact youth as they experience what a “tent city” would be like if a natural disaster were to occur here.     You do have the option to “Opt Out” by making a $25 (or more) donation.

All proceeds from this Tent-a-Thon will be used to purchase Shelter Boxes which house 10 people for 90 days in the case of natural disasters, such as the recent Japanese earthquake/tsunami.      Feel free to send a check (made out to Shelter Box USA and mailed to 1850 E. Hwy 60,Loveland,CO 80537) or you can go to the following Shelter Box,USAweb page to donate:    A page will appear: “Find a Team or Participant”, in the box, enter “Loveland” and click Search.   It will bring up “Big Thompson Interact Loveland Colorado Team”.    Click that choice and you will be at the right spot to donate toward our goal of 5 Shelter Boxes!!

If you have questions or would like someone to come to you to collect or you would like to issue a Tsunami Summons Notice for someone else you care about, feel free to call Paige Primmer at 970-690-7863  or Teresa Beemer at 970-203-4267.

If you make a donation of $25 or more, we will be happy to email you the tracking number of the Shelter Box we are able to sponsor.

Evacuee name:   ________________________________________________________________

Evacuee phone number: __________________________________________________________

Evacuee address: ________________________________________________________________

Evacuee email (if you want tracking info) _____________________________________________

              Big Thompson Interact Club

Rotary-ShelterBox Interact

April 15, 2011 - One Response

If you’re not up to anything – or even if you are – we hope you can come out to support the Loveland Interacters on April 29th to raise money and awareness for ShelterBox.

If you don’t know about ShelterBox you should come and learn more about it! It’s a Rotary Club project out of the UK that has gotten international acclaim. You can find out more by going to the District 5440 ShelterBox facebook page. You don’t want to miss out on helping and supporting the students as they camp out for 24 hours to raise as much money as they can – maybe even challenge the Cheyenne Rotaracters in their annual camp out fundraiser in May!?
Additionally, I will be speaking about my Rotary Ambassadorial research in which I studied the status of Internally Diplaced People (IDPs) and Environmental Refugees in International Law.

Garden of the Gods Rotary – Colorado Springs!

April 5, 2011 - Leave a Response

Colorado Springs isn’t as far away as we up here inNorthern Colorado like to pretend it is. A nice sunny morning, I drove I-25 at just the right time to miss the morning rush hour(s) through Denver and make it to the noon Rotary at the Mason Jar in Colorado Springs! A peppy, jolly club!

I’ll post a photo or two soon – as I made them let me take a photo during my presentation 🙂

…a fun extra: I got to have a nice energetic talk with their District’s DG elect….watch out – she’s gonna be on fire!!

Long drive, long runs, long day – Never short on passion and laughs!

March 15, 2011 - Leave a Response

Yesterday’s lunch Rotary went great – I think I left folks with more questions than answers, though 🙂

After the meeting, we headed out to make a few turns, where I was lucky enough to get a private tour of the mountain! What amazing veiws. Though, slightly masked by the clouds that came in just as I had arrived…still beautiful!

After a few runs, I was handed off to another passing group of Rotarians – however, the aire of the half-pipe grabbed my attention and suddenly I was re-living days in Mammoth, California of hiking the pipe and enjoying the floating sensation – flowing from wall to wall – weightless and getting the only kind of acceptable high.

I barely caught the last lift in time to sprint to the car and make tracks to Fort-Pettus.

Road Trip!!! …heading to the Jackson Hole Rotary Clubs!

March 14, 2011 - Leave a Response

I left Fort Collins at 8 or 9pm last night to start driving toward the north-western border of District 5440…there’s word of a different breed of Rotarians up in those parts. The sky was clear as a Colorado stream, but make no mistake, no more than an hour into the drive, the whipping wind made itself known: Welcome to Wyoming.

Coordinating this trip has been a long road itself, corresponding with the Pettus household by email to make sure I could make the drive and visit Rotary Clubs in Jackson – arriving at Jackson Hole Ski area for Rotary day, it was obvious the planning would be worth it.

I arrived in the parking lot after a long drive taking naps at gas stations along the way. The Rotary ski day at Jackson Hole is certainly a day not to miss. As Rotarians began to stomp into the conference room for a lunch break meeting, the thing that struck me was how many familiar faces there were!

It reminded me of the many club member inductions I have been honored to attend. You know where the Club President welcomes the applicant into the club and says something to the effect of  “…you’ve now got friends and fellowship anywhere in the world you happen to be…welcome to Rotary”.

Between being a guest at the Quad District conference and Mid-year Assemblies, I had forgotten how many Rotarians I had been able to say hello to and – well, they keep popping up (especially at Rotary meetings).

Anyway, I felt right at home at the base lodge preparing for my presentation, so I jumped in and did a little greeting at the door welcoming Rotarians in from the hill.

World Water Day!!!

March 12, 2011 - Leave a Response

We have so much going on. A lot of work has gone into making and celebrating the United Nation’s March 22nd World Water Day happen here at CSU! I can’t wait to write more about this – but for now, check out our media:

For the most up to date – see our Facebook:

Check our Website: