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WSU Animal Sciences Student-designed Pendleton Blanket Funds Future of Entrepreneur Class

PULLMAN, Wash. — A group of Washington State University student entrepreneurs have custom designed a “Go Cougs” blanket that is being manufactured for them by Pendleton Woolen Mills.

WSU Animal Science Students of Entrepreneurship and their custom-made Pendelton "Go Cougs" blanket.
WSU Animal Science Students of Entrepreneurship and their custom-made Pendelton "Go Cougs" blanket.

With crimson stripes on a gray background, the 64-inch square, wool stadium blanket prominently features the WSU Cougar head logo. Pendleton is known throughout the world for their top-quality woolen products. Blankets are available through the students’ class website,

The students are in a new animal sciences class focused on entrepreneurship and niche marketing.

“The start-up costs of the entrepreneurship class were funded by a USDA grant. We are focused on honing students’ skills in marketing, accounting and advertising and providing hands-on experience in those areas” said class instructor and department chair Margaret Benson.

“The funding for the class is a one-time grant, so what we’re really trying to do here is raise money to sustain this course in the future by supporting student activities and future projects,” said animal sciences major and class member Erik Walker.

“While we were marketing our blankets at a football game recently, we heard from several animal sciences alumni who expressed regret that such a class was not offered when they were attending WSU,” said Erin Reynolds, an entrepreneurship class member who is also majoring in animal sciences.

“Currently, the department offers numerous opportunities to gain experience in the science of livestock production. However, practice in business skills needed for operating an enterprise has not been part of the traditional curriculum,” said Benson. “I wanted to correct that situation.”

“Through our study of science and technology, we work hard to prepare ourselves for diverse careers in animal-related industries. But we realize business skills are also key to success regardless of career path,” said class member and animal science major Nick Larson.

The class is using the blanket as a case study to learn marketing strategies and gain hands-on experience in the practice of running a small business. Bolstered by wide-spread alumni interest, the students look forward to laying the foundation for a program that will exist for many years to come.

Students in the class are Erik Walker of Port Orchard; Erin Reynolds, of Lithia, Fla; Kim Levine, Olympia; and Nick Larson, Sumner.

Learn more about the entrepreneurship class and the students’ experiences by visiting their web site,, or find them on Facebook by searching for WSU Animal Science Students of Entrepreneurship.