Laura Jensen

Laura Jensen

2017 Scholarship Recipient - Undergraduate Award (Minnesota)

I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Targeting Excellence sponsors, board of directors, and state committees. Your commitment to agriculture students is greatly appreciated. I will use this scholarship to finance my final year at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where I am studying dairy genetics. I am excited for this upcoming year as I will be serving as the Gopher Dairy Club President, conducting a research project in a functional genomics lab, and taking a really neat animal biotechnology class!
Once again, I would like to thank you for your generous support. It will make a huge impact in my undergraduate career and I hope to pay it forward by my future career and research in the dairy industry.

Hometown: Comstock, WI

School: University of Minnesota

Major / Species: Animal Science – dairy emphasis

Career Goals: After finishing my Bachelor of Science in Animal Science at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), I will be attending graduate school to study dairy genetics or reproductive physiology. After graduate school, I plan to either work in research or the dairy industry for an artificial insemination company. I would like to focus on early embryonic mortality and improving dairy fertility. In order to find my ideal career, I have been seeking work opportunities in genetics. My first experience was working for Nathan Springer in a maize epigenetics lab at the University of Minnesota. In the lab, I isolated DNA, ran PCR, and organized seeds for planting. Next, I was the Dairy Genetics Intern for CRV USA (an artificial insemination company). My main focus for the summer was assisting in project development on the genomic testing service, HerdOptimizer. Currently, I am working for Dr. Chris Faulk in an animal functional genomics and epigenetics lab at the University of Minnesota. In the lab, I am writing computer code to analyze mouse weight data and conducting a meta-analysis on mouse nutrition and growth rates. This upcoming summer, I will be the Dairy Sire Marketing Intern for Select Sires. I will be working with the progeny specialist to find young sire daughters and photograph them. This wide variety of work experience has taken me closer to finding my ideal career.