I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the 2017 Targeting Excellence Scholarship. I am looking forward to another great year studying Animal Science at Iowa State University. I appreciate this generous contribution which will be put to good use as I work towards my goal of becoming a production animal veterinarian. Thank you very much for making this scholarship possible and for being an incredible support system for young leaders in agriculture like myself.
Just as animals fertilize the land that grows their nourishment, people build the foundation for future generations. In agriculture, every species plays its part in supplying the food chain that we rely on. As an agriculturalist, I am proud to work towards providing a safe and wholesome food supply, and I hope that I can make my contribution to our society. Ten years ago, I decided to join an organization called 4-H. Little did I know, this would allow me to manage my own livestock projects, network with agricultural leaders, gain important life skills, and ultimately find my passion. As time went on, I joined additional agricultural organizations, held leadership positions of my own, and came to understand agriculture on a deeper level. Although I enjoyed this industry to begin with, I didn’t make my biggest realization until I was standing in the middle of a commercial swine facility. Twice a year, the manure under the slats was hauled to a nearby field and spread onto the land. The land was then planted with corn or soybeans that were eventually ground into the feed that the next group of pigs would eat. I realized that, like agricultural processes, each of us has a unique responsibility to supply the individuals of the next generation with the resources that they need to flourish. In other words, we must first find our passion and then make our contributions. This caused me think about the goals that I have for myself and the contribution that I want to make. I am a Junior studying pre-veterinary medicine at Iowa State University. I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in May of 2018. Afterward, I plan to attend the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine. My specific interest is in swine medicine. I have been involved in showing, feeding, treating, and researching pigs. These experiences have led me to aspire to be a swine veterinarian. There are many opportunities for swine veterinarians including conducting research, developing pharmaceuticals, teaching, and practicing field medicine. Regardless of the title I obtain, I want to be involved in or own a progressive company that allows me to work in the industry I love, participate in moving the industry in a positive direction, support a family, and be involved in my community. Right now, I am the “next generation”. My community, family, and friends have provided me with the resources to grow. I have found my passion and now I am soaking up as much knowledge as possible. Soon I will be able to harvest the products of my hard work and begin my career in agriculture. Eventually, I will be making my own contributions to our world whether it be through my job, my family, or my community. I would like to thank all the individuals who make programs like this possible and contribute to my generation. In the future, I hope that I will be able to return the favor to those who follow me.