Amanda Smith 2016 Scholarship Winner

Amanda Smith

Hometown: Kearneysville, WV

School: North Carolina State University

Major / Species: Animal Science (Industry Concentration) and Agricultural Business Management; Minor: Economics

Career Goals:  I plan to attend law school or enter directly into a career in agricultural policy after receiving my undergraduate degree. I specifically would like to work with the cattle industry to represent producers and associations, serving as an “agvocate” for the beef and dairy industries. The livestock sector is constantly thrown into the spotlight due to misunderstandings between the public and farmers, especially when special interest groups are involved. Animal agriculture needs lawyers and policymakers who understand farm management and livestock production. I have always been passionate about policy and agriculture, so fusing the two together is the most logical and enjoyable career choice for me.
Since my career goal is to work in agricultural policy, I will have numerous opportunities to exercise my skills and promote the industry. I grew up on a diversified livestock farm and study Animal Science, and therefore feel that I have the background necessary to successfully represent the livestock industry in lawsuits. My involvement in 4-H and FFA provided me with many opportunities to enhance my public speaking and research skills- necessary abilities for an attorney. These opportunities gave me first-hand experience that is needed to effectively communicate with other professionals in the industry. You have to “walk the walk” before you “talk the talk”; my history of employment gives me the credibility to be an advocate for agriculture. It is imperative that policy makers and lawyers understand the importance of agriculture and have the correct facts in order to form policy that supports our industry. The majority of people in policy do not come from a farming background, and therefore need someone who can provide them with that critical firsthand experience. Fusing my passion for agriculture with my interest in policy will not only make my career enjoyable, but will also help a greater cause of agriculture education and advocacy. This summer, I will be interning with the North Carolina Pork Council in their policy branch. I am excited to gain firsthand experience in livestock policy, and am honored to represent one of the biggest commodities in North Carolina agriculture.