Austin Schmitt

Austin Schmitt

Thank you to all the Targeting Excellence sponsors, board of directors, and state committees that have worked hard to put these scholarships together. Your dedication to aid higher education is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed by students on campus. I personally appreciate everything you have done to help me financially. I know that without your help, I would not be able to graduate college debt free. With your help, I will be able to jump start my career in the dairy production industry and start giving back to all the youth programs and organizations sooner. Thank you once again for this scholarship.

Hometown: Rice, MN

School: University of Minnesota

Major / Species: Agronomy and Agriculture and Food Business Management

Career Goals: Since coming to college, I have further developed my professional goals. As I look at the bigger picture I have been able to set three goals for my future career as a member of the agriculture industry. I have chosen to return home to our dairy farm because I know I can make a positive impact on my community, like my father and grandfather have done before me. Besides modernizing and expanding the farm I have set some goals. The three short goals I have made to guide my future decisions are to educate, to be active, and to be futuristic. My first goal of agriculture education is very important to me for multiple reasons. At every show I attend, spectators are always curious as to what I am doing with my cow and why I am doing it. I have taken a special interest to take time and explain to them the reasoning behind my actions. Throughout my year as region FFA president, I was asked to visit neighboring schools and advocate for agriculture education programs and agriculture in general. To foster this interest, I have plans to construct an educational building and a milk processing plant on my farm. My dream is to have people of all ages tour the milk processing plant and have a staff working in the education building to explain what we do on a dairy farm. I believe education is the key to advocating for agriculture. My second career goal is to be active. I am already planning to run for the school board a few years after I return home. My father always told me that I cannot complain about something, if I did nothing to try and change it beforehand. Our school needs someone willing to come in and make tough decisions right now. Besides the school board, I plan to be on numerous board of directors for other organizations and associations which I am involved in throughout my career in agriculture. I want to make a positive impact on the lives of other people in rural America by getting involved and staying active in my community. Third, I set a goal for myself to be futuristic. Looking to a brighter future is a must for people in all people in agriculture. As a dairy farmer I plan to tend the land in a more sustainable way to benefit the environment. There is copious amounts of new technology available to farmers to make agriculture more sustainable, and I plan to use them. I also want to look to the future to prepare for a smooth transition to the next generation that is going to be stewards of my land.