Thank you to the Targeting Excellence Sponsors, Board, and Committees for investing in the future of agriculture! I am so grateful for your support as I work to achieve my goals and help feed our growing global population. I truly value the emphasis Targeting Excellence puts on building relationships, exchanging ideas, and educating others while assisting students. This scholarship helps me continue my dairy science studies where I strive to learn the best practices of producing wholesome dairy products with regard to animal care and environmental stewardship. Thank you Targeting Excellence for your continued support!
Currently, I am a junior at UW-River Falls (UWRF) where I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science and a minor in agricultural business. I plan to choose a career where I can work with both cattle and people in the dairy industry and be an “agvocate” for agriculture. While I have not pinpointed the exact career title that I hope to obtain after college, I continue to take advantage of the many opportunities that UW-River Falls has to offer and because of this, I have gained industry experience that is sending me in the right direction. A few of these opportunities include attending the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leadership Conference in the fall of 2017 and 2018 and the AFA Animal Institute hosted by the Animal Health Corridor in Kansas City, Missouri. Through UWRF, I have been able to participate in the Professional Dairy Producers (PDPW) Mentor Program for the past two years, which has exposed me to different dairy management practices. My involvement in my community back home, such as serving as the 2019 Fond du Lac County Fairest of the Fair, has allowed me to further develop my public speaking and communication skills, both of which will benefit me as I work towards a future career. Additionally, I have acquired practical hands-on experience by working at my 4-H leader’s family dairy farm where I have worked throughout high school. I have since furthered my work experience and knowledge while working with Milk Source’s Rosendale Dairy, which is Wisconsin’s largest dairy farm where 9000 head of cattle call home. At Rosendale Dairy, most of my days are spent caring for the fresh and hospital cows along with newborn calf care. I began working at Rosendale Dairy the summer after I graduated from high school and continue to work there when I am home from college during winter and summer breaks. Because I focus on fresh cow care at Rosendale Dairy, I have developed an interest in preventing and diagnosing metabolic diseases in early lactation cows. Working on a large-scale operation has exposed me to so much more than what I would have seen on smaller dairy operations. It is my dream to someday have a career consulting dairy producers about the products available for treating fresh cows, but also offering my knowledge to help producers achieve their operation’s goals and to emphasize prevention. Since there is so much to learn about the dairy industry with evolving management practices, I acknowledge that I have a long way to go before I even come close to becoming an expert on fresh cow care. Continuing education and research is essential because this is the foundation of my passion: helping farmers. The farm experience that I have aquired paired with the skills that I have attained through my internship at Foremost Farms USA in the Member Services department this past summer has placed me on the right path for becoming a fresh cow specialist and helping producers.