Thank you to everyone involved with Targeting Excellence for this scholarship. I am so honored to have been selected for this award and hope to continue making food animal agriculture proud!
As an enthusiastic animal science student with a passion for horses, I always expected that a career in the equine industry would be my future goal. Three classes in my undergraduate degree, along with a variety of experience, changed my mind completely. Between animal nutrition, crop science, and grassland management, I realized that my real passion lies in crop-animal interactions and forage systems for beef cattle. Because of this, my career goals are set on working as a livestock consultant or extension specialist, with a particular interest in university research. Specifically, I want to focus my attention to researching solutions to real-world producer problems. My thesis project originated from a recurring problem that cattle farmers face every day, which is what I want to continue solving throughout my career. My research interests in animal science revolve around the nutritional value of forages to beef cattle, and how pasture management can affect yield. Specifically, research topics that interest me are tall fescue endophyte resilience over time and how novel endophyte varieties compare in different areas and operating systems. I also hope to investigate the use of multiple species of animals for pasture management, regenerative based grazing systems, and intercropped forage varieties throughout my future. My goal in my college career has been to develop a diverse education of agriculture to set the precedent for becoming a leader in my field. My priority is to learn something new from every professor, researcher, or professional that I meet. The advancement and advocacy of agriculture is my greatest ambition, and I hope that I can make a difference in my future involvement with food animal production.