I send my gratitude to the Targeting Excellence Sponsors, Board, and Committees. I sincerely thank you for selecting me as a recipient for the 2019 Targeting Excellence Scholarship. Your investment in me only heightens my passions and goals to contribute to the agricultural field in a meaningful way.
Just as chapters of a book build upon each other to tell a story, the experiences that I have had so far, and continue to have, exemplify my goal of pursuing a career in the poultry industry where I can operate at the forefront of public health and sustainability. There is such a need to keep developing and growing agriculture for the significant role it plays in current and future problems of society, such as food insecurity.
During my internship at Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, I learned about what goes into the investigative process when it comes to poultry health and how science can lead to innovations that contribute to maximum productivity as well as build stronger industries. This concept followed into the work I had analyzing behavior in beef cattle, which demonstrated the critical role technology has in the quest for optimal health and efficiency. Similarly, working at Ohio State’s Swine Center, while not at the scale of production within the swine industry, has allowed me to learn a considerable amount in terms of animal husbandry, breeding, and production life cycles.
Participating in the Midwest Poultry Consortium’s Center of Excellence (COE) Program introduced an exceptional opportunity to become integrated into poultry science through the aspects of both education and industry experience. I was able to deepen my educational experience with poultry through the immense focus and investment involving management, health, nutrition, and the research of these topics. Working as an Animal Health Intern at Trillium Farms augmented what I had learned in the classroom. The knowledge and thinking skills gained from these experiences heightened my passion to work in the field of agriculture and are critical when in pursuit to tackle “big picture” challenges related to food safety, reproductive efficiencies, disease control, and the environment.
Travelling abroad to Brazil was another significant experience that impacted my career goals. Being in an interconnected international society that demands cross-cultural skills, knowledge, and diverse character, studying and visiting production systems from a different area of the world opened my eyes to the ways others are working towards improving their industries as well as the degree of what still must be done. While representing Ohio State at the Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference, I found that many students across the nation are concerned with and passionate about the same matter. At the event, we dissected the topic of change with industry professionals and discussed what we can do to make a positive change in agriculture during a time so necessary. This shaped my character in a way made me realize that I can make meaningful contributions in terms of my career goals. While making advancements towards my degree in animal science, these experiences heighten not only my passion for the field, but also my desire to grow in it.