The simple words “thank you” could never truly express the level of gratitude I have for the Targeting Excellence Sponsors, Board, and Committees. This opportunity is truly a blessing, and I sincerely appreciate not only the faith in me as a student and my future endeavors, but the investment in the future of the agriculture industry as a whole. Thank you!
My name is Libby Brownawell, and I recently graduated from Delaware Valley University, with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science; Specialization: Livestock Science and Management. During my undergraduate studies, I began working as the Student Research Lead on a Pennsylvania Swine Biosecurity research project. The goal of the project is to hear from Pennsylvania swine producers and their thoughts on biosecurity, and whether they have a biosecurity plan and implement it. Upon graduating in December, I was approached with an opportunity to begin an additional research project and continue my education at Delaware Valley University. I am currently working towards my Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership and conducting research regarding slaughter facilities in Pennsylvania. The goal of this research project is to conduct a needs assessment for slaughter facility producers, workforce, etc. to develop necessary training for the industry’s success. I have always been heavily involved in the agriculture industry, showing livestock in 4-H and FFA, but the research projects have influenced my new-found passion for the pork and meat industry. I have learned so much speaking to producers and being directly involved with their needs, that I hope to continue my future career in the pork and meat industry. Of course, the research portion of the project will eventually be completed, but what I am most excited about is interpreting the information and using it to help Pennsylvania producers in the pork and slaughter industries. I always had dreams of becoming a large animal veterinarian, but after attending college and gaining additional experiences in the agriculture industry during my internship at PennAg, I realized my abilities would be better utilized in a different sector of the industry. I have found a passion and love for public speaking and educating the public to bridge the gap between agricultural producers and consumers. I knew that my Animal Science degree gave me the knowledge to succeed in the agriculture industry, but I felt I was not qualified in formal management and leadership education to pursue the career that I am so passionate about. This is why I decided to continue my education and improve my skills so that I can serve the industry that feeds us to the best of my abilities. I hope to one day work for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and make a difference in the industry, producers, and consumers.