Thank you so much for making this Targeting Excellence Scholarship available. As the oldest of six children from a small 120-cow dairy farm, paying for college is difficult. The current economic status of the dairy industry makes it hard for my parents to help me pay for my college education. Due to these circumstances, I am solely in charge of paying for my own education. For these reasons, I am incredibly grateful for the financial support. It takes weight off of my shoulders, allowing me to focus more on my coursework and extracurricular activities.
Once I graduate college, I would like to pursue a career that involves consulting dairy producers in regard to their genetic and reproductive management programs. This would involve guiding them to make the best genetic decisions for their herd and helping them solidify their reproduction protocols. Due to the low milk prices in recent years, dairy farmers have been forced to be creative with their reproductive and genetics programs. They have found many ways to save as much money possible. For example, in recent years there has been a push for farmers to use primarily sexed semen and beef semen to produce terminal crosses. Developing a program on farms to manage new breeding strategies and deciding matings for cows based on their genomic test results is the type of consulting I want to do post-graduation. Regardless of the company or type of consulting I find myself doing, I want to be able to impact the dairy industry by making a difference on each farm I have the privilege of working on. Dairy farms, their managers and their employees are very proud of the work they do. I would want nothing more than to develop strong, working relationships with the people on each farm and to realize the impact I had in making them more profitable and competitive in the dairy industry.