I can not begin to express how grateful I am to receive this award! It really means a lot to me, for many reasons. You have supported me every time, and I will carry that in my heart always. I truly look forward to become an active sponsor to help and support the dreams, aspirations and to reward the hard work of other students. I hope you know, that you are changing lives, that you are encouraging people to pursue their goals, and most importantly, you are motivating students to never stop improving. Thank you very much for your help!
My name is Gabriela (Gaby) Martínez, I am 32 years old, and I am originally from Honduras. I was raised in Tegucigalpa the capital of Honduras. I have a lovely family, my parents and siblings, and a 12-year-old daughter who is my world. I obtained my BSc. in Animal Science and Agricultural Production in Zamorano in 2011. After I graduated, I had the opportunity to do an internship at Smithfield as an animal caretaker, where I learned the production flow in a sow farm. Subsequently, I joined the Animal Science Department of North Carolina State University as a research scholar to work with Dr. Eric van Heugten, helping in projects of several MS and PhD students. I had the opportunity to be involved in study design, hands on work with sows and piglets, data collection, and analysis of results. Most of the studies were in collaboration with Hanor Company. Through these experiences, I realized that besides a passion to work with animals, I really enjoyed doing research. I am extremely motivated to learn more, and this encouraged me even more to continue my education by pursuing a Master?s Degree and a Ph.D Degree. Currently, I am in my third year of my doctoral program where my research is focused on maternal nutrition and the applicable use of fiber in late gestating and early lactating sows. Maternal nutrition is receiving more attention from the scientific community and I would like to be part in developing new nutritional alternatives to help the lactating sow to obtain the nutrients she needs in order to help her piglets develop properly and to get quality litters at farrowing. This will help producers to be efficient and responsible. After I graduate I would like to share my experiences and expertise by putting together consulting programs for swine producers and showing them the strategies they can use to have a profitable business. I believe that agriculture is a noble profession that can benefit people from around the world and, if given the chance, I would like to be part of the challenge.