To the scholarship sponsors and committees, thank you so much! I am honored and grateful to receive this award!
Growing up raising cattle, I always pictured myself pursuing a career within the beef industry. However, after my stepdad took a new job position in the swine industry, I began to discover my love for production hogs. One cloudy day in December of 2016, I toured a couple of finishing barns with my stepdad and a veterinarian. I was blown away at how advanced the technology was that controlled the temperature and ventilation of the barns, at how detailed the management was to organize the flow of pigs, and at how passionate the growers were about providing the best care for their animals. The following week, I helped a local hog producer in his farrowing barns. Those four hours few by, but in that time, I helped give iron shots to newborns, cross-foster litters, and check for signs of parturition. Following those experiences, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the swine industry. I was confident about this decision, yet I didn?t know what career path I wanted to follow until I was a junior in high school. Three years ago, my AP Biology class and I attended a genetics update conference. The conference dealt heavily on cancer and how it forms in the body. Towards the end of the presentation the professor mentioned how pigs are now being raised for organ transplants for human cancer patients. That was the moment I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I want to raise pigs for cancer research. By following this career path, I will be able to not only continue my passion for raising livestock but also fulfill my desire to enhance human life. In addition to improving the life of people all across the country (and maybe even the world), I will also be improving the agriculture industry by finding more ways to utilize livestock products and by advancing the techniques in which we use to raise our livestock.