I would like to thank the sponsors and everyone involved with putting together the Targeting Excellence Scholarship Program. Your generous donation of time and money is allowing me to focus on getting the most out of my educational experience rather than worrying about how I am going to pay for it. Thank you for reaching out to the next generation of animal science industry professionals and making yourselves available to us as a resource for learning and networking.
My current career goals have been shaped by the various experiences that I have throughout life, especially those that have happened in the last few years. My father runs a small grain operation and helps my grandpa (his dad) with his farms and my family raised small backyard flocks of laying hens as I was growing up. My other grandpa (my mom’s dad) started a dairy farm when he was young and since then my uncle has taken it over. My mom helps out with the farm by running the books and managing the calves. I spent all my summers at the dairy farm and when I was old enough, I started helping out with the chores. All of this has showed me that I have a passion to work with animals and it led me to Ohio State for post-secondary education. At The Ohio State University, I have chosen to double major in Animal Science and in Agribusiness and Applied Economics. I also got involved in several clubs on campus, Poultry Science Club being the one that I am most involved in. Through this club, I was able to attend IPPE, a large poultry, meat, and feed production and processing expo to learn more about different food animal industries. At college, I am working a part-time job in OSU’s Ruminant Nutrition Laboratory where I am getting valuable experience learning about different ruminant animals and their feeds and learning how to perform various tests for research trials. This experience coupled with the internship that I had over the summer has taught me a lot about what I would like to do with my career. My internship was with Cooper Farms completing several projects throughout the summer for them and getting to learn about the company setup there and the different operations that Cooper Farms owns. One of the projects I worked on for them allowed me to test semen in a laboratory setting, which I found very interesting. All of this has led me to a very unique path that I did not consider until recently. I am currently exploring my options of working in a laboratory. This could include working at a quality lab at a food company or working a lab that tests animal products, like one that tests milk samples for pathogens and butterfat. Or I could do lab work for a large animal company like testing swabs or suspicious items that may be infectious or making vaccines. I am also still considering the option to become a farm manager, possibly for a larger company like Cooper Farms. Even if I do not directly work with animals, I would still like to own a farm and raise a few animals for my family, so I foresee animal agriculture always being a big part of my life no matter what I do.