Thank you for allowing me the chance to receive this award and represent the Targeting Excellence program again. I have shot in the fall event before and have greatly enjoyed everything this program is about!
My favorite quote is: “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.” However, since I have not achieved this yet. I am a junior double majoring in Animal Science and International Agriculture at Iowa State University. Like many college students interested in the agriculture industry, my career started in the showring. I showed my first pig 15 years ago in Louisville, Kentucky at the National Junior Swine Association Summer Spectacular. Since then I have been involved in showing pigs, sheep, and cattle across the nation. I just recently finished my term serving on the National Junior Swine Association Junior Board of Directors. There, we facilitated and hosted leadership events and livestock shows for the nation’s largest youth livestock association with over 13,000 members. Being on the board truly is an honor and a privilege. One of our goals is to develop the passion that swine exhibitors have for their pigs into an interest in a career in the swine industry. One of my professors told me, “In college, 50% of what you learn is in the classroom. The other 50% comes from what you do on campus, what you get involved in, and the connections you make.” Another quote that encourages me to stay involved is: “The world is run by those who show up.” I have taken this advice to heart. I currently serve as the Vice-Noble Ruler of Alumni Relations within Alpha Gamma Rho Professional Agriculture Fraternity. My on campus activities include serving as the President of the Block and Bridle Club, which is the largest club on campus, and past-President for the largest student ran event on campus, Bacon Expo. Another great opportunity that I have taken advantage of is the study abroad opportunities. I have had the chance to partake in an international experience that went to England and Scotland to study the heritage of the purebred livestock breeds and how they have impacted our agriculture industry today. The trip was a total of 16 days including travel. We started in London and ended in Edinburgh but spent almost every night in between in a different town. We got the chance to meet many great farmers and true stockmen who knew so much about their animals and farms. Last summer, I was able to travel to Rome, Italy for six weeks where I worked on a high-functioning team focused on client-based research for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Of the United Nations. My team focused our research on the sustainability of a global dietary shift to a more plant-based diet. Being a junior, I am not sure exactly where I fit into the agriculture industry yet. However, I am currently applying for the concurrent MBA program here at Iowa State. So, no matter what I end up doing or where my job will take me, I know that I will always be involved in the agriculture industry.