I would like to thank the Targeting Excellence sponsors, board of directors and state committees for awarding me with a 2017 Targeting Excellence scholarship. This scholarship is greatly appreciated and will be used to help further my desire for learning and research. Again, thank you for assisting me on my path for higher education.
Hometown: Vesper, WI
School: Ohio State University
Major / Species: Animal Sciences
Career Goals: I grew up in dairy country in central Wisconsin, raised on my grandparents Holstein dairy farm and my parents Simmental beef farm. I was actively involved in 4-H and FFA, where I served roles as the president and vice president of my 4-H club. After high school and until my senior year of college at the University of Wisconsin River Falls I wanted to become a veterinarian. My course work during my senior year at UWRF consisted of a considerable amount of beef cattle production classes. I helped to develop the UWRF Beef Management Team at UWRF. This team is comprised of a group of students who have an interest, wiliness to participate, and passion to learn more about the beef cattle industry. The summer following my graduation from UWRF, I worked at a research assistant at the UWRF laboratory farm studying the influence of different protein supplements on reproductive function in beef heifers. Since I enjoyed research, I continued my education at The Ohio State University by working with Dr. Fluharty and completing my master’s degree, where I studied the effects of energy source, level, and sex on the growth, performance, carcass and meat characteristics and flavor profile of sheep. During my time in Ohio, Dr. Fluharty has allowed me to get involved in the beef industry, by helping volunteer my time with the OSU beef team at the Ohio Cattlemen’s food stand at the Ohio state fair and participate in beef extension meetings. Currently, I have started my Ph. D at The Ohio State University where I plan to investigate the deposition of marbling in cattle in order to improve meat quality. More precisely, I am interested in how to increase marbling deposition in relation to other fat depots in the body, thus improving beef carcass quality. With some research underway, we plan to use crossbred wagyu cattle as a model to investigate genetic effects in relation to marbling deposition. I would also like to better understanding how marbling can be increased in through changes in diet composition. Particularly, changes with energy source (grain vs. forage), energy substrate, and the site of digestion and metabolism of these substrates. This type of research can be quite valuable to cattle producers and cattle feeders trying to produce high quality beef. After I complete my Ph. D, I would like to find a job involved in research, so I can continue to investigate ways to improve the efficiency and quality of beef produced. Otherwise, a job working in the industry for a company or consulting for cattle producers and feeders in order to help them improve beef quality. In the future, I would also like to raise cattle of my own and continue to be actively involved in the beef industry.