Thank you so much to the Targeting Excellence Sponsors, Board, and Committees! I am very fortunate to get this opportunity and your support is greatly appreciated!
I will forever be thankful for growing up in the agricultural industry. I was raised on a small club lamb operation and began showing sheep when I was five years old. My sister showed sheep as well, so naturally I didn’t want to follow in her footsteps. When I was around 10, the show goat industry was taking a large step to be just as popular and competitive as the show sheep world. This is when I finally convinced my parents to let me buy my first goats, Cupcake and Sprinkles. These goats initiated and fueled my passion for the industry. A few years later, I found myself wanting to try something new again. I felt the need to be bold and different, and convinced my parents to get my first pigs. Little did I know that my interest in swine would surpass my interest in goats. I instantly found not only my independence, but my curiosity to learn more about the swine industry and more about agriculture in general. Fast forward to my senior year of high school. I wasn’t completely sure where I wanted to go to college. My dad attended Iowa State, thus stemming an interest for me to attend there as well. When visiting I was exposed to the wonderful opportunities Iowa State has for their students both in and out of the classroom. I am very grateful that I chose Iowa State. The opportunities I have had as a Cyclone are numerous. I was encouraged by wonderful leaders around me to step out of my comfort zone and participate in opportunities that came my way. These opportunities have led me to have an executive role in the largest club in campus. I am fortunate to now serve as an example to others that others had on me. I was fortunate enough to receive a summer internship last summer. It was a difficult decision to choose whether to pursue my professional goals or stay home and show my livestock. I am forever grateful I was encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and pursue my dreams. I was able to learn production knowledge of the pork industry and gain valuable barn experience. I enjoyed my experience in the production barns but found myself enjoying the office and producer communication aspect of the operation more. This summer, I have accepted my dream internship. I never in a million years would have thought that I could secure my dream internship my sophomore year. My internship will involve promotion, education, and communication within the pork industry of Iowa. I am excited to see if this is where I see myself in my future. My internship last summer solidified my passion for the pork industry, and I am ready to see if my passion is with the education and promotion of the industry! In conclusion, my experiences I have had at Iowa State have allowed me to pursue my true passions. Leadership and the swine industry! I am unsure