Thank you so much to the Targeting Excellence Sponsors, Board and Committees! This opportunity wouldn’t be possible without you and it 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. I was encouraged to attend my first career fair which led to my first ever interview back in October. I learned a great deal and enjoyed the conversations I had with multiple companies. This motivated me to pursue an internship for the upcoming summer. I had no intention of pursuing one before I was encouraged to attend the career fair. I was fortunate enough to receive a summer internship offer. This made me face the tough decision of going home for the summer to show my livestock in my final year of 4-H eligibility or pursue my future and take the internship offer. I decided to not pass up the great internship opportunity, so I will be staying in the Midwest this summer to pursue my interest in swine production. While in high school, I was fortunate enough to be the youth livestock intern for my state. I was involved in executing various youth livestock activities, contests, and shows. Through my own participation and being involved in the leadership of youth events, I have realized I also have a strong passion for youth development and education. While I am currently undecided about my precise career goals, I would love to have a career in the agriculture industry that mixes the swine industry and youth agriculture all in one. I am excited about all the opportunities I have ahead of me!