Rebecca Falkner

Rebecca Falkner

It is truly an honor to have been selected for this scholarship for the second consecutive year! Thank you for your continued support as I pursue higher education in the swine industry.

Hometown: Henderson, NC

School: North Carolina State University

Major / Species: Animal Science

Career Goals: As a life-long learner, my peers and professors recognize my eye for exceptional animal management and passion for agriculture in general. This passion has lead me to several internship, work, and leadership opportunities that have only deepened my love and understanding for production agriculture. Throughout my four years at the North Carolina State University, I have been given the unique opportunity to work with both the Crop Science Department assisting with forage research, as well as with the Swine Educational Unit, where I assisted in all areas of production from farrowing to finishing. North Carolina State University has equipped me with classes that have improved my knowledge of animal agriculture and has prepared me for my future career goals, which are to become a hog producer as well as promote animal agriculture by serving a role in higher education. Courses such as Reproductive Physiology, Swine Management, Livestock Evaluation, and Agricultural Law are a few that have nurtured my love for production agriculture and are amongst some of my favorite courses. Theses courses have already benefitted me in my personal ventures helping farmers better their management practices. Likewise, courses such as Public Speaking, Personal Leadership in Agriculture and Life Science, and the opportunity to study abroad in London, Wales, and England will allow me to better educate the public about an industry I love so dearly. Along with course work, I have also been given multiple internships throughout my four years, where my two most recent internships have personally been the most impactful. For two years, I interned with the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association, a time span that was arranged specifically and solely for myself and another individual. During my time with the organization, I arranged educational events for the public, attended meetings and conventions regarding pasture management and proper Beef Quality Assurance practices. Two summers ago, I served as an intern on White Rock Farms as a recipient of the Developing Future North Carolina Farmers program. During my time on the farm, I was given the opportunity to work with and manage breeder chickens contracted with Tyson Foods Incorporated, three farrow-to-wean barns contracted with Murphy Brown LLC, and a large dairy. I spent the majority of my time at the dairy, primarily breeding cattle using genomic selection, assisting in surgeries, and treating sick or injured cattle. The first hand experience of handling cattle, especially when breeding through artificial insemination, furthered my inquisitiveness for reproductive physiology. I have continued my education by attending North Carolina State University and pursuing a Masters of Animal Science degree with a concentration in Reproductive Physiology. I am currently researching the social and seasonal impacts on sperm production in boars, while also analyzing genetic correlations, under the guidance of William Flowers, Christian Maltecca, and Glen Almond. I hope to take my knowledge on reproductive performance and genetics and apply it to North Carolina’s large swine population by collaborating with producers and improving operations.