Thank you to all who make the Targeting Excellence scholarship program possible. The scholarship has made a significant difference for me financially, and the support of industry leaders motivates me to make the most of every opportunity as I near the end of my time in college.
When I was twelve years old I picked up a Select Sires catalog and learned to read a bull proof for the first time, and from that point on, dairy cattle genetics became my passion. This passion quickly molded into a world of opportunity, from FFA competitions to collegiate Dairy Challenge to multiple internships completed in the dairy genetics field. In October of 2021 I began my part-time role as a Genomic Testing Administrator at Select Sires, Inc. In this role I record, ship, and track genomic samples while maintaining an accurate record of corresponding pedigree information. My understanding of dairy management software, breed associations, and genetic evaluations has allowed me to coordinate accurate, timely results for over 7,000 calves in the last five months. After graduating from the Ohio State University in May of 2022, I plan to continue with this role in a full-time capacity. Working in the Sire Department at Select Sires, Inc. allows me to aid in helping dairy farmers increase profit margins. With volatile milk prices, it’s vital that cows can steadily produce not just high quantities of milk, but also that they can do so for several lactations with minimal negative health events. Not only does this benefit the farmer, but it also contributes to the drive for improved industry-wide sustainability. I am assisting in the discovery of the next elite bulls to help make this push, and my efficiency also helps herds cull low-merit bull calves faster, reducing their time on milk and further improving the bottom line. I am passionate about the role I play in advancing global dairy genetics, but I also possess an undying zeal for production agriculture. The more time I spent away at college, the more I found myself drawn to my family’s small dairy farm. I cherish the time I spend milking cows, feeding calves, and baling hay, and I love that I get to leverage my education and extracurricular activities to maximize the efficiency of my family?s operation. We only milk 30 cows, but we are producing high-quality Grade A milk nonetheless. My position at Select Sires, Inc. will allow me to combine my passions for dairy farming and aiding other farmers in achieving genetic success. I plan to continue producing quality milk and developing my herd of high type Brown Swiss and Holsteins while working full time after graduation. As a Genomic Testing Administrator and dairy farmer, I believe I will exert a positive influence on the industry that has made me who I am today.