Sarah Lehner

Sarah Lehner

I am honored to be selected as a Targeting Excellence Scholarship Recipient. Your generosity will help me achieve my academic goals, and your trust in my potential will motivate me to make the most of every opportunity to better myself. Thank you for your continual support of the future of food animal agriculture.

Awards Received

2020 Undergraduate Award (Ohio)
2019 Undergraduate Award (Ohio)
2018 Undergraduate Award (Ohio)

Hometown:

Hometown:

Delaware, OH

School:

School:

Ohio State University

Major:

Major:

Animal Sciences

Career Goals:

Career Goals:

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. After graduating from the Ohio State University in May of 2022, I plan to pursue a career as a Dairy Sire Analyst. In this position I will help dairy farmers produce higher quantities of higher quality milk by seeking out superior bulls to be collected for artificial insemination. With volatile milk prices, it’s vital that cows can steadily produce not just high quantities of milk, but also milk that’s high in components and low in somatic cell count to maximize bonuses. Profitability isn’t all about production either. Cows with high fertility, feed efficiency, and disease resistance have the power to keep expenses low while also driving industry-wide sustainability. Making these genetics affordable and widely available would benefit not just farmers trying to stay afloat, but the industry as a whole as well. When farms are profitable, farmers are more able to invest in improvements to their operations. This means better times for dairy equipment dealers, nutritionists, builders, and more. Becoming a Dairy Sire Analyst has been a goal of mine for quite some time, but after traveling abroad, I was inspired to think more globally about my future. After obtaining 5-10 years of industry experience as a sire analyst, I hope to advance my career by pursuing a position in international development for a dairy genetics company. Marketing American-developed genetics to other countries is not only good for the industry in the United States, but can also be life-changing for foreign farmers that are decades behind in terms of agricultural advancements. While these goals are extremely important to me, my passion for production agriculture will never fade. I hope to simultaneously pursue my off-farm career goals and return to the farm to manage my family’s dairy herd. Renovating barns, installing an automated milking system, and investing in more sustainable crop production practices are all part of my plan to help feed the world responsibly. As a Dairy Sire Analyst, international development professional, and farm manager, I believe I can make a positive impact on the future of agriculture by expanding the quality of genetics available in the United States, helping foreign farmers feed their families and countries, and connecting my passion for dairy farming with the need for sustainable innovation.