Thank you so much for choosing me as a recipient for a 2019-2020 scholarship award. The impact this money has on my college education is tremendous and helps to decrease my financial burden. With this money, I have more time to dedicate to my studies and career building activities than worrying about paying for my education. Once again, thank you so much for supporting me and other students in agriculture.
Through all the opportunities that I have been given at my time at North Carolina State University, I have found an industry that I am excited about. My passions are somewhat diverse from one another, but they are related through one thing: agriculture.
Last year when I wrote my essay for this scholarship, I wrote about how I wanted to pursue a career with dairy or swine with my Animal Science degree. While this is somewhat true today, I have diversified even more. Through my internship over Summer 2018, I learned a lot about the swine industry. The main thing was I did not want a career in that industry after I graduate. However, this intensified my desire with dairy animals. I have continued to be an active member and serve on the officer team for Dairy Science Club at NCSU, where I am the current Historian. This year, we hosted the Southern Regional Student Division of American Dairy Science Association (SR SAD–ADSA) meeting. I helped orchestrate the meeting in Hickory, NC and was elected as the Vice President of the SR SAD–ADSA Officer Team. Over this past year, I joined Dr. Stephanie Ward’s dairy research team. In between my classes, being a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Flowers, and working in the Poultry Science office, I conducted research with Katherine Kelly. Ms. Kelly is one of Dr. Ward’s current graduate students who conducted research with dairy heifers at the Piedmont Research Center in Salisbury, NC. This exposed me to research in the Animal Science field and more scientific approach to the dairy industry. Dairy Science Club at NC State
In addition to my experience in Animal Science, I have added another minor in Agroecology. Agroecology is the science behind sustainable agriculture. It seeks to connect the agricultural knowledge of growing animals and crops with aspects of environmental sustainability all interconnected with sociology of the food system. This definition is long and tedious, but understanding how social class ties in with food systems and sustainability really excites me. Fall 2018 I took Introduction to Agroecology as an elective and very quickly fell in love. The professor, Dr. Michelle Schroeder-Moreno has encouraged me to incorporate Agroecology into my Animal Science knowledge.
One thing that has stayed consistent in my undergraduate plan is minoring in Agricultural Business Management. Even though I added Agroecology, I think it’s important to keep my ABM minor to understand the management aspects of agriculture. I firmly believe that the skills I learn in ABM classes will aid me in my future career.
My three focus areas might be diverse, but I seek to use them in my career to encourage sustainable food animal production. I think I have taken advantage of all the opportunities I have been given at NCSU, and hope that the skills I continue to learn will help me to find a career I am passionate about.