To those involved with all aspects of Targeting Excellence, thank you for your support of myself and all other students pursuing degrees within the animal agriculture industry. Your dedication and preparation to the future of the industry is greatly appreciated.
At a young age, growing up on a diversified crop and livestock farm, I knew I wanted to work within agriculture. It wasn’t until the opportunities at Iowa State where I was able to explore and learn about different sectors and I landed in the animal science field. Countless opportunities from internships, to classes and hands-on labs, clubs and working with supportive mentors, I discovered my passion for research, specifically in swine. Over my past three summers as an undergrad, I have worked for three different swine companies conducting on farm research trials. The first, with TriOak Foods in Oakville, Iowa on a sow farm. The second with Christensen Farms in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota with nursery pigs, and third with Dr. Darwin Reicks with Reicks Veterinary Research and Consulting working in boar studs. I have participated in a range of topics from nutrition, microbiology, management, and exploratory trials. However, because of my position with the USDA under Dr. Brian Kerr, I have really enjoyed learning more and working on nutrition trials. I was able to participate in Science With Practice, through a project under Dr. Kerr, which allowed me to dig deeper and learn more about the assessment of the research, as well as the “big picture” which really made an impact in my education thus far. I have seen every step of live production through these experiences which has helped with understanding the overall process and reasonings behind why we do what we do in the swine industry. It has also helped me find areas of improvement between different levels of production and question things which has helped develop inquisitive thinking skills and further my interest in research. The research I have been a part of has helped me decide I would like to stay in food production research to keep improving the way we raise and produce proteins for our growing world. In continuation of this preparation, I will have another great experience this summer working for Carthage Innovative Swine Solutions in Carthage, Illinois after graduation in May. I am very excited to expand my network and continue working towards a greater understanding of research and its needs in the swine industry. Thank you so much for your time and consideration of my application.