Thank you so much to everyone who makes the Targeting Excellence Scholarship Program possible, including the Targeting Excellence sponsors, board of directors, and state committees. A special thank you to the Scholarship Award Selection Committee for selecting me for this scholarship. I am very honored to receive this scholarship and cannot wait to put it to good use towards my Animal Science degree from The Ohio State University! Thank you again!
I had never grown up on a farm or around agriculture, but as a freshman in high school, I began working at a show pig production farm. I had grown up showing pigs in 4-H, but being involved from birth to death completely changed my perspective on the swine industry and agriculture in general. I saw the extreme dedication, time, effort, and love invested into these farms and productions as well as the joy from a successful farrow and the heartbreak from a loss. Not only did working on the farm help shape my perspective on life and agriculture, but becoming involved in my county fair did also. In 2015, I became a member of the Clark County Junior Swine Committee, working shows, jackpots, weigh-ins, and load-out. I began to work ringside with many adults involved in the industry, which gave me many friendships and connections I never saw coming. In 2017, I ran for the title of Clark County Fair Queen and told my story about my love for the industry and agriculture itself. I was humbled by the crown and the honor to represent a place that felt like home to me. I was ecstatic to share my story and extend my love for agriculture with others, which ultimately shaped my career goals. I concluded I never wanted to leave agriculture, so I decided to major in Animal Sciences-Industry with minors in Meat Science and Agribusiness and Applied Economics. At my dream job, I would be working at a livestock feed company, formulating feed, representing the brand, and communicating the importance of agriculture with others. Food animal agriculture has been a huge part of my life since I was ten years old, and with my degree, it will be for the rest of my life. Without these experiences growing up at the farm and at the county fair, I’m not sure who I would be today or where I would be going in life.