I want to thank the sponsors, organizers, board of directors and the application review committees that make Targeting Excellence and the scholarships they provide a reality. Targeting Excellence events provide students with the opportunity to interact with professionals across agriculture. Through generous donations, scholarships are able to provide students the opportunity to continue their education, expand their experience and further food animal agriculture.
I first became interested in animal production agriculture on my family farm in southern Iowa. My family and I raised hogs, cattle, sheep, goats and horses in addition to row crops. However, my main passion laid in raising hogs. Being an active 4H and FFA member, I would show a portion of my livestock at the county and state levels. I would finish and market the rest of my livestock to consumers in the local market. My experiences going up on the farm and participating in youth organizations led me to pursue higher education at Iowa State University where I graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science with a minor in agricultural business. While in undergrad, I was an active member in Block & Bridle as well as Meat Science Club. Also, I was a member of the 2016 Iowa State University Intercollegiate Meat Judging team and the 2018 Iowa State University Intercollegiate Meat Animal Evaluation team. These judging teams along with my internships with Iowa Select Farms and Tyson Foods further sparked my interest in animal agriculture and especially the swine industry which led me to pursue graduate education at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Currently, I am a second-year master’s student studying animal science at NCSU under the tutelage of Dr. Mark Knauer. As a master’s student my research has consisted of several different projects concerning applied swine production and quantitative breeding and genetics. After graduation, I plan to continue my graduate education by pursuing a doctoral degree in animal science at NCSU. I hope to gain an extension role at the university while pursuing a PhD. This would provide myself with a greater opportunity to speak with the industry and convey research and technological advancements allowing for a safer, higher quality product for the consumer. After graduating with a PhD in animal science, I hope to gain a career using my skills to promote agriculture within a swine research/extension role at a university or obtain a position within a swine genetics company. I hope to use the knowledge and experience I have gained within the pork and swine production industries to continue to improve production practices and the pigs we produce through genetic selection. Wherever my path leads me in the future, I know for certain it will be apart of the food animal industry. Thank you for your consideration of my application.