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April 1, 2013
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Young People in Agriculture: Colorado State FFA President Kristen Schmidt

Age: 19 Hometown: Spencer, Neb.

Q: What do you love about agriculture?

A: It’s the only industry that is directly influencing people every minute of every day.

Somewhere right now, around the world, there is someone who is eating, getting dressed or driving a vehicle — all of these actions are possible because of agriculture.

Knowing that I wake up, every day, and go to work for the agricultural industry means that, every day, I am touching the lives of billions of people.

What could be better than that?

Q: What is your background in ag?

A: I grew up the oldest of four daughters on my family’s beef-cattle, row-crop and small-grains operation.

Dad and Mom were sure that us girls were involved in every aspect of agricultural life.

From handing Dad staples while fixing fence and feeding bottle calves when I was only 4 or 5, to operating our combine during wheat harvest over the last few years, I have grown up with a deep respect for the agricultural industry.

Q: What are your future plans in ag?

A: I want to work in public relations for the agriculture industry, then return to a rural community to teach agriculture education and be an FFA advisor.

Or, maybe it will happen the other way around — teaching first, then the communications side of things.

Or, maybe it will happen at the same time ... who really knows?

I am just excited to have the opportunity to have a career in the agricultural industry.

There are so many options with a degree in agriculture!

Q: What are you doing today to pursue those future plans?

A: A ttending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in ag education.

This year, I have had the privilege of serving as the 2012-2013 Nebraska FFA State President. I am a member of the Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars Program and the Agricultural Educators Club here at UNL.

This summer, I will also be interning for the Nebraska FFA Association.

Q: How are your current activities preparing you for that future?

A: Being blessed with the opportunity to serve on the 2012-2013 Nebraska FFA state officer team has proven more valuable than I ever could have imagined.

My teammates and I have been able to be advocates for agriculture through educating Nebraska FFA members about leadership and the agricultural, interacting with agricultural industry leaders through multiple business and industry visits, spending time in Washington D.C., spreading the word about Nebraska agriculture on Capitol Hill and traveling Argentina to experience global agriculture first hand.

This last year has been incredible in preparing me for a future in the ag industry.

Q: What leaves you optimistic about having a future career in agriculture?

A: The 6,600 Nebraska FFA members that proudly wear their blue, corduroy jackets are what leave me optimistic about having a future career in agriculture.

The passion and drive I have seen from them pushes me to work even harder in securing my spot in the agricultural industry in the future. I know that I will be working alongside many of these members to ensure the ag industry stays strong for years to come.

Q: What do you think the agriculture industry will be like in 25 years?

A: In 25 years, the ag industry will be full of more innovative and efficient practices.

I have seen great strides in these areas in just the last five years, so I am excited to see where we go from here. Being faced with the huge increase in population, it is up to us as agriculturalists to feed the world.

I have no doubt that we will be able to accomplish this if we keep working together, advocating for agriculture and taking an active role in striving to better our industry each and every day. ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Oct 16, 2013 04:00PM Published May 20, 2013 11:21AM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.