Age: 22 Hometown: Casper, Wyo.
Vollmar is currently a senior at Colorado State University, majoring in animal science with a meat science emphasis.
She is actively involved in Block and Bridle Club, Collegiate Cattlewomen’s Association, and was also on this year’s Reserve National Champion Livestock Judging Team for CSU.
Vollmar says she’s grateful she’s in Fort Collins to graduate from CSU with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.
In March, she was hospitalized with a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism; the blood clot in her lung put her out of commission for three weeks.
But as a first-generation college student who will graduate magna cum laude, Vollmar was determined to return to campus from her hometown to take part in commencement.
“I wasn’t sure I’d be able to return with the pain and the indications from my bloodwork,” she said. “But I knew finishing CSU strong, with good grades, would mean the world to me.”
Vollmar was also named Overall Outstanding Junior and Overall Outstanding Senior in the Department of Animal Sciences.
Now, famed Professor Temple Grandin is recruiting her to graduate studies in meat science and animal welfare.
With these successes and her recent health scare, Vollmar says, “I’m thankful I’m here.”
Q: What is your background in ag, and/or how did you become interested in ag?
A: I was raised on the outskirts of Casper on 130 acres of land. My parents owned some horses and enrolled me in 4-H when I was 8-years-old. I immediately fell in love with the program and all the animals that I had the opportunity to raise for show. Throughout my 10 years of 4-H and my five years of FFA, I was able to show market steers, lambs, and hogs at a competitive level and participate in many horse shows and agricultural events.
Q: What are your future plans in ag?
A: Through the Meats Judging CDE Event in FFA, I found my passion for the meats industry and I knew that I would be working to progress this industry in some way. That passion continues to drive me forward each and every day. After I graduate this May with my animal science degree, I will pursue a master’s degree in meat science or animal handling and welfare. My goals are to eventually pursue a doctorate’s degree so that I can further my knowledge and passion for the meats industry.
Q: What are you doing today to pursue those future plans?
A: Since I began my career at CSU, I set up my schedule to mirror a strict meat science focus. I had the opportunity to partake in many research projects and also progress my knowledge with hands on work in our school meat laboratory. Through my graduate studies, I will have the opportunity to progress this knowledge so that I can help the meats industry in any way I can.
Q: What are you most proud of so far in your agriculture endeavors, and why?
A: It was truly my 4-H and FFA experiences that taught me the real value of life and responsibility. Being involved in agriculture is an everyday blessing in itself. Over the years, I have learned that it is not about the successes along the way, but more importantly, the people you meet, the relationships you form, the places you get to see, and the lessons you learn along the way. I am proud to just be involved in this industry and have such an admirable network of incredible people.
Q: What do you love about agriculture?
A: Absolutely everything! Agriculture is what makes the world survive and without the passionate, hardworking people that commit their lives to bettering our food, practices, and way of life, our country and world would be at a significant loss. To me, there is no other place that I would rather be involved in.
Q: What leaves you optimistic about having a future career in agriculture?
A: The agriculture industry cA: ontinues to thrive, even in times of hardship or economic despair. I value the people in agriculture and their pledge in working towards the better good for everyone. I cherish these morals and ways of life and am so excited to be involved in such a reputable industry.
Q: What do you think the agriculture industry will be like in 25 years?
A: Looking back on how agriculture has evolved shows incredible value of where we will go in the future. Over the years, this industry has become so much more efficient and sustainable. As resources and technologies continue to advance, I predict that our consumer driven products will be of the utmost quality. I do, however, foresee this industry posed with many challenges. The consumer perception and demand is key, and it is difficult at times to advocate the work we do to a non-ag audience. As long as the people in agriculture continue to attain more innovative practices and find the strong voice for supporting our way of life, the industry as a whole will remain powerful. ❖