Q: What is your background in agriculture?
A: Growing up on a family cattle ranch that has been in operation since 1898, agriculture has always played a big role in my life. However, I would say that my involvement in 4-H is what truly helped me to find my passion for agriculture. Since recognizing that my passion lies in agriculture, I have been able to get involved in numerous organizations that have further helped me increase my knowledge of the industry.
Q: How do you see yourself using your degree in the future?
A: In the future, I hope to pursue a graduate degree and then combine my knowledge and passion to help ranchers across the Western United States develop or continue operating profitable operations. Meanwhile, I put my degree to use every day, whether it is in my personal life, at work or on the ranch.
Q: What are you most proud of thus far in your education and pursuit of your career?
A: There are numerous things I am very proud of thus far in my education and pursuit of my career. A couple specific honors I am grateful of include being named one of the Western Agricultural Economics Association Outstanding Seniors and being on the President’s Honor Roll during college. However, over any honor I could ever receive, I am most proud to be an advocate for the agriculture industry.
Q: From the time you started your veterinarian education until now, how has your perspective on the veterinarian profession and animal medicine changed?
A: Since starting my education, I have learned so much more about the agriculture industry. I have viewed the agriculture industry as one of the best industries to be involved in, both then and now. That being said, my specific interests have not changed too much. I am very passionate about the beef industry and work hard to be a good representative of the industry. However, through organizations, such as Farm Bureau, I have been able to broaden my knowledge of agriculture and learn more about different aspects of agriculture. In talking to farmers and ranchers from across the nation, I have learned that there is much more to the agriculture industry as a whole than I ever could have imagined before.
Q: What are the most interesting things you’ve learned during your education?
A: Wow! I have learned so many interesting things during the course of my education, both in and out of school. Yet, one of my most intriguing courses during my education was ag law. Although it was a very intense course, I seldom go without using the information I learned in it.
Q: For the aspect or area of agriculture in which you are interested, what do you believe are the biggest challenges?
A: I think all areas of agriculture will face tremendous challenges in the coming years, but putting aside factors we cannot control such as weather, I think one of the biggest challenges the industry will face is a lack of positive representation in urban areas. As the general public becomes more and more removed from agriculture, agriculturalists are going to have to change their ways and learn to stand up for the industry. In fact, telling most agriculturalists they need to change something is a challenge in and of itself. (haha) Additionally, I think it is critical that the agriculture industry utilizes the technological advances to assure that American agriculture remains competitive on the global market.
Q: 20 years from now, what do you hope to have contributed to the industry, and what do you think the industry overall will be like at that time?
A: In twenty years, I hope that it is not only what I have contributed to the industry, but what I have encouraged others to contribute to the industry as well. If agriculturalists, young and old, male and female, are not contributing to and representing the industry we know and love, someone else will be doing it for us — and that someone else probably will not be representing agriculture in its best light. That being said, over the next twenty years I hope to educate the general public about the importance of agriculture. In return, I hope to see the industry successful. ❖