Agriculture has been a huge part of my life since I was in the 4th grade. I joined a local 4-H county, and had my own farm with three Nubian dairy goats. After 10 years of raising and showing dairy goats and dairy cattle, I look back and see how much of an impact agriculture made on my life. If you told me when I was 9 years old that I would be pursuing a career in the agricultural field, I would have thought you were kidding. Little did I know back then by joining 4-H and being influenced by agriculture would change my life.
I have been a member and advisor of my local 4-H county for 11 years, and 4-H has taught me about leadership, responsibility, and work ethic through agriculture. I raised and dairy goats and dairy cattle as my 4-H project on state and regional levels. Working with animals not only has taught me many valuable qualities for animal husbandry, but it has taught me the importance of agriculture as a whole. Another organization that is very similar to 4-H is the FFA. I joined FFA when I was in high school because the high school that I attended had an FFA chapter. By being an involved member, I learned more about the agriculture industry, and realized that my future career had to involve agriculture. Going through the agricultural program at my high school was very beneficial to me because I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture. I had always dreamed of being a teacher, I just never knew what subject I wanted to teach. I realized that being an agriculture educator was a very important career, and that has been my career path ever sense. When I started looking at different colleges to go to, I knew that only going to UConn would be the best choice for me.
The main reason that I applied to UConn was to become a certified agriculture educator through their TCPCG program (Teaching Certification Program for College Graduates). I will be able to get my teaching certification in Agriculture Education just one year after I graduate with my undergraduate degree! Another reason I wanted to go to UConn was because of the farm facility on campus. Being able to work with the animals through labs and research has given me more chances to learn and to grow more as an agriculture educator and advocate. I have also became involved in UConn Dairy Club, where my interests are shared with many other student. We hold events where people and students can learn more about dairy cows and the dairy industry.
Being a part of the agriculture industry has opened my eyes to the endless opportunities it has to offer, and I am grateful for the organizations that have taught me about agriculture thus far. Without agriculture, I don’t know where I would be today, or what career path I would have chosen for myself. All of these experiences have made me into the person I am today, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. When I am an agriculture educator, I want to encourage other youth to get involved, and see for themselves how beneficial the agriculture industry is, and experience the once in a lifetime opportunities it has to offer.