I grew up in a diverse background of agricultural experiences. As a child I spent the majority of my time with my dad, which meant I rode buddy seat in the tractor and tagged along in the field. At the time we lived in southern Ohio, where my family raised tobacco and had a Holstein dairy farm. In 2004, we moved to Illinois which brought forth a new adventure in the agricultural industry: grain crops and goats. My family’s home is located smack dab in the middle of Iroquois County, also known as the “Buckle of the Corn Belt”, so my exposure to field corn has been overwhelming.
Living in a small community and coming from a farming family, I made the choice to join 4H and FFA as soon as I could. Both of these organizations sparked an interest inside of me, which led me to where I am today. A basic 4H photography project and a visual arts drawing led eight year old me to have a passion for creativity and the arts. Joining FFA as a freshman opened my eyes to the vast field of agriculture and allowed me to find my place in the world.
These organizations, my family’s history, and experiences within the industry have instilled values I am forever grateful for. Whether it was my first day selling sweet corn at a roadside stand or an internship focusing on the breeding and genetics of sweet corn, my passion and education for agriculture has expanded. My only hope is that I can continue my knowledge and experiences in this field for years to come.