Carlos Moya | Agricultural Science | Class of 2021
Santa Barbara, CA | First Generation College Student
A Journey of the Mind
I grew up in Santa Barbara, California. As a kid I would take trips with my dad to his hometown in Guadalajara, Jalisco. My grandfather was a cattle rancher down there. He also grew a few crops like corn, peas and, sometimes, squash. I remember going every year as a kid and loved being around all the cattle. I rode my first horse at age 4. From there on my love for farming grew until my sophomore year of high school: I had to make a choice between playing varsity football and dedicating all my time to training or keep helping out my grandfather every summer. I choose to play football and try to make it to college football. I became the team captain my senior year of high school. I had a few opportunities to go play elsewhere but my mind had changed during my senior year. After some time off I went and played at a community college one year. While playing football in community college, I began to think about what I wanted to do in life. I remember horseback riding through one of my father's ranches that he purchased from my great grandfather. I remember seeing these beautiful agave fields. These fields had a sign on them: "Grown for Don Julio". That is when I knew what I wanted to do and that was to grow agave. Coming from an ag background helped me make my decision.
I choose Agricultural Science as my major to help me improve my knowledge in agriculture and to help my family of farmers.
Through the Grapevine
I did an internship in summer 2019 at a biodynamic vineyard for Duvarita in the Santa Rita Hills of California. I enjoyed working with my boss and the knowledge he shared with me. The most interesting part I learned is how important our soil is and how there should be a balance in the vineyard.
Laying the Groundwork
I see myself in 5 years running a vineyard management company while patiently waiting for my first agave harvest. I plan to plant my first 20 acres in the summer of 2020.
One of my biggest challenges was getting over not being around my family. We are all close in my family so being away from them for long periods of time was challenging. The good thing was that I met some really good people at Oregon State that helped me get past that.
My defining moment in my life was when I hit rock bottom. Not in a sense of drugs or jail time, just not knowing what to do with my life. I lost a lot of people at that time, but it made me realize that being depressed will not get me anywhere. That is when I decided to succeed in life and haven't looked back since. My desire to do what I love helped me find peace in life. I have this saying in the back of my head all the time "hard work pays off". Every time I face something difficult, I face it and tell myself "hard work pays off".
I would tell people to go after what they really want in life. As long as they put in the work everything will fall into place.
I couldn't have done it without the help of the amazing advisors in the College of Ag Sciences. I will always know who helped along the way.