So how was Costa Rica?

It was amazing. We visited a pineapple plantation, an educational farm, a cattle ranch, and several reforestation projects. We also went for hikes in the cloud forest. The most valuable part to me was Don Juan’s educational farm. I want to be an agriculture teacher, so seeing a fully operational farm where students can work, learn, and stay on the farm was very cool.

 

What made you decide to become and agriculture teacher?

During my senior year of high school, my younger brother and I started our own summer camp. The camp is located on the North Clackamas Land Lab, which is a 14-acre farm in the middle of an urban area. Kids ages 5-14 can come learn everything from handling sheep, pigs, goats, and cows to learning about plants and soil. They get hands-on experience with every activity on the farm. At the end of the week, their families get to come and see what they’ve learned, and we host a BBQ. I am proud to say that this camp is still happening every summer with a different group of high school students leading it, hopefully learning that they want to be agriculture teachers in the future too.

Teaching agriculture helps inform the public about where their food comes from, and how important the industry is.

Where did you get the idea for the camp?

I have always been passionate about agriculture, even at a young age. As I got older I realized how much I loved teaching people about animals—whether it was a simple fact, like that pigs are one of the cleanest livestock animals, or more complicated concepts such as swine flu and crop rotations. Teaching agriculture helps inform the public about where their food comes from, and how important the industry is.

 

What challenges have you faced in continuing your education, and how did you overcome them?

One challenge I have faced in my last three years here at Oregon State is time management. I am a full-time student, and on top of that I am part of a sorority, work at Dixon as a lifeguard and teaching swim lessons, an officer for Agriculture Executive Council and participate in various clubs. I have learned that a planner is your best friend, and that it is okay to say no to helping with activities if you need time to finish homework or take a day to yourself.

 

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Join clubs and get involved in campus life. When you get involved, you learn about opportunities that might lead to finding your passion. It will also help you find a job in the future because you’ll have a network of people to help and support you.