Rooted with a Passion

Drew Carlson, Colorado State University Student and CLA Intern

IMG_6038-Edit-EditAs my Senior year at Colorado State University and the reality of real world living quickly approaches, I can’t help but look back and count the blessings in my life thus far. I was born and raised on a small farm and ranch south of Sterling, Colorado, and have been particularly dedicated to my agricultural way-of-life. Through my experiences and the commendable lifestyle of being involved in agriculture, I have found a simple love for the livestock industry. Being  part of the agriculture industry has taught me first and foremost the value of hard work. The friendships I have built, the connections I have made, and the opportunities I have been given to network with other producers in this industry have blessed me abundantly and I have successfully constructed a hobby into a passion.
Due to the vast advancements in technology, there is always something new to learn in the agricultural world, whether it be marketing, management, or even the productivity and efficiency to meet the demands of the world’s growing population. This presents an exciting challenge for me to pursue the future of agriculture in this state in hopes of educating others locally and nationally. I am interested in communicating the critical importance of a strong agricultural economy to our citizens. With this, I find it of worth to inform and encourage students who have never had an agricultural opportunity to discover the significance of agriculture in our local, national, and global economy.
It goes without saying that every situation in life presents a lesson to be learned. Through my experiences over the past few years I have learned things that I will appreciate for the rest of my life. One of the most meaningful lessons that I have taken away is that it is acceptable to change your plan. I often find myself thinking I have my life figured out and more times than not, I am quickly reminded that is not the case. Growing up, I was fortunate to have participated in a number of activities, including sports and 4-H. I eventually had to begin to prioritize certain aspects of my life. It was at this point that I chose to heavily pursue the agricultural industry through 4-H and FFA. I was extremely involved during my first two years at Northeastern Junior College.  It was there that I gained many valuable lessons and a place full of memories and influential people that I hold dear to my heart. As I transferred to CSU, I chose to take a different path from the family legacy of livestock judging. I, instead, participated on the Seedstock Merchandising Team. With this, I learned that it was acceptable to make my own way. Similarly, situations that have challenged me the most have helped me realize where my true passions lie. Through my experiences on the Seedstock Team, I was given the opportunity to work with many different people coming from different agricultural backgrounds. This gave me the opportunity to not only share, but to also gain more knowledge to better myself as a future agriculturalist.
In my pursuit of an agricultural degree, the future is exciting and the opportunities are endless. Agriculture is a diverse field, and it’s up to the future leaders of the industry to embrace the diversity, overcome the challenges, and accept the change that represents the new face of agriculture. I am privileged and honored to be a part of such a great industry, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me.
Drew grew up on her family farm and ranch in Atwood, Colorado. Over the course of ten years she participated in 4-H where she exhibited cattle, hogs, and goats at the local and sate level. Through 4-H, she found a simple love for the agriculture industry, and a passion for showing livestock. Drew will graduate from CSU, with a degree in Animal Science and Agriculture Business in the Spring of 2017. She has participated in the CSU Seedstock Merchandising Team, Block and Bridle, Collegiate Stockgrower’s, and the Meat Science Club. Drew interned at CLA during the spring and summer of 2016.