Location: Petersburg, WV
College/ University(s) Attended: WVU Potomac State College and Colorado State University
Major: Agricultural Business
Career: I am the founder/ digital strategy consultant/content producer of The Herd Brand (this gig requires me to wear a lot of hats). The Herd Brand focuses on changing the face of how agriculture is perceived through effective digital strategies (i.e. social media, web development, blogs, influencers, etc.). Basically, I help ag brands and farmers tell their story. From working with small farms to large corporations like Farm Credit, I love getting out and experiencing someone else’s life in the industry. You can find my website at www.theherdbrand.com/.
About the farm:
I was born, raised and continue to live on my family’s farm. My grandfather owns and operates a Polled Hereford operation and grows broiler chickens for Pilgrim’s. My father owns and operates a commercial cow/calf operation while still working on the farm with my grandfather. Aside from cattle, my father also raises broiler chickens for Pilgrim’s Pride and has recently added a wholesale/ retail Christmas tree operation to the mix. So I come from a very diverse agricultural background.
Why did you choose WVU Potomac State College?
I chose WVU Potomac State College right out of high school to get my feet off the ground and figure out what exactly I wanted to accomplish career-wise. Also, it was super close to home. I knew I wanted to work the rest of my life in agriculture, but was unable to connect just how I was going to do that while staying in-touch with my creative background. I realized I wanted to make a career out of communicating agriculture when my father purchased the Christmas tree farm that we now operate and we not only needed a Facebook page but a website. It was all new to me, but I taught myself and continue to learn something new every day about communications.
After a year at Potomac State, I decided to take a leap and apply to Colorado State University’s Online Agricultural Business Program, that way I could finish my degree from home and run my business.
How are you using what you learned in college today?
Sometimes I question myself why I chose ag business, but then I remember I’m running one. I knew I wanted to run a business, so what better way to learn the ropes? I find myself relating back to so much I’ve learned throughout my college career, from balance sheets to taxes and so on.
Advice for students thinking about college
College isn’t for everyone. There are people who have started super successful businesses without one ounce of a college education. If you are planning on jumping on the college track, be sure to take advantage of the opportunities that are available at your college, especially for business development.
What are some of your best college experiences?
My best experiences relate back to receiving hands-on education from professors about agriculture as well as business. I have experience putting plastic on a high tunnel from my time at PSC. I don’t even own one, but you never know when you may need that knowledge.
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