Molly Bertz

(Conrad) Good morning and welcome to Farm Factor on AGam in Kansas. I’m Conrad Kabus. Students from across the country with an interest in the livestock industry and related careers visited Kansas State University for the Animal Science Leadership Academy. The academy is an intensive four-day educational experience designed to enhance the leadership skills and animal science knowledge of students in 9th through 12th grades. Molly Bertz is from Mayview, Missouri, and even though she is from out of state, she was invited to the event at Kansas State. Other high school students from around the nation came to participate as well. (Molly) I live on a small, century farm south of Mayview, Missouri, where we raise crossbred cattle. We did have a big part in the shorthorn industry, but now are as diversified as we hope to get. We raise a variety of beef animals. We also raise meat chickens and we also do hay, corn and soybeans. (Conrad) The K-State Department of Animal Sciences and Industry and the Livestock and Meat Industry Council came together with the goal to develop young leaders within the livestock industry and prepare them for a successful future in the field. With this goal set in mind, Kansas State University is open to diverse students from around the world. (Molly) So, I’ve definitely learned that K-State or Kansas State University is a family and that they are very inviting to all people whether its the student from Fresno, California, or the young woman from Indiana. They really are excited that each of us are here wherever we’re from and they definitely want to encourage us to still continue to be a part of the livestock industry. Many of us have grown up on small operations or large operations, but right now during the Kansas State Animal Science Academy they’re really pushing us to think beyond the limits of our lines. (Conrad) Molly enjoyed the academy and understands the agriculture community is on a global scale. (Molly) What’s hit the most for me is that agriculture is a global industry. And although we’re affected by it personally at home, as agriculturalists we have a bigger duty. We have a duty that goes beyond our farm and my operation and we have duty to serve our community and consumers as a whole, globally and nationally we are there to service others. And that pride comes with a strong price as well, because we are faced under a lot of scrutiny sometimes, but we still have a passion. And we have a passion to provide people with a safe and wholesome food source. We should be excited about that and although there are many challenges and trials that come with living on a farming operation, it is joyous and it is exciting. And innovation is amazing, how far technology in agriculture is coming in a positive way. So I think that’s been the most exciting thing about this academy is to be a part of it and to go on lots of tours and see the industry around Kansas. But to be also open to the idea that these industries go beyond where we are currently.

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