A Path of Curiosity
As a little girl with pigtails and a big curiosity, it was predetermined that I would grow up to have a passion for agriculture.
My dad provided me with one of the most valuable lessons I would ever have the day he came home with two feeder steers for us to raise together, which opened my eyes to a lifestyle that many individuals may never have the opportunity to understand. I may have only been four at the time, but when I sit here and think about what I actually learned, I have a better understanding of how my food gets to the table, the work that goes into getting it there and the pride that comes with the end result.
Many valuable lessons would follow. I was taught that the sign of respect starts in the form of a handshake, good things come from hard work and one should never be afraid to talk about the things they are most passionate about.
I am Allie Leitza, a sophomore at Casper College, where I am majoring in agribusiness and journalism, and for the summer I will contribute to the Wyoming Livestock Roundup as the summer intern. This opportunity is a great privilege, as I am enthusiastic to work with and meet individuals who are also passionate about agriculture.
Part of my family resides in Pine Bluffs, and I am a 2010 graduate of Pine Bluffs High School. It was there that I found a family and a passion in FFA. It was through the contagious passion of my fellow members that helped me find my place and my drive to be an advocate for agriculture.
It was a blessing to grow up in a rural community that provided me with the opportunities to expand my knowledge of agriculture and to be introduced to the agriculturalist who have helped me do so.
The other part of my family lives in rural western Pennsylvania. For the part of my life when I lived there, too, I was raised around dairy cattle, corn and hay production, horses and healthy discussions about agriculture. In fact, some of my fondest memories are of sitting at the table with my Pappy reading magazine articles about agriculture.
It is my intent to attend Casper College for a third year to finish up both of my degrees, ultimately transferring to a university, where I plan to major in agriculture communications or agriculture journalism.
I have chosen this career path because I have a passion for agriculture and I want to share it with others. To go along with my passion for agriculture, one could find my love for English, literature and writing. When I came to college, I had no intention of putting that to use. As I told my high school English teacher this news, I saw the light go out of her eye.
Two semesters of college later, and I have been directed back to this path. Only I have been able to have the best of both worlds – agriculture and writing. I have traded in the pigtails, but my curiosity is still bigger than ever, which has led to my desire to become a journalist.