I was recently interviewed by a student writing a paper about agriculture careers. Here are a few of my responses to his questions.
What interest did you have in agriculture that made you want to be an agriculture lawyer? When did that interest start? Did you always plan to be were you are now or did you expect something completely different for your life?
I grew up on a cattle farm in Central Illinois, spending my summers bailing hay and showing cattle through 4-H and FFA. For most of my life, I knew I wanted to have a career in agriculture. I just didn’t know in what capacity. In high school, I considered a career in agriculture communications. In fact, when I started school at Texas A & M University, I was an agriculture journalism major for about a week before switching to animal science! If you ask my grandmother, she will say that I always wanted to be a lawyer. But in reality, it was never so clear to me. It wasn’t until I interned on Capitol Hill via the Texas A & M University agriculture and natural resource policy internship program that I felt called to the law.
What were some of your favorite experiences from college and some things that you disliked?
I had some amazing experiences participating in the livestock judging teams at Lake Land College and Texas A & M. I learned about teamwork, competition, public speaking and how to spend weekends living out of a judging van traveling from farm to farm. Some of my best memories were in those judging vans and with the people around me.
What didn’t I like about college? That’s a tough one. One of my favorite Broadway songs is “I Wish I Could Go Back to College” from Avenue Q. I suppose that I don’t miss stressing out over final exams and grades. I probably should have spent more time enjoying the life and business pivots on relationships. That said, the ability to handle pressure helped me through the bar exam and each time when I go to court.
If you could go back to high school is there anything that you would like to change in respect to your career or FFA related choices you made?
I quit Spanish my senior year- big mistake. I should have taken Spanish more seriously and even pursued in college. One of my biggest regrets in my undergraduate career is not getting a minor in Spanish. I think we all need to be proficient in a second language, especially those involved in agriculture. I am very thankful that my secretary speaks Spanish!