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Student Spotlight: Grace Jakes

Grace JakesWhen Grace Jakes visited the Iowa State campus for the first time during her junior year of high school, she knew immediately that she could find her place here and has proven so over the last three years. As a soon to be senior in animal science and global resource systems, Grace maintains a busy and ambitious schedule. She is currently the Dairy Products Chair for the Dairy Science Club, holding the position in both 2019 and 2021, the blood drive chair for Block and Bridle, completing her honors capstone project, serving as a peer mentor and a tutor among many other things. Grace has had the opportunity to complete a study abroad trip through Iowa State where she was able to spend the spring semester of 2020 in Uganda, helping train small scale agricultural producers and conduct impact analysis of their work.

Grace is also a research assistant in the lab of Lance Baumgard, Norman L. Jacobson Endowed Professor in Dairy Nutrition. She explained that before she received this position, she had never worked with a dairy cow let alone milked one. Through this role, Grace has learned many things including how to collect blood samples and data. She has also gotten experience in training research cows to eat through calan gates and learned the dedication it takes to care for livestock rain or shine.

Grace has had the opportunity to complete multiple summer internships during her time at Iowa State. Her first was an internship with New Fashion Pork out of Jackson, Minnesota where she received many professional development opportunities and was able to go through all of the levels of production from nursery, finishing, and even boar studs. This year Grace will be completing an internship with Cargill in dairy sales where she hopes to gain a greater perspective on the dairy industry and nutrition.

When Grace looks back at her time at Iowa State, she is most proud of the fact that she was willing to try things that weren’t easy for her. Coming from a homeschool background and going from a class of one to a class of 300 wasn’t an easy transition, but is one that she is proud to have made. Grace is also grateful she was able to complete a semester long study abroad as it was not an easy feat to move all of her classes while still completing her degree in four years.

After graduation Grave plans to pursue a dual DVM PhD in animal nutrition and animal health and learn how they are interconnected to the sustainability of the animal agriculture industry.


Grace’s advice for incoming students:

“You don’t need to start off knowing everything. As long as you are willing to learn there will be people willing to teach you and your best is enough.”