Student Spotlight: Taylor Howell
Taylor Howell is proud to be a 3rd generation Iowa State University attendee and soon-to-be graduate in her family. She grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in southeast Iowa, where her involvement in 4-H and FFA activities had Iowa State’s campus feeling like home before she even arrived for her freshman year.
As a senior double majoring in Animal Science and Agricultural Communications, it is safe to say that Howell is getting the most out of her time here at Iowa State. Howell is currently involved in multiple student organizations, including Sigma Alpha Sorority and Block & Bridle, where she currently holds the officer position of Secretary and has also served as the Philanthropy Co-Chair, Animal Science Banquet Tri-Chair, and the Swine Interest Group Secretary. She has also participated in opportunities within the department and college, including CALS Ambassadors, AnCy Guides, and as an Animal Science Peer Mentor.
Howell expressed that while what she learns in the classroom is important for her future career, it is the experiences she gains outside of the classroom, in her extracurriculars, that teach her how to truly apply the concepts. Taylor continued by saying, “The level of industry knowledge and respect the Animal Science Department has is unlike any other program, let alone the numerous clubs and opportunities there are to get involved with the industry.”
Last May, Howell participated in the Heritage of Livestock Study Abroad Trip, traveling across the United Kingdom for a period of two weeks. With stops like the oldest continuous herd of registered Herefords in the world, or the village of Lambourn, an area known for training some of the finest European racing horses, and other fun stops like a trip to Big Ben, it is safe to say that Howell gained once in a lifetime opportunity. When asked about her favorite experience on the trip, she responded, “Meeting the people in the UK… my family is from Wales, so it was very eye-opening to me to see my heritage and meet farmers from the area.” Over the course of the trip, Howell learned that passion for animals and feeding people is just as strong across the world as it is here at home. She enjoyed seeing how the production systems in the UK differed from those in America and were no less productive or efficient. Howell went on to state, “Personally, I gained a newfound love for traveling to different countries and would recommend studying abroad to anyone who is interested.”
“I chose to double major because I didn’t know what I wanted my career path to be, and I am glad I did because it has opened so many doors.” As Taylor looks towards graduation, she plans to start a career that aligns with both of her majors and her love for the animal industry. Through her internship with Merck, Howell has found a passion for sales and is looking for a role that would allow her to provide customers and producers with the tools and resources they need to be successful in our ever-changing and evolving industry.
Taylor’s advice to new students:
“Get your feet wet in a couple of different clubs or groups your freshman year, then reevaluate your second or third year, pick your favorites, and go from there! Enjoy your time because it goes faster than you think."