Alumni Spotlight - Jennifer Carrico

Alumni Spotlight - Jennifer CarricoJennifer Carrico made the most out of her time at Iowa State to discover her passion and transition into a successful career.

Growing up in Redfield, Iowa, on a cattle and crop farm, Jennifer initially chose the field of animal science because she wanted to be a veterinarian. Her experience with showing cattle, 4-H, and FFA fostered her love for animals, and Iowa State was a natural choice. After taking some biology and chemistry classes, Jennifer realized veterinary school was not the best fit for her. However, she decided to stay in the animal science major because she enjoyed the industry and became aware of many other opportunities in animal agriculture.

After having multiple experiences in communications that she enjoyed, including interning at the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Jennifer decided to add a journalism minor. “I truly believe my animal science major has helped me in all the jobs I’ve had in my career. It gave me the knowledge behind what I write about.”

While at Iowa State, Jennifer was involved in various activities, including Block and Bridle, Beef Interest Group, Rodeo Club, Alpha Gamma Rho little sister, Meats Judging Team, Meat Animal Evaluation Team, and various intramural sports.

Jennifer graduated in 1996 and is currently the Senior Livestock Editor for DTN/Progressive Farmer. She follows and writes about everything going on in the livestock industry but gets to keep a good amount of focus on the beef industry, which she is most passionate about. She has the opportunity to attend industry events and travel out to farms and ranches for interviews. Working from her home office on the family farm has let her also have a small cowherd and raise her children there.

When asked how Iowa State prepared her for this role, Jennifer responded, “The knowledge I gained while in college prepared me well for the role I am in now. Also, the people I met through the activities I was involved in are contacts that I still use today. I learned the importance of networking and meeting people.”

One of Jennifer’s favorite moments at Iowa State was her time on the meats judging team. It allowed her to travel and learn more about a part of the industry she was not as familiar with. “I learned what’s under the hide and how the decisions a producer makes can impact the consumer. It was also fun to travel in a van together and get to know all my teammates.”

When asked if she has any advice for current students, Jennifer said, “Get to know your professors and don’t think they are scary people. They have lots of advice and experience, so talk to them and ask questions. Everyone is human, so sit down at the table and make a connection with people.”