Kendra Spier graduated from Iowa State University this fall with her bachelor’s degree in both Dairy Science and Global Resource Systems. Throughout her time at Iowa State, she has had the opportunity to serve the Dairy Science Club as both their Vice President and CALS Council Representative. She also worked at the Iowa State Dairy Farm for three years where she spent her time in the calf and maternity department.
Kendra had the opportunity to participate in multiple study abroad programs including a two-week study abroad in 2018 to Brazil and to both Uganda and the Netherlands over a two-week span last November. Both of these trips were focused on diverse resource systems within agriculture and natural resources. Taking further advantage of the unique and diverse opportunities Iowa State University provides, Kendra was also able to participate in the National Student Exchange program in the Fall of 2017 to study at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
This year Kendra was selected as the CALS Student Marshal, an honor that one must be nominated for to receive. If 2020 was a routine year for college graduates, she would have been the one to lead her class into graduation, but since the year has been anything but routine, Kendra was honored during the virtual commencement ceremony for her accomplishment.
Upon graduation, Kendra has accepted a full-time position as an Education Coordinator with URUS, a company that provides dairy and beef producers with cutting edge products, genetics and herd management information. She is most excited for the fact that she will be able to use her knowledge from both of her majors, something she never expected to find. She was also a Dairylearning.com Global Development intern with URUS over the past summer. Kendra stated that the pandemic provided many challenges to overcome, but her coworkers provided her with the support and resources she needed to be successful in creating virtual education classes for small holder farmers in South America and Africa. In 2018, Kendra also interned for ST Genetics Ohio Heifer Center focused on the production side of the industry. Additionally, in 2019, she completed an internship with ABS Global in DeForest, Wisconsin serving as the Genetic Management Systems intern.
While Kendra didn’t grow up on a farm, she has gained an abundance of experience in the dairy industry through the countless opportunities she took advantage of while studying at Iowa State, which demonstrates that success can be found in the programs here at Iowa State no matter a student’s background. Her favorite professor was Dr. Leo Timms because he always brought new perspectives to his lectures including a global animal agriculture viewpoint.
Kendra is proud of her growth in both Dairy Science and Global Resource System and shared her mentality of always wanting to learn. Kendra pointed out that while her journey at Iowa State may be coming to an end, she is not done learning and will continue to seek out opportunities to grow as both an individual and professional.
Kendra’s advice to incoming students:
“Take advantage of the many opportunities within the department including teaching farms because that is what they are there for. Especially take the opportunity to travel and make yourself a bit uncomfortable.”