Animal Science Masters Student Finds Job to Fulfill Her Passions

A young woman teaching a lecture/class

Unlike most students interested in agriculture, Kristina Britt had limited exposure to farm life as a child growing up. By high school, she had an increased desire to learn more about agriculture, which prompted her to become an officer for Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Upon entering college, Britt majored in a completely different department but soon realized that she was not enjoying her studies. A month later, Britt met with Sara Lane from CALS Career Services, together they concluded that Extension would be the best fit for Kristina. In May of 2019, Kristina Britt graduated with a bachelor’s degree in extension education and a minor in agricultural leadership and animal science and has immediately begun working on her master’s degree in animal science through North Carolina State University. 

Kristina Britt
Kristina Britt

Britt experienced immense joy and grew significantly in her time at NC State University. She explains, “My time at NC State was such a molding experience with so many hands-on opportunities, wonderful professors, and unforgettable memories. I can’t imagine going to any other university and receiving the same level of education and experiential learning opportunities.” Britt encountered many passionate and helpful members of the NC State faculty and staff. She offers special thanks to her mentor and advisor, Joseph Donaldson, who played a pivotal role in her undergraduate success. Dr. Stephanie Ward, who is currently her internship mentor and graduate advisor, offered Britt the help and advice needed to pursue her exceptional aspirations. Britt also extends considerable gratitude towards her great friends in the Alpha Zeta family. The agricultural honors fraternity led the way to long-lasting friendships and professional development. Through her membership with the Alpha Zeta fraternity, Britt was able to meet the inspiring and well accomplished Dr. Bob Patterson, who as Britt notes, is “such a supportive mentor and an NC State legend.” All the classes and extracurricular activities Britt took part in enabled her to work and study for educational units and discover internship programs, further enhancing her knowledge of agriculture. Her impactful involvement with NC State led her to pursue a career at the university soon later.

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Britt applied for jobs upon completing her one-year farm internship program. She was adamant on finding a position that allowed her to educate others while still being involved in the agricultural community. In November of 2020, Britt found the perfect opportunity to combine her passions as a Livestock, Equine, and Forages Extension Agent and Pesticide Coordinator for Chatham County. As an agent, Britt assists local producers with any questions they may have and develops programming based on the community’s needs. Some spectacular examples of programs and events Britt has hosted include the annual Horse Health Clinic, Pasture Weed ID and Management, Pesticide Safety classes, the annual Piedmont Regional Beef Conference, and the annual Piedmont Regional Sheep and Goat Conference. Britt also started a Chatham County Youth Livestock Team in her local community. Britt explains that “Extension acts as a liaison between the agricultural universities, North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T University, and North Carolina producers and clientele. This connection is vital in sharing research and resources from the university level to the people to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity of North Carolina farms that in turn increases agricultural income. As an agent, I bring this information to my counties by developing relationships with my clientele and providing useful, hands-on programming that they can take back to their farms.”

As Kristina Britt continues pursuing her master’s degree, she hopes to continue her work for NC State Extension. In the future, she hopes to involve herself in a more hands-on farm position, in which she can work as a farm director.