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Student Spotlight: Michaela French

This is a guest post from ARE communications intern, Ayah Mohamed.

The Agricultural Business Management (ABM) program attracts students of all walks of life. Each student’s story is unique and drives them to grow their skills and expand their knowledge to pursue their goals. The ABM program sets each student up to graduate with the abilities they need to execute various duties in the agricultural industry. Our highlight this month showcases Logan French’s story and her experience in the College of Agriculture and Life Science. Logan, who prefers to go by Michaela, starts her story at the beginning.

Michaela grew up on a small cattle farm in Rockingham County, N.C. Her family’s farm had a herd of about 50 registered artificially inseminated (AI) Black Angus and a small chicken operation of Golden Comets. Her beginnings led her to want to pursue an education in agriculture. “Since I can remember, there wasn’t another option for me besides NC State. As the daughter of a NC State animal science graduate and a member of a passionate agriculture family, I always knew I wanted to continue my education at State” Michaela explained. During her senior year, she was awarded the NC Society for Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers Scholarship based on merit and her desire to return to her family’s operation after graduation.

Michaela’s family farm

Michaela realized that the business side of agriculture interested her the most. She was able to develop this passion through the opportunities growing up on a farm gave her. Farming and agriculture became important to her through her experiences. Michaela will be graduating this semester with a major in Agricultural Business Management and a double minor in Economics and Entrepreneurship. During her four years at State, she has held multiple internships that helped her gain real-world experience in the business field. She was a Loan Officer Intern with Carolina Farm Credit and a Bank Intern at American National Bank and Trust. Her involvement in extracurriculars has helped Michaela become a well-rounded student and has prepared her for the reality of the field.

The ABM program puts an emphasis on preparing students for the field in a wide range of criteria. Michaela plans to return back to her family farm and purchase additional land in order to grow their operation of production bulls and heifers. She says, “The ABM program has provided me with the tools and ideas necessary to continue creating growth and financial sustainability for my family farm.” When asked about what aspects of the ABM program has set her up for success she accounts the networking through “Executive in Residence” sessions, hands-on experience through the internships offered to ABM majors, the curriculum and instruction of the program’s courses, and planning and preparing for career choices by establishing a professional profile.

So, why is farming important to Michaela?

“When you look up farming in the dictionary it is a noun that is defined as “the activity or business of growing crops and raising livestock.” Simple and easy right? This simple definition of farming lacks the ability to capture the complexity of all the moving parts of a farm. To me, the word farming is about the things that go unseen by many like the tired feet and blistered hands, the relationships formed with a handshake from your neighbor, the troubled thoughts of not having enough hay to get through until the spring, and the many mouths that are fed. Farming is a career, a hobby, and a way of life for so many men and women across the globe. Farming is so important to me personally because I believe it allows us as humans to experience God’s gift of life through the crops we sow and the livestock we grow.“

Michaela expects major challenges for the future of farming in N.C. Some of these include environmental restrictions and regulations, availability and price of land, the impact of global trade policies, and the continuous evolution of technology. Technology advancements will ultimately take away the jobs of many farmers. Michaela and the ABM program are confident that she will be able to face these obstacles when faced with them.