Student Spotlight: Bone Scholar Laura Johnson Aims High

College was looking tough for fourth-generation farmer Laura Johnson. She dreaded having to balance a full class schedule with a job to pay her way.

Then the phone rang. Johnson is now one of CALS’ Bone Scholars, a program set up by Dale and Genia Bone for qualifying students from North Carolina farm families.

Johnson is double-majoring in livestock and poultry management and agribusiness in the Agricultural Institute. She is also the AGI Alumni Scholarship recipient for 2016-2017.

What are your career goals?

My family lives on a farm, and I love swine, so I wanted to go to NC State to get more education – I hope to one day own my own swine farm. I’ve been doing this all my life, but I want to branch out and build my own swine houses. Ours have gotten run down since so many generations have been using them. I’m hoping to either add on or go out on my own.

What has having this scholarship meant to you?

This is kind of embarrassing, but when I got the email, I started crying, and then I called my mom. I was so excited. Before I even got home, half my family knew about it, and they were all calling me and congratulating me. I think this scholarship is going to help me go far in college, and to go out and help others get into NC State.

What would you have done if you hadn’t been made a Bone Scholar?

My parents live on a farm, and not a lot of farmers make a lot of money – just enough to get by. They have two kids in college, so it’s rough. If I didn’t have this scholarship, I’d have to balance my grades with going to work, and it would be way too much. I’m greatly appreciative for this opportunity.

How’s your first semester going?

Great! When I first got in, I was nervous, but now I’ve met friends … we have study groups at night in my room and eat popcorn and study and laugh. I know for sure I have A’s in all my classes.

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