What are you doing now? I am the Director of Market Access and Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. In this role, I work to maintain and expand exports of dairy products of U.S. origin through identification and resolution of trade barriers. I work closely with the U.S. Government, foreign governments, and the member companies of USDEC to ensure we continue to grow our nearly $8 billion/yr dairy export presence.
How did the W.D. Farr Scholarship help you achieve your goals? I used the award money from the W.D. Farr scholarship to help pay for my education expenses. Receiving the W.D. Farr Fellowship enabled me to focus on completing my PhD without incurring the financial burden of student loans.
What is your advice for student to be successful? My main piece of advice is to find your niche and pursue it with passion. For me, I learned of my interest in international trade barriers when I spent a summer in Japan working for USMEF. When I came back to CSU to begin my PhD, I had an entirely new focus and I was able to travel to some amazing places and complete some important research that benefited our industry. The best thing students can do is pursue a career that offers them the opportunity to use their expertise in a field they enjoy. It may be cliche, but the old adage "do something you enjoy and you will never work a day in your life" rings true.
What do you think was W.D. Farr's most important trait? There are so many, but what always struck me about the legacy W.D. Farr left was the vision and perseverance to pioneer so many new agricultural projects. Even from a young age, W.D. Farr understood the big picture and was able to bring tangible change to his community. A visionary mind with the sheer will to see projects completed is rare, and that is what always stuck out to me as W.D. Farr's legacy.