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April 29, 2013
By Philip Gruenwald, media relations assistant
Kacie Wright has used her four years at Northwest Missouri State University studying and promoting Missouri agriculture. After she graduates with an agricultural business degree, she will continue helping people and promoting agriculture as a loan officer at FCS Financial.
Wright’s Northwest education was supplemented with three summer internships, three years as an agricultural ambassador and three years as an officer in Collegiate Farm Bureau. Each year she followed a steady schedule that included hands-on courses and extra-curricular activities at Northwest, bookended by summer internships. Wright walks across the commencement stage with a comprehensive understanding of Missouri agriculture.
“Agriculture has given so much to me over the years,” Wright, an agricultural business major from Tuscumbia, said. “It has taught me discipline, life responsibilities and useful skills and characteristics I can apply the rest of my life. I want to promote agriculture through whatever I do, which is why I wanted to be so involved here on campus.”
Growing up on a turkey and cattle farm in rural Missouri, Wright knew she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture through a hands-on education at Northwest. She found satisfaction in promoting her two chief passions, agriculture and Northwest. Wright enjoyed leading prospective students on tours around campus, including the R.T. Wright Farm, Northwest’s 448-acre livestock and crop facility located northwest of campus. Wright developed a reputation for her friendly tours and corny jokes.
“My farm jokes are usually met with a groan or a forced laugh, but I love seeing the humorous side of life, and the jokes serve as a great ice-breaker,” Wright said. “I try to get people to learn something, have fun and make their tour a memorable experience because looking for a college is a major decision.”
Wright made consecutive summer internships a personal goal from the beginning of her education. Her first internship with the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency introduced her to the governmental side of agriculture. Wright’s second internship consisted of working at the Missouri Department of Agriculture. There, she worked under MDA Director Dr. Jon Hagler and experienced the enormity of Missouri’s agricultural field.
“We have a very diverse agriculture industry in Missouri, and it was great to see that function under the direction of Dr. Hagler,” Wright said. “He travels the state promoting some of Missouri’s main industries. It was interesting to meet producers and see agricultural businesses and leaders operate, and I felt especially fortunate to be exposed to all of that as a college student.”
Her most recent internship with FCS Financial led to her full-time employment in its Maryville office following graduation. As a loan officer, she will assist producers in streamlining their financial operations. It seemed like a natural career choice for Wright, a self-proclaimed people, numbers and agriculture person. She looks forward to being an active alumna and lifelong supporter of Northwest.
“I really appreciated how comprehensive and hands-on the learning experiences at Northwest have been,” Wright said. “We weren’t just stuck in the classroom. We were able to get out and apply what we had just learned in class at our own Northwest farm facilities. We had several opportunities to get our hands dirty, which is exactly what we will do in the agriculture industry.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468