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May 16, 2018
Annie Palmer is passionate about impacting the world and changing the world for the better through agriculture education. This summer, as a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, she’ll begin her quest in Ghana.
Palmer, a native of Indianola, Iowa, completed her bachelor’s degree in animal science this spring at Northwest. She studied minors in agriculture business and agriculture communication. She was a Distinguished Scholar recipient and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Next, she will head to Ghana in West Africa for a year-long appointment as an Agricorps fellow. She will teach ag education in schools and local communities, work as an extension agent and build interest in 4-H, which is working to expand globally.
Palmer, who was just one of 11 students in the nation to be granted the opportunity, said securing the fellowship is one of her proudest accomplishments, and it will further her interest in the issue of food security.
Palmer said she also hopes to gain a better understanding of agriculture in another part of the world, where cocoa is the top export. She also is seeking to use her communication skills and knowledge to share stories related to agriculture.
“Food security is such an issue there, and we’re all faced with those issues here, so I’ll be able to empower people with that knowledge of how to better grow their own food and be sustainable,” she said. “It’s crazy with the access we have to food that people are going to bed hungry and face that issue every single day. By empowering people with the knowledge of how to grow their own food and knowing they can put food on their table if they can’t make it to the grocery store is pretty huge.”
As a high school student, Palmer had narrowed her college choices to Northwest and an Iowa institution when she toured the Maryville campus and quickly developed an appreciation for it.
“I was really going for the size and it was just a really good fit, and it was the best decision I could have ever made,” Palmer said. “The campus is absolutely gorgeous.”
Palmer became active in numerous agriculture-related organizations at Northwest, including Block and Bridle, and she co-founded Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. Additionally, Palmer, who has aspirations of working as an animal nutritionist, gained professional experience working with animals at SouthPaws veterinary clinic in Maryville.
“Just being with a group of people who are passionate about the same things you are is amazing, and being able to talk and relate to those people and seeing the different opportunities that you have is valuable,” she said. “Finding a place that’s a home away from home really is amazing.”
Palmer took advantage of opportunities to learn from Northwest’s supportive faculty. She gained confidence in her qualifications and ability to handle challenges.
“They’re people that absolutely supported me dreaming big and going after whatever you wanted to,” she said. “As long as you put your mind to it, you can absolutely do it, even if it seems kind of impossible at the moment.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468