OSU Senior Wants to Bring People Together Through Agronomy
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Claire Sheppard of Biggs, California, is the fifth generation to be involved in her family’s rice and walnut farm where she grew up.
“I hope to someday return and help my brother take over the operation,” said Sheppard, an agronomy student in the Oklahoma State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.
During her time at OSU, she has completed three internships: one at California State University Extension in its rice division, one as a grain merchandiser in Tulsa, and her most recent, as a chemical sales intern with the BASF chemical company in Michigan and Ohio.
“My internship with BASF allowed me to apply much of the knowledge I have obtained from the plant and soil sciences department and use it to interact with growers and retailers,” Sheppard said. “I chose to become an OSU Cowboy, because upon visiting campus my senior year of high school, OSU was a place that felt like home.”
She said Beatrix Haggard, an associate professor in the department, treated her more like family, rather than just a student ID number.
“She personally set out to help me achieve my goals, no matter how many times they changed,” Sheppard said of Haggard. “Looking back at the past three years, my favorite part of my college experience has been creating relationships with both students and faculty. The strong community at OSU is one of the biggest reasons to love being a cowboy.”
Sheppard recently accepted a job with BASF in their Agriculture Solutions Professional Development Program in Raleigh, North Carolina, so she is east coast bound following graduation. She hopes to maintain a career as an agriculture input salesperson.
“To me, the field of agronomy brings people together to feed and fuel the world,” Sheppard said. “I am passionate about this because farmers and others are given the most important task there is, yet they are continuously striving to innovate and become more efficient. The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences does a fantastic job providing personal professor/student relationships and requiring in-field experiences to prepare students to make a difference in the field of agronomy.”