Christina Smith recognized for her work at U of M Crookston
Staples native Christina Smith, a junior at the University of Minnesota Crookston, was recently recognized for her involvement with a national contest held at the school.
The contest (which included horse judging, agribusiness, horticulture and several others) was part of the 2016 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference, hosted at the U of M Crookston.
New to the competition was the ag sales and marketing competition, which was the focus of Smith, who is an ag business major and communication minor.
Under the guidance of instructor Chuck Lariviere, Smith worked on all aspects of the contest, including putting together tests and maps, meeting with participating businesses, contest logistics and organizing volunteer help.
Smith found that the work provided experience for the future in a field she did not always see herself pursuing. “I did not grow up on a farm, and for me, it all came down to the ninth grade and a choice between art class or a class in fish and wildlife,” she said. “I wasn’t excited about either option, but my dad convinced me to give the fish and wildlife class a try. It led to involvement with FFA...which was a big part of my high school experience and opened the door to my future.”
When she first arrived at the university, Smith thought she would pursue a major in agricultural education; but along the way, she discovered a keen interest in ag business combined with agronomy.
Meeting with growers who came to the classroom, finding she loved her grain and livestock marketing class; and an internship with Professional Agronomy Services in Perham, confirmed that Smith was headed in the right direction.
This summer, Smith plans to participate in a second internship with Winfield in Little Falls (part of Land O’ Lakes, Inc.) to help broaden her agricultural experience.
Along with her professional opportunities, Smith is active in the Ag Business and Agronomy Club and Delta Theta Sigma Little Sisters, a part of the social agricultural fraternity on campus. She also finds time to tutor students in crop production, biology; and statistics in the Academic Success Center.
While Smith hopes to begin her career in ag business, agronomy and seed sales, she would like to gain enough experience to one day lobby for ag interests. Her leadership in FFA as an officer in high school and her leadership on campus including her work with the NACTA Judging Conference are all a part of the preparation. Next year, she hopes to compete at the contest.
A 2014 graduate of Staples Motley High School, Christina is the daughter of Brian and Heidi Smith; and the granddaughter of Bill and Sandy Smith, all of rural Staples.