Friday, August 17, 2012

Jesse Bussard

Today we hear from Jesse Bussard a young agriculturist! She is very passionate about agriculture and her role in that aspiring task!

Hello, I’m Jesse Bussard, better known as Pearl Snaps to my friends and the blogosphere thanks to the name of my agriculture blog, Pearl Snaps’ Ponderings. You can read more about the story behind my nickname here.

I was raised in the south central Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania and am the fifth generation of my family to be involved directly in agriculture. My family owns a small cow-calf operation where they raise Hereford-Angus crossbred beef cattle. I grew showing livestock in 4-H and was an avid equestrian from the age of 5. Growing up, you were more likely to find me in the saddle or at the barn with my horse than anywhere else.

While it may seem to many that agriculture has always been my passion, it wasn’t always the case. When I graduated from high school in 2003 my life was somewhat of a mess and I had no direction in my life. It took 3 years and some very influential people to steer me onto the path I’m on now.

I went on to attend Penn State University, majoring in Animal Science. There I became involved with clubs like Block & Bridle, the Collegiate Cattlewomen, Agronomy Club, and the Equine Research Team. A part-time job at the USDA-ARS Pasture Lab and, later on, at the university’s agronomy research farm sparked an interest in forage and grazing research. Upon graduation in December of 2010, I decided to pursue this interest further by attending graduate school at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington to get my Masters degree in Crop Science. Along the way I started my blog, got involved in agvocacy efforts both on campus and online, and discovered I had a knack for writing. This has led to many great opportunities and new friendships.

Currently I’m still in Lexington and will be defending my Master thesis in a little less than 3 weeks. You might say the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight! What I’m going to do when I get to that light, however, has yet to be decided. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I know one thing for sure…I’ll continue to use my knowledge, skills, and talents for the betterment of agriculture. It’s my passion, my purpose, and like Thomas Jefferson once said: "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."

Learn more about Jesse’s story on her blog, Pearl Snaps’ Ponderings. In addition to her personal blog, Jesse also writes for Beef Producer and Feedstuffs. You can connect with Jesse via her blog’s Facebook Page, Twitter (@cowgirljesse and @pearlsnapsblog), Google+, Tumblr, or email (

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