Farm Work, Rural Life Nurtures Work Ethic and Success
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences graduate Travis Chase channels strong work ethic into success at UI
Travis Chase, a University of Idaho senior graduating in May with a double-major in agribusiness and soil and land resources, was raised in Utopia.
Well, something like that.
“New Plymouth actually has a very interesting history,” Chase said. “Originally envisioned as a western utopia, it was created as a colony town based on agriculture, making use of an elaborate system of canals and waterwheels to bring life, in the form of water, to productive desert soils. As you might expect given the rural setting, I grew up working on our family farm, growing wheat, alfalfa, corn, beans, onions, sugar beets and a strong work ethic.”
Chase channeled this well-developed work ethic into his high school FFA program and his family farm, and then again in academics and extracurricular activities at UI.
On top of earning a 3.77 GPA, Chase joined the Agribusiness Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Plant and Soil Science Club, Collegiate FFA and Student Alumni Relations Board. He volunteered through UI’s Alternative Service Break program and served as a College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) Ambassador.
He also received roles in local productions with the Moscow Community Theatre and the Regional Theatre of the Palouse, sang with the Palouse Choral Society and spent a semester as a student-resident firefighter with the Moscow Fire Department.
For Chase’s advanced agribusiness management capstone course, Chase and two other classmates partnered with the Boise Fire Department and Ada County Emergency Management to explore the possibility of using publically-owned goat herds to reduce vegetation and fire risk. The students analyzed operation costs and implementation tactics in relationship to the mitigation needs of Ada County. After completing their research, Chase and his teammates traveled to Boise and presented their information to the fire department and emergency management group.
“Travis is an outstanding student,” said Larry Makus, associate dean of CALS. “He is a genuinely humble person that shows compassion for others. His enthusiasm is contagious, so doing things with Travis is always fun, whether it is work or play. His commitment to this college and UI is extraordinary, and his leadership over the last few years has been critical to CALS, especially in recruiting new students.
“I cannot say enough good things about Travis, and he so well represents what we attempt to accomplish when we provide an educational experience for our students.”
Chase will begin working full-time as a field representative for the J.R. Simplot Co. in southern Idaho following graduation. Having interned for the company between semesters, Chase said he has a solid idea of what his job will entail, including working with potato producers.
“It is somewhat bittersweet to recognize that my undergraduate chapter is coming to a close,” Chase said, “but at the same time very exciting to be starting out on a new journey as I join the Vandal alumni family.”
Article by Miranda Carter, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences