The Perfect Fit
Holly Hale always knew she was destined to be a Vandal.
Both of her parents graduated from the University of Idaho and Hale knew early on that she wanted a career in agriculture. U of I was the perfect fit.
Hale graduated from U of I’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics: agribusiness emphasis.
U of I is truly a Vandal Family and that’s what I found during my time here. Everyone is welcoming and wants you to succeed.Holly Hale
A native of Caldwell, Hale grew up visiting both sets of her grandparents on farms and ranches in Northern California and southern Idaho, which sparked her interest in agriculture.
“Once in high school, I joined the Vallivue FFA Chapter for the entirety of my high school career. Being an FFA member then pointed me in the direction of the University of Idaho,” Hale said. “I knew I wanted to find a career within the agricultural industry, but I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted to be.”
She chose the agricultural economics degree because it gave her an option to learn a variety of different disciplines, where she then also found a love for business and marketing.
While at U of I, Hale took advantage of the extracurricular opportunities offered in CALS. She was involved in the Sigma Alpha Agricultural Sorority and served on the CALS Student Affairs Council as president. Her role allowed her to oversee clubs within the college as well as organize socials and other activities.
She also gained experience working for agricultural chemical and biotechnology firm Monsanto during the summers of 2016 and 2017, assisting with GMO research on corn and carrots as a production research assistant/intern.
“During my time at Monsanto I was able to plant, research and harvest different types of corn, carrot and bean seed varieties,” Hale said. “While a lot of my research was on genetically modified seeds, I did do quite a bit of work on conventional seeds as well.”
Her daily duties required her to go out in the field with an iPad to collect and analyze a large amount of data on each crop variety planted. Following her data collection, the research was sent to a team for analysis and decisions on which varieties they were going to put in the market the next year.
A New Journey
Hale has returned to Caldwell since graduation where she is working as an e-commerce coordinator with MWI Veterinary Supply. She has been busy learning and meeting with fellow employees and customers to learn the ropes.
“I do a lot of new customer account setups, as well as work with their national account groups. Ninety percent of our entire business runs through my department,” she said.
Her goal is to continue to integrate within the MWI Animal Health company and hopefully move up to a marketing or business position. She credits CALS Associate Professor Aaron Johnson for guiding her into the workforce and inspiring her to pursue a career in agricultural economics, as well as the support of the entire college in preparing her for the next chapter in her life.
“CALS was very helpful in many ways — from the CALS Networking Nights, to everyday interactions with faculty and staff within our college,” Hale said. “I have even had multiple faculty and staff members reach out to me even after graduation to check on me and see how things were going.”
Article by Hannah Doumit, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Published in February 2019