For Amanda Nolz, college has been marked by unique experiences and opportunities only offered to exceptional students. As a 20-year-old senior at SDSU, Nolz has completed an internship in Washington, D.C., studied abroad in Argentina and has interned for an agricultural magazine in Minneapolis, Minn.
Nolz grew up in Mitchell on a ranch with her parents and two sisters.
“We show cattle at livestock shows across the country,” she said. “Of course, it was my childhood on the ranch that gave me my passion for agriculture.”
While attending school at Mitchell High School, Nolz was involved in various activities, such as 4-H, FFA, track, basketball and cross country.
“While sports taught me discipline and teamwork, it was 4-H and FFA that gave me the drive to pursue a career in agriculture,” she said.
While involved in those agriculture activities, she competed in public speaking, extemporaneous speaking, job interview, livestock judging, nursery landscape and food science.
Nolz’s passion for agriculture and involvement did not end in high school; she became highly involved in clubs and organizations in college. She has participated in various organizations, such as Little I, the largest two-day agricultural exposition in the country; Sigma Alpha, a women’s agricultural sorority; and Block and Bridle, a social agricultural club.
Because agriculture has been so prevalent in her life, it has driven her to obtain an agricultural journalism degree. She has decided to obtain a minor in Spanish, as well.
“I have always had an interest in Spanish, and with the agriculture sector becoming so heavily intertwined with Spanish culture, I feel it is increasingly important for me to have a background in Spanish,” Nolz said.
Originally, the 20-year-old was uneasy about the agriculture business.
“I will admit that in high school, I wasn’t always certain that there were career opportunities for me in agriculture,” she said. “I was actually majoring in political science and mass communications, but I quickly realized that my heart was in agriculture.”
During the summer of 2007, Nolz was offered an internship as an extension of the National Beef Ambassador Program, which is an organization that promotes the education of students and consumers about beef nutrition and food safety. She and four other young students traveled around the country promoting the beef industry. At the end of a year-long term, one young student was awarded the internship in Washington.
Nolz won the internship.
“My internship involved working in the Checkoff Programs of beef, lamb, pork and soybeans,” Nolz said. The Checkoff Program collects funds from producers and then uses these funds to promote advertising and research for their commodities.
This past summer, Nolz, along with 25 other students, traveled to Argentina, with the SDSU Spanish department. The students received six credits for their month-long study of Argentinean culture and language.
Along with Argentina, Nolz also worked for BEEF magazine. BEEF magazine is the number one beef publication in the country.
“Although they don’t usually have interns, they took me on for the summer. I spent seven weeks living and working in Minneapolis, writing for the magazine and working on their Web site,” Nolz said.
Because of her work, BEEF offered her a job. “At the end of my internship, BEEF hired me to work part-time as a Web editor for the remainder of my senior year,” Nolz said.
With so many opportunities open to her, Nolz hopes to find her place in the agricultural world. She graduates this May and hopes to establish a career with the help of the many contacts she has made along the way. Since agriculture has played such an important role in her life, Nolz has decided to make it a permanent installment in her life.
“I hope to find a place in the agriculture community with a career that I will love.”