Student Spotlight: TaraLee Hudson

Meet TaraLee Hudson, a senior animal science and agricultural economics major with a minor in the Krutsinger Beef Industry Scholars Program from Belvidere, Nebraska.
April 24, 2023

Hometown:Belvidere, Nebraska 

Major:Animal Science and Agricultural Economics, Krutsinger Beef Industry Scholars minor 

Anticipated Date of Graduation:  May 2023 

Why did you decide to come to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? 

I ultimately decided to come to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln because of the previous relationships I had established with the faculty and staff in the Department of Animal Science through attending events such as the Nebraska Youth Beef Leadership Symposium. I saw that there were great opportunities to grow as a student and a leader through the Animal Science Department and the Krutsinger Beef Industry Scholars program, and this was an important part of my decision to come to Lincoln. My dad also went to school and played football for Nebraska, so I felt that it was important to carry on the family tradition.  

What is your favorite thing about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? 

My favorite thing about UNL is the Department of Animal Science and the unique environment created by the faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students. I am especially appreciative of how supportive the department is of its students through its scholarship program and other involvement initiatives. I have always felt like the Animal Science Department is a home-away-from-home and I will forever cherish the relationships that I've built through my time as a student in this department. 

What about diversity and inclusion? Is it necessary to you when you think about your CASNR experience? 

I think that CASNR and its various departments are safe places for everyone to learn and grow as individuals.  

Exposure to cultural differences is a huge part of college. What activity have you recently participated in that is different from what you are used to in your culture? This could be something you read, listened to, watched, eaten or otherwise taken part in. What did you learn from this activity? 

I grew up in rural Nebraska and graduated from high school in a class of 15. Every single day when I go to campus, I am exposed to something different than what I am used to in my culture. Throughout my college experience, I've gained a better understanding of other people's perspectives, but at the same time, I've also learned the importance of staying grounded within my values and how I was raised.  

What is your favorite class you have taken so far and why? 

It is hard for me to pick just one class as my favorite, but I especially enjoyed taking ASCI 341 (Physiology and Management of Reproduction) taught by Dr. Brett White. I learned so many new things during this class and Dr. White always made sure to keep the concepts applicable to real-world production, particularly beef production. Some of the other classes that I have enjoyed taking have been AECN 345 (Policy Issues in Agriculture and Natural Resources), AECN 401 (Advanced Farm Management), ASCI 330 (Animal Breeding & Genetics), and any of the classes I've taken which have focused on microeconomics or accounting.  

What are your plans post-graduation? 

Following graduation in May, I am planning on starting a master's program in Agricultural Economics in the fall of 2023. Upon receiving my master's degree, I hope to find a job within the Nebraska beef industry that will be flexible in allowing me to return home to southeastern Nebraska to join my family's commercial cow/calf and row crop operation with the hope of eventually taking it over someday.  

What's life like outside of school? 

Outside of school, I enjoy working on the farm and with my parent's cow/calf herd. Although I am now too old, I was actively involved in the Nebraska Junior Angus Association and National Junior Angus Association and showed Angus cattle for many years. I am currently the vice president of the Young Nebraska Cattlemen, and I also enjoy being involved with the Nebraska Cattlemen and attending their events. 

What scholarships, if any, have you received? 

The scholarships I have received for this school year include the Susan T. Buffett Foundation Scholarship, J.H. & R.F. Crockett Scholarship, AKSARBEN Foundation Scholarship, Nebraska Cattlemen's Foundation Beef State Scholarship, Andy Bruntz Beef Industry Scholar Progressive Scholarship, Dr. James Kendrick Scholarship, CASNR Younkers Scholarship, and the Dr. Ardyce Haring Scholarship. In past years I have been a recipient of a Thayer County Livestock Feeder's Scholarship, the Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation's Bill Pullen, Bill Briggs, and Retail Value Steer Challenge scholarships, W.F. & M.L. Cox Scholarship, Mark & Camille Jensen Scholarship, Sue Wilson Scholarship, Nebraska Angus Auxiliary Scholarship, Wayne E Hill Memorial Scholarship, Holling Memorial Scholarship, several Department of Animal Science scholarships, the 4-H Legacy/R.B. Warren 4-H Educational Horse Scholarship, as well as the Bruning-Davenport FFA Alumni Scholarship.  

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