Who's Helping You on Your Journey? A Thank You to My Mentors Along the Way.

I can’t believe it’s already July! This has to be one of the fastest summers I have ever had. I have been taking in every possible experience I can, as well asking my AYS millions of questions. It’s been a whirlwind of excitement and now taking time to reflect there are some very important people who helped me get to where I am today.

First would have to be my parents.  They have each played a huge part in helping me get where I am today. My dad is a successful salesman with 25 plus years of experience. He also runs our family farm in his spare time.  From working by his side on the farm learning to drive a tractor or repair equipment to allowing me to job shadow him and fellow colleagues, I had great experiences early on. My mom also played a big role. She went on numerous college visits with me and helped me narrow my school and career focus. Both of them have always encouraged me to try new things and become a well-rounded individual. Their support has been a big part of shaping who I am today.

Aly and Dale PhotoAnother key person I would have to thank for guiding me down this path is my high school FFA advisor Lori Pagel. She encouraged me to get involved with the FFA chapter and challenged me to become an officer. The experience I gained in FFA is something I still use today and I credit a lot of the things I learned to Mrs. Pagel and her willingness to help us become better people. Seeing her passion and knowledge of agriculture really inspired me. I wanted to spread knowledge and help others like she had done for me. Of course, when I mentioned this to Mrs. Pagel, she immediately started helping me look into college programs and even took me on my first visit. Her investment in me meant a lot and motivated me to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in Agri-Business.

Lastly, Dale Fagner (my AYS mentor for the summer) has been an incredible mentor for me this summer. He does his best to answer the millions of questions I have (daily). In addition, he has given me lots of opportunities to learn and grow. Our discussions have also given me the confidence to know what I want to do once I graduate this coming December. Although, we are only about halfway through the summer, Dale has become a big part of my success by just being a mentor and role model to me.

Without these people I am not certain I would be where I am today. Although, there are many more people who have had a hand in helping me along the way, those are the main people on my circle of influence. They aren’t afraid to challenge me and make me a better person. I know they have my bester interest at heart and I am so thankful for their support.