Rachel Buzanowski, a Montana native, gets a boost through college thanks to the American Hereford Association
Rachael Buzanowski, Pompeys Pillar, Montana, was recently the recipient of two American Hereford Association scholarships recognizing her commitment to the Hereford breed and her potential to be a leader in the agricultural industry.
Buzanowski received both the $2,500 Gary Bishop Memorial Scholarship and the $10,000 Jack and Donna Vanier Scholarship on Oct. 27 at the American Hereford Association (AHA) Hereford Honorees Reception during the AHA Annual Meeting and Conference in Kansas City, MO.
Currently a senior animal science major at Kansas State University (K-State) in Manhattan, Kansas, Buzanowski’s future plans are to attend law school with an emphasis an agricultural law. She hopes to eventually return to her family’s ranch while also being able to impact the agricultural industry with her law degree.
Buzanowski, the daughter of Bernie and Stacie Buzanowski, grew up on a purebred Hereford ranch along the Yellowstone River in Montana. She was involved in all aspects of the family ranch, from fencing to calving to branding as well as helping prepare for her family’s bull sale. There, she developed a love for the Hereford breed and an appreciation for their docility and hardiness.
“Their hardniess really shines in Montana,” said Buzanowski. “I have had experience with other cattle breeds, but I don’t see myself straying very far from the Hereford breed.”
From the age of 7, she was active in the Montana Junior Hereford Association, serving as President from 2014-16. She was also a member of the American Junior Hereford Association, showing Hereford cattle at the Junior National Hereford Expo as well as the National Western Stock Show, the Montana State Fair and the Wyoming State Fair.
Prior to attending K-State, she was enrolled at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, receiving an associate degree in agricultural sciences while also competing on the track and field and volleyball teams. She earned All-American honors three times for her performance in the pole vaulting event at the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championships.
While attending K-State, Buzanowski has been active in the K-State Colleigate Cattlemen’s Club, serving as the Vice-Chair for Membership Recruitment. She was also employed with the K-State Purebred Beef Unit, working on herd health and is currently helping with a research project involving beef nutrition and reproduction.
It was her involvement in the Junior National Hereford Expo that led her to become interested in attending post-secondary school in Kansas. While on her way to attend a Junior National cattle show, Buzanowski had the opportunity to stop at the K-State campus and was given a tour that piqued her interest in attending school there. Meanwhile, she also personally knew several Hereford breeders that had attended Butler Community College and participated on the livestock judging team. While livestock judging was not her interest, she noted that Butler had a very competitive college volleyball team. She sent them her volleyball tapes and they asked her to join the team.
“It was always in my plan to eventually attend K-State when I finished at Butler,” said Buzanowski. However, after being accepted to K-State and onto the track team, she learned that they would no longer be offering pole vaulting. She turned her time and efforts to the animal science program instead.
Buzanowski spent time this summer interning in Washington, D.C. for Montana’s Senator Steven Daines as the part of an American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) Summer Science Policy Internship.
“I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to intern in Washington, D.C.,” said Buzanowski. “I learned so much about not only about the political process and lawmaking, but also about the impact of those laws on the agricultural industry.”
The Gary Bishop Memorial Scholarship honors the late Gary Bishop, a former director of youth activities and director of breed improvement at the AHA. He passed away in 2002 after a battle with cancer. This scholarship recognizes youth who are hardworking, dedicated, faithful and determined.
“It’s hard to think of anybody who loved rasing good cattle and helping good kids more than Gary Bishop,” said Vickie Kern, Gary’s wife. “There is no doubt that Rachael has the perseverance and capability to make a difference in the agricultural industry. People in agriculture need more lawyers who understand what we are doing.”