Youn South Dakotan blazing her trail in agriculture
The old saying, “the early bird gets the worm,” certainly applies to Taylor Geppert. No stranger to the beef industry, this Kimball, SD native, grew up on a family cow-calf operation, where she was actively involved in 4-H and FFA, keeping busy showing steers and livestock judging.
It was her childhood upbringing that sparked an interest for the now junior, animal science, microbiology student at South Dakota State University (SDSU). Active in Sigma Alpha, Block and Bridle (BB), Little International (LI) and meats and livestock judging, Geppert is a success in every aspect of her collegiate career. She is the chairmen of the BB steer show committee and she is the LI beef superintendent. She is also a former South Dakota Beef Ambassador.
Busy traveling with her judging team, she maintains a fast-paced schedule, and she is squeezing as much into her time at SDSU as she can. With hard work and determination, Geppert is certainly setting herself up for a promising future in the agriculture industry.
Most recently, Geppert completed an internship with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), where she helped staffers run the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show. With record-attendance of 8,200 beef producers from across the country, the 16 interns selected, of more than 50 who applied for the honor, had their work cut out for them.
“Our primary responsibilities were helping with meetings, giving directions to attendees, stuffing folders with speaker information, taking tickets at lunch and making sure the event ran smoothly,” Geppert said. “It was a great week of networking and meeting industry professionals. I encourage anybody who is interested to apply. It’s a great way to meet key leaders in the business.”
Geppert had to go through a grueling series of applications and a phone interview in order to earn this honor, and she received the good news on Christmas Eve, that she would be traveling to Nashville, TN to be an intern at the annual event.
While at the event, Geppert was able to meet with and make connections with NCBA staffers and industry professionals who work in fields she is most interested in.
“While the agriculture communications students asked questions of the folks who worked public relations and the lobbyists out of Washington, D.C., I enjoyed interacting with individuals in the production side of things. I really enjoyed Tom Fields from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, the reproduction presentations during Pfizer’s Cattlemen’s College and the findings at the research center in Clay Center, NE.”
Pfizer’s Cattlemen’s College and NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen television show, were highlights of Geppert’s trip. But, it wasn’t all hard work for the interns. The group was able to visit the Grand Old Opry, where Josh Turner was the headline entertainment, as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame. The annual convention was held at the 27-acre hotel, Gaylord Opryland.
“Getting the internship was tough, as the interview process was intense, but it was a good learning process and helped me with my interview for an internship I will have this summer,” she said. “This was definitely a great experience that I would love to do again.”
With just a few years left of her collegiate career, Geppert is considering veterinary medicine, but she is hoping another opportunity will help guide her in the right direction. She was recently awarded a summer internship with Trans Ova and will be working under an embryologist and veterinary team, traveling western Iowa, doing on-site embryo transplants. Of more than 100 applicants, Geppert was one of five selected.
“This is my dream job; I’m so excited for this summer and what I will learn,” she said. “I’m hoping it will help me decide whether to go to vet school or not. If I don’t choose that route, the embryo work definitely interests me.”
Geppert is certainly a young up-and-comer to watch, and no matter which path she chooses, she will leave her mark in the beef industry. Tri-State Livestock News wishes her the best of luck in her future endeavors and a sincere congratulations on her internship awards and honors.