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Learning to handle a steer for the North American Livestock Competition was just one of many adventures Sarah Mathers enjoyed at Iowa State.
Mathers, a graduating senior in agricultural communications and animal science, spent most of her life in Philadelphia and had never touched a steer before signing up for the competition. She said students with experience in handling livestock helped her learn to handle a large steer when she was a freshman.
“This was the first steer that I’d been near and his name was Bullseye. He was rowdy because he hadn’t been in a halter for a while, but I continued to work with him and we formed a bond,” Mathers said. “After a few weeks he would walk up to me and was ready for his halter.”
Mathers realized then that she wanted to work in communications and help others understand the importance of agriculture.
“I think consumers should be aware that farmers love their animals, animals are their livelihood and farmers provide a healthy, humane lifestyle for livestock,” Mathers said.
Mathers came to Iowa State because it is one of the top agricultural colleges in the nation. After she arrived she understood why it's rated top in the nation.
Her advice for students who aren’t sure what major to choose is to step outside their comfort zones. That's what Mathers did when she learned to wrangle a rowdy steer.
“It’s the best decision I ever made,” Mathers said. “You never know what life has in store for you until you take a leap of faith.”
Mathers is moving to Dallas after graduation and hopes to pursue a career in animal pharmaceutical sales.