CALS Council Senior Awardee: Saeugling awarded for leadership at Iowa State

Emily SaeuglingBy Michelle Hiscocks

From club involvement to mentoring students, Emily Saeugling’s many leadership roles contributed to her receiving the CALS Council Leadership Excellence Award for spring 2022.

Saeugling, a senior in animal science, is from Atlantic, Iowa. While she did not grow up on a farm, her family was involved in the agriculture industry. She housed her show calves for 4-H and FFA at a family friend’s place, and later added pigs. Eventually her family started renting land and began a cow-calf operation, stimulating her interest in the beef industry.

In addition to setting herself up to graduate as a part of the University Honors program, Saeugling has been extremely involved in extra-curricular activities, various clubs and at the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association during her time at Iowa State.

Through the Honors program, Saeugling got involved with undergraduate research.  Her capstone research project is titled, “The Impact of COVID-19 in Iowa’s Beef Industry.” She also served as a First-Year Honors Program mentor where she led class twice a week for 13 students. Last year, Saeugling was selected as the Outstanding University Honors Program Member.

Her extra-curricular activities also expanded into various leadership roles such as the Block & Bridle Club Beef Interest Group President and the Professional Development Committee Co-Chair for Sigma Alpha. While serving in these leadership roles, she realized that to avoid burnout, she didn’t always need to be in a formal officer role to be a strong contributing club member. She credits being blessed with mentors in her life that demonstrated that for her.

“Emily Saeugling is a shining example of well-rounded academic, extracurricular and career focused success and would represent the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences extremely well as a recipient of a senior award,” Department of Animal Science Professor Steph Hansen wrote in a nomination letter in support of Saeugling for the leadership award.

One of Saeugling’s favorite activities at Iowa State was participating in the Intercollegiate Meat Judging team in 2021. She enjoyed spending time with her teammates and getting to learn more about the meat science industry.

Emily Saeugling judging cuts of chicken on plates
Emily Saeugling set a personal goal of earning a perfect score during a meat judging contest in the specifications division. She achieved that goal during the Meat Judging Team's final competition.

“I loved every second of it and was honored to have the opportunity to represent Iowa State University at a higher level,” Saeugling said.

She made it a personal goal to score 100/100 at a contest in the specifications division, analyzing wholesale cuts of a carcass. Her drive pushed her to perfect her knowledge of carcass anatomy as well as proper sizes and cuts of meat, which led her to a perfect score at their final competition.

Sherry Olsen, associate teaching professor in animal science and Intercollegiate Meat Judging team coach, said, “I had the great pleasure of working closely with Emily on a regular basis as she represented the Department of Animal Science as a member of the 2021 Iowa State University Intercollegiate Meat Judging Team. I was immediately impressed with her willingness to work hard, understand new material, and attention to excellence. We were so excited to have Emily involved in representing our program and department – and serving as an outstanding example of leadership in action.”

The list of awards Saeugling has received is lengthy, including a three-time recognition with the Fred Foreman Scholarship for Growth in Leadership Participation. The recognition she is most proud of is the American Meat Science Association Rachel Hamilton Memorial “Spirit” Award. This award was established to recognize a meat judging team member, selected by their peers, for their passion for meat judging and participation as a great teammate.

Saeugling loves to learn and be involved, which extends beyond Iowa State. She had the opportunity to serve as a World Food Prize group leader volunteer for a one-day event and spoke with students about her experience with the organization. She also has become involved in the Ames community by sharing her love for reading while mentoring students at a local elementary school.

Following graduation, Saeugling will join Land O’ Lakes in their Supply Chain and Operations Talent Acceleration Program. This two-year program will give her the opportunity to work in a Purina Feed Mill for the first year, then in supply chain at the corporate office the second year.