By Madelyn Ostendorf
Gracie Greiner, senior in animal science, is the spring 2023 recipient of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council Leadership Excellence Award. The award is in recognition of her outstanding leadership across Iowa State University’s community.
While on Iowa State's campus, Greiner has grown academically and professionally. From sales internships to being one of the first students to enroll in the swine production management certificate program, Greiner’s desire to lead started early.
As a sophomore, she became the president of Block and Bridle. While a part of the club, she worked on planning the Spring Market Hog Show, the National Block and Bridle Convention, the Animal Science Banquet, the Block and Bridle Blood Drive, the Classic Cattle Show and many other events. She also served as president of the Swine Interest Group.
Greiner has also served in various leadership positions with the Bacon Expo, the Iowa State Blood Drive and Chi Omega. Additionally, she helped introduce prospective students to the Department of Animal Science as an An-Cy Guide.
Her mentality about getting so involved on campus came from her dad.
“My dad always told me ‘If you don’t ask, the answer is always no’,” Greiner said. “I brought that with me to college. That's my motto. Whether it be with internships or other leadership opportunities on campus, if you don’t ask, you're never going to know."
Greiner grew up on a swine operation in Washington, Iowa, and Iowa State was the only college she toured. Right away, she knew this was the place to get her degree and maybe even attend veterinary school. Once on campus, she switched her interest from vet school to the world of sales.
“It was pretty gradual,” Greiner said of her decision to focus more on sales. “I didn’t know if I wanted to go through four more years of school. I think I just wanted to start working in the industry.”
Outside of her club and internship responsibilities, Greiner still finds time to raise money for the Special Olympics, package meals and donate blood.
“I just tried to do everything I could,” Greiner said. “I probably said ‘yes’ to too many things.”
After graduation, Greiner is moving to Indiana to work as a Corteva associate territory manager. She said she will miss the connection she found on campus with her peers and the big Iowa State community.
“As much as I have helped and supported Gracie as a student, she has returned the favor, and I cannot thank her enough for everything she has done,” said Justin Chapman, animal science student services specialist. “As much as I will miss working with and seeing Gracie in Kildee Hall, I have no doubt she will do amazing things in our industry.”
Greiner recommends students go out and get involved as often as possible; you never know when you’ll meet someone who could be a connection. She got her job through a person at a coffee shop that recognized her from her hometown, struck up a conversation with and asked for her resume.
“Whether it be just going to an event and volunteering, show up and get your name out there,” Greiner said. “Having people know who you are is a great opportunity.”