To wrap up our Women’s Week blog series, we hear from Onelisa Garza, a current college senior at Texas A&M University, Kingsville who was raised in the small town of Linn, Texas. Onelisa has been very active in organizations like 4-H and FFA her whole life and has held many leadership positions through them. She discusses how she discovered that she wanted to dedicate her career to helping others understand the importance of agriculture. Onelisa has been in many agriculture science classes where the other students had never seen cattle in real life or a field of cotton – things that she always took for granted growing up. She will graduate in December of 2015 and plans to use her agriculture degree to become a County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth and Development.
How do you start your day?
During the week it’s nothing special. I have class everyday so I get up, plan my entire day, check the weather, make some breakfast, and then head out the door for a day of learning!
What has been your favorite experience during your college career?
In all honesty, my favorite experience had to be attending the USDA Outlook Forum in February through the USDA Student Diversity Program. I had the opportunity to meet so many different people from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico who all came from different backgrounds, yet each of us had such a strong passion for agriculture. It helped reassure me that there would be people alongside of me when trying to deal with the challenges that the future of agriculture might entail.
Who are your role models in agriculture?
My hometown of Linn, Texas is a small farming and ranching community. Everyone who played a role in agriculture in my community are my role models. Nobody can find us on a map, we’re not known for anything special, but that doesn’t stop the agriculture community from shining. Everyone there does it because they love it!
As someone who is finishing their college career, what do you hope to achieve in your professional career?
By biggest goal is to make a difference and give back. As a future County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth and Development, I want to be a role model for the youth that I will have around me. Growing up, 4-H was extremely important to my family and I and it turned into my home away from home. That’s what I want— to create a strong connection with the kids while I help them accomplish their goals and be successful.
What are you watching, reading or listening to?
There is a new magazine around my hometown and the surrounding area called Ag Mag. I get an email with every issue and I absolutely love it. I have had the privilege of writing in it and the creator of it does an awesome job of making the agriculture industry in the Rio Grande Valley (the region where I am from) have a voice.
In seven words or less, what is some advice you would offer your fellow women in agriculture?
You can achieve anything you want to.