MSU CANR names Thelen Conover 2018 outstanding young alumnus

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University is honoring six leaders in agriculture and natural resources for their community, state and national leadership.

March 7, 2018

Julie Thelen Conover

EAST LANSING, MI — The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University (MSU) is honoring six leaders in agriculture and natural resources for their community, state and national leadership. The awards will be presented on March 9 during the annual ANR Week luncheon at the Huntington Club at Spartan Stadium.

Julie Thelen Conover will receive the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

Thelen Conover received a bachelor’s degree in agriscience, animal science and biology from MSU and a master’s in agricultural education and studies from Iowa State University.

Today she is the general manager of the Missouri Angus Association, dedicated to serving the needs of seedstock and commercial breeders. Through her work with the association’s publications, she has also worked to build bridges between her work and the research and Extension at Michigan State University.

From 2013 to 2017, Thelen Conover worked as a statewide MSU Extension 4-H livestock educator. During that time, she secured more than $308,000 in grant funding to support youth livestock and veterinary science education. Thelen Conover launched new 4-H programs that engaged new audiences and enhanced public education about agriculture. She also forged strong new partnerships with the Michigan Department of Community Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thelen Conover began her professional career as an agriculture and science teacher at Clinton Central Junior and Senior High School in Michigantown, Indiana. She was also the FFA advisor and coached the FFA and 4-H teams for leadership and career development events.

“Ms. Conover is full of energy and enthusiasm when it comes to developing opportunities for youth to develop lifelong skills,” said James Averill in supporting the nomination. Averill is the state veterinarian and director of the animal industry division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “She’s a leader, has an ability to work independently or in a group and the drive to help future leaders of agriculture.”

Whether teaching, coaching, designing youth programs, or serving the livestock industry, Ms. Thelen Conover makes a positive difference as a young alumnus.

The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award honors an alum who has completed their first degree within the last 10 years from the Institute of Agricultural Technology program or completed a bachelors, masters or doctorate degree in the College Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU. The selection is made from candidates who have distinguished themselves by obtaining a high level of professional accomplishment and who possess high standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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