4-H’er pursues IAT dairy management certificate
Abigail VanDyk credits 4-H experiences for piquing her interest to further her education at Michigan State through the Institute of Agricultural Technology.
“I have participated in 4-H my entire life. I have been to many Michigan 4-H Dairy Conferences where the MSU Dairy Management Program has been mentioned a few times,” she said. “I chose MSU IAT because I have always loved cows and wanted to learn more about cows. I also chose IAT so I could learn in a smaller class setting that is also hands-on.”
VanDyk, of Kalamazoo, Mich., is involved with the MSU Dairy Club, is a Michigan dairy ambassador and is also an active 4-H member. VanDyk also volunteers for numerous organizations in her community. Following IAT graduation, VanDyk plans to continue her education with the goal of becoming an agricultural education teacher.
VanDyk is also one of the 2021 CANR Alumni Association Scholarship recipients.
Name: Abby VanDyk
Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Certificate program and location: Dairy Management IAT Program, MSU campus
Expected graduation date: Fall 2021
Why did you choose your specific certificate program and why MSU IAT?
I chose MSU IAT because I have always loved cows and wanted to learn more about cows. I also chose IAT so I could learn in a smaller class setting that is also hands-on.
Who or what inspired your interest in your program?
I have participated in 4-H my entire life. I have been to many Michigan 4-H Dairy Conferences where the MSU Dairy Management Program has been mentioned a few times. I knew quite a handful of people that have been through the program, and they all have liked the program. I also talked to Dr. Joseph Domecq about the program before I even became a high school freshman.
What has been one of your best experiences within IAT so far?
During the spring 2021 semester, a few of our Dairy Management classes were in-person so I moved up to campus. Our class was working on the MSU Dairy Farm every other day. We learned more about herd health, calf care and feeding. I loved that we got to experience hands-on learning.
What do you want others to know about this program?
This program is fun, it may be a small program, but that is not a bad thing. The professors want you to achieve in your learning and will help you through your studies.
Any thoughts or advice for current or new students?
Just have fun! Join a student club that carries your interest because that club will soon turn into your college family.
What are your future plans?
I have been thinking about majoring in agricultural education with a minor in agribusiness. I think advising high school students about agriculture would be so fun. On top of that, I would like to have a beef operation.