This year’s recipient of the Vetericyn Future Innovators of Agriculture scholarship, Hannah Heit, has made it her mission to create positive change in agriculture both nationally and internationally.
Growing up in Iowa in close proximity to a thriving population of poultry and corn helped to prepare Hannah for a life-changing trip overseas to study and contribute to agricultural research in Ethiopia.
Hannah was able to witness first-hand the damaging effects of soil erosion in the Ethiopian fields, due to lack of resources and drainage systems and a harsh rainy season. As irrigation systems and farming equipment are readily available in the United States, it was an eye-opening experience for her to see the extent to which soil erosion affects the farmers in Ethiopia who already rely on minimal equipment to till their fields.
“I am thrilled and honored to be awarded this year’s scholarship. I plan to work hard and try to make a difference in the world.”
– Hannah Heit, Vetericyn’s 2018 scholarship recipient.
Hannah also completed a Borlaug-Ruan Internship program that allowed her to participate in a research effort to produce a more disease-resistant breed of chickens that could also produce a greater amount of eggs. This research has the potential to increase the survival rate of chickens in Ethiopia and to enable farmers to better maintain their chicken populations and produce more eggs. Agricultural poverty struck a chord with Hannah, who hopes to use her knowledge and passion to contribute to the eradication of world hunger.
While in her home state of Iowa, Hannah spends her time volunteering with local veterinarians, assisting in C-sections, x-rays, and spinning vials. She intends to pursue veterinarian and agricultural science as a career.
The 2018 Vetericyn’s Future Innovators of Agriculture Scholarship awards a $2,000 scholarship to one graduating high school senior to help in their pursuit of higher education in the field of agriculture, including animal health and food science.