CSU, Chico

Simmie Stayer, Animal Science

Simmie Stayer, Animal Science

Simmie Stayer

A six-month internship turned into an exciting career opportunity for the 2011 Star Student in Animal Science, Simmie Stayer.  During the 2010 Agriculture Career and Internship Fair hosted by the California State University, Chico College of Agriculture, Stayer met with representatives from JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, a subsidiary of the largest protein company in the world. That night she received a call for an interview and was later offered an internship at the company’s feedlot in Yuma, Colo.

During her internship, the assistant feed manager resigned and Stayer was called upon to take over his responsibilities. “I had a unique opportunity at JBS to step up and take a management role over the feed,” said Stayer. “I absolutely loved the position and told my boss, ‘I want this job.’  He said, ‘Good.  I was going to offer you a job anyways.’” After taking a semester off school to intern with JBS, Stayer was offered a management trainee position in the Yuma, Colo. feedlot upon graduation.

In high school Stayer’s parents, after much persuasion, allowed her to raise a replacement heifer for Future Farmers of America (FFA). Before long she knew she wanted to be a part of the beef industry.  Her passion further developed for feed rationing in nutrition classes at CSU, Chico.

Though she loves the beef industry and cattle, Stayer was raised in a family of bee keepers. Her father produces queen bees for other bee keepers to start hives. Stayer’s parents are very active in the apiary and agriculture industries. “Watching my parents in the apiary and agriculture industry, I developed a motivation and activism for the agriculture industry.  It led me to major in agriculture at CSU, Chico,” said Stayer.

Stayer enrolled at CSU, Chico because it is close to her hometown of Palo Cedro, Calif., and she loves the close-knit feel of the college and Chico. “One of my favorite things about the College of Agriculture is if a professor’s door is open you can just walk in and say hi and they are happy to talk to you,” said Stayer.

Stayer has been active during her college years. She was on the 2009 livestock judging team where she learned about the beef industry and livestock evaluation. While on the judging team, Stayer developed skills she attributes to being able to do well in her internship with JBS. “Being on the judging team, I learned how to manage my time, organize my priorities and deal with managing personal confrontations and problems,” said Stayer.

Stayer is also a member of Alpha Zeta (AZ), an invitation-only agriculture honors society at CSU, Chico. She has displayed extraordinary academic scholarship, and it’s no mystery why she was invited to join AZ. Stayer’s internship with JBS Five Rivers required her to compress her course load into seven semesters instead of the usual eight.  Even with the intense class loads she had to take to graduate in seven semesters, Stayer has continually made the Dean’s List with her high GPA.

After graduation in May, 2011, Stayer will be moving back to Yuma, Colo. and taking on her new career with JBS Five Rivers. She hopes to go as far as she can in the company and stay in a position where she can work outdoors with livestock.