CSU, Chico

Christie Hobby, Agriculture Business

Christie Hobby, Agriculture Business

 Juggling is a useful skill for many college students, and for CSU, Chico's 2013 Star Student for Agricultural Business, this skill has evolved into a lifestyle. As a graduating senior, Christie Hobby has become a well-rounded and extremely capable individual through her involvement in a wide variety of activities.

Hobby grew up in Hughson, Calif., on a 20-acre ranch with her two younger sisters. While she was in high school, her juggling act hit full capacity. Hobby played in her high school band; was a member of the California Scholarship Federation club; played basketball, volleyball, track, and golf; competed in FFA contests including public speaking and dairy judging; and was recognized nationally by the FFA for her hard work and dedication, receiving a first-place award in the national FFA proficiency for specialty animals and then an American Degree. 

The FFA proficiency contest is a rigorous award program that tests and evaluates students' knowledge and capability to conduct a project efficiently. Hobby received the first place specialty animal proficiency award at the state level and then moved on to win the national level.  Her award-winning project was a goat production operation that has now become a family business and well-known name. The idea came to her when a student in her father's high school marketing class did a class presentation on goat production. In 2000, the Hobbys purchased three does that started the legacy, which is now known throughout the state as "Boers by Hobby." The three goats have expanded into a herd of 350 quality show animals that have won titles throughout the state at county fairs and jackpot shows. Besides selling project goats, the Hobby family has also created its own line of goat jerky, which they hope to be able to sell in stores. 

After graduating high school, Hobby attended Modesto Junior College, where she continued to perfect her juggling routine. Hobby was the tabulations chair in charge of computing results for the Modesto FFA Field Day Dairy Contest from 2008 to 2013. She was also the Modesto Junior College livestock jackpot goat show chair overseeing all aspects of the goat show. From 2009 to 2011, Hobby was active in the Dairy Club and on the Dairy Judging Team.

During her two years at Modesto Junior College, she remained on the president's list for her scholastic achievements for all four semesters. Hobby also helped with a wide variety of other events held at the college, including the biannual dairy sale, open house, and the attended the World Dairy Expo. Outside of the agriculture department, Hobby competed on the basketball team and was the team captain her sophomore year. She ran track and coached the Hughson High School freshman basketball team in 2010, as well. 

Hobby transferred to Chico State in the fall of 2011 after visiting the campus and falling in love with the similarities Chico shares with Modesto Junior College. At Chico, she has found herself staying involved and taking advantage of opportunities as she always has done. Hobby has been active in the College of Agriculture's Society of Agriculture Managers since 2011. She also has contributed her time to the annual Sheep and Goat Education Day and Sale for the past two years. 

Hobby has also helped with the Chico State and Butte College Field Day, where she was in charge of tabulations for the Ag Sales contest. In 2012, Hobby went to Puerto Rico with the Chico State food marketing team to pitch their team sales presentation against those of students from other universities. 

Agricultural business professor Baohui Song believes Hobby is on the road to success. "Christie is very organized and has excelled in all of her class projects," he said. "I was able to see her business skills in action while she was on the marketing team, which was very impressive."

"The marketing competition really has given me valuable presentation experience," said Hobby. "It taught me how to sell a product to people that are essentially strangers. My teachers here while I've been at Chico State have taught me so much about the real world and what it's going to be like after graduation. Participating in this contest just further established what they've taught me."

While at Chico State, Hobby has maintained her high GPA and has been on the College of Agriculture's Dean's list for the past two years with a GPA of a 3.76. 

Outside of college events and schoolwork, Hobby clerks livestock shows and sales up and down the state. She has clerked and ran shows and sales including the Manteca International Boer Goat Association show, Northern California Meat Goat Association Sale, Modesto Junior College's 13th Bi-Annual Dairy Heifer Sale, Central Select Classic Whether Sale, Spring Boer Classic Goat Show, and many more. 

In addition to her jobs at various shows and sales, Hobby also held an internship at Rabobank during the summer of 2012. In her position, she analyzed agriculture loans, interpreted financial documents, input data into loan-analyzing computer programs, compiled and verified potential client information, and did other various tasks. The internship was such a success that Hobby plans to work full time in the agriculture division at Rabobank's Modesto branch when she graduates this spring.