CSU, Chico

Sara Holloway, Animal Science

Sara Holloway, Animal Science

 They say that a good first impression lasts a lifetime, and if that's the case, Sara Holloway, our 2013 Star Animal Science Student, has a bright future ahead of her. There is a distinct character instilled in individuals who are raised with the hard work involved in agriculture. Characteristics like kindness, genuineness, and respect are common among those who have worked in agriculture their whole lives.  When talking to Holloway, you quickly see that she has those qualities. 

Holloway grew up feeding and milking dairy cows in her hometown of Corning, where she and her mother raised dairy replacement heifers. Their operation consisted of raising and weaning groups of 120 replacement heifers and then selling them to dairies. In high school, Holloway received third place in California for FFA Dairy Proficiency for two consecutive years. In order to compete at the state level, an FFA member must win their proficiency contest in their region. Holloway not only won her region, but won for two consecutive years, an attribute to her hard work, dairy industry knowledge, and commitment to her operation. 

In addition to her dairy projects, while in high school, Holloway raised and showed market hogs and beef for county fairs. With the combination of her dairy replacement heifer, hog, and beef projects, Holloway received the highest award through the National FFA Organization: the American Degree. 

Outside of FFA, she competed in high school rodeo in the pole bending, breakaway roping, and goat tying events in the California High School Rodeo Association's District 1, which encompasses the northern region of the state. To this day, Holloway still enjoys horseback riding, going to brandings, and just simply enjoying the outdoors.

Holloway's involvement in high school demonstrates her interest and passion for the animal production industry. However, Holloway wasn't always an animal science major. In fact, she came to Chico State to major in crops, horticulture, and land resource management and will be graduating this May with both degrees.

"Everything is always going to have to eat, including animals, and crops are needed to feed those animals," said Holloway. She initially started at Chico State pursuing a degree in crop science because she saw how vast the job opportunities were. However, her love and passion for animal science was something that she just couldn't ignore, so now with the two degrees, she hopes to be extremely marketable to many potential employers.   

"Sara is great to have in classes," said animal science professor Celina Phillips. "She has developed a unique skill set as an animal science and crops science dual major. This allows her to really understand the plant-animal-soil interface. Her insight is fantastic, and she is able to look at a problem from multiple angles." 

Prior to coming to CSU, Chico, Holloway attended Shasta College, where she was heavily involved in the agriculture department. Holloway lived on the college farm as one of eight student employees responsible for the feeding and caring of all livestock. While at Shasta College, Holloway took advantage of leadership opportunities such as the Collegiate Agricultural Leaders contests and conference. She was also president of the Agriculture and Natural Resource Club at Shasta. Through her extensive involvement and commitment to the agriculture department, Holloway was recognized as Shasta College's Outstanding Agriculture Student in 2010. 

Holloway came to Chico State for a number of reasons, finding that was Chico the perfect fit for her.  Not only is the University close to her hometown in Corning, but it also articulates well with classes offered at Shasta College. When she found out that the University Farm offered student employee housing much like Shasta College, she was sold. With everything matching up so well, Holloway transferred to Chico State in 2011 and has been living at the University Farm ever since.

She currently is one of nine paid employees running the organic dairy. Through her position at the dairy, Holloway has learned the ins and outs of organic dairy production, which has opened her eyes to organic production in general. She has learned how to treat illnesses, wounds, and other animal health issues organically as well as understand the certification process for the organic label. 

Holloway is involved with Chico State's Alpha Zeta club, which is a professional honors fraternity for agriculture students with a GPA of 3.0 and higher. Along with four other Chico State members, Holloway attended the National Alpha Zeta conference this year in Ithaca, New York. 

"I attribute a lot of my success to Dr. (Betsy) Boyd and Dr. (Cindy) Daley," said Holloway. "They both have helped me excel academically and have pushed me to pursue carrying a double major, which I will be graduating with in just a few short weeks. Chico College of Ag staff are always trying to get you to think out of the box and do things you never thought possible, like graduating with a double major." 

Holloway hopes to one day own her own beef or dairy operation where she can continue to apply her knowledge and experience in the beef, dairy, and organic industries. Upon graduation, she hopes to initially work for a diversified farm or a beef or dairy operation as a manager.