College of Agriculture

Maeve Sheeran

Agriculture Business

Senior agricultural business major Maeve Sheeran is the self-described “odd duck” within her family. With her mother working as a nurse, her father as a civil engineer, and two brothers following in construction, her agricultural pursuit does not exactly fit the mold. But after finding her passion and place in the agriculture community, she has come to believe that this is where she belongs.

Sheeran grew up in the small town of Cazadero, California, and graduated from Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa. She was always surrounded agriculture but never took notice of her potential career within it until attending Butte Community College. Following her mother’s example, she aimed to pursue her degree in nursing. When she was given flexibility in her schedule, Sheeran worked some agriculture courses into her general education out of sheer curiosity, and the rest is history. She soon changed the focus of her studies to agriculture business.

To gain hands-on experience in agricultural and confirm her change in career paths, Sheeran decided to apply for internships in the field. In 2015, Sheeran traveled overseas to intern at Certis Europe, selling pesticides and herbicides for a few months. She then made her way to Wales to work on a farm raising sheep, cattle, and poultry.

Upon transferring to Chico State, Sheeran got to know Professor Cynthia Daley and took up the opportunity to work on Daley’s personal dairy. Daley provided Sheeran with more field experience but also served as an influential mentor who ignited the interest she had only recently found. In 2017, Sheeran began working at the Chico State Organic Dairy and from there her interest in dairy only grew.

In addition to her place on the dairy management team, Sheeran has become involved with the Chico State Young Cattlemen’s Association and the Butte County Young Farmers and Ranchers.

Although her experiences and internships thus far pointed towards production agriculture, Sheeran credits Professor Erik Houk and his “Agribusiness Management” course with getting her excited about the management side of agriculture.

Sheeran said that her favorite thing about the College of Agriculture is the community and the huge support system it provides.

“It’s small enough where you can walk through Plumas Hall and know everyone, but all of the faculty are so connected with the industry and provide so many networking opportunities,” she added. 

Sheeran praises the “California Agriculture Seminar” course as an eye-opening experience to the diversity of California agriculture. The acknowledgement of the immense number of jobs available in the field was only amplified through the class field trip visiting diverse agricultural operations across the state.

For incoming students in the agriculture program, Sheeran recommends getting involved as early as possible.

“Agriculture is a small field, so realize that the people in your classes may be people you work with later on. Be cognizant about who is around you and make those connections early,” Sheeran said.

After graduation, Sheeran has accepted employment with Sierra Nevada Cheese Company in the sales department where she has interned since January of 2018. She looks forward to staying in the agricultural sector but is open to trying new things and expanding her knowledge of all parts of the industry.

“In the future, I just know I want to be in the agriculture industry, making my mark,” Sheeran said. “I’ve found my people and my community and agriculture is it.”