CSU, Chico

Corey Carpenter, Animal Science

Corey Carpenter, Animal Science

The first step of problem solving is admitting you have a problem, and in the words of 2013 animal science graduate Corey Carpenter, “I admit, my life revolves around pigs.” However, with the amount of connections, opportunities, and scholarships Carpenter has received, this problem sounds like a good one to keep.

Carpenter grew up on a 30-sow purebred Hampshire hog farm and 150-cow dairy in Red Bluff where he attended Red Bluff High School. He was active in 4-H and FFA, showing hogs and cattle at the Tehama County Fair and jackpot shows throughout the state. In 2010 Carpenter's hard work paid off when he received the highest honor in the FFA, the American Farmer Degree. In addition to his livestock involvement in high school, Carpenter also played football and basketball.

After graduating in 2009, Carpenter moved to Modesto to attend Modesto Junior College, where he was selected as an Agriculture West Campus Intern to work on the swine unit. Modesto Junior College's West Campus internship program is a prestigious two-year internship that provides students free housing in return for working 12 hours a week for the agriculture department. The swine unit is known throughout the college as one of the most challenging and rewarding work sites of the program and often requires far more than 12 hours a week, as would any other fully functional swine operation.   Carpenter worked with swine unit supervisor John Mendes and three other interns. The team was responsible for feeding, cleaning, vaccinating, hauling pigs to the auction yard, breeding, farrowing, processing litters, selling project pigs, collecting semen, and all other responsibilities involved in running a swine operation. 

While at Modesto Junior College, Carpenter was a member of the livestock judging team from 2009 to 2010. He also held the position of livestock superintendant for the Modesto Junior College FFA Field Day in 2010 where he helped facilitate and coordinate one of the largest FFA livestock judging contests in California. Carpenter served as treasurer and later president of the MJC Young Farmers, which is the largest student club on campus and builds a sense of community for students in the agriculture department through meetings and social events. 

In 2011, with associates degrees in both animal science and agriculture science from Modesto Junior College in hand, California State University, Chico was the only state school Carpenter would consider attending when it came time to transfer. "Chico stood out to me for many reasons," he said. "First off, my dad is an alumnus of Chico State. Secondly, everyone says it, but they say it because it's true: the College of Ag at Chico is a tight-knit family environment where everyone knows everyone. Although the College of Agriculture is small, that's what makes it so desirable and is what draws in students. I believe that's why we've seen such an increase in numbers in the past years because the secret's out. With the small community, more students are given opportunities to be hands-on in the different facets of the College of Ag." 

At CSU, Chico, Carpenter is still actively involved in the swine industry. Currently, he is one of four paid employees running the Chico State Swine Unit where his responsibilities mirror those he performed at Modesto Junior College's swine unit. 

In addition to his responsibilities on the swine unit, Carpenter also held a position as an animal nutrition student research coordinator this year at CSU, Chico's University Farm. He facilitated a 70-day research project based on finishing lambs under the supervision of Animal Science Professor Celina Phillips.  Carpenter served as a teaching and research assistant for the upper-division animal nutrition course while collecting and managing data, analyzing the data, and grading the enrolled students' assignments and exams. 

Carpenter is a member of both the Young Cattlemen's Association and Alpha Zeta Academic Honors Society.  He also was a member of the CSU, Chico Livestock Judging team for two years. Outside of school leadership roles, Carpenter has also pursued his passion for the swine industry by being involved in various swine organizations. Carpenter served as a California Youth Pork Ambassador from 2011 to 2012. He has served as the Western Region Director for the National Junior Swine Association (NJSA) since 2011 and was elected to serve as the organization's 2012–2013 president. NJSA is the largest youth livestock association in the nation. Carpenter has been involved with NJSA since it originated in 2000. Through the years Carpenter has attended and been a part of the National Youth Leadership Conference, National Junior Summer Spectacular, National Barrow Show Junior Barrow Classic, Eastern Regional, and Regional Youth Leadership Conference, all of which are put on by NJSA. The organization focuses on hosting purebred swine shows, hosting youth leadership conferences, and promoting the purebred pork industry. Carpenter also currently sits on the California Farm Bureau for the Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee as a swine representative. 

During the summer of 2012, Carpenter held an internship with the National Swine Registry in West Lafayette, Ind., as a field staff intern. During his internship, he made daily herd visits to purebred seedstock breeders around the country, traveling over 24,000 miles to 12 different states. He also developed and published sale reports on his findings as well as editorials for the Seedstock Edge, which is a publication of the National Swine Registry. 

Due to his rich history of involvement in the swine industry, Carpenter was selected as the top applicant for the 2013 Pork Industry Scholarship out of 41 applicants nationwide, receiving $5,000. The National Pork Board funds the scholarship program through the Pork Checkoff, which offers 22 scholarships to students who have been accepted into graduate school with a focus in swine production. 

Carpenter graduated in May and moved to Stillwater, Okla., to pursue his master's degree in animal science and his PhD in monogastric nutrition at Oklahoma State. He hopes to one day be a university professor in animal science.

Animal science professor and Associate Dean Dave Daley is confident that Carpenter will continue to find success in his future endeavors.  "Corey is a remarkably focused, capable young man who has been very clear on his goals since arriving at Chico," said Daley.  "He is bright, articulate and works very hard to achieve success.  He has been planning for graduate school at Oklahoma State since I first met him. I am very pleased at his success and I know he will succeed in future endeavors."