CSU, Chico

Elizabeth Hurd, Agriculture Business

Elizabeth Hurd, Agriculture Business

Elizabeth Hurd, a junior in agriculture business, was honored recently with the CSU, Chico Advisory Board Outstanding Student Service Award and the College of Agriculture Outstanding Student Leader Award for her service to the community and campus and her demonstrated leadership.

These awards provide much deserved recognition for Hurd. The outstanding student service award was granted to only three CSU, Chico students based on their service to the campus and the community. Hurd goes above and beyond in her commitment to volunteering and participating in several different events and organizations.

Since her freshman year at CSU, Chico, Hurd has volunteered at the Peg Taylor Center, an adult day health care center for the elderly with serious health conditions. She helps coordinate the bingo session on Fridays, which is a much anticipated event at the center. Hurd also spends time volunteering for Handi-Riders, a therapeutic horseback riding program for people who are physically, developmentally, or emotionally challenged.

“I enjoy being able to help at Handi-Riders and the Peg Taylor Center,” said Hurd. “It’s rewarding to be a part of something that makes so many people happy.”

Hurd often volunteers for events to create awareness and raise funds for childhood cancer research. She participates in Up ’Til Dawn at CSU, Chico, which strives to create awareness of childhood cancer and raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. To further this shared goal, Hurd volunteered to shave her head for St. Baldrick’s Foundation and raised more than $1,000 for the event on April 30, 2011.

 “Being bald for a while is nothing compared to what children suffering from cancer go through, so if I can do something to help the research to ease kids’ suffering, it’s definitely worth it,” said Hurd.

From Hurd’s involvement on campus, it’s no wonder the College of Agriculture nominated her for the College of Agriculture Outstanding Student Leader Award. She is the chancellor of the agriculture honors fraternity Alpha Zeta (AZ), served as co-chair for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Field Day, works as the College of Agriculture outreach coordinator intern, and is active in Agriculture Ambassadors, Society of Agriculture Managers (SAM), and a rowing team.

As chancellor of AZ, Hurd organizes and leads all business and social meetings and plans the fraternity community service project.

“Alpha Zeta is a fun opportunity to network with people in the college,” said Hurd. “It’s also fun to be in an honors fraternity that focuses on community service and academic excellence.”

As FFA Field Day co-chair, Hurd has the important role of leading a team of peers that plans and implements the field day. She and fellow co-chair Suzanne Perrin coordinate and lead meetings, designate committees, obtain committee reports, and serve as resources for the committees’ questions. FFA Field Day is an event held by the College of Agriculture focused on giving high school FFA members a chance to compete in the various competitions. More than 1,300 high school FFA members from 112 different schools attended the 2011 FFA Field Day.

As a member of Agriculture Ambassadors, Hurd plans, coordinates, and leads events for potential incoming students to learn about the college. Agriculture Ambassadors is a program that focuses on outreach for and recruitment to the College of Agriculture.

As the College of Agriculture outreach coordinator intern, Hurd has the opportunity to work behind the scenes for Agriculture Ambassadors. She helps Outreach Coordinator Audrey Denney facilitate and plan events for the group and does “number crunching” on the effects of their recruitment efforts.

“The outreach coordinator internship has been an exciting experience,” said Hurd. “There’s always something different to do. I get to work with people, and I have the opportunity to plan and coordinate events.”

With all of Hurd’s commitments in community service and on campus, she still finds time to work as a desk attendant in Lassen and Shasta resident halls. It is her responsibility to ensure that only dorm residents enter the building and to help residents with needs such as obtaining keys if they lose them. She also does secretarial work for both halls.

Hurd trained to serve as a 2011 peer advisor for CSU, Chico. She will help out with summer orientation sessions by giving campus tours, helping incoming students choose and sign up for classes, and introducing them to CSU, Chico.

“Peer advisors give incoming students a connection at CSU, Chico, making them a little more comfortable,” said Hurd. “I remember how intimidating it was coming to summer orientation and signing up for classes.”

While growing up in Arroyo Grande, Calif., Hurd’s family had a “Hobby Farm.”

“We always had a couple freezer pigs around, but what got me most involved in agriculture was 4-H and FFA,” said Hurd.

She raised swine in 4-H and FFA to show at her county fair, and in FFA she also had steers and replacement heifers. Her experiences in FFA led her to attend CSU, Chico and major in agriculture.

 “I came to CSU, Chico for the FFA Field day when I was in high school and fell in love with the area and the farm,” she said.” The College of Agriculture is small and I am naturally shy, so it was easy for me to build connections with students and faculty,” said Hurd. “CSU, Chico was the perfect fit for me.”

After graduation, Hurd is keeping her options open for a career path. She wants to continue school and eventually become involved in higher education admission, outreach, and advising. Part of her path to that goal may include the Peace Corps, as she is thinking of joining the Peace Corps to work in agricultural development in Africa.