College of Agriculture

Megan Banwarth

Animal Science

Megan Banwarth began dreaming about a career in animal reproduction while growing up in the rural Northern California farming and ranching community of Adin, but it is her college career at Chico State that’s turning the junior animal science major’s dreams into reality.

Banwarth grew up surrounded by livestock. Her father, a contractor, and mother, a librarian, ran a commercial cattle herd for over 25 years before transitioning to registered Red Angus and crossbred cows. Banwarth herself built up a small flock of breeding club lambs. At the age of 15, she earned certification in artificial insemination (AI) and began shaping the genetics of her successful show herds.

“What influenced me most in choosing my career path was showing cattle,” Banwarth said. “I’ve shown cattle at the national level and met so many wonderful people along the way that have shared their experiences and journeys with me.”

Banwarth made the venture to Chico State to build on the passion for agriculture she already possessed. Although she has enjoyed all of her classes, with a foundational interest in cattle reproduction naturally, the animal reproductive physiology class (ANSC 340) was a favorite, she said.

“It really helped me solidify my decision to pursue a career in reproduction,” Banwarth said.

In addition, Banwarth credits Professor Celina Phillips and the introduction to feeds and feeding course (ANSC 230) with igniting a new interest in ruminant nutrition where Banwarth could potentially pursue a career as well.

On the University Farm, Banwarth is not only an employee in the Chico State Sheep Unit but also a resident living within the walls of the Sheep Unit, where her work never ends. While gaining further experience with livestock, she has also assisted with several research projects alongside faculty members in the Sheep Unit.

While pursuing her degree in animal science, Banwarth has also added a minor in agricultural business and become immensely involved in organizations on and off campus. On campus, Banwarth serves as the secretary of the Young Cattlemen’s Association as well as the vice-president of the Rangeland Management Club. Other organizations she is involved with include the Red Angus Association, Maine-Anjou Association, American Shorthorn Association, Chianina Association, and she is the California representative for the Western States Junior Red Angus Association.

For recognition of her dedication to her education and the agriculture industry, Banwarth is a recipient of Chico State’s prestigious Bell Family Presidential Scholarship in addition to receiving the California Farm Bureau, Lassen County Farm Bureau, Modoc County Farm Bureau, Fall River/Big Valley Cattlemen’s Association, Intermountain Cattlewomen, and Lassen County Sheriff Posse Association scholarships.

Banwarth said one of her favorite things about the College of Agriculture is the ability to get to know everyone in the friendly atmosphere, especially within her major.

“It feels like a family,” Banwarth said.

Banwarth encourages new students to get involved and join a club that interests them, as it’s a great way to meet people with similar interests and build relationships.

In the near future, Banwarth looks forward to attending separate courses to obtain certification in both embryo transfer and as a carcass evaluation technician. After graduation from Chico State, Banwarth plans to apply for graduate school to further pursue her interest in bovine reproduction and nutrition.

“I see myself working for a company such as Trans Ova Genetics, where I can utilize industry-leading technologies to breed cattle and small ruminants,” Banwarth said.