College of Agriculture

Benjamin Grismer

Animal Science

When graduates marched into the College of Agriculture's commencement ceremony on May 19, 2017, it wasn't to the tune of the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance" that accompanied the platform party before them. Instead, they were led by kilt-sporting, bagpipe-playing Benjamin Grismer, a fellow graduate in animal science. His special touch on the agriculture commencement ceremony was just one of the ways Grismer has left his mark on Chico State since he joined the College of Agriculture in 2015.

Born and raised in Tahoma, California, Grismer was brought up in a family that has been involved in agriculture since his grandparents raised sheep in Germany before emigrating to the United States.

Grismer continued his family's agriculture tradition by choosing animal science as his major and by working at the Chico State Sheep Unit, where he assisted with three nutritional trials looking at brewer's grains and two essential oils as additives in livestock feed.

"Ben has been a delight to have at the sheep unit. His work ethic and pride in his job has been appreciated and his sense of humor is one of a kind," said sheep unit faculty advisor Celina Phillips.

While attending Chico State Grismer received the CSU, Chico Agriculture Alumni Recruitment Scholarship as well as the Superior Ag Scholarship. He was also part of the Academic Quadrathlon (AQ) team that placed first in the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) Western Section Academic Quadrathlon in Corvallis, Oregon in 2017. The AQ competition gave him and his teammates the opportunity to test their animal science knowledge and skills in a rigorous four-part competition that included a Jeopardy-style quiz bowl, written exam, oral presentation, and laboratory practicum.

Grismer's extracurricular interests were not just centered on agriculture, however. He also spent two years on the CSU, Chico men's rugby team.

Growing up around sheep and goats his whole life, Grismer knew he wanted to study animal science in college. Working at the University Farm helped him further narrow his interests to livestock reproduction and dairy nutrition. Grismer graduated in May with a degree in animal science, and he plans to enter graduate school at Massey University in New Zealand in the spring of 2019 to study livestock reproduction. Eventually, he hopes to teach at a university or work in cooperative extension as a small ruminant nutritionist and reproduction specialist, while also holding on to dreams of starting his own operation.