College of Agriculture

Brianne Shannon

Agricultural Education

Navigating in search of the perfect career path, Brianne Shannon found her way into agricultural education. From Rancho Santa Margarita, located in Orange County, to Chico, Shannon is ready to tackle her senior year.

Brianne ShannonGrowing up, Shannon was involved in 4-H starting at a young age, which led her to participate in activities like baking and photography just like her mom did at her age. Her second year, she raised and showed a guinea pig. The third year, she added rabbits. Each year after, Shannon added on more activities and animal projects.

Starting her freshmen year of high school, Shannon joined FFA, where her biggest project was raising and showing a market steer at the county fair. She also participated in public speaking events and career development events.

“I found my passion in agriculture through these two organizations, 4-H and FFA. It gave me the opportunity to explore something amazing that living in the city you do not always get to do,” Shannon said.

It is not always as accessible for students to learn about agriculture in the urban area. Out of all the high schools in Shannon’s area, only one of the local high schools had an agriculture program. She made the extra step to make sure she went to that high school.

From a young age, Shannon always enjoyed helping and teaching her peers. Her grandparents were also teachers, which motivated her to maintain high grades and push herself to succeed. Agriculture education combined Shannon’s two biggest passions, agriculture and teaching.

During a college visit, Shannon instantly fell in love with Chico. Northern California had such a different feel to it that she knew this is where she wanted to attend college.

“From the trees to the creek going through campus, I thought it was jaw-dropping,” Shannon said. “I was easily sold on attending Chico State.”

Shannon tries to be well-rounded in all aspects of agriculture education. She has held internships in animal and plant science. She wants to strengthen the knowledge she has to be even more competent and confident in her teachings. She is currently working at the Organic Vegetable Project at the University Farm.

Shannon also is involved in Collegiate FFA, which shows a new perspective on how a college student can stay involved in the organization.  She will also be the president of the Sigma Alpha professional sorority this coming academic year.

“I have been able to learn professional communication and networking skills through this sorority. This has helped me create bonds with young women passionate about agriculture across the nation,” Shannon said.

Shannon also attended the agricultural exploration trip in Puerto Rico, as well as helping with farm tours through the Agriculture Ambassador program. It did not matter if the activity was small or larger, Shannon was there with a bright smile on her face ready to help. She believes every single day is an opportunity to learn something new.

Shannon’s grandparents inspire her daily to foster a love for learning and helping others. In addition, her high school agriculture teachers Cherie Shook and Amanda Adams made a strong impact on Shannon’s passion for wanting to be a high school agriculture teacher. Shannon wants to apply the same teaching qualities that she learned from her mentors.

Another huge support group are the students she surrounds herself with. Whether it be her sorority sisters, friend group, or classmates, Shannon feds off other students’ work ethic and positive mindset.

The agriculture education department faculty Mollie Aschenbrener, Thomas Henderson, and Alyssa Schager made a huge impact on Shannon’s collegiate experience, and she knows she can count on them in the future for advice during her teaching career.

“On a scale of one to 10, these faculty members are a 15. They go above and beyond for their students, and they want to see their students succeed. I have enjoyed my time at Chico State so much because of these individuals,” Shannon said.

She offers some advice for current and incoming students.

“Try it all—do not be afraid to submerse yourself in college life. Sign up for every club to figure out what you like. Say hello to the stranger next to you because they could be a friend for life. College has some of the best experiences in your life,” Shannon said.  

After her senior year, Shannon would like to join the credential program to start putting her dream into a reality. She aspires to be a teacher that her students can feel comfortable talking too.

“I try to start every single day with a positive mindset. I reflect on all the good things that my life has offered,” Shannon said. “I am thankful for what the College of Agriculture has brought me, and I am so excited to start my senior year.”