CSU, Chico

Sarah Albers, Animal Science

Sarah Albers, Animal Science

Sarah Albers, a junior in animal science with a minor in agriculture business, was one of 19 students honored on Oct. 13 for receiving the prestigious Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award.

The Rawlins Award was established in 1981 in honor of Lieutenant Robert Merton Rawlins who was lost while flying a B-29 over Tokyo Bay, Japan during World War II.

Rawlins Award recipients are nominated by faculty and selected on their academic and professional achievements, community service and evidence of their intent to pursue an education. Each recipient receives a $3,000 scholarship.

Albers was nominated for the Rawlins Award by Dr. Cindy Daley, who said “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Sarah for several years as both her academic advisor and the faculty supervisor at the dairy unit where she works. Sarah not only excels in the classroom, she also takes her responsibilities at the dairy seriously, working above and beyond what is expected.” Albers was selected for the Rawlins award for her volunteer service at the Butte Humane Society, her academic achievements, participation at the CSU, Chico Organic Dairy and her involvement with Alpha Zeta.

Throughout her college career, Albers has constantly added to her list of achievements. For the past four semesters she has been on the Dean’s List, which recognizes students who have excelled scholastically in a semester.

Albers is also an active member of Alpha Zeta (AZ), an agriculture honors society dedicated to community service, high levels of scholastic achievement and leadership. Albers became interested in Alpha Zeta after receiving the invitation into the organization as a second semester freshman. She decided to join because of its basis in agriculture and its focus on community service.  For the 2010 – 2011 academic year she is serving as the chapter Censor. In this role she is responsible for identifying and recruiting qualified initiates as well as conducting the initiates through their initiate service project.  Additionally, Albers is organizing an alumni newsletter that will allow active AZ members to communicate with alumni, update them on chapter activities, and invite them to participate in events.

In her first semester at Chico State, Albers enrolled in ANSC 110 (directed work experience) at the organic dairy unit. Directed work experience allows students to work at the farm’s diverse units while receiving academic credit. Albers had no prior dairy experience, but once she began her milking duties, she fell in love with the work. The following spring she applied for a position at the dairy, where she is still employed. Working at the dairy she has been able to get closely involved with calf management, heard health and ration formulation.

Along with working at the dairy, Albers currently holds an internship with Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese Company. The company produces farmstead cheese on their dairy from their own 30 cow herd in Orland, Calif. Albers is involved with the cheese-making and aging process, and also spends a lot of time cutting, wrapping and pricing products for farmers markets and local events.

When coming to CSU, Chico, Albers planned to enter the pre-veterinary track and continue on to vet school. However, her experience at the dairy has shifted her career focus from veterinary to dairy production and ultimately farmstead cheese production.

Albers explained, “I like the idea of being a farmstead cheese producer, because there is an aspect of your job that is animal related but you also get to make, market and sell your own product.”

While a student at Fortuna High School, Albers did not originally plan to attend CSU, Chico, but she received a scholarship from the University that changed her mind. Looking back she is glad she came. “I’ve made some great friends, and I love the learning environment. I also really appreciate the University Farm, and how it acts as an outdoor classroom. Learning is so much easier for me when there is a hands-on side to what I’ve read and heard in lectures.”