College of Agriculture

Josie Hernandez

Student smiling at camera

Josie Hernandez grew up in Auburn and has a background in working with livestock—and she has always known she wanted to be involved in the agricultural industry. She is currently a senior at Chico State majoring in animal science, and she is on track to attend graduate school in animal biology to expand her knowledge about the agricultural industry.  

While growing up, she was actively involved in showing livestock at her county and state fair. She showed a variety of animals like sheep, goats, and cattle, which led her to her passion for animal science.  

“I am fascinated by the livestock industry. I want to dive deeper into the different mechanisms of how animals function and how to raise livestock in a sustainable way,” Hernandez said.  

Her mom was a Chico State alumna, and after touring campus during the spring of 2019 Hernandez imagined herself as a Wildcat one day. Since then, she has made her mark on the College of Agriculture by being a highly engaged student inside and outside the classroom.  

“I still remember my first tour of campus and seeing the tight-knit community of the College of Agriculture,” Hernandez said. “It had a family-oriented atmosphere, which is what I enjoyed most.”  

In the past four years, Hernandez has been involved in the Chico Sheep Association Club, Ag Ambassadors, CAVE, and Club Volleyball. She also helps with county fairs and serves as a coach for local 4-H and FFA members with their livestock projects.  

Hernandez’s accomplishments and dedication to her academics haven’t gone unnoticed. She has received the Lt. Rawlins Merit scholarship, the Wes and Jane Patton Student Advancement award, and honors in animal science. She also earned a spot on the dean’s list.  

She started interning at the sheep unit during her first year at Chico State, which developed into a part-time position. She enjoys the friendships she has developed with her co-workers over the past three years and networking with faculty and staff. Hernandez also has been an teaching assistant for “Introduction to Animal Science” (ANSC 101) for the past two years.  

“It is an amazing experience to go from an intern to being confident enough to make a decision on behalf of the entire unit and herd of sheep,” Hernandez said. “As a TA, each semester I have been given more tasks and responsibility within the class to be able to contribute more to help the younger agriculture students.” 

One of Hernandez’s college highlights has been participating in a variety of research projects within the college. She has been a part of three research teams, focusing on “Effects of Essential Oil Feed Additive,” “Livestock Mortality Composting,” and “The Effect of Comfort Essential Oil Blend on Heat Stress.” This research has helped her expand her knowledge about the animal science side of the agriculture industry.  

When thinking back on the past four years, Hernandez is most proud of her self-growth and confidence level and handling and raising livestock animals.  

“I am proud of my public speaking skills and the character I have developed during my college career. I knew that stepping outside of my comfort zone in college was worth it,” Hernandez said.  

Outside of academics and work, she raises a herd of Boer breeding goats. She also enjoys playing volleyball and being outside. Her most recent hobby is learning about livestock photography.  

Hernandez’s favorite part about the College of Agriculture is the faculty and staff. She loves the support and mentorship she has received the past four years. The college has an amazing sense of community because everyone is so friendly. A few faculty members that have stood out to her the most are Kate Moore, Celina Phillips, and Kasey DeAtley. These three teachers have been tremendous role models for Hernandez while at Chico State.  

“The courage and knowledge of each professor and lecturer I have taken classes with or just had a one-on-one conversation with have made me feel like I belong and helped me gain knowledge about myself to shape me more into the person I am today,” Hernandez said.  

Hernandez is looking forward to the next chapter of her life. Although is it bittersweet leaving Chico State after making so many friends and memories, she is excited to continue her education in graduate school.