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College of Agriculture

Seth Myrick

Crops, Horticulture & Land Resource Management

When Seth Myrick entered high school in Galt, he never imagined that he would find his passion through the Future Farmers of America (FFA). A hesitant freshman and sophomore, Myrick always succeeded academically but didn’t know what was next after graduation. When he joined the FFA as a junior, new opportunities and interests flooded in, and with the influence of his agricultural advisor, Myrick is now a senior at Chico State with big plans for his career in agriculture. He’s also the College of Agriculture’s 2019 Star Student in Crops, Horticulture, and Land Resource Management.

If it weren’t for agricultural advisor Dane White, Myrick says he would not be at Chico State—and potentially not in agriculture at all. White recruited Myrick to join the Galt High School agriculture program his junior year. After joining, Myrick became involved in parliamentary procedure, the marketing-plan competition, cooperative marketing, and built transferrable skills in professionalism and communication. When his senior year came, White’s influence again swayed Myrick and pushed him to pursue his degree at Chico State.

“Mr. White really sold Chico State with the people and experiences, and it seemed like the right fit,” Myrick said. “I remember coming to Chico for the FFA Field Day, and I got done with my contest really early so I spent most of the day just walking around campus, exploring, and instantly fell in love with it.”

Although friends pushed him toward agricultural education, Myrick’s love for science and the environment led him to declare his major as crops, horticulture, and land resource management, where he has thrived.

At Chico State, Myrick has taken full advantage of the hands-on learning at his fingertips. Through work as a research assistant, elective courses, and traveling to present data, Myrick has shaped his path in soil science.

Myrick has worked as a research assistant alongside soil science professor Garrett Liles since his sophomore year, conducting research to evaluate forest management and carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, with a grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, he is currently working on a project to evaluate the effects of land use on soils in Butte County.

His research experiences gave Myrick the opportunity to travel to Quebec, Canada, in the summer of 2018 to present research for the California Energy Commission at the North American Forest Soils Conference. This opportunity would not have been possible if not for the Wes and Jane Patton Advancement Award that funded his journey.

Just as his trip would not have been possible without the Patton’s gift, his passion for soils would not have been born if not for Liles. As his academic advisor and research mentor, Liles influenced the star student to take classes outside of his major, like geology, to find his place in the field. Although he had a vague interest in environmental science, Liles provided a new lens. It’s been these opportunities and encouragements that have formed Myrick’s enthusiasm for the College of Agriculture.

Liles, who joined the College of Agriculture as a professor the same semester Myrick started as a freshman, said, “From our first meeting, it was clear Seth was serious and deep thinking. Over the last three-and-a-half years, I have watched Seth advance and mature in so many ways. He has exceeded my expectation in all cases and has been an incredible asset to have working with me.”

“All of the faculty expect you to do your best and challenge you, while providing you with the resources, opportunities, and encouragement to succeed. They’re always willing to go the extra mile for you,” Myrick said.

In addition to Liles, Myrick praises professors Hossein Zakeri and Cynthia Daley for providing him with this attention.

Upon graduation, he looks forward to working at the University of California, Merced, where he will be conducting research in air, soil, and water quality in agriculture and the environment before ultimately entering the master’s program.

“I want to be on the forefront of agricultural policy and environmental decision-making to help influence sustainable land management, whether it’s through working in a lab, with the conservation district, NRCS, or the US Geological Survey.” Myrick said.

A proud first-generation college student, Myrick said he could not have made it without the love and support from his family and friends along the way.