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Iowa already plays a big role in inspiring future generations for careers in agriculture and food industries. Now Iowa is more important than ever for students pursuing careers in food animal agriculture. They can apply for financial support up to $3,000 through the Targeting Excellence scholarship program.
This year the non-profit organization is awarding $123,000 in scholarships to animal ag-focused students who are enrolled in graduate, undergraduate, or associate degree programs. Six Iowa students are receiving scholarships, and at least one Iowa winner plans to participate in the state's major fundraising event -- the Iowa Sporting Clay Scholarship Classic, which takes place June 29 at Targets on the Move in Ackley, IA.
Scholarship winner Shelby Curry is pursuing a doctoral degree in Animal Science at Iowa State University. She comes from Elk Grove, CA.
"What got me interested in farm animals was breeding and showing Nigerian dwarf goats," Shelby says. "I was a kid taking care of kids in a two-acre backyard in a Sacramento suburb."
Shelby went on to study animal science at California Polytechnic State University and enjoyed internships at a 2,000-head sow facility in Iowa and a leading swine feed manufacturer in Indiana. She received her MS in swine nutrition from the University of Illinois.
"At Iowa State, I'm investigating how health challenges alter pig intestinal function and integrity, growth performance, feed efficiency, and nutritional requirements."
Before coming to Iowa, Shelby knew little about the increasingly popular shooting sport of sporting clays. Now she is looking forward to targeting the clay pigeons at the June 29 Classic.
Targeting Excellence seeks to help build the next generation of leaders in animal agriculture. Keynote speaker at the Iowa Classic is Bruce Rastetter, President of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Rastetter also is CEO of the Iowa-based Summit Agricultural Group. He speaks on "Meeting Global Challenges through Agricultural Opportunities."
The Iowa event offers team and individual registration, beginner instruction and safety training, and a wide range of sponsorship opportunities. For details, visit
“Come on and join us,” says Dan Mueller, Diamond V Swine Business Development Manager. “There’s training if you’ve never shot sporting clays and you don’t need a fancy gun. It's a good chance to support the next generation of livestock experts.”

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