Nebraska ignites Knoerzer’s passion for animals
Press Release, Natalie Jones | IANR Media
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Immersed in her family’s farming and cattle operation since childhood, Felicia Knoerzer says that ever since she can remember, animals were the focus of all she did.
For years, she worked alongside her dad and grandpa on the family operation near Elwood, with the long-term goal of starting her own herd of cattle. Knoerzer also gained valuable animal health experiences in working with her aunt at the local veterinary clinic and learning from her uncle, who works as a dairy nutritionist. Though she looked at other highly ranked agricultural programs and considered playing volleyball at other schools, deep down she knew that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was the perfect place to get her start.
“Every time I came to campus, it felt like I was igniting a part of me that nowhere else could spark that interest in me,” said Knoerzer, who graduated in December with a degree in animal science with an emphasis on livestock production and management and a minor in agribusiness.
“There was nothing more valuable than for me to get an animal science degree at Nebraska.”
Laser-focused on her future and reaching her personal goals, Knoerzer was a natural fit as an ambassador for the animal science department when she arrived on campus. She dedicated herself to meeting with prospective students, giving tours around the complex on East Campus, and carefully listening to each person to help meet their needs.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to give back to the department that has given me so much and helped me chase my dreams,” said Knoerzer.
“Being an ambassador gave me a lot of people skills I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise while helping students find their home, give them similar fire that I found when I was on campus, and get them motivated to come and chase their dreams.”
During her time at Nebraska, Knoerzer’s ease of relationship building and passion for the agricultural industry led her to involvement within Block and Bridle, chairing the Big Red Beef committee, Little AKSARBEN, and leading Nebraska’s signature steak fry.
As a head counselor for the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute, Knoerzer worked closely with leaders in the Nebraska Department of Agriculture as an intern with a goal to promote agriculture across the state by conducting industry tours, visiting high school and elementary classrooms.
While working to build the next generation of agricultural leaders within the state, Knoerzer then took a leap out-of-state to Nashville, Tenn., for a learning opportunity in the competitive sales field of her own this past summer with Merck Animal Health.
Knoerzer embraced her new role as a cattle field sales intern, in which she met with producers and promoted products across her territory. Surrounded by the cattle industry her entire life, including stints of helping at her aunt and uncle’s veterinary practice, she says it was through her pharmaceutical sales internship that she fell in love with building relationships with producers across the state.
“I get to go out to these operations, talk to producers about their cattle, about what is or isn’t working, and essentially help them mitigate the risk and help them overcome it,” said Knoerzer.
After graduation Knoerzer hopes to make central Nebraska home, where she can assist with her family’s operation, start her own herd and secure a territory working as a cattle pharmaceutical field representative.
“I want to thank my parents for always letting me be the girl that needed to talk about animals, bring random animals home, spend time in the barn with the calves and do everything cattle,” said Knoerzer.
“I’m so thankful for their support and dedication to making sure that my dreams were seen and heard and that they never doubted me for a second.”
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