Agriculture has always been part of Katie Murray’s life. She grew up showing livestock—steers, heifers, hogs, and lambs—all over Georgia and became involved in FFA (formerly the Future Farmers of America). When she began her college career, she served as a State FFA Officer, and in this role she traveled to Austria, Italy and then Germany where she spent 5 days with a host family. She has interned with the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and Georgia Beef Board. She plans to become an agriculture teacher partly so that she can continue her involvement with FFA at the high school level after she spends some time exploring the Western United States and getting a graduate degree.
Colquitt County High School
B.S.A. in Agricultural Education
A.A., Agricultural Education, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I transferred to UGA from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College after my sophomore year. During my time at UGA, I have been largely involved with Collegiate FFA, the club directly related to my major, serving as a member on the Student Development Committee and as Secretary. I am also active in the Block and Bridle club, where I served as the Chairman of the Summer Classic Lamb Show and the Little International Livestock Show. This year, I was nominated for homecoming court by the UGA Collegiate FFA. Upon transfer to UGA, I received the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Transfer Scholarship and since then I have also received the Tap Bennett Scholarship and the National Association for Agricultural Education Scholarship. I have maintained a 4.0 GPA since being at UGA, and was inducted into the Blue Key Honor Society last Spring .
Until this semester, I worked in the Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office. There I helped develop the curriculum used by agriculture teachers in the state of Georgia and worked on any other projects needed to benefit the agriculture teachers in our state. I am currently “employed” as a student teacher at Oconee County High School . As part of my degree, I have to complete ten weeks of student teaching in an agricultural education program.
Family Ties to UGA:
Both of my parents received their bachelor’s degree from UGA. My dad triple majored in Agricultural Education, Agronomy, and Animal Science, while my mom majored in Dietetics. My older brother also just graduated from UGA with a degree in Agricultural Education.
I chose to attend UGA because…
…it is one of the two schools in Georgia that offers a degree in Agricultural Education. UGA has a strong agriculture program, and I knew that I would receive a solid education here. Not to mention, I had heard stories from my parents about their time here, so growing up I always knew I wanted to go to school at UGA.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
…watching people and visiting North Campus. I enjoy seeing the variety of people that attend the university. If you travel the whole campus, you can see people from all different walks of life. I like to see how different people interact and react to things and each other. I also enjoy being on North campus. I don’t get to spend much time up there, but I love it when I do get the opportunity to walk through, especially in the springtime. It gives me such an appreciation for the history of our school.
When I have free time, I like…
…to visit places I have never been before. I enjoy eating at new restaurants or visiting nearby tourist attractions. I also like finding new trails on which to run. I am always looking for a new park or trail that will provide different scenery and new challenges when it comes to running. The intramural fields and Botanical Gardens are my current favorites. I also like to catch up on sleep. At my house, Sunday afternoon naps were a tradition growing up, and I try to carry on that tradition now that I am away from home.
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
…go sledding down the Alps in Austria at night. In January of my freshman year, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe. Being from south Georgia, I had never seen anything more than snow flurries before the trip, and I had never gone snow skiing or sledding before. Where we were sledding, the snow was up past my knees. I remember coming back home so excited about having gone sledding in the Alps!
My favorite place to study is…
…my room. I have everything I need right there at my fingertips, and I never have to worry about forgetting something. I can just sit at my desk or on my bed until all my work is done. Studying in my room also gives me the opportunity to take care of little things around the house during breaks and to hang out some with my roommates.
My favorite professor is…
I actually have two favorite professors. John Ricketts and Dennis Duncan are my professors in my agricultural education classes. They are always optimistic, encouraging, and helpful. They really care about each of their students and go out of their way to make sure that we are getting the most out of our college experience.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…Lewis DeMott. He and my dad farmed together at one point and he was one of my dad’s mentors. He got bone cancer during my senior year of high school, about the time I actually started to appreciate the wisdom and insight he had to offer. He passed away my freshman year of college and since then there have been so many times that I wished he was still here for me to talk to.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
…produce row crops and cattle. A part of me has always wanted to be a farmer or at least be married to a farmer. My dad was a produce farmer, but he quit when I was very young. There are so many risks involved, and it is very hard to get started farming unless you already own the land, which I don’t. I am probably way too idealistic when it comes to my desire to live on a farm, but if I knew I couldn’t fail, I honestly think this is what I would do.
After graduation, I plan to…
…go to graduate school. I’m not quite ready to settle into a career, and I’ve always wanted to go out west. If it all works out, I would like to attend graduate school somewhere out west, perhaps Texas or Oklahoma. After graduate school, my intentions are to come back to Georgia and teach agriculture to high school students.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
…showing in the Little International Livestock Show (Little I) with the Block and Bridle Club. You’re really not eligible to show livestock after you graduate from high school, but the Little I allows college students the opportunity to show a beef heifer, dairy heifer, hog, lamb, or horse against only other college students. The show is open to people who have never shown before and to those who have been showing their whole life. You get to pick an animal out and train it for about a month before the show day. I decided to show a hog, which I already knew how to show, and a horse, which I had no idea how to show. It was so much fun to be able to show one last time.