When most people think of a career in agriculture, they might picture a farm or an ag equipment dealership. That’s where Kelsie Davidson’s dream diverges; she pictures a schoolroom. This college freshman’s goal is to teach the upcoming, younger generations about agriculture.
The natural course for her might have been working at the dealership her parents, Todd and Carlie Davidson, own and operate: Osceola Implement & Supply, Inc. in Osceola, Neb. But she also knew that working there was not the right fit for her. Instead, she is pursuing a degree in elementary education with an agriculture focus. To that end, she will be attending Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Neb., in fall to get a two-year Associates Degree in education, then finishing her Bachelor’s Degree at either Wayne State or Concordia University.
She says growing up around the dealership taught her the challenges that small, rural ag businesses face and that understanding can be a springboard to help others. “I feel I can contribute to agriculture by studying ag education and helping children learn from a young age how important small business is in the ag world,” she says. Her older brother, Garrett, currently works at the dealership as the parts manager, and may someday take over the operations.
Her parents are also supportive of her decision. “They told me to follow my heart,” says Kelsie.
“She has a keen eye for agriculture, and her caring ways will help guide her far in her career,” says her mom, Carlie, “If anyone can convey real-world scenarios about small business and agriculture and get buy-in, it’s Kelsie.”
Hard Work Pays Off
To help her reach her education goals, Kelsie has received a scholarship for her studies from the Equipment Dealers Foundation, which is also matched by Osceola Implement & Supply. “I’m so grateful for this scholarship,” she says. “I’m paying for my college out of my own pocket. My parents have taught me that I must work hard for what I need, to pay my debts, and this scholarship will help me meet my academic goals.”
And Kelsie is used to hard work. She completed 18 college credits in high school, which puts her a full semester ahead at college. “I feel this is a testament to my hard work and dedication to academics that Cross County High School encouraged me to complete,” she says.
When talking about her future, Kelsie consistently returns to working with children: “I’m looking forward to helping kids learn more about ag and livestock and what goes into it. I just really want to be around kids every day, teaching them.”
While she is going to school an hour away, Kelsie says that she would like to return to her community when she gets her degree. And her advice to others that are thinking about a career in agriculture cleaves very close to the advice her parents gave her: Follow your heart to whatever your dream is set on.
About the Scholarship
The EDF was established in 1988 to provide scholarship funding to help meet the industry’s needs for trained individuals. EDF also provides temporary assistance for dealerships and its employees affected by natural disasters. Learn more about EDF here.