You’re pursuing a degree in civil engineering with an
emphasis in water resources and a minor in agricultural systems
management at the University of Idaho. Where does your career passion
come from?Reese: I was born and raised
in the Central Valley of California, one of the most productive
irrigated valleys in the world. I have always been inspired by the
resiliency and commitment of the individuals who ensure we are provided
with a safe and reliable supply of food. Through my family’s work in the
agricultural industry and my own experiences, I have become aware that
the biggest obstacle many farmers and ranchers encounter is water
availability and quality.
Particularly in the West, the threat of draining aquifers, drying
rivers, and depleted water tables are beginning to cause a panic among
farmers and urban residents alike. This clear pressing issue inspired me
to pursue my chosen career path as a civil engineer with a focus on
agricultural water issues.
What do you think the future looks like for the agricultural systems management industry? Reese:
Due to an increasing population, decreasing farmland, and depleted
resources, agriculture faces constant pressure to increase productivity
and efficiency. It is one of the most exciting yet challenging aspects
I believe the future of agriculture lies in the development of new
technologies and strategies that will minimize necessary inputs,
increase automation, advance plant breeding, and utilize water more
efficiently. As the average age of the farmer increases and less of the
population is involved in food production, there is tremendous
opportunity and need for people to get involved in all aspects of
What have you most enjoyed learning about thus far in college? Reese:
As I have progressed through school, I have found that each class adds
to my overall knowledge. I have particularly enjoyed my applied math
classes, especially mathematical modeling of systems and processes.
You’re currently the captain of the University of Idaho
cycling team and were a four-time California state cycling champion. What
do you enjoy most about cycling? Reese:
Cycling has been a very positive outlet for me. It has taught me about
the value of hard work and perseverance. It is also a great way to see
the country and meet new people. Biking provides balance in my life by
building my physical fitness and helping me maintain perspective.
Where do you want to be in five years? Reese:
After graduation, I plan to work for an engineering firm for a few
years. Eventually I want to obtain a professional engineering license
and work as a consulting engineer in the Pacific Northwest, developing
new ways to conserve water and incorporate more efficient water delivery
and use systems.
Who do you look up to in life and why? Reese:
I have always looked up to my sisters. They are kind, hard-working,
independent people. They have challenging, successful careers yet still
have fun and make time for friends and family.
What is your ultimate goal? Reese:
In the future, I hope to work in a rural setting in a role that will
help improve the sustainability and efficiency of irrigated farming. I
want to help establish proper utilization of water, fine-tuned
irrigation strategies, and advanced water infrastructure.
Lastly, what do you think is the most important water issue? Reese:
I think water shortage is the most important water issue and needs
constant consideration. Conservation is important, and careful
distribution will be critical to the success of our civilization.
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(614 898.7791 outside the US)
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