Agribusiness Majors Don’t Horse Around
Grace College Agribusiness senior, Hallie McGlaun wraps up a critical internship for the Kosciusko County Community Foundation
It all started with horses. Hallie McGlaun has loved horses since she was three years old. (Check out the picture of her riding her first horse!) She never owned a horse, although her family did live on 11 acres of woods. Although they didn’t do traditional crop farming, her family raised chickens, harvested rabbits, kept beehives, and maple-syruped, (yes, she confirmed that in the McGluan household, “syruped” is a verb).
Hallie didn’t fully get involved with horses until she was 16. That summer, she went to a horse camp and returned several years as a trail guide. Her childhood obsession became a realized passion the day she enrolled in the Equine Science Program of the Agricultural Branch at Ohio State University. She thought that her time there would be a dream come true, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. After a rough semester, she returned home and went to Clark State Community College. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do next, but she knew agriculture was still her passion.
It was that semester that she visited her friends at Grace College for a weekend. She left with a desire to come back…there was just one problem. Grace didn’t offer anything in agriculture.
It wasn’t too long after that visit that Grace announced a brand new program they were launching the following fall — you guessed it — Grace was launching their first-ever Agricultural Business program.
That was that–Hallie was coming to Grace.
Now a senior at Grace, Hallie is wrapping up a unique project commissioned by the Kosciusko County Community Foundation. Tobe Forshtay, Instructor of Agribusiness, met with an agribusiness roundtable that recognized an opportunity to collect information about the ag assets in the county. The roundtable agreed that this was a project with great potential for future agricultural opportunities.
Seeing this as an optimal growth opportunity for one of his students, Tobe connected with KEDCO, Purdue, and the Community Foundation and recommended that they request the assistance of one of the ag students at Grace to help spearhead the project.
“Suzie Light, of the Community Foundation, suggested that the student be self-motivated, a hard worker, and one who pursues excellence inside and out of the classroom. I immediately knew who to ask,” stated Tobe. “Hallie has been a bright spot in our ag program since she arrived at Grace last year.” Tobe knew she would jump at the chance — and that she did.
Hallie is receiving college credit for the internship as she conducts research on our county agricultural assets and builds relationships with agricultural and civic leaders. Logging around 500 companies in the database, Hallie has had ample exposure to businesses of all industries affected by agriculture in the community– a prime chance to network herself as a young professional.
“I’m proud of her for stepping up and doing this work. I’m thrilled Grace Agribusiness is playing a part in this collaborative project,” said Forshtay.
Of all the things she has gained and learned through the experience, Hallie couldn’t be more thankful for her support system at Grace, “There’s a big difference between having knowledge and being wise. My agribusiness professors and mentors are genuinely wise. They are willing to pour into me and want to see me succeed.”
Hallie still loves horses, but as you can see, there’s no horsing around in our Agribusiness program. Our students are pursuing thoughtful scholarship and career preparation — and the options from here are plentiful for bright ag students like Hallie!