Shrimp Tacos during Dead Week!


Hello everyone! This week has been a busy one! Dead week is one of the most dreaded weeks for students. I personally think dead week feels like any other week; but with just a little more pressure. This upcoming weekend will be the slope to the hill I have been climbing and after Tuesday I can take a breath! Yep you heard that right; I am done with finals on Tuesday! How did I get so lucky!? This semester I have final exams for Horticulture Propagation, Animal Science 270 (Foods of animal origins), Animal Science 441 (International Agriculture) and Food Science 101.

As a junior, I am feeling the senior mentality approaching. The thought of completing college both frightening and exciting. It is hard to believe that the year went by so fast! I am trying to take in all that Iowa State University has to offer. Here are a three tips I have to those who are experiencing their first dead week.

Tip 1: Make sure to get plenty of sleep. (8 hours is a must!!)

Tip 2: Study a few nights before and don’t cram. Easier said then done but trust me; you will retain it longer- Don’t get to down on yourself if this doesn’t happen. Sometimes life gets in the way and you don’t want to miss out on all the memories you will make. This week I spent the night before an exam cramming until 11:30 pm and then again at 5:30 am; like I said not ideal but it happens.

Tip 3: Take a few moments during dead and finals week to catch up with your friends. After all it is the end of the semester and 4 years will go by incredibly fast. I am down to 1 and I think I am in denial.

Now to the real reason for this post.

With the semester coming to a close and operating on a limiting budget; we have been planning our meals day to day. This has helped save money and time. Planning ahead has also allowed me to be creative. Taco Tuesday might seem corny but there are endless possibilities. 🙂

April Taco Tuesday Recipe

1 Bag of Shrimp



1 Red Pepper


1 Cup of Green beans (perks of cleaning out the freezer)


Once you steam the veggies and shrimp; add avocado and cheese to your your taco.


Lastly Eat and Enjoy!

BackGROUND Check

This week ISU NAMA (National Agriculture Marketing Association) joined 30 other schools in Kansas City to compete against one another for the best marketed agriculture product. See for more information on the process. I am happy to say that our product BACKGROUND CHECK made it to semi-finals. I am honored to be included in such a unique opportunity.

BGC logo 1Introduction to our product: 

Parallel Land Solutions, a small startup founded by two farmers in Ames, Iowa, is excited to introduce BACKGROUND CHECK, a map-based valuation tool. This mobile-friendly
website service draws on public data, while also allowing farmerfor the integration of user-defined crop production budgets, to estimate farmland values and cash flow projections on a field-by-field basis. Public data is drawn from the USDA’s NRCS and NASS, NASA, and Dayment. In less than five minutes, a field-specific ROI and cash flow report is generated. These reports also include crop history, soil, aerial, topographical, and flood hazard maps.

Snap shot of nationals:

The week began Sunday with the 2016 NAMA Banquet.


2015/16 Officers


Just check out our matching outfits! We were styling in Kansas City!


We received top 10 Annual Report


Making it to Semi-Finals!


Patiently awaiting the awards ceremony!


We might not have made it to the finals but I am very proud of all the hard work ISU NAMA put in throughout the year! We received many other awards that show our dedication to achieving success not only through the marketing team but through our NAMA Club; including the Outstanding Student Chapter and the Student Award. This was my first year being on the Marketing Team and it was a huge learning curve for me! I am looking forward to seeing what my senior year in NAMA brings!

Balance is Healthy

Good Morning Picking Wild Flowers. I slept fantastic with my Fitbit reading a magical 8 hours!!!! I feel refreshed and ready for the day with coffee in hand! 🙂 Waking up this morning I had an intuition to write about balance. I usually get so down on myself when I fall off the bandwagon; when I indulge, can’t fit a workout in, or the scale isn’t moving but this morning I am feeling happy with my progress!


I am encouraging myself to live a balanced life! Trying to create healthy habits does not mean losing out on late night ice cream runs! It means working to be healthy 80% of the time. My mom is my role model when it comes to truly living out this statement! She has always motivated me to eat healthy and has taught me the importance of balance. Growing up it wasn’t about diets with her,  it was about family goals. “Okay guys we are going to cut back on pop as a family” It was never about singling one person out to lose weight.

This is what an average balanced week looks like for me! It will look different for every individual.

Pic 2

I always start my morning with coffee and either oatmeal (mixed with powder peanut butter) or cereal (usually frosted flakes or honey nut cheerios).


Throughout my day I try to get an average goal of 10,000 steps in and I track this with my Fitbit. Like the picture shows I love to run but sometimes I achieve this goal with Zumba, kickboxing, or hitting up the rec center.


I often take my lunch with me to work or class  which includes a protein shake or green smoothie, salad, bagel, or sandwich. This week Megan and I bought an abundance of salad supplies so guess what I had 😉 Next week I will enjoy eating something different haha.



But a girl has got to have some fun in her routine so on Wednesday Megan and I met our friend Kelsey  for frozen yogurt and last night Adriane and I went out for Mexican and I may have got a margarita. 😉  Perks of being 21!

Pic 33

This morning I am sipping my coffee and making a sausage, hash-brown skillet! It is smelling fantastic so I better scurry but remember BALANCE is what is healthy!




The Road to Global Security

WFBBrought to you by the World Food Prize Foundation, Oxfam America, and Foods Resource Bank 
12924321_1723351874574313_4780776071646264314_nTuesday I found myself heading to Des Moines with two lovely ladies who kindly invited me to join them at the World Food Prize Foundation Building in celebration of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug’s 102nd birthday and International Women’s Day.

With networking on our minds; we stopped to say hello to many. Gathering faces I recognized like Cathann Kress, Dean Wintersteen, Senator Joni Ernst, and Ambassador Quinn. Feeling nervous to approach but being comfortable observing from the sidelines; I took my seat to settle in as the keynote began.


Here is an article I wrote for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Agriculture Program and the Women in Ag Learning Network


434_984174994965468_3611395373106191118_nTuesday, March 29th at 6:00 pm; the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag staff set out to the World Food Prize Foundation Building in celebration of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug’s 102nd birthday and International Women’s Day. It was very encouraging to see a record attendance of more than 300 with many new and familiar faces. All bringing a unique perspective and connection to the topic.

Once seated we heard from keynote speaker, Senator Joni Ernst. “There are not many industries in Iowa that are not touched by Iowa agriculture,” said Ernst. Joni Ernst grew up in Red Oak, Iowa where she lived on a small farming operation with her family. After coming to Iowa State University; Joni spent some time internationally in Ukraine with a family who farmed tomatoes. They had no running water and just one bike for transportation. Once returning to Iowa; Joni wanted to give back to America. A country that she was proud of! Joining the US Military; Joni began her career path.

Senator Joni Ernst is a strong believer in empowering and inspiring women both in America and overseas. “There are four pillars that I live by,” stated Ernst, “The first is assuming risk, the second is showing leadership, third is extending service, and the final is reflecting gratitude.”

Women comprise 43 percent of the agricultural labor force in developing countries. According to the FAO, 70 percent of employed women in Southern Asia and 60% in sub-Saharan Africa work in agriculture. Agriculture is no foreign topic to women all over the world! But, there are a few factors that are limiting women from reaching full potential. In developing countries it is almost impossible for women to own and rent acres. Women feel the burdens of feeding their families on just a small patch of land. If women had the same access to resources as men, they could increase farm yields by 20-30 percent. It has shown that women spend their additional incomes on food, clothing, and education for their children. Closing the gender gap would greatly improve food security.

For the last half of the program we had the opportunity to hear from featured speaker, Olga Tumax. Olga farms and leads 800 women in Guatemala. “In 1999, I began focusing on women and looking into ways we can help one another,” Olga tells us, “I wanted access to land even if it was not in my name; I went to my husband and asked how many square meters of land he would give me.” She is the mother of seven children and through her empowerment was able to send all seven to high school; most children in Guatemala only complete third grade. “We were the first group in the community to build greenhouses. Men told us that we could not do it, but we proved them wrong and now run a sustainable operation. We are hoping to increase our markets,” said Olga. Olga is a powerful women who faces many difficulties. Some in which we take for granted in America with resources readily available. Difficulties including: water shortages, threats, limited access to resources (land, loans, machinery), and gender inequality. “We want to be like Ester in the bible and fight for our rights,” claimed Olga.

Olga excels in all four of Joni Ernst’s pillars. She has assumed risk, shown leadership, extended service, and is very full of gratitude.

Seeing that women reinvest 90% of their income back into the family makes it clear that if we want food security we need to work with women. Success in Agriculture relies on a collaboration effort.