By the Numbers--Setting Goals and Achieving Success
Unlike the stereotypical young person, Ellen Jasper is good with money and likes math. “I’ve had my sights set on a business career for some time now,” she said, “and that keeps me focused.” The Iowa State University sophomore is majoring in finance, and she already has an internship at the Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust on her resume.
As an administrative assistant intern at CAST, Ellen (at right in Europe with her dad and in a hug with her dogs) is learning various aspects of accountancy and the “cyber-paper trail.” “I’m looking forward to gaining experience in varied aspects of finance,” she said.
Ellen doesn’t have a farm background—unless you count her two dogs as livestock—but she did spend summer days free ranging on her grandparents’ farms. Ellen grew up in Cedar Rapids, and in Iowa, that’s urban. But both sets of grandparents live on eastern Iowa farms, so she knows about feeding pigs and the basics of crop production. “We climbed the silo, helped with chores, and had a great time on loud, dusty go-carts.”
Aside from her studies, Ellen likes to read, play tennis, and travel. During the past summer she joined her father for a trip through European cities like Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. “I loved the history in Austria and the architecture in Prague,” she said. “I’m also impressed with their environmental efforts. I don’t think I saw any plastic bottles or bags there. They conserve and reuse.”
Back on campus, Ellen has joined a swing dance group, and she is vice president of finance for her sorority (there she goes again with that number-crunching). Staff members welcome Ellen to the CAST organization. (by dan gogerty)
Continuing a Legacy Rooted in Ag
Being a part of the agriculture industry has been a family tradition for Mikayla Dolch and her family for the past three generations. Mikayla’s deeply rooted passion for agriculture was instilled at a young age on their family farm near Mortan’s Mill, Iowa, and that is what has led her to pursue a career in agricultural education at Iowa State University. Mikayla brings her passion and enthusiasm for the industry to CAST as a social media assistant intern this fall.
Growing up on a cow/calf farm, Mikayla (at left with her horse, Cheyenne, and speaking at an FFA convention) gained valuable life lessons from the agriculture industry. “I have learned the definition of hard work and dedication, and I've experienced the many joys and discomforts of agriculture life as mentioned in the FFA Creed.” Mikayla not only lives out the FFA Creed, but has been able to serve the Iowa FFA Organization as a state and district officer along with nine other family members dating back the three generations. “I knew growing up I wanted to continue the tradition. The agriculture industry is filled with genuinely nice and hardworking individuals, and that is where I saw myself in a career that has led me to where I am today.”
Mikayla also shared some of her favorite memories growing up on the farm. “Whether we were playing hide-and-seek around the farm at night, or rounding up cattle when they got out, it has been when the family comes together to work or have fun that have made some of my most cherished memories.”
Aside from her passion for agriculture, Mikayla likes to spend her time playing basketball, visiting with her role model and 100-year-old Great-Grandma Wookey, teaching herself how to juggle, and playing with her dog Maggie. On the Iowa State campus Mikayla is the secretary of the Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow Club, president of Winterfest activities, and a member of the CALS ambassador’s program. We welcome Mikayla to the CAST staff.
by Hannah Pagel