The diversity and the challenges that accompany Adam Schroeder’s work with beef cattle and sheep are his most enjoyable tasks as manager of the University of Illinois beef cattle and sheep farm.
“One minute I can be vaccinating cows, the next building a ration for developing heifers, and the next working on summarizing and analyzing the budget,” Adam says. “While the diverse job responsibilities make managing time and resources difficult, they also make for a very fulfilling career.”
Adam believes classes at the U of I gave him the knowledge base needed to make effective decisions in all aspects of farm management. The coursework he chose included animal sciences, crop sciences, and ag economics. He rounded out his academic work with extracurriculars—namely, the livestock judging team, the meats judging team, and the meat animal evaluation team.
“These activities allowed me to travel across the country and learn about the animal industry and network with other students and industry professionals,” Adam says. “The hands-on, out-of-the-classroom learning activities added invaluable experiences to my education and career preparation.”
Adam also took part in the Dixon Springs Beef Cattle Research Internship, through which he planned and carried out a research project involving beef cattle nutrition. The experience motivated him to pursue a master’s degree and solidified his desire to work in the beef industry. This is the type of opportunity that sets U of I apart from other institutions, Adam believes.
“The options I had both as an undergrad and as a master’s student—to get experience and to network—were unmatched by other institutions,” Adam says. “Judging teams that allowed me to travel the country and evaluate livestock, clubs that helped me meet new friends with similar interests, and internship programs that helped me gain the experience required to get a good job all made my U of I education unique.”