CAFNR Senior Spotlight – Q&A with Madison Holmes

Holmes is senior graduating in May with a degree in plant science and technology.

A portrait of a student.

Q: Why did you choose to come to the University of Missouri?

A: I was born and raised in Columbia, Missouri. Originally, I was set on going anywhere but where I was born. Yet, I toured Mizzou and felt that homey feeling you get when you are right where you belong. This campus felt like its own separate town that was different from what I knew.

Q: Why did you choose to pursue a degree in plant science and technology?

A: When I turned 16, I started working at a local business that did landscape design and had a nursery. From there I was hooked and knew the plant industry was where I wanted to be. I went to work every day excited for what the day held. The same can be said for my experience at Mizzou – every new class I have taken has held a new adventure.

Q: Were you involved in any extracurricular activities?

A: During my time at Mizzou, I was a member of the Sigma Alpha – Alpha Chi chapter sorority. This is the professional agricultural sorority on campus that allowed me to meet many other women pursuing agricultural degrees. I am also an ambassador for the plant science and technology program which allowed me to connect with other students as well as future students who have now become my peers. These experiences allowed me to build my own community here at Mizzou which made my time here cherished.

Q: Did you partake in any research, study abroad, or internship opportunities? What did you enjoy about those experiences?

A: I traveled for two summers during my time here at Mizzou. I worked as a landscaper for a guest ranch in Montana, and last summer I worked and lived in Alaska working for the cruise ship port. These experiences allowed me to travel alone and gave me a bigger sense of independence than I had before. Wherever I end up in my career I know that I will be able to navigate a new place on my own.

Q: What is a favorite memory you have during your time in CAFNR?

A: My favorite CAFNR memory was getting to travel to Provo, Utah, for the National Colligate Landscape Competition. I traveled with six other plant science students, and we spent several days attending workshops and competing in various events. This year was the first year our program has done this, and it was so successful that we are hopeful students will get to attend yearly.

Q: How did your degree program prepare you for the future?

A: In the plant industry, there is an extremely wide variety of career opportunities. The plant sciences degree program works to give you a little taste of these careers. In plant sciences alone we have three emphasis areas that are all different, whether you love research, crops, and agronomy, or design and horticulture this degree program offers you opportunities in all. It opened my eyes to all that I could do.

Q: What are your future plans?

A: I will be taking a couple of months off to do a little bit of traveling and much-needed R & R. I have had a variety of offers but am exploring all my career options including out-of-state locations such as Montana and Oregon. The plant industry has so much to offer, and I am navigating all my choices at the moment.