Ag Journeys

“This isn’t just about building a career. This is about doing what’s right.”

Kelly Beck

Hometown: Stormstown, PA

Demographic information: Female in STEM, first-generation college student

Major: Community, Environment, and Development (CED)

Minors: Horticulture, Agribusiness Management, Environmental Inquiry

Good at: Taking care of animals (including five brothers), overextending herself, volunteering, being a neighbor, being a friend, making it happen, grandma hobbies (knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, scrapbooking), hanging out, learning to take YES for an answer, not taking “that’s just how it is” for an answer

“To be honest, I didn’t want to go to Penn State.”

“I always thought college was about leaving home.”

“I was most interested in the social sciences, like sociology and anthropology, but was also interested in traditional ag disciplines and business. So, I was looking at schools across the country. Through 4-H Council I found out about the Penn State CED major. All my academic interests under one roof. I truly can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

“Mom, I want to show cows!”

“My uncle planted the idea of 4-H.  I came home and said, ‘Mom, I want to show cows.’ The first time she just rolled her eyes, but I didn’t give up. I wore her down. Then I got rabbits. And sewing projects. And got all my brothers into it. Now my mom and I are both 4-H leaders.“

“This isn’t just about building a career. This is about doing what’s right.”

“I grew up just a few miles from State College. It’s historically very rural, but it’s threatened with overdevelopment. I’m learning to leverage governments, companies, and individuals toward land-use practices that have the best interest of our community and protecting the environment in mind.”

“In my minors, I indulge myself with other things I’m curious about. I’m doing it because I love it.”

“The boring stuff is really exciting.”

The magic of Excel spreadsheets.

“Data is an incredible tool and finding different ways to tap it are equally incredible. Sure, it’s just software, but it’s software that can change your perspective on a set of facts and spark ideas. I’m learning how to channel that power.”

“Problems and opportunities I’m passionate about.”


“I took a pottery in high school, and I also took a class when I started at Penn State. Now I teach it. I’m getting paid to do something I think is so much fun.”

Välkommen till Sverige!

“I did a two-week study abroad in Sweden comparing Chesapeake and Baltic water quality issues. We partnered with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences studying phosphorus and nitrogen buildups.”