Fueled by passion

Food science student learns the tools to take on the world

Having the ability to explore where your interests meet society’s needs is what college is all about. For Abbey Schiefelbein, scholarships gave her the opportunity to explore her passions and lead her down a path to make a difference.

“I chose K-State because it made me feel like I was home; the people here took the time to get to know me,” said Abbey. “It started with a simple sign that greeted me at the Food Science Institute office and the professors’ thoughtfulness at me being there. K-State went the extra mile.”

Abbey is a Gardiner Scholar, which recognizes the best and the brightest agriculture students at Kansas State University. She majored in food science and has learned to continue to expand her horizons within her degree. “I am part of the Food Science Club, where I compete on the quiz bowl team, as well as the research and development team,” said Abbey. “I have competed on the Kansas State Meat Judging Team and the meat quiz bowl team.”

These teams have been a huge part of Abbey’s experience at the university, letting her see how she can grow in her chosen industry, as well as the possibilities for her career after college. “The meat judging team allowed me to explore different parts of the meat industry by actually getting into packing plants. My time on the team has also allowed me to make so many connections in the meat industry,” said Abbey. “And with the quiz bowl team, we get to travel to other food science departments and learn their approach to food science.”

Within the food science major, Abbey has also been able to work toward a global food system leadership secondary major, as well as a minor in business and a meat science certificate. “My main goal is to help change the world by addressing food insecurity. I want to create food products that are high in nutritional value while also being affordable,” said Abbey. “I think this is an important cause because everyone desires the ability to feed their families and themselves.”

But the ability to grow outside the classroom would not be possible without the help of scholarships. “Scholarships have helped me by creating opportunities. I have been able to focus on trying different activities and schoolwork instead of finding multiple jobs to pay for college. This has enabled me to find my passion within the food industry,” said Abbey.

While Abbey is not sure where these skills will take her once she accomplishes her undergraduate degree, she knows she is prepared. “I am considering getting my master’s, or I could go directly into the industry,” said Abbey. “I feel that Kansas State has prepared me for my next steps because it has opened all those doors that I am no longer limited to any one path.”

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