Pushing boundaries in entrepreneurship and agriculture

A K-Stater finds new ways to change the world, with the help of scholarships.

K-State students are known for going above and beyond. For Kayley Brethour, a junior in entrepreneurship, going above and beyond her curriculum means a focus on sustainability, while looking for new ways to improve her leadership skills. But Kayley is not your average college student.

Kayley was selected to be a Cargill Global Scholar in her sophomore year at K-State. Cargill Global Scholars are “a group of individuals who excel in their field of interest but who come together to grow as both individuals and professionals by developing their leadership skills and focus on giving back to their communities,” Kayley said.

The Cargill Global Scholars program provides students with the tools needed to become global leaders and provide innovative solutions to meet today’s growing economic, environmental and social challenges.

“The program is much more than a scholarship. [As a Scholar,] I have the opportunity to participate in an in-country seminar, a global seminar, and mentoring from Cargill executives both nationally and internationally,” Kayley said.

She is currently in the middle of the scholars’ program, having completed one seminar with her fellow U.S. representatives. This next summer, Kayley will be spreading her wings further and meeting with international representatives for a five-day Cargill Global Scholars’ seminar. These seminars help students gain a better understanding of global perspectives and issues to grow their leadership skills.  

Kayley’s love for the environment started long before she became a Wildcat. While she was in high school, Kayley found a love for beekeeping. This passion project sparked her interest in the research of declining bee populations, as well as showed her the drive that it takes to make a difference. “Beekeeping was the start of my entrepreneurship journey. Through the experience of raising bees and selling the honey, I learned to work hard, the value of educating the public about your product, and developing marketing techniques to increase sales,” Kayley said. “I am currently working on developing a viable business model using what I’ve learned that I hope to put into place after I graduate.”

Kayley has found a passion in entrepreneurship that allows her to pursue her dreams, and with the help of her degree program, she can make a difference in the agricultural community as well. “As an entrepreneurship major, these opportunities to learn about different industries and from those already in the workforce are invaluable. I hope to become more than just a financial success during my career; I want to make an impact,” she said.

Because of K-State, Kayley has had many opportunities to grow as a leader, while preparing herself for what her next steps are going to be. “This past summer I participated in a K-State entrepreneurship program called Start-Up School where I got real-life experience on how to start a business and do market research. I was able to go on a study abroad trip last year in Costa Rica to study international sustainable businesses, and as a part of the Entrepreneurship Club, I learn from business owners and entrepreneurs every week,” Kayley said.

But none of this would be possible without the support of K-State scholarships. Kayley is the recipient of the Vanier Business Administration Best of Kansas Scholarship, which she says has had a huge impact on her life at K-State. “Having access to scholarships has allowed me to focus wholeheartedly on doing my best in school and taking advantage of all these wonderful opportunities during my time at K-State, and I am so grateful for the donors that make these scholarships possible,” she said. “It has made such a difference in my life and many others, as they allow us to focus on our future and set us up for success.”

By James Dalton Burton


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