By Katie Eisenberger
We’re taking five [questions] with the 13 enthusiastic faces who partner with Michigan Farm Bureau to host a Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter at their institution. Our Collegiate advisors work closely to offer college students a variety of opportunities including preparation for collegiate discussion meets, connections with the county Farm Bureau and improved understanding of the Farm Bureau organization.
I’m Leslie Siefka, MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT) coordinator at Delta College in University Center — just outside Saginaw.
I was born, raised and currently live in Gratiot County.
I’m a graduate of MSU’s IAT program in agribusiness. After receiving my two-year certificate, I transferred to the Agriculture & Natural Resources Communications bachelor’s program at Michigan State University. When I graduated I got my first adult job at Lawrence Technological University as the student activities coordinator — that’s where I fell in love with higher education. I knew I’d found my passion, working with college-aged students.
Over the years I’ve mostly focused on alumni and donor relations and recruiting. Even though I loved working in higher education, I missed agriculture and decided to move into a 4-H programming role with MSU Extension. That gave me a chance to come back to my alma mater, working with youth and volunteers in the 4-H world.
Fast-forward several years and my current position opened up with MSU IAT at Delta College. Returning to IAT has been a goal since I graduated; I loved my experience when I was a student. The close-knit family experience and hands-on learning is what IAT is about. I feel very fortunate being able to advise, teach and recruit students in MSU’s Institute of Agricultural Technology program and allow students to find their passion in the agricultural industry.
I love working with the students who are excited about learning all the various parts of the industry. Sometimes students are so focused on one area, however after their internship or a class they see another side of the industry that excites them more.
I would take my daughters on a mom-and-daughter trip around the world. I love visiting new places and sharing those experiences with my girls would be the best!
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If you’re a college student interested in where our food comes from, or have a background in agriculture, or just want to help Michigan grow (literally), you should check out Michigan Collegiate Farm Bureau. It helps students like yourself network with peers and ag professionals, build career and leadership skills, and develop their voices as agricultural advocates.