I want to prove that it doesn't matter where you come from. If you have enough grit and determination to reach your goals and don't let failure hold you back, you can get that door open to a world of opportunities waiting to be taken.Makenzie Webster
Makenzie Webster, an Animal Science and Ag Business Senior at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, had the opportunity to intern at Seaboard Foods in Plant Operations over the summer. Webster gained hands-on experience in continuous improvement methodologies and work process standardization during her internship. What is unique about Webster’s journey is her remarkable transformation from a student with no agricultural background to an industry enthusiast.
“I do not come from an agricultural background at all, and I only had a basic understanding of agriculture when coming to school here. I sometimes felt like an imposter because I didn’t have the background that other students had and sometimes doubted whether this was the right path, said Webster.
Originally from Pueblo, Colorado, Webster’s journey at OPSU has been defined by the support of dedicated instructors who view her as more than just a student. “My instructors push me out of my comfort zone and help me grow not only as a student but as an individual so that I can be a leader in the agriculture industry,” stated Webster.
Her decision to attend OPSU has truly been a life-changing and rewarding experience. “I could have chosen from numerous options for my education, but looking back, I wouldn’t trade my time at OPSU for anything else.”
“Makenzie’s transformation from a non-agricultural background to a standout talent in the agriculture industry is a testament to her dedication,” Dean of the College of Agriculture, Science, and Nursing Tracy Kincannon stated. “Her story solidifies the spirit of resilience and excellence we aim to instill in our students.”
During her internship, Webster actively participated in yield improvement initiatives and problem-solving discussions during weekly yield meetings. Her outstanding contributions culminated in a Capstone presentation to senior management, where she shared her accomplishments and provided recommendations for the future.
“This internship was an amazing opportunity to apply what I learned in my OPSU classes and gain real-world experience,” Webster said. She emphasized the importance of the connections she made and the vast opportunities available in the industry.
Makenzie learned a lot this summer and wants others to know that hard work can do the same for them. “I want to prove that it doesn’t matter where you come from. If you have enough grit and determination to reach your goals and don’t let failure hold you back, you can get that door open to a world of opportunities waiting to be taken.”
Dr. Crystal Tolle, Department Head of Animal Science at OPSU, stated, “We are extremely proud of Makenzie and are glad she stepped out of her comfort zone to complete this internship with Seaboard Farms. She was able to apply knowledge learned in class to a hands-on internship where she excelled.”
Makenzie Webster’s journey from a student with limited agricultural knowledge to a promising talent in the agriculture industry exemplifies the values and mission of OPSU. Her story is a testament to the university’s commitment to nurturing talent, providing quality education, and fostering personal growth. Upon graduation, Makenzie aspires to continue her education by pursuing a Master’s degree in Meat Science, reflecting her strong commitment to the field and her desire to contribute to the meat industry.