Michelle Potts, a senior agronomy and agricultural economics major from Yankton, South Dakota, is sowing the seeds for a career in agricultural law. Originally enrolled in the University of Kansas, she transferred to UNL to be closer to home and to join UNL’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Numerous campus activities have helped her to meet new people and work toward her dream of owning a law firm and working with farmers to resolve land and water right issues.
“My dad’s passion for agriculture influenced my interest in the area. I grew up on a farm and farming has always been a part of my life so agronomy was a good fit for me,” Potts says. “Ag econ is the business side of farming. Ron Hanson, my ag economics professor, got me interested in the subject. Those two majors together will give me a really good base for becoming an agricultural lawyer.”
During her first semester as a Husker, Potts took an introductory agronomy class, Plant Science 131 taught by Dr. Don Lee. She liked the course and the professor so much that she is now a teaching assistant for two of his classes and is working with him on her UCARE (Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences) project.
“My UCARE project allows me to work with the plant pathology lab on East Campus. We run different field trials for companies to try and solve problems in the plant pathology field,” explains Potts. This project enables Potts to directly apply what she is learning in her classes and helps her professionally network with other students and professors in the lab.
Although Potts transferred to the University of Nebraska as a sophomore, she didn’t let that stop her from finding ways to get involved. In addition to participating in UCARE and being a genetics and plant science teaching assistant, Potts is a member of the Agronomy Club, the Pre-Law Club, Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, a New Student Enrollment leader, a volunteer for Autism Speaks, and the chair of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska (ASUN) Traditions Tee Committee for the 2012-2013 academic year.
“The small town environment of campus allowed me to quickly become involved in many activities. The fact that it wasn’t intimidating made it easier to go out and get involved,” says Potts. “It helped me meet people and make connections I might have not made otherwise, and it has definitely made me feel more comfortable here.”
After graduation Potts is considering attending law school at Nebraska or Wyoming, but she hopes to keep the community of students and professors at UNL and the small town atmosphere of East Campus.
“Everyone knows everyone over on East Campus,” Potts says. “It just feels like home.”
According to US News and World Report, UNL's UCARE program is one of the 28 best university programs in undergraduate research and creative projects. If you would like to learn more about undergraduate research opportunities, visit http://www.unl.edu/ucare/.
More details at: http://go.unl.edu/p5q