A Good Mix
Whitney Fredrickson always knew she wanted to work in agriculture.
Fredrickson grew up helping her parents on their farm in Troy and participated heavily in FFA throughout high school. Now, she will start a career with Northwest Farm Credit Services after earning a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from the University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
Along with helping on her parents’ farm and participating in FFA, Fredrickson was also a star on the Troy High School basketball team. She was recruited to play at schools in Minnesota and California before deciding on Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon.
“Pendleton was a good fit for me because it’s not too far,” she said. “I loved the small class sizes. The ag department was really small, so we were all like a family.”
Fredrickson spent two years playing at BMCC and earned an associate degree in applied agricultural science. When deciding on where to go for her bachelor’s degree, scholarship support from U of I convinced her that returning close to home was the right choice.
“I got probably two times as many scholarships at U of I than Oregon State,” she said. “That’s one of the best things about CALS I think, the availability of funding for students.”
Fredrickson was still undecided on exactly which aspect of agriculture to pursue when she met with Associate Professor Aaron Johnson in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology and learned more about the agribusiness degree.
“I like that it’s broad,” she said. “There are a lot of different alleys you can go down with the ag business degree.”
Fredrickson received a job offer during her final semester to work as an associate appraiser with Northwest Farm Credit Services in Pasco, Washington. In this role, she will appraise agricultural and rural properties for selling, buying, financing or estate and business planning. There was only one appraiser position available at the time of her interview.
“The interview process was more intense than one I’d ever gone through before,” she said. “It made me proud that I got through it and I got the appraiser position, which was the one that I had hoped for.”
Fredrickson is looking forward to the blend of office work and interaction with clients.
“It’s a good mix for me,” she said. “There will be desk work, but I’ll be able to be outside and in the field still, doing visits and out with growers.”
Through scholarship support both at BMCC and U of I, Fredrickson will graduate without any student loan debt.
“I think in total during my four years I’ve had to put like $900 on my credit card for books,” she said. “That’s the best thing going into my new job, I’ll be able to start saving money and will be able to live comfortably because I don’t have student loans.”
Article by Amy Calabretta, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Published in May 2019