Sarah Thomas Named 2021 Outstanding Senior
From the CALS 2021 Outstanding Seniors webpage:
Each year, The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech proudly graduates over 800 seniors across 17 majors. We are always in awe of the accomplishments our students are able to achieve, the obstacles they are able to overcome, the impact they have on our community, and the growth that they experience across the years that they spend with us in the college.
For Sarah Thomas, college has been about combining her passions. While dairy farming has always been a part of her life, it was a combination of several experiences in college that led her to pursue not only a major in Dairy Science, but three minors including Agricultural Economics, Animal & Poultry Sciences, and Strategic Communications. An internship led her to begin writing for ag communications, and here she found where her love of words and agriculture came together.
But learning that she loves writing about agriculture isn’t the only impact of her short 3 years at Virginia Tech (Sarah is a transfer student!). Sarah has taken the opportunity to be involved with as many organizations as possible, and has left an indelible mark on each. The Dairy Club offered several leadership roles for her, and Sarah says, “Dairy Club has offered me some of the greatest moments of my life.” She has served as Thanksgiving Dinner Chair, Reporter, Vice President, and President. In Sigma Alpha, she has served as President of her pledge class, Community Co-Chair, President, and Sergeant at Arms. She served as Secretary/Treasurer for the Collegiate Young Farmers, an ambassador for CALS and the Department of Dairy Science, as well as Advocacy Chair and Treasurer for the Beef Leadership Council. To Sarah, “leadership is about doing what you can with what you have to serve others.”
Service has come in many forms for Sarah, often through the clubs and organizations she helped to lead. Raising funds for a dairy family in crisis, selling milkshakes at athletic events, volunteering with Micah’s Backpack, organizing canned food drives, are just a few of her endeavors. She also served on committees for the World Dairy Expo, Ayrshire Breeders Association, National Dairy Shrine and most recently as student advisory team member for Agriculture Future of America located in Kansas City, Missouri.
Her nominator, instructor Dr. Katharine Knowlton, says in her nomination letter, “Humble, hard-working, inclusive, and always upbeat - Sarah is a gem. As is obvious, my colleagues and I think a great deal of Sarah Thomas, because of her unique combination of communication abilities, intelligence, people skills, work ethic, and service-orientation.”
“People deserve to know where their food comes from and why it is the safest food supply in the world. For me, I want to take that a step further. I want consumers to know the diligence, sweat, and long hours that go into creating such an abundance of food.”
“I always find time to get to know the people around me. Someone once told me that everyone has a purpose and a gift, which is why they are on this planet.”