• YEAR: Freshman
  • MAJOR: Agricultural Economics
  • HOMETOWN: Westfield, Indiana

Christy Kettler

Turning a passion for agriculture into a rewarding career — that's what brought Christy Kettler to Purdue. And through her coursework and community activities, Christy hopes to gain knowledge and experience to address the issue of global food insecurity. She's already got a great head start — thanks to her work with FFA and 4-H.

Swine and sewing

From swine to sewing to cooking — Christy has done it all during her nine years with 4-H. Combine those experiences with her projects through FFA — and Christy has a strong knowledge base to begin her study of agriculture at Purdue.

"My projects gave me experiences that are unique to the agriculture industry and I am so gratified that I can now continue with that by staying in the world of agriculture and studying at Purdue," Christy says.

Communication with consumers

Her research into hunger and food insecurity moved Christy to decide on a major in agricultural economics. She believes a strong background in the business side of agriculture will allow her to help bridge the gap between companies and consumers.

"The agricultural industry can be very complex and sometimes misleading to non-agricultural communities," Christy says. "Many consumers do not understand how their choices make a direct impact on the future. I hope to use my education to improve the communication between consumers and agriculturalists."

After the tornado

Christy's strong desire to improve people's lives has expressed itself through leadership in community service. Along with serving meals to the homeless and working in a food pantry, Christy organized a mission trip to Henryville, Ind., where she helped the town clean up after a devastating tornado. But one of her favorite ways to serve the community is through her work as a Sunday school teacher.

"I enjoy every Sunday morning and look forward to a fun class with my kids all week long," Christy says.

Smile or look stupid

"Smile, or you look stupid out there! This has been the motto of my life since I was 10 years old and my cheerleading coach, Frankie, was motivating my team backstage at the cheerleading national championship finals," Christy says. "Frankie knew that to win a national cheerleading title, you had to sell the routine to the judges and make it look like we were having a blast. He taught us that there is more to loving what you do than just doing it, it is also important to show the world how much you love it. I think that Frankie's message has followed me through life because it relates to every experience I encounter."