Growing up on her grandfather’s farm inspires Kalysia Johnson to earn agriculture degree from Alcorn

Alcorn State University graduate Kalysia Johnson knows the value of hard work. Memorable experiences helping on the family farm played a significant role in why she chose Alcorn to pursue her education.

“It was nice,” said Johnson. “We grew fruits and vegetables and sold them to local community stores and relatives. I learned the importance of food and how it put smiles on the faces of those in the community.”

Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness during Alcorn’s 2019 Fall Commencement Friday, Dec. 6 and reflected on the time she spent working on her grandfather’s farm. She said that her grandfather is the reason for her ambition and knowledge of agriculture.

“He taught me to be strong and shoot for the stars, and that’s what I’m doing. His teachings prepared me to navigate through my agriculture curriculum without issues. Because of him, I love agriculture."

Johnson has used her grandfather’s motivation to excel through college. Back in September, Johnson attended the 2019 Women in Agribusiness (WIA) Summit that was sponsored by Cargill, Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The summit, now in its eighth year, has established a distinguished agribusiness community where the sharing of business knowledge and industry innovations is at the forefront of helping women advance in the field.

Johnson was grateful for the opportunity to network with successful agribusiness women that are making their mark in the field.

“The conference was excellent. I met lots of women from different states that taught, worked at, or owned agricultural businesses. I made great connections and learned more about the agricultural world from a woman’s perspective.”

After years of hard work and her enlightenment during the agricultural conference, Johnson realized her calling to pursue a leadership career in the agriculture industry. She recently accepted an operations manager position at one of Cargill’s protein facilities. The position allows Johnson to build upon her career dream.

“I chose this career so that I can exhibit my leadership skills.”

Now that Johnson’s journey at Alcorn has come to an end, she looks back on the bonds that she formed with her fellow Alcornites. She will always cherish the love she received from everyone at the university.

“Alcorn is love. Everyone has treated me like family, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I’ve had an amazing experience at Alcorn, and I’m super excited about graduation.”