Rachel Sebesta

Joshua Diazdeleon

Year in school: Junior

Major: Agricultural education and global food systems leadership; minors in agronomy and anthropology

Hometown: Wilson, Kansas

What is your earliest K-State memory?
Showing sheep growing up, you can always expect things to go wrong. When I was in middle school, I had a lamb develop an abscess on his stomach. Since our local vet was not able to treat it, my father and I packed up the lamb in the trailer and drove the two hours to K-State’s Vet College. I remember them taking us in, running an ultrasound, and prescribing a course of treatment, which was greatly appreciated for a 12-year-old who was convinced that her lamb was going to die. I still remember their calming nature almost 10 years later.

Why did you choose K-State?

I chose K-State because of its strong ties to agriculture. Growing up as the fifth generation on my family’s farm, it was very easy to know that I wanted to be engaged in the industry for the rest of my life. There was never any question in my mind that K-State was the right place for me.

How are you involved at K-State?

On campus, I am involved with several clubs and organizations. I am the treasurer of Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority, service co-chair for the Agricultural Education Club, and am a member of both the College of Agriculture Ambassadors and Cultivating Change. I also work for International Service Teams through the Staley School of Leadership, where I develop service-learning curriculum and facilitate it for students headed abroad in a 3-credit hour college course. I also handle expenses, logistics, and flights with our overseas partners and promote our programs across the university.

What has been your favorite K-State experience?

While I’ve had numerous incredible experiences at K-State, one memory stands out vividly in my mind. It was during my freshman year when I found myself seated in McCain Auditorium, eagerly listening to Frank Mitloehner, a distinguished professor and air quality specialist from UC Davis, deliver a captivating lecture as part of the Henry C. Gardiner Global Food Systems Lecture Series. Professor Mitloehner’s presentation centered on the innovative recapture of methane from animal agriculture. I can still vividly remember what seat I sat in and how I got out my notebook from my bookbag just so I could take notes on a lecture that wouldn’t have a test over later. I’ve always loved learning but that day, I thrived. I just couldn’t get enough. That’s when for me I realized that K-State isn’t just in Kansas (although it’s a very big part of its identity). K-State has ties across the country and is a place where individuals strive to make a difference.

How does K-State care for Kansans in your hometown community?

Coming from a rural community, K-State was most present through K-State Research and Extension, or KSRE for short. They helped farmers make planting and herbicide decisions, taught outreach programs over canning your garden’s vegetable, and was in charge of Ellsworth County’s 4-H program, of which I was very involved. Their little office in the basement of the courthouse was never quiet, since there were always people in to have their questions answered. It was also through KSRE that I met some of my very first mentors as a teenager, who helped shape me into the person I am today.

Why do you want to bring K-State to your community?

I want to bring K-State to my community because I don’t think many realize how broad K-State is and how their programs reach into many facets of daily life for Kansans. I’d love for others to have that same dynamic realization I had in McCain my freshman year.