A life of travel leads to chance of a lifetime
By Samantha Schmidt
Photo provided by Mark Simons, Purdue Marking and Media
Bailey Farrer, a sophomore animal sciences major from Royal Center, Ind., says she is excited to get out of her comfort zone during a sales internship with Zoetis. Farrer has been traveling with her family all her life and says that experience will help her adjust to the work she'll be doing. Full-size image (382 KB)
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Bailey Farrer has been on the road since before she could walk, and her enthusiasm to see and experience new things continues to drive her college and career goals.
"I love seeing new sights and meeting new people when I travel, because I get a kick out of finding common interests with strangers," said Farrer. "I think it's developing that familiarity with someone that makes the world a smaller place."
Her eagerness to travel and build relationships even earned her an internship normally given to upperclassmen.
The sophomore animal sciences major from Royal Center, Ind., has been showing livestock since she was 3 and is one of 25 family members to attend Purdue. Growing up, Farrer was no stranger to work, learning about the family business from her father, Tom Farrer, a Purdue graduate and livestock judge. Farrer has traveled to 37 states while working alongside her father.
And working with her father meant that travel wasn't just sightseeing: it taught her the value of working hard.
"My family vacations were spent at pig shows, but I never knew any different," Farrer said. "It wasn't a vacation for me, it was just another day at work."
Traveling with her dad was a typical vacation for Farrer. Between shows, her family was always able to squeeze in some sightseeing. A trip to Denver when she was in junior high was a typical and memorable balance of work and play.
"We had to have a speech and a presentation prepared, and make sure everything was in order at the stockyards," Farrer said. "But we went out to the mountains for a day and went skiing and tubing. We also went to a rodeo and the aquarium, and we got to visit an old candy factory. So we were able to do other things, but the reason we were there was because of the livestock."
Along with learning the value of hard work, her parents taught her self-reliance.
"My mom and dad said if I wanted something, I had to do it for myself," said Farrer.
Those lessons and her own ambition helped Farrer earn a sales internship with Zoetis, a pharmaceutical company that develops and sells medicine and vaccines for animals and livestock. She was up against older, more experienced students for the position, but she credits her upbringing and experiences with giving her the edge. She said she impressed the interviewers with her willingness to step out of her comfort zone to work on their dairy team, a field she has no experience with.
"Many people are only comfortable with what they know and are not willing to put themselves out there," she said. "I'll admit, at first, I wasn't either. It will be a completely new experience for me and each day will provide a new challenge, but I hope to never be bored."
Although she's driven, Farrer admits she's still a little nervous.
"I have a mixture of emotions about this internship," she said. "I'm really looking forward to it, but I feel that there is pressure on me to do well because I'll be the first Purdue intern and I'm so young."
Farrer also feels confident she chose the right internship because she decided a long time ago that this was the kind of work she wants to do. A career orientation she attended in high school affected her in a big way.
"I remember going to high school orientation, and someone said that sales people travel and meet new people," said Farrer. "That sounded perfect for me because it fit in with everything I liked."
She said some of the skills she learned on the road, like meeting people and finding common ground, will help her in her internship and beyond.
"This career path involves two things that are important to me: traveling and animal health," she said. "I've grown up traveling and it's become a hobby that I want to continue."
Her travels have also introduced her to many people. During those travels, she found common interests as she got to know fellow farmers. In sales, when you can find common ground with someone, you are able to bond and move forward in your relationship, Farrer said. That's a skill that will help in her career.
No matter what Farrer does, she said her love of livestock and her adventurous spirit will always motivate her.
"I'm passionate about livestock, because it's something that I was born into and it has become a family tradition," Farrer said. "In the future, I hope to travel around the country — and even the world — so that I can meet new people and share agriculture with them."