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Student Profile: Bryce Hayden

Transfer Student Feels at Home in AgEd

By Haley Baker

After attending Illinois Central College for two years and participating in their livestock judging team, the time came for Bryce Hayden to determine where he wanted to complete his college career. He had it narrowed down to two choices: Kansas State University and Purdue.

Photo of Hayden Bryce Although starting at a new college during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging, Bryce Hayden says the agricultural education program welcomed him. Photo by Haley Baker

Ultimately, Purdue won, and it was an easy choice, said Hayden, a senior agricultural education major from Lowell, Indiana. Purdue kept Hayden reasonably close to home, but more than that, he knew he would be getting a world-renowned education.

That was important, because Hayden said he always knew is that he wanted to become an agriculture teacher.

“I knew I was really good at management and really enjoyed the educational aspect,” Hayden said. “Some experiences through 4-H, FFA, and the Indiana Junior Beef Cattle Association really pushed me and shaped me toward AgEd.”

The idea of being able to take his degree and use it for many different career options also appealed to Hayden, which aided his decision to pursue agricultural education.

“I really liked the versatility of it,” Hayden said.

Hayden transitioned to Purdue during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought on its share of difficulties. Transitioning in the middle of a pandemic meant less face-to-face interaction, fully remote classes, and just an overall lack of human interaction.

“Coming to Purdue and figuring out where I fit with friends, clubs, and the social aspect was really a different scene,” he said.

While the transition was difficult, at first, Hayden said the AgEd program made him feel at home.

“AgEd is such a small major, it’s really nice to kind of know everybody and have a lot of the same professors multiple times throughout different classes,” Hayden said.

Those professors are another reason why Hayden said he appreciates the department. The faculty and staff do a great job of making students feel included and making sure they’re on the right path, while also providing them with experience within the field, he explained.

“They push us to be better educators, so the faculty are really good,” Hayden said.

While Hayden’s start in AgEd was quite different than a typical year, it’s clear that the faculty and staff of Purdue Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication care about their students and give them the best start possible, no matter the circumstances.

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