Women in Ag: Micah Gallagher
By Andrew Horvath, Agricultural Education and Communication master’s student
Growing up in a farming family, Micah Gallagher knew her passion for the agricultural industry would eventually lead her into a career in agriculture.
Upon being accepted into the University of Florida’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), Gallagher was confident CALS would be her new home. When she arrived in Gainesville, Gallagher began studying food and resource economics, but soon switched to animal sciences focusing on food production in beef cattle.
“Educating consumers about where their food comes from is one of my favorite characteristics of the industry, so I hope my future career allows me to demonstrate just that,” Gallagher said.
Throughout her time in high school and college, Gallagher has had many women who have influenced and encouraged her to push for her dreams of working in the agricultural industry. As a member of the National FFA in high school, Gallagher was greatly impacted by her four different advisers: Karly Cohenour, Deb Barry, Venessa Giammanco and Megan Welch.
“These wonderful women taught me to be strong in a field that sometimes does not welcome women with open arms, they were there through some of the hardest times of my life, yet did not allow me to become discouraged,” Gallagher said. “They supported my passion and said the sky is the limit by throwing every possible opportunity at me to further my aspirations.”
As a sophomore studying animal sciences, Gallagher has already found a new group of women who are strong supporters, pushing her to continue working toward her career goals. Adviser Amie Imler and professors Saundra TenBroeck and Tracy Scheffler have become true encouragements and inspirations to Gallagher. She also added that most men she works with on a daily basis in the beef cattle industry embrace working with women alongside them.
“This is due to the number of women in agriculture rising, who have high positions, and are efficient in their work – especially when it comes to creative thinking,” Gallagher said. “I like to think that men and women in the agriculture industry work side by side to achieve a goal, making the industry stronger as a whole.”
Gallaher has used the example of other women in the agricultural industry to become an active leader in several groups within CALS. Currently, she is serving her second term on the Agricultural and Life Sciences College Council (ALSCC) and is an active member of the Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen’s Club, serving as a co-chair for the club’s annual beef dinner fundraiser.
Gallagher hopes to encourage younger women interested in a career in agriculture to work hard and push toward their goals. Her advice is helpful to both young women and men: “When you present an idea or propose something new, you have to know your topic well with extensive research. This allows for you to stand up for what you believe in while educating yourself and others.”
“Young women considering careers within the agriculture industry should follow their dreams,” Gallagher said. “Jump in head first and do not ever limit yourself because the possibilities are endless. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is a very welcoming family that has a niche for everyone.”
Note: In honor of Women’s History Month, CALS will be sharing stories of students throughout March.