Cultivating the Future
Harvard Williams' devotion to the swine industry began at an early age.
His father, Noel, who received a doctorate in nutrition from Iowa State and is now chief operating officer with Iowa Select Farms, often took his young son with him to work.
"My dad always brought me to farms," the Iowa Falls native said. "When I was six I couldn't do much work, so I would play with the pigs. In high school, I started working on farms. I actually quit baseball to work in pig barns."
Williams' commitment to the swine industry continues at Iowa State. Now a senior majoring in animal science, he established a new student club called Swine Industry Advocates. It has more than 30 members who work to raise awareness of and promote a positive image for the swine industry.
"There's a big disconnect between producers and consumers of swine, and I want to bridge that gap," he said. "You hear the term 'factory farm,' but most operations are family farms. Everywhere I have worked has been a family farm using modern, efficient and humane methods."
The third of seven kids to attend Iowa State, he's deeply appreciative of the support provided by the Charles C. and Phyllis J. Persinger Alpha Gamma Rho Scholarship.
"The cost of college can sometimes be difficult for our family," he said. "This scholarship has allowed me to focus more on my schooling instead of how to pay for it. Instead of worrying about debt when I graduate, I can focus on getting straight to work."
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