Hannah Jarvis from Columbiana County is the editor of the Nov. 18, 2019 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.
My name is Hannah Jarvis, and I was born and raised in Columbiana County and currently represent my county as a representative on the Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee. In May of 2018, I received my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a degree in animal sciences from The Ohio State University, and I am in my second year of continuing my education at Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Upon completing my doctorate in veterinary medicine, I plan to return home to practice large animal medicine, cattle, sheep, goats and horses with a heavy focus in reproductive and sports medicine, and I still remain active in my local community through Farm Bureau and our county fair.
I grew up heavily involved in agriculture and 4-H and dove headfirst into the beef cattle world. Upon completing my time in 4-H, I decided to start the makings of my own show cattle operation comprised mainly of Maine-Anjou cattle. Through my various involvements with large scale show cattle and commercial cattle operations, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and various academic organizations, I made valuable connections, earned positions and found myself teaching young cattlemen who represented myself just a few short years prior. By selling calves and working with the next generation of young cattlemen, I hope to be able to instill the same passion for the cattle industry in them that I found.
Within the veterinary community, I am involved in many college-based organizations including the Food Animal Medicine Club, Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Veterinary Business Management Association, Theriogenology Club, Student Ambassador Team and Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association. On a national level, I am a part of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, American Association of Swine Veterinarians and American Embryo Transfer Association. In addition to my organizational involvement, I have completed externships with many local clinics and clinics in North Dakota, Kentucky and will be heading to Texas this December.
The dreams and goals we have when we are younger do not always mirror what our future becomes. Is that good? Is that bad? The truth is, none of us really know that answer. Being in a profession where most of us grew up wishing to be where we are, I found that passion guiding your life changes how you look at things. My academic journey was always set en route to the veterinary profession, and I never looked back. No matter how many obstacles have been thrown in my way, I remained steadfast in the mindset that I was going to do what I love. Now, I will be the first to admit that the fine print of my goals and dreams is ever-changing, but the main goal still holds true.
Though veterinary medicine is not the end goal for everyone, we all know what the type of dream is – to own the family farm, to win Grand Champion at the county fair, to have a winning season, to have the picture-perfect — Joanna Gaines would be proud of — house, to be everything and do everything with your life that you can. What if we all took in the mindset that we were going to see our dreams through no matter the effort, no matter the time, no matter who told us we could not do it?
I think that many times, people like to stigmatize when something should be accomplished – whether that be a relationship, an education, a dream. However, I believe that there is never a time too early or too late to start working on your dreams, goals and plans for your life. I grew up loving horses, and that love has resurfaced in recent years, but if I had never left the horse world, I would have never entered into the cattle world as heavily as I did.
Growing up surrounded by livestock, I was always exposed to beef cattle, yet I did not begin showing until I was in high school. Falling in love with showing cattle was one of the greatest things I ever chose to do. Much later than many of my fellow cattleman, I began my own show cattle operation. I asked questions, I listened, I learned, and I built my herd and reputation. My veterinary journey was the opposite. I started shadowing veterinarians in middle school and began my college search as a sophomore in high school. I was set on The Ohio State University from the first tour I went on, and the decision to remain there for veterinary school was just as easy. Two vastly different time tables, but both dreams are two that I hold most dear.
Granger Smith’s song “Never Too Old,” goes:
“Ain’t ever too old to die young
Never too tall to grow up
No, you’re never too late to get to living
‘Cause you’re only given one
Never too good to be bad
Ain’t ever too scared to be tough
Don’t count them candles on the cake
Or the trip around the sun
I ain’t ever too old to die young”
And to me, the lyrics sum up that you are never too old to start something or work to accomplish that idea, goal, dream, whatever you want to call it that will bring fulfillment to your life. It is never too late, and it is never too early; you are never too young, and you are never too old.
I hate the phrase “self-made.” Though I grant that one must put in the effort on their own accord, I truthfully do not believe that anyone can be self-made simply because no one gets anywhere on their own. There is always a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, a Greater Being, a random person, someone who challenged you or whatever it may be that helped you, taught you things, or pushed you to achieve your goals and dreams.
As I look back over the years, I could never imagine accomplishing anything that I have without the inspiration guidance, push and advice from those in my life. Some help we never ask for directly. Maybe in a struggling tone or sideways glance, someone noticed we needed something at that moment, and they changed the entire outcome of our course we track. Regardless of how you ask, asking for assistance or admitting that you need help may just get to where you want to be sooner than later or in a far different manner than you ever could have imagined. Help is a two-way street, however, and we must be willing to give help just as ready as we are to receive it.
Perhaps my favorite thing about being where I am right now is that I get to help so many others along the same journey I traveled. One of my favorite things is to teach beef showmanship. Whether that be running clinics, judging at county fairs or helping out whoever asks me, I never turn down the chance to help out the next generation of young cattlemen, and I will always make time for them. There are two reasons for that. The first being that I was them not very long ago, and without people there to help me, I would never have made it to where I am today. And the second being that I hope that one day, they will do the same for the following generations of cattlemen and help them accomplish their goals and dreams.
It is all a circle, you see. And maybe if we fought to accomplish our goals and dreams, we could set the example and see the next generation set and accomplish their goals and dreams and maybe, just maybe, we could help them along the way, too – no matter when they choose to start.