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Student Carries On Family Tradition at BTC

January 2, 2019

“I got my love for farming from my mom,” said Colleen Toberman a second-year Agribusiness student at Blackhawk Technical College Monroe Campus. The Toberman family has been farming in Rock County for nearly 100 years. She is excited to finish her education and carry on the family tradition.

Colleen grew up on the family farm in Footville where they had fifty beef cattle. She has two older siblings who are also involved in agriculture. Both of her parents also grew up on family farms. Colleen’s father is now a mechanical engineer in Janesville. As for her mother, Colleen explained, “My mom inspired me to get into agriculture; she’s the drive behind our farm.”

Colleen Toberman in Agriculture LabInitially, Colleen, a 2017 graduate of Parkview High School, planned to attend a 4-year state university. A visit to BTC changed all that.

“I didn’t think I would be challenged at BTC but the program is challenging and I enjoy that.” Colleen continued, “Our instructors are really helpful and the class sizes are small. I am thoroughly impressed by how the instructors push us; I have learned so much.”

When talking to Colleen, it is apparent that she has a great passion for agriculture. Initially, that passion was leading her to pursue animal nutrition or teaching. However, during her first semester in the Agribusiness program, she developed a new interest during the Introduction to Soils class. After which she completed a summer internship as a Crop Scout at Landmark. Both the course and internship solidified her to specialization area as agronomy; which is the science of soil management and crop production.

“I enjoy seeing and understanding why things happen.” In high school, Colleen really enjoyed science courses; especially chemistry. Agronomy links her passion for agriculture and her appreciation of science. Now she can see how it really applies to agriculture and how it all fits together.

Colleen plans to finish the Agribusiness program and graduate in May with her associate’s degree. She does not plan to stop there. After graduation, she plans to get married, complete additional business courses and transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Ultimately, Colleen plans to stay in the area and be an agronomist. “I would love to live in the area and have my own farm.”

Every time Colleen learns something new, she is so excited to share it with her mom. Together, they can build upon the sustainability of their farm and continue to be responsible with the land.

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