- January 2022
MSU Extension Service
Years in Position: 1 year
Years at MSU: 1 year
As a teenager, Tristan Peavey learned he loved working with cattle. But a career in agriculture didn’t really cross his mind back then.
“I didn’t grow up in agriculture. I had a friend whose family had cattle, and I’d help work them,” he said. “I loved it.”
When he started his college career at MSU, Peavey changed his major a couple of times until he finally found a home in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. It wasn’t until he enrolled in the undergraduate Extension Apprenticeship Program his senior year that he knew he had found a career he would love.
The program pairs college students with interests in Extension’s educational program areas with Extension specialists, introducing them to the organization’s professional opportunities. His participation in the program was a direct path to his role as an Extension agent who focuses on agriculture and natural resources. He also conducts some 4-H educational programming.
“The apprenticeship program was really beneficial to me,” he said. “It was a good way to connect with Extension agents and see how they worked on a daily basis with producers on the local level. It’s a great program for students who are interested in agriculture and natural resources, and I would encourage anyone to apply for it.”
Peavey said the work is not the traditional 8 to 5 job, and it is rewarding because you can see the impact of your efforts in your own community.
“Helping people has always been a passion of mine,” he said. “That is my favorite thing about this job. I just visited a farmer that I’ve been working with for about a year to get an alfalfa stand established. We’ve finally gotten it done.
“This work involves being out in the community a lot and being able to help in emergencies 24/7. You have to be flexible and a people person and be able to think critically because what works for one client may not work for another. You have to be willing to find those solutions,” he said.
Peavey is pursuing a master’s degree in agronomy at MSU, is an avid outdoorsman, and enjoys cooking.