Ryann Grubbs grew up in Delight, Arkansas, home of country-pop star Glen Campbell. Grubbs wasn't looking to be a country superstar, though. What she remembers from her childhood in Delight is her grandparents' cow and calf operation.
This is where she discovered her love for agriculture. She joined 4-H as a young student and started showing livestock just as soon as she could. Grubbs eventually decided to showing cattle was her true passion, leaving the lambs and goats to her sister Reagan. The family hobby eventually led her to study at Southern Arkansas University.
Initially Grubbs wanted to work in extension. She wanted to be a 4-H leader inspired by the 4-H program assistant who mentored her in her youth. Though she knew she wanted to give back to young ag lovers, Grubbs had no desire to teach in the classroom.
Then, Grubbs completed a semester as a student-teacher. After seeing the impact the lead teacher had on his students, Grubbs had a shift in heart. Now, she's giving back in more ways than one as the agri-science teacher at Cabot High School.
Grubbs says she isn't here to force every student she encounters to pursue a career in ag. But what she can do is show her students how diverse the ag industry is no matter what career path students choose.
“If you let it, if you really give it a chance, ag and FFA can really make a big difference in your life. It will change everything for you.," Ryann Grubbs said. "To be in FFA, you don't have to be an ag kid, you don't have to be around cattle or live on a farm.”
At Cabot High School, Grubbs teaches in a multi-teacher program consisting of four systems: plant systems, agribusiness systems, animal systems and power, structural and technical systems.
“That's four different pathways the kids can and potentially use as a career path," Grubbs said.
They teach more than ag too, Grubbs explained. These courses are teaching students employment skills like public speaking, how to dress professionally, and leadership skills. She says they try to teach students to hold themselves to a higher standard.
Grubbs is grateful for the impact her 4-H program assistant had in her life. She says it just takes one person saying "Hey, you can do this. Let's see how far you can go" to help others think outside the box, just like it helped her.
“Now, I get to do that every day. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.”
To learn more about career opportunities in agriculture, click here.
To find college majors in agriculture and salary information, visit MyMajors.com.