Next Gen Ag: Shooting for the stars with N.C. Agriculture

by | Jan 17, 2024

Next Gen Ag is a year long series that will run on our In The Field blog, Facebook page, Instagram page and Twitter account. Each Wednesday, we will highlight a young person pursuing a career in the agriculture industry. Individuals can be in high school, college, or recent graduates who are working to establish a career in agriculture. Stay tuned each week to meet some of our industry’s future leaders!

As a Junior at North Carolina A&T State University, Precious Bracy is already well on her way to a career in agriculture with a major in Animal Science and concentration in Animal Industry. Ever since she was in elementary school, a passion for agriculture, specifically animal agriculture, has gripped her soul and guided her to where she is today. Not only is she passionate about making a difference in our state’s number one industry, but she has big goals and even bigger dreams for her future in agriculture.

During her elementary school years, Precious remembers taking a trip to N.C. A&T’s farm in Greensboro and falling in love with the animals. “That was the first experience that I remember having with agriculture and livestock animals,” she said. “My great-grandparents owned and operated a farm in Eastern NC that raised crops and livestock, but I was too young to remember it. So, seeing the lifestyle of farming, and particularly raising livestock, shaped my identity at a young age.” In high school, her desire to work in agriculture grew through opportunities like the FFA and animal agriculture classes. “Originally I thought that I wanted to be a doctor,” she said, “but after my high school experiences in agriculture, all that changed.” Between that passion, her family’s history in agriculture and the opportunities she saw presented to her at N.C. A&T State University, Precious saw her chance to make a difference in our state’s number one industry and launched her path towards agriculture.

As a Junior in college, Precious is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with a concentration in Animal Industry. Upon graduation, she plans to continue towards a master’s degree in Sustainable Land and Food Management. “I love to learn new things and I want to be as educated as I can be on all angles of the industry,” she said. Although she has high hopes to return to her great-grandparents farm, now 20-acres of land in Eastern NC, and revive it into a sustainable and working farm raising either crops or livestock, she also has a big dream of one day becoming the N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture. “Throughout my time in the FFA as well as my summer internship with the Upper Piedmont Research Station at the NCDA&CS, I’ve had several encounters with N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and I have loved hearing about what he does on a daily basis for our state’s farmers and agriculture industry workers,” she said. “I would love to one day follow in his footsteps because I believe I will have what it takes to be someone that the industry can trust and depend on for help, support and guidance.”

Looking towards her future career in agriculture, Precious not only beams with passion for the industry and its workers, but also confidence in the abilities that she brings to the table. “Agriculture is one of the best industries to be a part of because it is the basis of everything in life,” she said. “I know that I can bring fresh eyes, knowledge, understanding, flexibility, tenacity to learn and so much more to the industry. I am very teachable and am always open to learning new things. Even though working in agriculture can have its challenges, I know that we can always find a solution, and the rewards will be greater than the pressures.”

When asked what advice she would give someone looking at a career in the agriculture industry, Precious said two things: (1) Ask questions and (2) Take every opportunity given to you. “It’s always good to ask questions when you don’t know the answer,” she said. “Even if you don’t know, someone else will and that’s the only way to learn. Don’t be afraid. Get involved! You may not love every opportunity given to you and that’s okay. Just remember that there are lessons to be found in everything and each experience will help guide you toward your place in the industry.” Congratulations on your successes thus far Precious! We look forward to seeing where the future takes you. Our industry is proud to have a young leader like you blazing the trail forward!