Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notables spring 2022 graduates.
Adison McIntosh realized his love and appreciation for animal agriculture early on while visiting a dairy goat farm in Strawberry, Arizona with his grandparents.
“We were sampling products, like ice cream, and I was just amazed by this process that creates the food we eat,” she said.
More than 15 years later, McIntosh was named WP Carey School of Business Turken Family Outstanding Graduating Senior and graduated from Morrison School of Agribusiness with a 4.0 GPA. She is pursuing a career with the United States Department of Agriculture – Farm Service Agency as a County Program Technician, connecting Arizona farmers and ranchers with the various programs offered by the USDA.
Considering why she chose ASU to pursue this dream, McIntosh (who has received numerous scholarships, including the ASU New American University Scholarship, the Williams Family Scholarship, the Robert Lytle Scholarship, the Otto Foundation Scholarship and Edna Neely, McGab/Bean Agribusiness Fellowship, and Marvin and June Morrison Fellowship) explains what the ASU Charter means to her.
“At ASU, the focus is on inclusion rather than exclusivity. As a farmer and passionate about keeping young people looking for jobs in agriculture, the emphasis on access and support is meaningful to me,” McIntosh said.
McIntosh shared more about his experience and how others can get the most out of studying at ASU.
Question: What did you learn at ASU – in class or otherwise – that surprised you or changed your perspective?
To respond: Something that surprised me at ASU and WP Carey School of Business was the power of connections and the possibilities that come with making a connection. For example, I attended the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Conference in the fall of 2021. During this conference, I was able to meet industry leaders in the field of fresh produce (fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, etc). Industry leaders shared how they got their start in the fresh produce industry and how they worked their way up to the careers they have now. Almost all industry leaders said they made a career out of the connections they made inside and outside of their previous careers. WP Carey’s motto “Where business is personal” is truth in every way. Business is about making personal connections with everyone you meet, and then deploying those connections to facilitate your success and the success of others.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I chose ASU because I was aware of the many opportunities available to me to help me succeed while at ASU and after graduation. Unlike many other universities, ASU prides itself on being inclusive rather than exclusive. ASU wants to see its students succeed in every way possible and supports them through academic, physical health, and mental health services that are readily available to ASU students.
For example, shortly after starting my freshman year at ASU, I realized that I needed to take advantage of these resources to help me succeed. I was in ASU’s free tutoring services almost every week to help with complicated homework problems and to study for exams. I took a free yoga class organized by ASU’s Programming and Activity Council where I learned different breathing techniques and stretches to improve my physical health. I also used Career Services resources to review my resume before applying for different opportunities. ASU’s mission to ensure their students succeed was the most important factor in my decision to come here.
Q: What is the best advice you would give to those still in school?
A: We all make mistakes and fail; nobody is perfect. When you make a mistake, don’t stay on the ground. Instead, stand up and hold your head even higher than before. Take the time to learn from your mistakes and choose to become a better person because of them. It’s the definition of success, and it’s what makes the difference between just living your life and thriving in your life.
Q: Where was your favorite place on campus, whether to study, meet friends or just think about life?
A: My favorite place on the Polytechnic campus is the third floor lounge area of the Santan building. In this seating area, you can see the beautiful landscape of École Polytechnique and the surrounding area. You can also see planes take off from Mesa Gateway Airport, which is always very relaxing. My favorite place on the Tempe campus is the Secret Garden. The secret garden is beautiful and has a great diversity of plants and animals (especially the variety of birds that visit the garden). If you haven’t visited the Secret Garden yet, ask someone to drive you there because it’s worth the trip!
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve a problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would use the $40 million to start a non-profit organization that is creating an agricultural research center to research potential areas of demand creation for developing countries (expanding on what the USDA is currently doing – Agriculture Marketing Service). The agricultural industry is a global industry that is highly dependent on the efficiency of international agricultural markets. Helping developing countries find international markets to sell and trade their agricultural products is essential to helping their communities prosper.