California native follows dreams to Michigan farm 

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Haley Preston, a Michigan State University junior, was born and raised in sunny California, where she said there was no farmland in sight. She is now the South campus animal farm ambassador for MSU.

“Ever since I was growing up, I’ve always enjoyed farm animals,” Preston said.  “I was the girl who always watched her horse shows, I loved watching veterinarian shows. I always enjoyed learning and knowing about farm animals. Anything that was like animal-based I was hands-on on ready to go now and learn.”   

Preston can remember back in seventh grade dreaming of becoming a veterinarian. She said her dream stemmed from loving to learn how to take care of things that she loves and make people happy.  

There was one other thing Preston was sure of in seventh grade and that was going to Michigan State.  

“Back in seventh grade I never thought it was applicable to me. I never thought I would be able to qualify, the GPA, the grades, the experience, I never thought I was actually going to make it to Michigan State until I got into high school, and I applied, and I got accepted.”

Preston said what drew her to MSU was the fact that the Michigan environment allowed for a different scenery, and a different style of life compared to California. She also said that after many years of no seasons, she wanted to experience snow, the fall time, and a real summer.  

Now having been an animal science major at MSU for three years, Preston landed herself the job of being a farm ambassador.  

“I represent all animal farms on campus covering the dairy teaching and research center, the beef teaching and research center, the swine teaching and research center, the poultry teaching and research center, and the horse teaching and research center,” Preston said.  

She gives tours of each of those farms and explains the importance behind them. She also handles all of the social media for each farm.  Managing their Instagram, Facebook, and all other platforms. Community engagement with the farms from Spartans is very important to Preston, as she said many MSU students do not even know the farms exist.  

Preston initially worked at the horse research center, where she established herself.  

“Everybody for some reason told me I have a great way of talking. They like how I talk and enjoy my communication skills and when I worked at the horse expo my supervisor told me about how the animal science department had an animal science ambassador,” Preston said.  

She received an email that they were looking for a new animal science ambassador and took the chance and applied. She is now an integral part of the MSU animal farms.  

Preston said she has some advice for college students with big dreams like hers.  

“A lot of students in college think that they can’t reach big or even students coming in the college they think they can’t reach big. One of my biggest quotes I use for anything and everything is, one match starts a wildfire. If you start a match in your life and you see that you have a passion for something, it’s not really out of reach.”  

Back in seventh grade, Preston never thought she would end up at Michigan State. After finishing undergrad, Preston said her goal is to carry through Michigan State all the way and get accepted into their veterinary school. 

“I look at every opportunity that I have is out of the pure fact that I have a passion for it. If you have a passion for something, go for it, don’t just sit, and wait,” she said. “Nothing can disqualify you from anything you can do anything that you put your mind to if you have a passion to do it.”

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