Hello Good People!
My name is D.J. Rezac, I am a 23 year old graduate student in Dairy Cattle Nutrition at Kansas State University. Recently I made a somewhat drastic change in my life plans that I would like to share with you.
For as long as I can remember I have known I wanted to work with animals for the rest of life. For me it just came natural, when I was little Dad would always find me trying to crawl up on a horse, tempting in an old mama cow in with some grain or taking a nap in the sun with the dogs, so you see, it was a given that I should have been a veterinarian or an animal scientist. Sounds great right? A Midwestern small town kid following his dreams all the way to the big dance and doing what he loves for the rest of his life. That is, unless dreams change.
Folks, America is in trouble. Today our waist's and our debts are larger than ever and the only thing that I see anyone doing is pointing fingers (but not lifting a hand). There is going to have to be, let me rephrase that, there will be huge changes in the way we go about our everyday lives and we must possess the flexibility to go with them.
My Dad always told me that you will do the best where you are needed the most. This spring, with my masters program drawing to a close everyone started asking me what I was going to do with my life. There's the million dollar question for ya. I looked near and far for PhD programs but nothing seemed to fit. I got a couple jobs offers, and lets face it, today that's dang lucky, but they didn't feel right either. Then one day I just happened to be snooping around the Kansas University Medical Center Department of Dietetics and Nutrition website. There it was: New PhD program approved in Medical Nutrition Science. After talking with the director of the program and some of the faculty to get a feel for their goals the pieces fell into place for me. For someone who has been hands on with agriculture their whole life as I have to get top-notch training for feeding people and keeping them healthy I could help bridge that gap between producer and consumer/ farmer and grocery store shopper/rancher and restaurant goer that I see growing wider and wider. I firmly believe that every farmer, rancher, cowboy, and cheese maker is a human nutritionist, everything they do has one crowning achievement; put food on a human beings plate.
I plan to conduct research in obesity, diabetes and heart disease as well as participate in leadership roles to help both agriculture and the public. This is where I see myself needed and therefore doing the best. I would have never guessed that I would be on the track I am now, but hey, dreams change and we've got to change with them.