From a childhood spent around horses and cattle to nights under the lights of the rodeo arena, Alex Anaya knew his calling in life was in livestock. He also found that every path toward success isn’t necessarily marked with road signs showing the way.
The next step along that path, full of twists and turns, and times when Anaya literally had to get up off the ground and dust off his britches, leads through Colorado State University’s fall commencement ceremonies. He will receive his bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from the College of Agricultural Sciences on Dec. 16.
Anaya was born and raised in Pueblo and spent much of his childhood on his uncle’s ranch. After he graduated from Centennial High School in 2013, he chose to attend CSU for its agriculture program.
“I started out in the Equine Sciences program and learned pretty soon that was not for me,” Anaya said. “I switched to ag business, and that is when I realized that my calling was more toward the business side of things. I really wanted to learn about the business behind the science.”
Anaya was also on the CSU rodeo team for three years, traveling around the U.S. riding bulls and bareback horses, and could have made a career of it. He had to decide if that was something he wanted to pursue — or stay in school.
“I ended up taking a semester off, the spring semester of my junior year,” Anaya said. “I was really overwhelmed, and I think taking that extra semester was a big reason why I stayed in school.”
During his semester off, Anaya participated in an internship at CSU’s Rouse Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming. The internship reminded him that college was something he knew he wanted to finish, and he returned to CSU for the fall semester. After graduation, he will start a job as a head herdsman at Faescor Cattle Company in Nebraska.
Anaya said CSU has really prepared him for the next steps toward his future.
“I would love to run my own operation one day,” he said. “But for now, this is a good place to start and grow from, and I’m excited.”