Graduating high school at the age of 16 put Jordan Roggen on an early path to higher education, but family health challenges led her on a different journey.
Roggen, a first-generation college student, began at Colorado State University-Pueblo, but when her father passed away after an illness, she returned home to Rye, Colorado, to help support her mother and newly adopted brother. After a few years, she received her associate’s degree of science and applied science with an emphasis in livestock production from Otero Junior College. In 2016, she arrived at Colorado State University where she has completed a double major in animal sciences and equine sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Roggen’s lifelong love of agriculture was developed growing up on 40 acres of rural land and her early experiences with 4-H, part of CSU Extension.
“I ate, breathed and slept 4-H,” Roggen says.
When she was young, Roggen desperately wanted a goat to raise and show through 4-H, but her family couldn’t afford one at the time. She says she prayed that somehow, she would have one someday. Shortly after, a family acquaintance showed up with three baby goats and wondered if Roggen was interested in raising them. That day began a passion that she’s still involved with today, managing her own small herd of goats.
“My mom instructed me that I was never to pray about getting an animal again,” laughs Roggen.
Roggen has benefited not only from her coursework at CSU but also through many activities. Last year, she was one of only eight students selected to serve on prestigious Seedstock Merchandising Team.
This semester, Roggen’s path has taken another unexpected direction. In a meat safety class taught by Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences Jennifer Martin, she found an area that combines her two ambitions: agriculture and science. She is currently leaning toward pursuing a master’s degree in meat safety.
“Jordan has been an outstanding student in the Department of Animal Sciences and is truly one of the most phenomenal young women I’ve had the opportunity to get to know,” says Martin. “Her road to a CSU degree hasn’t always been easy, but she has maintained a spirit of determination and passion, and it’s evident in everything she does. Not only is she a fantastic student in the classroom, she is involved in many extracurricular organizations, industry activities, and works to support herself. She daily demonstrates that hard work and dedication pays off.”
Whatever path Roggen decides to take, there’s no doubt her future is bright.