Ever since high school, Luke Fuerniss has had an eye for spotting special qualities in livestock.
Fuerniss was born and raised in Loveland and graduated from Mountain View High School, where he played football. His parents’ families both farm in the Midwest — one in South Dakota, one in Illinois — and this background sparked his interest in Colorado 4-H. During high school, Fuerniss showed pigs and judged livestock.
After he graduated, he attended Casper College in Wyoming for two years and earned two associate’s degrees, one in animal science, the other in agribusiness. From there Fuerniss found his way “home.” He knew he wanted to attend a land-grant university, and selected CSU because of its background in livestock and agriculture.
“The continual push of the Animal Sciences Department and [department head] Dr. Kevin Pond’s partnership has been very instrumental, and I am very lucky to be part of that,” he said.
Fuerniss was interested in the idea of animal sciences, but it was his experience showing hogs and judging livestock that made him want to pursue an animal sciences degree.
“As soon I was judging and showing, there was no turning back,” said Fuerniss. “There is a lot of travel and competition; I love it.”
Livestock Judging Team
He was on CSU’s Livestock Judging Team for a year, and now he is assistant coach of the team.
Fuerniss graduates with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences from the College of Agricultural Sciences this month. He says he is very thankful for the Department of Animal Sciences and all that it has done for him. Pond says the feeling is mutual.
“Luke was intensively recruited to CSU because of his mental acuity and successes in decision-making and communication skills as a student in high school and junior college,” he says. “He exceeded our high expectations and also completed an internship in Washington, D.C., with the Food Safety Inspection Service. He will be an excellent leader in agriculture.”
After graduation, Fuerniss hopes to attend graduate school to obtain a master’s degree, then continue his education at the doctoral level.