Behind the major with Jayci Mekelburg: Innovating the business within agriculture


Jayci Mekelburg

Jayci Mekelburg is a junior working towards a bachelor of science while majoring in agribusiness at West Texas A&M University. Mekelburg is from Yuma, Colorado, and is working hard towards her career goals.

Mekelburg was inspired to pursue agribusiness as the occupation is diverse and merges two things she is passionate about— agriculture and business. She was instantly sold on the idea of being able to work her entire life, loving every aspect of her career. “I’ve gone through a lot of different options on what I exactly want to do, whether that be banking, lending, or feedlot management,” Mekelburg said. “But I think the end goal would be something with financial management that has an agricultural-based company.”

Agribusiness is “an important part of the economic market with job opportunities involving important commodities like crops, livestock and biofuels. Learning more about agribusiness helps you understand the food production system and all the related businesses that comprise the agriculture industry.”

“I’d say agribusiness is beneficial by helping other people make decisions based on how consumers and producers behave, which can benefit other businesses,” Mekelburg said. “For me, it’s very versatile. So I can go with this business degree that has an agriculture base and can do a lot of good things for a lot of different companies.”

Those who work in agribusiness contribute to protecting the environment, mitigating climate control, providing income and food security to others living with limited finances, specifically those who live in developing countries. Agribusiness plays an essential role in our economy as a vital source of our food system. Fortunately, this career path creates many jobs, including processing, farm work, management, packaging and many others.

“My favorite is probably financial management, being able to understand how day-to-day decisions impact consumers and producers and how decisions should be made based on trends,” Mekelburg said. “However, my least favorite part of this degree is the theoretical economic concepts. It involved studying big data sets but also needing to understand why a person chooses to use something. It’s a big word for a lot of statistics and quantitative analysis. Overall, it’s a lot of math that is very in-depth.”

Mekelburg came to WT for the renowned agriculture program and opportunities. When she toured campus, she finalized her decision to attend WT .

“I really liked Texas, and WT has a really, really good agriculture program,” Mekelburg said. “Then, when I visited campus, I was a name and not a number. The professors and everyone on campus were always so friendly and personable. So, the welcoming community and the agriculture department really drew me in.”

Mekelburg has found several entertaining and professional opportunities during her time at WT. She’s part of the agribusiness quiz bowl team, a student organization that gets to travel all over the country. The team traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This summer, they’re traveling to Washington, D.C. Involvement with the quiz ball team has given Mekelburg the opportunity to travel and create relationships with people.

“Aside from the agribusiness quiz bowl team, I am the treasurer for the agribusiness club and collegiate farm bureau,” Mekelburg said. “I’m also involved in the RISE ministry.”

Mekelburg believes you should always go for anything you desire without hesitation.

“Jump in and give it your all.”