Kelsey Rhinehart graduated with nine students in her high school and her first college chemistry class had more than double the amount of people in her entire hometown.
The Custer native has spent her time at MSU taking advantage of the many new experiences available in Bozeman.
Rhinehart, who is a junior majoring in agribusiness management, grew up on a ranch east of Billings. The fourth-generation ranch is a cow-calf operation and Rhinehart’s upbringing greatly influenced her decision to pursue a degree in an agricultural field. “[Agriculture] is so diverse, and it’s growing fast. There are so many markets and I love the business behind it,” she said.
As a student, Rhinehart has excelled in pursuing her passion of agriculture by giving back. She has spent two years as an Ag Ambassador in the College of Agriculture (COA) working with 19 other student ambassadors help to recruit potential MSU students to the COA. She also attends career fairs and MSU Fridays to help promote the COA.
Growing up on a cattle ranch contributed to Rhinehart’s heavy involvement in the Collegiate Cattlewomen’s Club at MSU: She has been a member since her freshman year and is currently the vice president. Rhinehart has played an integral role in helping to promote the beef industry and providing outreach by volunteering with the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, helping to obtain over 30,000 pounds of protein from Tyson Foods that was donated to the food bank last spring. She is also an active member of the Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers chapter at MSU and volunteers with club events such as Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat.
Academically, Rhinehart has taken full course loads while continuing to maintain her status on the Dean’s Honor Roll each semester. She has taken rigorous classes such as Microeconomics with Calculus, Agricultural Finance and Agricultural Marketing. As a sophomore, she served as an Economics 101 teaching assistant.
Rhinehart was able to gain valuable experience in the workforce through a past internship. Last summer she interned for the Montana Department of Agriculture in Helena specializing in hail insurance. “I dealt a lot with customer service and processed policy,” she said.
In the midst of her immense involvement at MSU and in the community, Rhinehart also works 12-18 hours a week at Olivelle, a gourmet oil and vinegar store. She finds time to have a little fun as well: “I participate in intramural volleyball and I really like to go swing dancing. I also like to go on adventures and see what Bozeman has to offer.”
A contributing factor to Rhinehart’s success has been her ability to “find a balance and prioritize all activities, whether it be personal, school or work.” To new students at MSU, she says to “enjoy the experience and have a positive attitude no matter how bad your week may be,” and that all students should “try everything at least once. You won’t regret it.”