Early mornings and full days have been a constant in Claire Shelton’s life. From early morning feeding growing up to early morning classes now, her 6:30 a.m. alarm has been set the whole time.
A junior agribusiness major with both animal science and political science minors, Shelton is from Krum, Texas, where she found her love for agriculture through her parents.
“My mom grew up showing heifers and growing her herd,” said Shelton. “She got us involved in that at a young age. My dad grew up in the equine industry, so I got that side from him. They both have a love for [agriculture] and passed on to me.”
In 2020, after the COVID-19 pandemic struck in her first semester at Texas Tech University, Shelton got heavily involved in student organizations on campus.
“I joined Alpha Phi sorority, where I am [now] the vice president of finance and housing. On the Ag level, I found [Ambassadors for Agriculture], which is something I really resonated with, because they advocate for ag which is one of my big passions.” Shelton said.
Shelton found a passion for agriculture policy while competing in leadership development events through her high school FFA chapter. That passion is leading to exciting opportunities for her at Texas Tech.
“I’m going to Washington D.C., [in the summer of 2022] for the congressional internship through Davis College [of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources],” said Shelton. “I’ll get to live that experience and see if [policy] really what I want to do.”
Shelton has excelled through hard work and long days as a college student and that has not gone without notice. Darren Hudson, Ph.D., professor of agricultural and applied economics, had praise for Shelton.
“Claire has grown in her self-confidence and willingness to put herself out front in leadership positions,” Hudson said. “Her growth and drive made her an ideal candidate for the congressional internship program which will further develop her skills as a communicator and expert in economics and policy.”
Shelton plans to attend law school soon and to pursue a career in agriculture policy after that. Meanwhile, her daily routine will likely stay just as busy.
“Farmers are in need,” Shelton said, thinking of her future career interests. “Pushing to help farmers get what they need would be accomplishing to me.”