Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series of articles that features accomplished Galt High School and Liberty Ranch High School graduates. If you are interested in being considered as part of this series or you know a GHS or LRHS graduate with notable accomplishments, career or otherwise, please email Faith Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bonnie Rodriguez at email@example.com.
With Galt’s foundations rooted in agriculture and a community that embraces it in everything from the Future Farmers’ of America (FFA) program to the county fair, it’s no wonder that agriculture is a part of many Galt natives’ lives, from childhood to career. But Kaity (Carpenter) Crawford’s childhood on the family farm might never have transitioned into a career with the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) if it weren’t for the support and encouragement she received as an Ag student at Galt High School.
Crawford’s connection to agriculture started long before high school.
“I am a fourth-generation farmer and rancher, and most of my agriculture connection is with livestock,” she said, adding that when she wasn’t busy with school or FFA, she was most likely to be found working her flock of sheep on the family farm or helping out at her grandparents’ hog ranch.
In high school, Crawford was a part of Galt High School’s Agriculture Academy (Ag Academy), so in addition to the typical English and history classes all students received, she learned about agriculture throughout the state and country.
“Being a part of GHS and a part of Galt FFA solidified my passion for agriculture and small communities,” Crawford said. “Without the education and the instructors and advisers that I had, I don’t think I would have continued learning about and being a part of agriculture outside of a hobby.”
After graduating from GHS in 2012, Crawford attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CalPoly). In 2016, she earned her Bachelor of Science in agricultural communications and a minor in psychology.
While at CalPoly, she had the chance to gain experience in the industry with summer internships. After her sophomore year, she worked in San Luis Obispo as the Social Media and Marketing Intern for Central Coast Grown, and the following summer she was hired as the Communications Intern for the National Pork Producers Council in Washington, D.C.
With this experience under her belt, she met with the Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau to discuss their communication plan and how she could help.
“We created the Social Media and Communications Planner position where I worked part-time while I finished my degree,” Crawford said. “Through this position, I created a social media plan for employees, updated the website and assisted with the website rebrand, and managed the social media accounts. All those experiences prepared me to hit the ground running after being hired [by the American Seed Trade Association].”
Crawford was hired as the Marketing and Communications Manager for the American Seed Trade Association in 2018.
“The American Seed Trade Association is one of the oldest trade organizations in the U.S.,” Crawford explained. “We have over 700 member companies involved in seed production and distribution, plant breeding, and related industries in North America … ASTA promotes the development of better seeds to produce better crops for a better quality of life.”
Now living in Springfield, Virginia, her role requires her to juggle managing social media accounts, maintaining the ASTA website, and curating newsletters, in addition to any other communication tasks that arise.
“One of the biggest challenges that comes with not only this position, but one of the goals of the association, is to find compelling ways to tell the story of the seed industry,” she said. “There are so many interesting and innovative things being done, and we want to tell the world and continue the progress that’s being made.”
Crawford can’t say exactly what the future might hold and is enjoying watching it unfold before her as she goes.
“I want to continue working in the agriculture industry and continuing to tell the amazing story of how the world is fed and clothed, and how agriculture impacts our lives in ways you may have never imagined,” she said.
For now, she is enjoying exploring the history of her new home in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area with her husband, Zachary Crawford.