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Sycamore Local gives UW-Platteville grad speech

December 21, 2018 GMT

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore High School alumna recently gave a graduation speech at University of Wisconsin-Platteville after being selected to represent graduating seniors by college officials.

Heidi Smith of Sycamore graduated as an agricultural business major Dec. 15 at the university’s College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture. She said she was nominated by her adviser at the college to give the college’s commencement speech and was selected after going before a panel of instructors from the university.

Smith, 21, said she didn’t come from an agricultural background, but the field interested her more and more as she continued to explore it. She said she started her agribusiness collegiate career at Highland Community College, which was the only nearby community college that had a program like that at the time.


She’s no stranger to public speaking as a former forensics team member at the college.

“It had been a while since I’ve given a public speech like that, but I was super-excited,” Smith said.

Smith addressed more than 500 students from four colleges at the university during her graduation ceremony. She said the main theme of her speech was new graduates such as her going out into the real world, and how student involvement at UW-Platteville will help them become more active members of society.

“I kind of sort of chose a topic that everyone would be able to relate to,” Smith said.

Smith interned as a financial officer for Compeer Financial in Lancaster, Wisconsin, and served as a School of Agriculture student ambassador, vice president of the Ag Student Council, was in the Agriculture Business Club and was the co-chair of Ag in the Classroom for the Collegiate Farm Bureau, according to a news release. She is also part of the DeKalb County Farm Bureau and the Sycamore High School FFA Alumni group.

Smith said the next step for her is starting her job Jan. 7 at the Illinois Farm Bureau as a county farm bureau manager trainee. She said she will be living at home for a few weeks, and then she will relocate somewhere within the state, but she’s not sure where just yet.

“I’m pretty lucky to say that I got one of my dream jobs,” Smith said.