The Buck Won’t Stop Here

Alle Buck, her parents, Roger (’75 farm operations) and Nylene, and her grandparents, Don (’49 farm operations) and Ruth recently restored their 120-year-old barn listed on the Iowa Barn Foundation All-State Barn Tour.

In 1894, Alle Buck’s great, great grandfather got off the train near Rhodes, Iowa and bought a farm with his brother. Today, Buck calls it home.

“We’ve farmed this land for over 100 years and it’s in my blood,” says Buck, a senior in animal science.

Buck is proud of her fifth-generation farm and even more proud that she’s a third-generation Iowa State student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  Her grandfather and grandmother met at Iowa State and together they raised six children who all attended Iowa State, but she’s the first woman to pursue a career in agriculture.

“My three uncles and my dad majored in agriculture,” Buck says. “It wasn’t easy for women to pursue degrees in agriculture back then, like it is now.”

After graduation this summer, Buck plans to build and run a swine finishing facility with her brother-in-law. Raising livestock has taught her about life. The key, she says, is putting their needs first. “If you take care of them, they’ll take care of you,” Buck says.

She knows farming isn’t an easy business to get into, but it’s what she’d like to pursue.  The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative helped Buck understand the importance of global markets, creative thinking and innovation.  The initiative also helped her apply for a Beginning Farmer Loan to rent grazing pasture for her cattle.

“It’s not work to me,” Buck says.

“All my life I’ve spent the day doing something else and then I got to go home and farm. It’s a way of life and it’s what I love to do.”

Her sense of community is evident.  Walking across campus, she greets several students she’s worked with in clubs, learning communities and judging teams.

She’s also a known volunteer. She has dedicated a lot of time to the Block and Bridle club, and this spring she served on the college’s strategic planning committee.  She felt strongly about providing input, especially from the student’s perspective.

“I really care about Iowa State and I have a vested interest in its future,” Buck says.

Coming to Iowa State opened doors for Buck. She credits the learning community experience for connecting her with lifelong friends. Last summer she traveled to Greece with the entrepreneurship group and also visited Rome, Paris, London, Frankfurt and Munich.

“I’ve traveled to 15 states and five countries and I’d never been on an airplane before I came to college,” Buck says.

Buck says she’s found her college experience rewarding because she’s developed leadership and organizational skills, met with agricultural leaders and gathered a community of friends. It’s an experience and a community that she calls, “priceless.”