William Woods University student Ashley Bauer recently was named the Missouri Woman in Agriculture Rising Star at the Missouri State Fair. She also received $1,000 to donate to a nonprofit organization of her choice.
Bauer, 21, previously was the 2013 Miss Missouri State Fair Queen. Although she is now too old to compete in 4-H and FFA shows, she has shown in several types of horse shows, including halter, showmanship, western pleasure, horsemanship, trail, barrel racing, pole bending, hunter under saddle, and hunt seat equitation.
Her love of horses extends past showing them in competitions. She is starting her senior year at William Woods, where she is double majoring in equine general studies and business administration, with minors in equine science and equine administration.
Bauer, of Warrenton, Missouri, was honored during a reception at the fair along with Dr. Linda Hickam, of Thompson, who received the Missouri Woman in Agriculture title. Both received a cash donation, which was provided by Monsanto to be given to an agricultural-related group.
The organization chosen by Bauer to receive the donation was the TREE House of Greater St. Louis, where she is a frequent volunteer. Formerly known as Therapeutic Horsemanship, TREE House focuses on helping people with disabilities.
“I feel so honored to have been named the Missouri Woman in Agriculture Rising Star,” said Bauer. “I will be forever grateful to the Missouri State Fair and Monsanto for presenting me with the opportunity to support The TREE House of Greater St. Louis with a $1,000 donation.”
Bauer plans to use her education and volunteer experiences to eventually open a therapeutic horsemanship facility to provide human-to-horse interaction therapy options for individuals with special needs, mental disorders and disabilities.
“I love people and horses, so combining the two will be a perfect career choice,” she said.