Following in the footsteps of her five older siblings, it was only natural for Stacey Geerdes to choose Iowa Lakes Community College to study agriculture enroute to a degree from Iowa State University.
Stacey, Sara, Lee, Laura, Emily and Eddie – all of whom selected Iowa Lakes before Iowa State – are the children of Kathy and Doug Geerdes, who farm near Everly. Only Eddie deviated from the Iowa Lakes to ISU College of Agriculture path – to study engineering at ISU.
With the four oldest Geerdes children all involved in various phases of agriculture, Stacey explains “Eddie just wanted something different. I considered other things, too. But ever since I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian. I want to work with cattle, and small animals, too. I like working with dogs and cats.”
Stacey’s agriculture transfer courses at Iowa Lakes are leading her that way. After her two years at Iowa Lakes, the credits she earns will be accepted at Iowa State, even if she decides to take her studies in another direction.
Working with farm animals means living in a rural community, which Stacey is used to. “Growing up in a rural community makes Iowa Lakes a natural choice.”
She says Iowa Lakes is a perfect ‘transition’ from a small school to a college.
“Going into ISU or another place like that would be a big change for me. Going from a small high school to Iowa Lakes is a really smooth transition. It’s a really great choice.”
She was pleased with the welcoming atmosphere on the Emmetsburg campus.
“So it just makes me feel good knowing that the people there do actually care about you and actually do know who you are,” Stacey said.
That satisfaction is one reason the Geerdes family is featured in Iowa Lakes’ advertising – in a television commercial – and in print.
Stacey’s oldest sister Sara, the salutatorian in her Clay Central - Everly graduating class who was the first in her family to attend Iowa Lakes, also appreciated the atmosphere at Iowa Lakes.
“I wanted to stay close to home, while taking advantage of smaller classroom sizes. And then obviously costs factored into that,” Sara said. “I really needed the transition. Though I was staying in the dorm, home was just 45 minutes away. So I could still go home to help on the farm.”
As a result of her dorm experience, she learned to work with a lot of different people which helped make her a more well-rounded person.
Another perk Sara explained is “if you keep your grades up, there’ll be more scholarship opportunities,” when transferring to a four-year school.
Sara, Stacey, Angus heifer Susie, Lee, Angus heifer Lexi, Laura, Eddie, Emily