Teacher Spotlight: Jessica Harsh

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     Stepping into a new phase of life is often exciting and opens up new opportunities that were not possible before. However, picking up and moving to a new set includes an opportunity cost.

     Marsh grew up in rural Ohio on the outskirts of a small village called Radnor, Ohio nearly a thousand miles from her home in Nashville, Georgia. Radnor is a tiny community composed of a U.S. Post Office approximately thirty houses and what was once an elementary school.  Harsh attended Purdue University for her undergraduate and earned her Master’s at The University of Florida. During her time at Purdue University, Harsh met her now fiancee, Chandler, who is a Nashville native.

     The pursuit of love and career success led Ms. Harsh to accept her dream job in the field of agricultural communications which entails a teaching position at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia.

     While Harsh has felt there was always something more to her life than Radnor, Ohio, there are parts of life in Ohio that she still holds dear. Leaving behind life on her family’s grain and cattle farm was a new experience for her. Ms. Harsh often reminisces about time spent with her small, close-knit family and their home-cooked meals. When asked what her favorite meal from was, Harsh described her mother’s meat-shell potato pie that’s complete with “potatoes, hamburger, mushroom soup, cheese, corn and just all of the good stuff.”

     Harsh spent her years growing up in a cozy, brick home with a midwestern decor. The house that Harsh calls home is over two hundred years old and has survived three tornadoes. The banners and plaques the walls wear tell the story of the years of hard work that Harsh, and her younger brother, spent working with their different breeds of show cattle.

     Harsh explains that her favorite memory from her back home stems from an unruly show-steer, that seemed to have a “wild hair.” Her steer had a mind of his own and many doubted her ability to successfully show the animal. However, she dedicated extra time and effort in order to overcome the challenge and became the overall winner of Senior Showmanship at the Ohio State Fair.

     Harsh’s knowledge learned while spending endless amounts of time in her family’s barn and cooling room, preparing her animals for show, and the warm memories of overcoming challenges with difficult show steers will follow her wherever she may go in life. Harsh values Radnor, Ohio, but knew in her heart that “it wasn’t where she was supposed to be in life.”

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