Teen-ager foresees agricultural career Goal: Renata Ramonda, 16, reigning Carroll County Farm Queen, has a limited background in farming but plans to major in agriculture when she attends college.

September 02, 1998|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

The reigning Carroll County Farm Queen has agriculture in her future, if not her past.

Renata Ramonda's only background in farming is through caring for and riding her family's six quarter horses. The Westminster High School senior has ridden them to win several ribbons and awards since she was 6.

But Renata, 16 and representing Carroll County in promotional activities at the Maryland State Fair this week, plans a career in agriculture.

"Mostly I ride and go to shows," Renata said of her farm experience. "I would like to get into that [agriculture] as I get older."

She has not determined where she will go to school, but plans to major in agriculture and has taken a freshman agriculture course from Pennsylvania State University this year through a distance-learning arrangement.

"You sign up, pay, and they send you audiotapes of the teacher," Renata said. "You listen to the lectures and read the books, and they have video conferencing calls."

At the end of the course, she and others in her "class" took tests on the material they studied.

Renata said she plans to look into a broad range of agricultural careers, and hasn't narrowed her interests to one area.

This year, she will immerse herself in farm-related activities as part of her farm queen duties.

"My main job is to promote agriculture throughout the community," Renata said.

She will work closely with the Carroll County Farm Bureau and Maryland Farm Bureau.

"Later in the year, I'm supposed to be going to elementary schools to make appearances and talk about agriculture," she said.

She will do this promotion amid her activities in school, 4-H and Future Farmers of America. She is a color guard in the Westminster High School marching band and plays alto clarinet in the wind ensemble. She sings in the advanced chorus.

Of all her activities, her favorite is volunteering in the 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program, which helps disabled children and adults ride horses.

"We teach the kids -- and we have some adults -- to ride," Renata said. "It helps them, and it's a relaxing and fun thing with them, too."

Her list of activities can seem dizzying, but only when she stops to think about it, she said.

Somehow, she said, she finds time for the things she loves to do.

"I think I just kind of added things," she said. "You don't really notice how much you do [until] you have to write all down. To me, it didn't really feel like a lot until I sat down and looked."

Renata is the daughter of DeAnn K. Ramonda-Pruitt and Arthur S. Pruitt of Westminster.

Pub Date: 9/02/98

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