Sophomore Jayde Proffitt Discovers Competitive Spirit
Sophomore Jayde Proffitt isn’t a competitive person, that is, until she finds herself in the arena competing for the Golden Eagles as a member of the Western Equestrian team.
From Winsted, Minn., Proffitt grew up in town and enjoyed trail riding with friends but never owned a horse of her own. That fact hasn’t stopped her from pursuing a degree in equine science at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Proffitt loves horses and also finds time for her other passion—reading. She has worked for a number of years for the Winsted Public Library located in her hometown.
“For me and for a lot of other kids, the library was our first step of independence,” she explains. “Visiting the library on your own and having a library card gave us the power to make our own decisions on what to read. I liked that feeling of independence.”
Her library experience led to a job in the library as a high school student and beyond. Last summer, Proffitt was in charge of the summer reading program for children. As a work study student at the U of M Crookston, it was a natural fit for Proffitt to find a position in the library on campus.
Along with her major in equine science, Proffitt is minoring in both horticulture and agricultural business. She is a member of the Horticulture Club but competing with the Western team, classes, homework, and work study don’t allow her much else.
“I am in my second year riding and was excited to point out during our home show this fall,” Proffitt says. “When you point out, you move to the next level and automatically go to regionals. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to compete at a new level.”
When Proffitt arrived on campus, she immediately fell in love with the arena and was impressed with the depth of the equine program at the U of M Crookston. “I benefit from the hands-on learning here,” she says. “And, some day I hope to be a barn manager of my own barn ideally somewhere out West.”
It isn’t a surprise to find that Proffitt considers the head librarian at the Winsted Public Library to be one of her greatest influences. “She is so much fun, and everyone who works with her knows she is in charge, but also knows she isn’t afraid to come down to their level,” Proffitt says. “I admire that ability.”
She is also quick to answer when asked to name one of her favorite reads. “Growing up, I loved the book Inkheart,” she says. “It’s the story of a father and daughter who are able to bring storybook characters to life just by reading aloud.
Proffitt enjoys vicariously experiencing adventure through a great book, but what she really loves is the learning-by-doing she experiences when she is in the classroom or in the saddle. “I like to be challenged,” Proffitt says. “For me, challenges are the perfect opportunity to improve and to grow as a rider and as a person.”
The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online. These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.