Leadership takes many forms. Around the College of Agricultural Sciences, Omar Roman is known as a quiet leader, thoughtful and engaged, always willing to participate and bring others along.
Those are the characteristics that have served the first-generation student well not only in his studies as an Agricultural Business major but also in his role as an Ag Ambassador.
“I enjoy talking to students, at high schools or college students thinking about transferring to CSU, about my experiences in the College of Ag,” he said. “Ag Ambassadors serve as a bridge between our student success and dean’s leadership teams.”
Roman comes from a farming family – his grandparents still grow vegetables on their place in Mexico – and graduated from Wiggins High School on the Eastern Plains. At CSU, he has been involved in Ag Adventure, helps organize the college’s annual Ag Day, has served as an officer in the Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter, and belongs to the FarmHouse fraternity. He still finds time to make the hour-and-a-half drive from Fort Collins to Wiggins on weekends to work on a dairy farm.
“I help deliver the baby calves,” he said. “We’re always busy.”
Roman spent the year after high school working on the dairy farm, then enrolled in Aims Community College in Greeley before transferring to CSU. But he knew in high school that he wanted to eventually study agriculture in Fort Collins.
“I came to campus for a visit with my Future Farmers of America club, and knew CSU was where I wanted to be,” he said.
The fact that this is where he wants to be is apparent to the faculty in his department, according to Hayley Chouinard, head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
“The faculty I talked to all felt that Roman is one of those students who is here for the learning, not just checking off boxes to earn a degree,” she said. “He is so committed and articulate, other students pay attention when he talks. As an Ag Ambassador, he is excited about agriculture and the opportunity to share it, but also lets other people have their space to learn. He wants to use agriculture to make the world a better place, and we’re honored to have him in our program.”
Not being able to connect with classmates and professors face-to-face during the pandemic has been hard for Roman, but he said he was fortunate to have good relationships with his advisors and faculty that he could talk to, even if it was just over the internet.
After graduation, Roman said he wants to start his own business. Right now, he has several ideas, but he knows it will be somewhere along the continuum of getting food onto people’s plates.
His advice to students new to CSU? “Get involved. Build relationships. Having people to talk to will help in your future career path.”