Carlye Dozier: Livestock Ambassador Spotlight
By: Mollie Lastovica
For Charlotte “Carlye” Dozier, the decision to apply for the Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador program has led to a domino effect of success. The sophomore at West Texas A&M University is currently interning with Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus.
“This internship kind of fell into my lap,” Dozier said. “For a class called ag professional leadership and development we had to interview a leader in agriculture. My group interviewed former Speaker Pete Laney and I guess he was impressed with that interview, because he followed up and really wanted me to apply for this internship and was willing to help me in whatever way possible so I would get it.”
She applied and completed her first interview in March and was called back for a second interview in July. She was one of five students selected to serve as interns for the Speaker during the fall 2013 semester.
A Robertson County native, Dozier served as a livestock ambassador from 2009-2012.
“Livestock Ambassadors made me well-rounded,” Dozier said. “I was homeschooled, so it helped me learn to be around other people and talk to people. It really built my communication skills and opened up a lot of doors.”
Without the program, Dozier notes, she would not have been able to attend WTAMU and subsequently complete her current internship.
“It helped me afford college, because having that on my resume qualified me for more scholarships,” Dozier said. “If it weren’t for my background in agriculture, I would not have been able to take the ag professional leadership and development course as a freshman.”
With her dad serving as a County Extension Agent for many years before becoming Regional Program Leader for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, involvement in 4-H was expected from Dozier.
“One day, Dad brought home two lambs on the back of his truck and told me, ‘I don’t care if you don’t want to show, but you are going to try it out this year and then decide,’” Dozier said. “Little did he know I would have 14 lambs in my barn senior year and be traveling to every major show.”
Sheep and cattle were her main projects, but Dozier also successfully competed on the livestock judging and beef quiz bowl teams. In 2012, she placed in the top 10 individuals at three major livestock judging contests and her beef quiz bowl team advanced to nationals, where they placed second overall.
While her success in the show ring and competitions is plentiful, she is most appreciative of her involvement with the Livestock Ambassador Program.
“Livestock Ambassadors gives us a way to stand out,” Dozier said. “It’s kind of like the first sift, because it brings all the top ag 4-Hers in the state together and lets ag colleges know that you have been a part of that program. It helps build people quite a bit. The volunteer hours and experience I gained are unparalleled.”
In her role as an intern for the Speaker, Dozier has applied many of the leadership characteristics she acquired as an ambassador. Her daily responsibilities include managing schedules, taking phone calls and doing projects for the 11 people to whom she serves as an assistant. Because the Texas legislature is not in session, she is playing an integral role in the interim charge process, working to narrow over 1,000 requests down to approximately 130.
“[Livestock Ambassadors] built the foundation and principles I needed to be successful in this internship,” Dozier said. “I am required to be in the public eye a lot, so I have to know how to handle myself efficiently and professionally. It helped me know how to represent myself in public and also helped me be organized, which is required of this internship.”
As with most college students, Dozier hopes that this internship will serve as a stepping stone for her future career. While she is undecided on whether she will pursue the legislative or courtroom side, she knows that her future lies in government.
“This internship will help me decide which way I want to go as far as the courtroom or legislative side,” Dozier said. “Internships open up a lot of doors. It is a stepping stone to getting where you want to go.”
After graduating, she plans to go to law school and wants to work as the voice for agriculture or women and children victims through a career in public service.
“I think these groups seem to have the least amount of voice in the judicial system,” Dozier said.
Her leadership has already shone at the Capitol. At a recent office-wide event for approximately 60 office members the Chief of Staff in her office introduced her to a co-worker by applauding her work ethic, saying that Dozier was the only intern to ever give her, correctly, all the names and numbers of people who called while she was out of the office.
The compliment boosted Dozier’s confidence and let her know that she was doing things right. She is grateful for the opportunity to participate in programs and activities that molded her into the professional young woman she is known as today.
“The [livestock ambassador] program really puts you out there and forces you to learn quickly,” Dozier said. “I learned more from the Livestock Ambassador program than I did in my entire first year of college.”