Countryside, Ill.- Growing up basically ‘out in the middle of nowhere’ has shaped Justine Ryan into the young and independent person she is today. She feels being a farmer’s daughter has its perks, especially when mediating her future. After leaving the rural community of, Wyoming, Illinois, Ryan is planning on getting back to her roots with the help of Cook County Farm Bureau. Growing up she was surrounded by agriculture on a 4800 acre farm about 20 miles north-west of Peoria, Ill. In Wyoming she was introduced to agriculture through her high school education and for several years was an active member of 4-H. Her brothers chose FFA, however, Ryan became a confident leader through Student Council and held a state office. Never letting anything hold her back after high school, Ryan left for Eastern Illinois University. Today Ryan is a determined junior with a good head on her shoulders. Ryan decided to attend EIU because of its size. She quickly fell in love with the Department of Communication Studies and enjoys that her professors take time to get to know her and help her with her assignments. Ryan also finds time in her busy school schedule to be on the executive council of the Delta Zeta sorority on campus as well as an active member of Student Government and Eastern’s honors fraternity. After attending Eastern for quite some time she began to realize her passion for agriculture was still apparent. Ryan always relates back to agriculture, even through her creative class work. She proclaims, “I have found my niche within P.R. and I want to gain experience within the field of agriculture.” Ryan is currently obtaining a major in Communication Studies with an option in Public Relations and a minor in Business Management. Last summer she worked as an intern for the Illinois State Treasurer's office. She did everything from planning workshops, helping women manage money, to traveling to different county fairs and helping families find unclaimed property. This summer she hopes to gain field knowledge that is found only at Cook County Farm Bureau. She will be writing about relevant issues, talking to elected officials and keeping up with social media. Now as the Cook County Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs/ Public Relations intern Ryan hopes to find what she is looking for. As a future farmer and P.R. advocate Ryan sees the internship as one of the greatest opportunities offered to her. “I feel at Cook County Farm Bureau I will grow into an excellent agriculture advocate. It is exactly what I have been searching for,” Ryan said.