University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Brian Lash (2013)

My First Generation Story

Growing up on a dairy farm, one learns very quickly about the ethic of hard-work. Farming is a business, especially for a small family, that does not expect to make large profits and live a comfortable life. Long hard days, at any temperature, weather condition or health of the farmer, are needed in order to produce a bounty of produce for an ever growing population. I am quite fortunate to experience this first hand and would not have grown up any other way.
But, all throughout high school, teachers and other school officials would pressure students to work hard so that one day the students could get a higher education and a well-paying occupation. I most certainly did not think this life was for me, I was set on farming. Until one day, however, when I went along on a few farm emergencies with my cousin, who is a veterinarian. From this day forward, I was hooked on the occupation and all the benefits it has to offer. But, I found out very shortly, that many years of school would be ahead of me. Being that my parents did not go to college, my family relied on the resources of UW-River Falls and the help of my cousin to learn how I was going to accomplish my new goal of becoming a large-animal veterinarian.

Financially, I knew this was going to be a difficult road ahead. As stated before, farming is not a business of big profits for the family, so I knew that paying for my education would solely be on me. With that, I worked hard in high school to apply for scholarships and financial grants with the result being that my first year of college was completely paid for. I continued to apply for scholarships, grants and a few loans in college and I am happy that my debt burden is not as heavy as it could have been had it not been for the scholarships and grants I received.

Now, in my final year of undergraduate studies at UW-River Falls, each day is a new day. I have new opportunities and situations that arise that no one in my family has had to deal with. I continue to work very hard so that I can one day attend veterinary school and give back to my family for all of their support and assistance.

About the Student

Brain Lash Resized

Brian grew up on a small dairy farm in Mindoro, Wisconsin and continues to be involved with its operations today. He currently attends UW-River Falls as a dairy science major and plans on attending veterinary school after graduation. He enjoys working with dairy cows and also doing all the associated work, such as raising crops, in order to have the cows be comfortable and productive at the same time. In his spare time, he helps neighboring farmers with their work and also plays the organ at a few local churches. 

Student Stats

Name: Brian Lash (2013)
Age: 21
Year in School: Senior
Major: Dairy Science
Favorite Course: Any animal-related class
Dream Job: Large-animal Veterinarian

About the School


The University of Wisconsin-River Falls was founded in 1874 as the fourth State Normal School in Wisconsin and the first in the northwestern part of the state. Its mission is to help prepare students to be productive, creative, ethical, engaged citizens and leaders with an informed global perspective.



  • Kellee Edmonds
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