We’re not exaggerating when we say that knowledge of agriculture is integral to a wide range of careers. Tara Hausaman has followed a path that led her from the Rutgers Snyder Research and Extension Farm to a career with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
As a Rutgers undergraduate, Tara received a NJ Vegetable Growers’ Association scholarship two years in a row and was accepted as a Research and Extension Farm summer intern. During her farm internship, Tara worked closely with Rutgers research scientists like innovative pomologist Win Cowgill, to find fruit and vegetable varieties that would thrive in New Jersey’s climate. Tara’s expertise became stopping insects from chewing up the experiments. She says, “I developed an abiding appreciation of a farmer’s hard work that guides me today.”
During the course of her work on the farm, she fulfilled the requirements for her pesticide applicator license. This, along with her farm experiences qualified her for a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service as an Enforcement Officer. Her responsibilities included inspecting cargo and ensuring that damaging pests did not enter the country through places like Newark Liberty International Airport and Newark Seaport. When the increased needs of Homeland Security called on her skills, Tara became part of protecting our borders with ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is the principal investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. Tara is enthusiastic about her career, “I’m safeguarding our borders for America’s agriculture.”
Education: Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Field Of Study: Agricultural Science
Hometown: Belvidere, NJ
Internship: Snyder Research and Extension Farm
Position After Graduation: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer, Department of Homeland Security