Scholar Stage - Ashley Cali Parish

Ashley Cali ParishAshley Cali Parish

Hometown: Marion, Kentucky
High School: Crittenden County High School
Degree: Master’s degree in agriculture economics





Ashley Cali Parish is a graduate student at Murray State University seeking master’s degree in agriculture economics. This is her story.

Activities & Organizations

  • Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture Ambassador
  • Hutson School of Agriculture Leadership Council
  • Agriculture Appreciation Week Planning Board


Who has influenced you the most in your life and why?

My late grandfather, Larry Parish, has influenced my life the most. Forty years ago, he quit his steady job as a factory manager to make his part-time farming career his full-time profession. He taught his family what it means to be a steward of the land and the importance of American agriculture. Many people don't see agriculture as the American dream, but our family's story is exactly that. The courage, determination, and passion he showed throughout his life inspires me to be a leader in the most important industry in the world-- agriculture.

What first sparked your interest in your chosen field?

I was raised on my sixth-generation family farm where I have seen how the challenges in agriculture not only affect our world food supply, but how those challenges affect families like mine. I chose to study agriculture because agriculture is our past, present and future. Agriculture will forever be needed and relevant. Young people are often encouraged to leave the farm to pursue careers, however, Murray State University allows me to stay in the agriculture community while earning an education I will use to feed 9,000,000,000 people by the year 2050.

What do you want to do after graduation?

Return to my hometown to manage our family farming operation.

Why did you select Murray State? 

Murray State has an incredible agriculture program that allowed me to earn a hands-on education in rural America. At Murray State, I immediately felt a connection with the professors and staff of the Hutson School of Agriculture. Economically and fundamentally, Murray State University was an easy choice based on my chosen career path, my values, and my goals.

Who is one of your favorite professors and why? 

Dr. Alyx Shultz has made an impact on my time at Murray State University and my life. She is a brilliant woman who wants her students to learn valuable information that will advance them in their careers. She takes her position as an educator seriously, but her role as a mentor and leader even more earnestly. Dr. Shultz has an understanding of how to connect with her students and values each student. Dr. Shultz is an incredible professor and an irreplaceable mentor.

What is one of your favorite Murray State traditions/experiences?

I love the Shoe Tree at Murray State. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it represents the relationships that Murray State University has created over the last 98 years.

What is something you've accomplished at Murray State that you're most proud of and why are you proud of it?

Through the Hutson School of Agriculture (HSOA), I was granted the opportunity to move to Washington, D.C. to intern for U.S. Congressman James Comer as the spring 2020 agriculture fellow. The Hutson School of Agriculture allowing me to serve under Congressman Comer in our nation’s capital has taught me the depth and importance of agriculture policy. It is truly an honor to work in the U.S. Capitol as an agriculture fellow and would not have been possible without Murray State University.

What do you think sets Murray State apart from other universities?

Murray State offers a high-value education for a minimal cost in comparison to larger institutions. Students have the opportunity to build relationships with their professors due to the size of our campus. Murray, Kentucky, is a rural community with open arms for anyone who gets to call Murray home, even if their time in Murray is only four years.

For a prospective student considering which college to attend, why do you think they should consider attending Murray State?

Murray State has a beautiful campus, incredibly intelligent professors and offers a valuable education. Murray State’s student body is full of bright and inquiring minds, all seeking to be successful in their respective career paths. Prospective students should choose Murray State because no other college in the country can offer a respected education in a down to earth environment for relatively inexpensive tuition.


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