You know those annoying insects that always seem to be flying and buzzing around you, or even those that just seem to show up when you least want them? Well little did you know, they serve a much larger purpose than we originally thought!
I am Emily Cumming, a student at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. I am a Forensic Science and Entomology dual major. I am from Saint Edward, a small town in Nebraska, where agriculture is all around me. I grew up on a farm just outside of town with my five other siblings. My dad would have my siblings and myself help with different chores on the farm, sometimes with livestock and other times out in the field with crops. I always enjoyed working with the livestock side of the chores, but being the out-of-the-box sibling that I was, I wanted to connect with livestock in agriculture in a different way. Little did I know, it would be both the livestock and crop related.
As I grew up, I would attend the Nebraska State Fair with my family, looking at all of the farm equipment and different 4-H projects that were made. We always made sure to stop by the Nebraska Beekeeper’s Association booth in the Open Class building. I seemed to always go to the observation hives they had set up. Through my interest in the honeybees, I was able to apply for, and received, a scholarship through the Nebraska Beekeeper’s Association to start a hive of my own. I really enjoyed learning about the importance and role that honeybees play in agriculture and the world in general. Having this exposure to insects while I was still young, led me to discover my passion for insects.
When I graduated from high school, I had been a beekeeper for almost five years. Coming to the University, I was unsure of where I wanted to take my career. I ultimately decided on forensic science, but found that it was challenging, yet it did not hold my interest as I had hoped it would. I began to look at my different options. I discovered that I could pursue my passion for insects by taking up the entomology major. Then I found out that I could dual major and keep the classes I had already taken and build on them by adding in the entomology courses. I brought the things I enjoyed from both majors together and now I can learn about them both! I am in love with what I am learning and I can’t wait to share the knowledge with others!
I am hoping to continue my education after I receive my bachelor’s and work towards my master’s in Entomology. From there I hope to start my career in the military as an entomologist. In the event that the entomologist position is unavailable, I hope to use my forensic science with the entomology by working in a lab. This would be to collect specimens from a crime scene or to analyze any evidence collected to help aid the investigation. I also plan to maintain my small entrepreneurial business of selling honey and honeybee products as well as helping members in my community with pollination by providing a hive for their orchards and gardens. Regardless of which path my career takes; I plan to keep my business going. I am open to many options for my career, whether that is agriculturally related or not. I hope that no matter what I do, I can share my passion for insects with those around me.
Don’t be afraid of an insect, because more often than not, the insect more afraid of you than you are of them. Learn a little bit about the role of those annoying insects and see just what they are doing to impact you.