May 9, 2022
Contact: Marcus Wilkins, firstname.lastname@example.org
Libby Martin’s voice catches as she tells her story. Figuratively, she is looking back at the cherished time spent at her university and adopted community. Literally, she is peering across Francis Quadrangle on a crisp April morning just weeks from commencement.
“I’ve spent eight years here, and it has been my entire life,” Martin said. “This is home.”
For Martin, a first-generation college student from California, Missouri, it was never really a choice. She grew up on a Charolais cattle farm, loving the outdoors and cheering for the University of Missouri Tigers. Martin knew early on that she wanted to pursue an animal science degree through the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and a DVM through the College of Veterinary Medicine.
“It was always Mizzou for me,” Martin said. “I didn’t even apply to another school. My brother and I are the first in our family to attend college, and we’re both proud Tigers.”
Her big idea
Soon after arriving in Columbia in 2014, Martin met Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies and professor of animal science. She took his dairy science class — a course that would turn out to be her favorite during her time at MU — and sought his mentorship for the startup competition, Entrepreneur Quest.
She founded Calving Technologies, which developed a collar that tracks cattle and reduces calving mortality. Martin took first place and received $15,000 in seed funding.
“The experience showed me that I love public speaking, and I love presenting information,” Martin said. “I was a state officer for Future Farmers of America in high school, so that love was always there. But Mizzou helped cultivate it, and now it’s one of my strengths.”
While her company continues to accumulate field data that better informs its technology, Martin will relocate to Kansas City, Missouri, after graduation to embark on her veterinary career at Eagle Animal Hospital and Pet Resort.
“Libby understands the big picture,” Spain said. “She is a problem solver who has been able to connect the dots, create a concept, then secure the different resources she needed to create a better solution. Hard work, creativity, innovation, resilience — those are all characteristics I associate with Libby and the characteristics that will make her a great veterinarian.”
If time flies when you’re having fun, Martin’s Mizzou experience has blinked past. In fact, it is the advice she leaves for incoming Tigers.
“I have made so many friends here — through the entrepreneurship program, Greek Life, MU Student Council — friendships I will maintain long after graduation,” Martin said. “I wish I would have known how fast it all goes by!”