Caroline Adams ’27 was “brought up raising green beans, corn and cattle.” Seems simple enough. Her platform with Future Farmers of America and her plan for the future, however, are anything but. 

Adams ’27, an environmental studies major from Lake Wylie, South Carolina, grew up in a farming family. Her grandparents owned a small beef cattle farm. Her aunt owned a large turkey farm, and some of Adams’ earliest photos include her holding baby animals. 

She took agriculture classes in middle school and became involved in the Future Farmers of American through those. She won an FFA regional tournament for creed speaking and became president of her high school chapter during her senior year. She served as statewide president during her first year at Wofford. 

“My grandfather introduced me to agriculture,” says Adams. “When his health started to decline, and he didn’t have insurance to deal with early onset dementia, our family had to sell the cows and equipment. Small family farms often fail because of medical emergencies and health care costs. I want to change that.” 

Adams knows farming. She understands first-hand the price of health care and the cost of inadequate insurance coverage, but to change systems, she knows she will need more. 

“That’s why I decided to attend Wofford,” she says. It also helped that she knew Wofford people to help her make the decision. “Sadie Saunders ’24 was my summer camp counselor. She told me about Wofford and how it could give me the tools I needed to make a difference. Also, Sen. Mike Fanning ’91 is a Wofford graduate. He’s done so much for FFA, and I learned through him about Wofford’s reputation, especially in preparing students for law school. Because of them, I knew Wofford would give me opportunities, and that’s what I’ve discovered. This is a community of people who are driven and overachieve.” 

Specifically, Adams has appreciated her classes in environmental studies. Spending time outside, getting hands-on experience and learning how politics, the humanities and the sciences intertwine have offered insights into the complexities of the discipline and the systems that pervade society.

“I’ve learned how to tie things together,” says Adams, who was just elected to the Judicial Commission at Wofford and helps with marketing and communications for the environmental studies department. “I’ve learned things from Wofford and FFA that will help me take the next steps toward my goal of studying agricultural law after I graduate. … I walk around campus wearing boots and jeans and a big old belt buckle. There’s no one here exactly like me, but even if you’re from way out in the country like I am, you can still find your place at Wofford, and Wofford can help you get to where you want to go.”