Kaelie Pena

Rangeland Resource Science
California State University, Humboldt

Susanville, California

Growing up in Susanville, California, Kaelie Pena knew that she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture and natural resources. As an undergraduate at Humboldt State, she was introduced to rangeland science and management. “Although I had never really heard of range management, I discovered it was the perfect combination of my interests and decided to dive right in!”

She excelled as a student, becoming involved in the range management club as well as interning in the student pathways program for the forest service. Upon graduating, Kaelie immediately began her career as a Rangeland Management Specialist with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest on the Bridgeport Ranger District in Bridgeport, Ca. Her position requires a diverse skill set, and includes managing grazing permits, monitoring long term plant community trends and endangered species, and creating management plans for invasive weeds.

Kaelie is active in the Society for Range Management, and is currently involved in leadership at both the state and national level. She encourages current students interested in range management to get involved with SRM, and remain active as young professionals. “The opportunities will come if you put yourself out there. Network with people (and not just range folks!), volunteer, continue your education, and take up every opportunity for experience that you can!”

Kaelie’s commitment to rangeland stewardship honors Mr. Rustici's legacy, and she is grateful to have been a recipient of the Rustici Livestock and Rangeland Scholarship. “As a first generation college student, I truly would not have been able to complete my degree program without the Rustici Scholarship. I will be forever thankful to Mr. Rustici and the California Farm Bureau Federation for this wonderful gift that allowed be to pursue my education and find a career that I truly love.”