I grew up on my family’s 500-acre row crop farm in northwest Ohio with field corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa hay. We also raise a small purebred Shorthorn herd where the calves are raised with their mothers through weaning. We feed the cattle on the farm and then offer the beef locally. The farm is active today and the crops are USDA Certified Organic.
I accredit my start in leadership, work ethic and responsibility to growing up on the farm, developing 4-H and FFA projects. I showed livestock including cattle, Boer goats and alpacas. I joined the county livestock judging team, was a 4-H camp counselor and junior fair board leader, State FFA Officer and eventually received my American FFA Degree.
I also was involved with band and played the oboe and alto saxophone through high school. Sometimes, my parents thought I was too involved with activities. However, I have learned a lot from those experiences.
My interest in public speaking and advocacy grew. I chose to pursue a degree in agricultural communication with a minor in agribusiness from The Ohio State University from 2010-2014. I live a fast-paced lifestyle and was involved with various internships, part-time jobs and student organizations. Some student organizations include Alpha Xi Delta (past Vice President of Public Relations), Agriculture Future of America (AFA) and Scarlet and Gray Ag Day (previous committee co-chair).
I have been self-diagnosed with wanderlust. I traveled on two study abroad programs during college and love learning about cultures and the world. I have visited Ireland, New Zealand, the Bahamas, U.K, France, Switzerland and Italy.
I wanted to make the most of my college experience and chose to start my career in agricultural sales. I relocated to Grand Island, Nebraska for my first territory. It was definitely a change and my eating and fitness habits were not aligned. I needed balance in my life. I discovered bodybuilding and it has since changed my life. I have competed in three different competitions and training to earn IFBB Pro status in the near future. Living in the middle of no where gave me a new perspective to healthy eating and food accessibility. The entrepreneurial bug bit me.
I moved back to Ohio in August 2016 to reassess my priorities and be closer to family. My job was “comfortable” but it lost luster. It was no longer my passion. I am a firm believer everything happens for a reason and timing is essential to success. In November 2016, David and I met over Instagram. I would have never believed I would meet the man I plan to marry over the Internet but I did. He and I have a synergy unlike anything I could have imagined and our future visions align.
I worked eight more months in corporate until I could no longer manage the split between my personal values and the company I represented. God had shown me my purpose and it was time to pursue it fully. It was also a time to take a leap in my relationship. In August 2016, I left corporate America and moved to Atlanta, Georgia.
I am now the founder and owner of Meals Beyond Athletes. This meal prep company provides healthy, convenient and locally sourced meals to the north Atlanta area. It has been a crazy few months but I’m loving every minute of the velocity!
Please join me on my journey with healthy recipes, personal coaching, life lessons and more. I look forward to empowering you to be strong!
-Strong Sweet Caroline