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The Beginning

By way of introduction, I was born in Boston, Massachusetts. My early years were spent in a country setting about 30 miles northeast of Boston where I became interested in agriculture. This interest led me to the Essex Agricultural and Technical Institute, a high school that taught vocational agriculture. While attending the school and after joining a 4-H sheep club, I came to realize that I wanted to pursue a career in animal science.


Photograph by Chris Ageloff

Mr. V. Byron Bennett in the library. Photograph courtesy of the Essex Aggie Alumni Association.

Of all the teachers that I had in high school, Mr. V. Byron Bennett was the most helpful in preparing me for the academic adventure that lay ahead. Mr. Bennett was the school's guidance counselor and librarian. He also managed to teach my classmates and myself a few basic math principles. I learned two valuable truths from Mr. Bennett en route to gaining entrance into the B.Sc. program at the University of Massachusetts. The first truth was that a college education is not an entitlement, but a privilege. Most applicants would not be admitted and one-half of the freshman class would be leaving by the end of the year. The second truth was that, if I wanted to succeed, I would have to be resolute in my studies. Viewing higher education from this perspective served me well in the ensuing years.


Smith Hall Administration Building on the Essex Aggie Campus. Photograph courtesy of the Essex Aggie Alumni Association.

2008 L. Sanford. Email