Since she was 12 years old, Elizabeth Bogle has wanted to be a dietitian.
Now Bogle, who is embarking on her senior year at Iowa State University, is well on her way to that career and in June became vice president of the university’s Student Dietetic Association.
Bogle learned about dietetics at a young age because her aunt, Liz Zmolek, works as a dietitian in southern Iowa. One aspect that interests her is the ability to work in the medical field in a preventative capacity.
“A lot of people want to go into medicine, but it starts with nutrition,” Bogle said. “Nutrition plays such a huge role in our health.”
Bogle said she chose Iowa State because it is the only school in Iowa with an accredited dietetics program. Plus, she said, the program has a high rate of placing students in internships. Next year Bogle will apply for an internship. After the internship, she will take an exam to qualify as a registered dietitian.
This summer the Student Dietetic Association members are growing a garden on the Iowa State campus next to the Extension 4-H Building and donating the produce to Food at First, an Ames food bank.
The students are growing a variety of produce, including watermelon, cucumber, green beans, tomatoes, cilantro, carrots, squash, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli.
“Any time you eat fresh food, that’s going to be healthier, so a garden helps you have it growing in your back yard,” Bogle said. “Whole foods are always going to be a better choice than processed foods.”
The project started when the extension contacted the club’s former president to ask if dietetics students would have an interest in utilizing the garden patch this year.
Several of the club members were interested, so they took on the project. Each member signed up for a day of the week to water and weed the garden, but Bogle said most days several people show up to help.