GETTING TO KNOW YOU
LYNDEN — One day, Lydia Rodriguez would like to be a veterinarian for large animals. It’s been her desire since she was in the first grade.
“I grew up involved with my grandparents’ dairy farm, and I would always check on the health of the calves,” said Rodriguez, the 2021-2022 Whatcom County Dairy ambassador alternate. “I absolutely love animals, and my family even started calling me the animal whisperer.”
Rodriguez represents the county’s dairy farmers in promoting dairy products, as well as educating the community about the dairy industry. This includes dairy farming “and the positive health benefits of dairy products,” she said.
A senior at Lynden High School, Rodriguez will also attend Running Start at Whatcom Community College.
On track to graduate with her Associate in Arts and Sciences degree next year, Rodriguez then plans to attend a four-year university to major in biology. After that, she plans to enroll in vet school.
Lynden Tribune: What do you like most about your duties as ambassador?
Lydia Rodriguez: My favorite part about being a dairy ambassador is that I have the opportunity to spread the knowledge of dairy to my community, and especially to children. When you’re a child, you absorb information so quickly and find everything so fascinating, so I enjoy making learning about the dairy industry fun for children.
Tribune: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not serving as ambassador?
Rodriguez: I absolutely love my job. I am a goat herd manager at Grace Harbor Farms, and I love to care for the goats. They are so sweet, and I love their personalities, especially the goat kids. They bring me so much joy and knowing that I get to track their growth and health makes me so happy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Tribune: Which around-the-house task is your least favorite?
Rodriguez: I am not a fan of washing dishes. My sister and I rotate who washes and dries, and we always do them right after dinner. But when I have plans at night on the day I have to wash dishes, I have to come home early to get them done. I love to serve, but with how much my family cooks, the dishes can stack up quickly.
Tribune: What is your favorite food?
Rodriguez: I have always loved mac & cheese. I think it’s meant to be, because when my mom was pregnant with me, she says she ate a lot of mac & cheese. Nothing tops a four-cheese mac & cheese, served with a glass of milk and then ice cream for dessert, to get in my three-a-day servings of dairy.
Tribune: What music do you have in your vehicle right now?
Rodriguez: Even though I have the option to play CDs in my car, I prefer to hook up the auxiliary to my phone to play hot country from Spotify. I have always been a huge fan of country music, which I get from my mom. If I’m not listening to country, then I spice it up with Cuban music or general pop music.
Tribune: What is your favorite sports team?
Rodriguez: I don’t watch a lot of sports, but I do love the New York Yankees. My father was raised in New Jersey and has always loved the team, and that influence has passed down to me. A few years ago, my family went to a Seattle Mariners game where the New York Yankees were playing and, of course, the Yankees beat the Mariners (sorry to those Mariners fans out there).
Tribune: What’s the biggest thing on your bucket list?
Rodriguez: I have always loved agriculture and that has definitely impacted the biggest thing on my bucket list: to own a house with property. Most people would say skydiving or some traveling, but I have always been set on owning property. My grandparents have 40 acres, and it is so peaceful there.
Tribune: Tell us something about you that very few people know.
Rodriguez: When many people read or hear my last name Rodriguez, they think I am Mexican, but my father is Cuban and my mother is Dutch. My father was born in Havana, Cuba and moved to Union City, New Jersey at a young age and grew up there. My father is fluent in Spanish, while I only know a few words of the language.