Where Are They Now: Conlee Herrera-Fry, Veterinary School Student
February 11 – Attending Prairie View A&M University was instilled in Conlee Herrera-Fry as a child, having grown up on a farm right down the road in Hockley, Texas and being in a family with a long history of attending the university. Considering himself somewhat of a legacy student of PVAMU due to his grandmother being one of the first in his family to attend many years ago, he knew he was destined to be a product of this great university.
Herrera-Fry embarked on his Panther journey in 2011, tasked with achieving his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with a concentration in Animal Science. Always staying busy and active in many of the agriculture organizations, he served as president of Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences(MANRRS) during his sophomore and junior year, vice president of Pre-Vet club, and helped start an Ag advisory board of students who worked directly with the dean to provide better opportunities for CAHS students. He says being on this board gave him a voice and a chance to set precedents for agriculture students who would come after him. “Every student isn’t going to agree with everything the college does. My biggest role while here was making sure that my fellow students and I got the best opportunities. I just wanted to make sure that other kids have the chance to walk into Texas A&M and not be looked at as ‘you’re from that other school.’ I wanted to make sure [PV] prepared us for that.”
In addition to his course workload, Herrera-Fry worked in Dr. Laura Carson’s research lab and on the Bill & Vara Daniel University Farm from his sophomore year until he graduated. He shares how his experience on the farm taught him so much and Larry Solomon, the Farm Manager at the time, showed him how to professionally work cattle and horses. Herrera-Fry credits a number of other CAHS faculty with mentoring and preparing him for a longstanding career in agriculture including Dr. Alfred Parks, Dr. Milton Daley, and Dr. Wash Jones. These mentors gave him a greater appreciation of being black in agriculture. “When I came here, I didn’t really have a good understanding of what it meant to be black in America. [It opened my] eyes to agriculture and being around other black students that understand that you can be both black and come from a rural, farming background and be proud of it.”
After graduating in 2015, Herrera-Fry earned his Master’s degree in Animal Nutrition from Tuskegee University and is now in his second year at the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. He knows CAHS set the foundation for him to go on and do great things because of the skills he learned as a undergraduate student. “CAHS is the only reason why I’m successful after graduation.”