Daniel McFarland B.S.A. ’15 knew the value of hard work and diligence from a very young age. Growing up on Angus Cattle Ranch in Keithville, Louisiana, along with two brothers and a sister, Daniel would wake up at 5 a.m. to tend to his cattle, hogs and chickens. He’d feed and clean them so they would be in pristine condition in preparation for their exhibition at livestock shows across the country. His father wanted to ensure his children learned what hard work looked like so they would be grounded, humble and perseverant individuals. This development of a strong work ethic at a tender age coupled with Daniel’s love for animals meant that he would inevitably study animal science at the University of Arkansas, for which he also received the Animal Science Scholarship. Daniel’s father is a family practice physician, and it seemed only natural for to Daniel to follow his father’s footsteps and dreams by pursuing a career in healthcare.
However, by his Junior year at the U of A, Daniel realized that he did not want to be in school for another 10+ years and wanted to pursue a long-term career in healthcare administration. So, after completing his bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Arkansas, he went on to acquire his master’s degree in Health Administration from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He currently works as an Administrative Fellow at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
According to Daniel, his time on the farm and at the U of A helped him a great deal in getting him where he is today. He has no difficulty waking up at 5 a.m. for surgery management meetings today because his animals had him up way before that time as a child. At the University, Daniel was part of the Animal Science Club and served as Co- Events Coordinator for the Volunteer Action Center. In 2014, he ran for and served as Associated Student Government President representing the student body which accounted for over 26,000 students. “The support I received from my peers, friends and students around me was overwhelming. So many people came together to rally for me that it was only fitting that I give back to them as President,” Daniel says, adding, “There were nuggets of wisdom I picked up on throughout my tenure – not everything will go as planned and there will be surprises. You have to make the best of every situation.”
One of his fondest memories is serving as the Homecoming Director on the Student Alumni Board. “This was my best college experience – I got to work with such a diverse and dedicated team of people from all over the U of A – most of whom have stayed in touch and I’m proud to call my friends.”
From singing the National Anthem at basketball games to calling the Hogs literally anywhere on campus, his time at the U of A has been incredibly fun and profoundly enlightening. For Daniel, these experiences along with mentorship and guidance from faculty like Mike Looper have helped him grow, excel and simultaneously remain humble and focused. “The University of Arkansas will always be home,” Daniel says.