Meet CAST’s New Student Assistant: Delaney Ridgway

“Good morning, this is CAST.” 

From Monday through Thursday, Delaney Ridgway chirps a welcoming phrase into her handset from the reception desk. It’s only been a few weeks since Delaney began her student assistant role, but the Iowa State University senior takes to it with ease. 

While most of her duties are accounting related, her daily tasks touch on a bit of everything at the CAST office: she shuffles through newly delivered mail to collect and record bills and membership fees; sends and receives correspondence; packs letters and publications into envelopes to ship to task force members; and assists Kent Schescke, CAST EVP, with certain projects. 

“I wanted to find a job that had something to do with my major and what I want to do in the future,” Delaney says. 

The animal science major and aspiring CPA seeks experience that provides her with skills to set up shop as an accountant specializing in farm taxes in her southeast Iowa hometown. 

Her role at CAST, along with an accounting position at Howe’s Welding in Ames, fulfills her wishes to combine agriculture with accounting. And the two jobs will keep her summer busy.

“Right now my hobbies are school and work, but I envision future hobbies,” Delaney jokes.

Delaney with her boyfriend and his three children.

In her free time this summer, she plans to revive some avocations, specifically birdwatching.

“I have three or four bird books,” she says. “And I took a class on it this last semester. It was awesome.” 

Delaney is mesmerized by the various types of birds and enjoys recalling information about the ones she can identify. 

“It’s something I can catch on to easily, and so it is cool to test myself,” Delaney says. “It’s something unique…. I like the beauty of it. I think all birds are unique.” 

Birdwatching fulfills Delaney’s philosophy to “live life to the fullest”–a collection of wisdom passed on to her from the hometown friend who introduced her to the hobby as well as her grandmother and one of her first bosses.

“They inspire me to want to be [supportive],” Delaney says. “I want to do for others what they have done for me.”

She is certainly fulfilling that wish already at CAST, and we are excited to have her as part of our team.

By Kimberly Nelson

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