UGA Extension internship opportunities

     On Jan. 30, over 40 ambitious ABAC students gathered in Ag Science room 139 at 5 p.m. for an informational workshop over the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Internship Program.

     The workshop consisted of a presentation by employee recruitment and internship coordinator, Maria Bowie and testimony from the previous intern, Shelby Sangster. The event was free to all ABAC students and was catered by Chick-fil-a. Each student who attended the workshop was rewarded with a Chick-fil-a meal for having a dedicated interest in planning for their future.

     Bowie explained that the role of an extension agent is to serve as a resource to communities. Extension agents distribute only current research-based information. She further explained that the internship program allows students to be paired with an extension agent to ensure that the intern gains hands-on experience in the field as well as the office. Bowie asserted that the internship program is a chance for students to become a part of something that is bigger than themselves.

     Sangster, a student at UGA Tifton, completed the UGA Cooperative Extension Internship in the summer of 2018. Sangster enthusiastically shared her internship experience with workshop attendees as she explained that the opportunity was exciting, educational and allowed her to gain class credit. Sangster emphasized how rewarding it was to take a group of 4-H members to summer camp through her internship. Sangster encouraged all workshop attendees to grasp the opportunity and apply for the internship.

     Students who are interested in applying for the UGA Cooperative Extension Internship Program are required to submit an application consisting of a cover letter and an updated resume. The applications should be submitted online to the CAES scholarships and internships portal. In order to be considered, ABAC students should include educational details specific to ABAC, such as major and hours completed.

     The deadline to apply for a fall semester internship is May 1, while deadlines for spring and summer 2020 are Oct. 1, 2019, and Feb. 1, 2020.


Exploring opportunities at Career Connections

Career Connections is an event that hosts companies within the agriculture industry to come and speak to agriculture students who are interested in finding a career or internship in the industry. Career Connections took place on Nov. 13 in the Ag Science building.

Students dressed head to toe in business casual and flocked to the event to explore professional opportunities in the agriculture industry. Exhibitors set up booths and welcomed students to learn about career and internship opportunities within each company.

Students of the school of Agriculture and Natural Resources were encouraged to stop in and network with industry representatives.

Agriculture majors were advised to bring an updated resume, a firm handshake and their game face for this event. With booths lining the lobby and hallways of the Ag Science building, there were many options within each sector of agriculture represented. Large name corporations such as Smithfield, Synsenta, Zoetis and many others alike welcomed students to explore opportunities within their companies.

Agribusiness major Tyler Robinson had no trouble finding a potential employer to talk to. Robinson says “I handed my resume out to anybody that would take it because any connection can lead to something that could benefit my future.”

Career Connections was a great opportunity for students to practice their professional networking skills while also getting their name out to potential employers.

Although Career Connections caters directly to agriculture majors, all students who attended Career Connections were able to benefit in some way. Biology major Abigail Holley says “I had no idea there was such a wide variety of careers in the agriculture field. I met someone who worked in Horticulture that earned a degree in Biology and he spoke to me about an internship that I would be eligible for.”

Although Holley is not an agriculture major, she asserts that she “learned a lot and had the opportunity to network with people who were outside of her zone of interests.”

Career Connections will be held again in the spring with a focus on careers in Forestry and Natural Resources.


ABAC makes an impression at the 2018 Sunbelt Ag Expo

ABAC’s roots run deep with the Sunbelt Ag Expo as the expo originated from a mini-trade show put on by the ABAC AET Club. These mini-trade shows showcased local agricultural equipment and inspired what is now known as North America’s Premier Farm Show.

The first Dealer Day was held on ABAC’s main campus in 1964. The expo has grown tremendously since then and although the trade show is no longer held on campus, ABAC continues to maintain an extremely large presence at the Sunbelt Ag Expo. Fifty-four years later, ABAC’s involvement with The Sunbelt Ag Expo is unwavering as students and faculty work diligently to show expo visitors the ABAC way to celebrate agriculture. The 2018 Sunbelt Ag Expo took place at Spence Field in Moultrie, Georgia on Oct. 15-17.

The 2018 Sunbelt Ag Expo invited ABAC to be a part of their opening ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 15 as reigning Ms. ABAC, Shannon Kehoe went along for a royal hot air balloon ride over the expo grounds while reigning Mr. ABAC, Landon Rowe performed The National Anthem.

As busloads of middle and high school students arrived at the expo throughout the week, the ABAC exhibit bustled with fresh faces who were interested in joining the ABAC family. The ABAC Ambassadors were there to greet guests at the information counter, welcome inquiries, share their personal experiences as students and encourage students to apply to ABAC.

Hannah Roberts working the SANR desk. Photo courtesy of the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resources Facebook Page.


The School of Agriculture and Natural Resources made an appearance in order to showcase ABAC’s new track in Agriculture Technology and Systems Management. The School of Agriculture and Natural Resources display featured a runoff-simulator, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and a 3D printer to demonstrate the program’s focus on hands-on learning.

ABAC students could be found around every corner of the 700 acre Sunbelt Ag Expo. Students were allowed the opportunity to work exhibits for businesses in the agriculture industry, network with business and industry representatives and drive tractors to pull visitor trams to the demonstration fields.

Eight ABAC ACT Club members were able to put their communication skills to work as they took on the role of the 2018 Sunbelt Ag Expo social media interns. The eight students had the opportunity to take over the expo’s social media platforms which include Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. The social media interns could be seen covering expo highlights, taking photographs and conducting interviews throughout the expo. The social media interns were also tasked with writing materials for the 2018 Sunbelt Ag Expo program.

ABAC ACT Club member, Loren Lindler explains how valuable the opportunity was as she says, “By working with the Sunbelt Ag Expo’s social media accounts, visitors and exhibitors by using the hashtag sunbeltagexpo, we reached over five million impressions. This is such a great event for us; with over 1,200 exhibitors, there are endless networking opportunities.”

Although ABAC discontinued annual yearbooks in 1986, the tradition of honoring those who have paved the way remains solid as the ABAC Alumni Council provided opportunities for current faculty and staff to rekindle connections with ABAC Alumni. Alumni of all ages poured into the ABAC expo exhibit to look at ABAC yearbooks, update contact information, learn about their role in Homecoming 2019 and show stallion spirit for their alma mater. ABAC alumni and current ABAC students who took the time to stop by the ABAC exhibit received a warm welcome and a special gift for showing their stallion pride. However, anyone who paid a visit to the exhibit was welcome to receive an ABAC logo bag to carry all of their expo souvenirs.

ABAC Alumni Spencer Highsmith visiting the ABAC Tent. Photo courtesy of the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resource Facebook page.

The GMA joined the ABAC family in 2010. Since then, the GMA has added a special touch to the ABAC exhibit at the Sunbelt Ag Expo. The GMA section of the exhibit features educational programming, cooking demonstrations and staff dressed in traditional costumes.

The ABAC exhibit also showcased live musical performances by talented ABAC students, a seating area to allow guests to escape the south Georgia heat and a mini Stallion Shop equipped with the latest ABAC gear.


‘At The Fork’ tries to attack animal ag

The film, “At The Fork”, is a documentary that follows John Papola, a filmmaker who indulges in meat eating and his vegetarian wife as they explore the practices of animal agriculture.

The couple fails to see eye to eye when it comes to dietary ethics, so they set out on a journey to become educated about the processes that take place in order for Papola to have meat on his plate. They start their trip by visiting an animal activist who locks Papola up in farrowing crates with the intention of allowing him to empathize with animals that are produced for consumption.

As the film continues, Papola films large-scale operations owned by corporations, organic operations and even operations that they were not given permission to film.

“At The Fork,” in terms of filming techniques, is of great quality. However, the content of the documentary is unnerving and extremely misinforming. While the documentary claims to be free of bias, the producers clearly have an agenda to demonize animal agriculture and paint the American farmer in a negative light. Anyone who is knowledgeable about animal agriculture would be able to see through the producer’s attempt to deface the industry.

However, the sad truth is that the American population is at least three generations removed from the farm. Therefore, the target audience of millennials who watch this documentary will not likely realize that what they are seeing is far from true.

While Papola visits real farms, only footage that could be misconstrued as unfair treatment of animals is shown. For instance, the segment on swine production only shows animals in farrowing crates and piglets getting their teeth clipped. Likewise, the segment on the poultry industry mainly focuses on the farmer going through the chicken houses to weed out the dead birds.

With no explanations provided to show how these steps are taken to benefit the animals, the practices could potentially be deemed as cruel. In addition to capturing all of the wrong angles of animal agriculture, the film further attacks the agriculture industry by falsely accusing farmers of hiding mistreatment of animals behind the ag-gag law.

However, the ag-gag law was put in place to protect the hard-working farmer from those with the agenda to skew information about animal agriculture.

Overall, “At The Fork” is an extremely biased documentary that fails to share the positive side to animal agriculture in their attempt to persuade viewers to become animal activists.


AGR does not horse around about philanthropy

     Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) Fraternity has been contributing to the social and professional success of young men at ABAC since December 10, 2011. AGR is a fraternity sharing a common bond within global agriculture and is committed to fostering the highest values and providing each and every brother with superior lifelong personal development and professional success.

     AGR was proud to announce that they have initiated 10 new brothers to their chapter in Fall 2018. The fraternity now has 36 active brothers dedicated to the premier brotherhood in agriculture.

     AGR fosters connections for young men who are pursuing careers in the food and fiber industry. Those interests include food science, biotechnology, agricultural marketing, environmental science, and many other agriculture-related fields. The agricultural industry relies heavily on networking and AGR provides an opportunity to do just that.

      The newly elected president of AGR, Ben Burkey, exudes appreciation for his experience in the fraternity. As he says, “I enjoy being a part of AGR because we have such a strong network for academic, social and professional experiences at our fingertips. AGR is the brotherhood formed between not only brothers that are in our chapter here at ABAC, but with members across the nation.”

      In addition to promoting career success in agriculture, AGR strives to contribute to the community by hosting philanthropic events. After months of planning and promoting, the fraternity encouraged those with a heart for giving to saddle up for the Alzheimer’s Race For a Cure Barrel Race.

      The event was held on September 22 at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Rodeo Arena. The event consisted of an open show and a World Barrel Race League sanctioned race. AGR welcomed a crowd of 250 people with 114 competitors for a day of barrel racing fun in honor of those who are battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Photo courtesy of Jessie Shiflett.

      The cost to ride in the open show was 25 dollars while an additional fee of 25 dollars was required to compete in the World Barrel Racing League event.

     AGR is grateful to have worked with 18 businesses who were eager to sponsor the Alzheimer’s Race For a Cure Barrel Race.

     The barrel race was quite a success as the fraternity was able to raise 3,700 dollars from the event. All of the proceeds that were raised were donated to the Tifton Alzheimer’s Association in order to help fund the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in October.

      The ABAC Alpha Gamma Rho chapter holds the Tifton Alzheimer’s Association in high regard. Burkey explains that this cause is important to their chapter because “our founding fathers had family members who were affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Tifton Alzheimer’s Association has been very appreciative of everything we have done while working with them and in turn, we are grateful that they are always in attendance to the barrel race”.

     All 36 AGR brothers pitched in to show their dedication to the cause. The brothers pulled the event together by doing jobs that include registration, parking, moving and repositioning the barrels, driving the tractors and working with the event announcers.

     Burkey asserts that the AGR fraternity regards philanthropy to be of utmost importance as “it provides an opportunity to become an active member in the community and shows a positive image of Alpha Gamma Rho in our community.”

      On October 27, the fraternity plans to continue their support of the Tifton Alzheimer’s Association as they participate along with 31 other teams in the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s event at ABAC.

      Registration for the walk begins at 8:00 a.m. and the walk will begin at 9:30 a.m. AGR encourages all who are able to join them in supporting the cause by participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.