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CALS Weekly

Hands-On Experience Helps Shape Careers for Ag Institute Students

students in a ballroom with poster presentations
Students present posters on summer internships at Talley Student Union.

Actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to practical job experience. 

That’s why 84 second-year students from the Agricultural Institute highlighted their summer internship experiences during a poster session on Nov. 17 at Talley Student Union.

Students shared internship experiences ranging from beekeeping and turfgrass and sod management to poultry and swine production with more than 100 faculty, industry representatives and fellow Ag Institute students. The event was held in conjunction with an industry luncheon for all first-year students.

“It is a great way to showcase the students who did internships and to get first-year students excited about internships for next year,” says Alyssa Degreenia, assistant director of the Ag Institute, a two-year associate’s degree program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. “Faculty get to further connect with students about the impact and outcomes of their internships, and industry reps get to talk to past and potential future interns!”

Hogan Randall and Izabella Wernett, two of the students who presented posters, say their summer internships were invaluable. Randall, an agribusiness management major, served as an operations intern with the Wyndham Championship PGA golf tournament, and Wernett, a general agriculture major, completed an internship in sow farming with Murphy Family Ventures. 

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in the future and then I ended up getting this internship. I started working more with them and I learned to love it a lot,” says Randall, who grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, near the golf course where the Wyndham Championship is played. He hopes to return to the tournament as a senior intern next summer and pursue job opportunities in tournament management.

students in a ballroom with poster presentations
students in a ballroom with poster presentations
students in a ballroom with poster presentations
students in a ballroom with poster presentations

Other than taking FFA in high school and “being an animal lover,” Wernett has no background in farming or agriculture. But after taking a swine production class through the Ag Institute, she became interested in sow management and swine reproduction. 

“I decided to do this internship and I actually fell in love with it,” she says, adding that she likes the teamwork aspect of caring for the pigs. “I liked helping the sows during birth.”

The internship has led to a part-time job, and Wernett is excited for the future.

“I want to have my own sow farm and be a first-generation farmer, the first in my family to own a farm,” she says.