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Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

University of Georgia Extension Program

Josie Baltz, Agricultural Operations Management Student

What was involved/what was your role during your internship?

I worked as the Sumter County intern in Southwest Georgia and through this position I was able to learn from each of the three agents here. Under the family and consumer science agent, I learned how to make blackberry jam, took and passed a SERVsafe class, taught food safety practices, and shared healthy drinking habits at two different health fairs in the county. Under the 4-H agent I was able to go to cloverleaf camp on Tybee Island and I also worked on updating their online brochures and working with the 4-H kids. I was also able to work with their agriculture and natural resources agent where I helped plant 36 fruit trees to start a community garden, researched and observed cotton trial varieties, and learned about the different agricultural products of Southwest Georgia.

What was the best/your favorite part about completing this internship?

My favorite part of this experience was being able to communicate directly with local farmers. We took a tour of the local dairy farm in Sumter County, which is called Leatherbrook Holsteins. Talking with the owner, I was able to learn more about how he got started in ag and what made this lifestyle purposeful for him. I was also able to observe their rotary milking parlour and new methane digestor. As we were touring this digestor, I found out that a recent UF grad was actually in charge of it. His name was Gabe Lucero and it was super cool to meet him!

What are the benefits of an internship?

The benefits of employment over the summer are extensive. During the school year I don't really have time to be a part of a program like this because it is very demanding. Doing internships and jobs like this over the summer allows for students to get a trial run of life in the workplace to see if this is a career that they want to pursue.

Why would you recommend internships to other students?

I would recommend getting involved with an internship over the summer because there is no better time. Without the stress and work from classes, you have more free time to devote to learning new things. It is important to figure out what career path you want to take and doing small jobs like these over the summer can really help you find out what you like to do.