MSU Extension trains future agriculture professionals

Our Michigan State University Extension educators are handing down their expertise to another generation. MSU students interested in agriculture and agribusiness careers gained hands-on experience this summer through a new MSU Extension internship program. Seven students with a passion for agriculture were selected to work with several MSU Extension educators throughout Michigan.

“It has been a very positive and enjoyable experience working with an intern this summer,” MSU Extension educator Tom Guthrie said. “It is exciting to work with individuals who are excited about the future of agriculture, learn about their perspectives in regard to agriculture and teach about the many aspects of what agriculture has to offer.”

Interns worked with educators on daily educational programming, applied research, demonstration trials, data collection and record keeping, offering the students a chance to explore a variety of agriculture-related fields.

Some of the interns offered comments on their experiences in the program.

“This internship has provided me with the opportunity to explore a variety of agriculture-related careers,” said Riley Collins, an animal science major from Commerce Township. “These experiences have allowed me to see what my future can entail with an animal science degree.”

Other students shared Riley’s sentiments, adding that the experience also opened their eyes to some of the challenges Extension faces on a daily basis.

“The internship taught me how hard it is for a lot of organizations, including Extension, to find funding for research projects – but how rewarding the data from those research projects are for producers and the public,” said Lindsey Garner, an agriscience education major from Byron.

Sounds like a win-win-win situation – rewards all around for students, educators and the future of agriculture. And it’s a situation that merits repeating next year.

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