Agriculture + Politics = A Perfect Internship


Peterson-1By: Sarah Peterson, Agribusiness and Applied Economic | Washington Court House, OH

As a senior in Agribusiness and Applied Economics, I have a different plan in mind for my degree. I am primarily interested in agricultural policy – representing farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses to our elected officials. With this career in mind, when I was looking for summer internships I decided to stray away from the norm and look for an agricultural policy internship in Washington D.C.

Searching for the type of internship I wanted was a challenge due to the different ways that Washington D.C and political organizations work. While the majority of people I knew had their internships tied down by December, due to the nature of the internship I was looking for, I was still applying for internships in January and February. However, all of my searching paid off when I landed an internship with the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

As an intern on The Hill I gained a completely different perspective on the writing and implementation of agricultural policy. I had the opportunity to attend hearings, briefings and receptions on agricultural issues ranging from honeybees to crop insurance. I researched and tracked legislation, wrote memos and reports for staff members, made valuable connections and was able to enjoy living in our capital city while I was at it.

Washington D.C. is definitely an exciting place to live. Throughout my summer I was able to see all the sites, hit up some local favorites and even run into a few famous politicians!

One of my summer highlights was attending a Congressional baseball game in the Washington Nationals stadium. The Republicans in the legislature faced the Democrats in a game of baseball to raise money for charity. Another was going for dinner at a restaurant near where I was living and running into Senator Rand Paul!

All in all, interning in DC was a perfect segway between my major and the career I hope to have in agricultural policy after I graduate.

Turf? You Mean The Fake Grass?

imageBy: Michael Sanders, Sustainable Plant Systems: Turfgrass Science | Hamilton OH

When most hear of turfgrass, they think of the plastic sports fields. In reality, it is actually a major within our own school, CFAES! Most people going into Turfgrass Science usually love the outdoors as well as sports such as golf, soccer, or baseball. The science deals with how to manage sports fields properly as well as golf courses, and gives the student knowledge in the areas of pathology, ecology, sustainability, botany, and business aspects such as budgeting and management, as well as many other opportunities!

Turfgrass Science is a cool experience, as there are multiple industry conferences across the country with turfbowls that challenges teams from various schools in competition as well a Turf Club that meets bi­weekly and includes presentations on possible overseas internships, guest speakers, tours of facilities such as the Columbus Crew stadium or Ohio Stadium, and many more events. The major consists of around 35 people and is a close knit group, with the professors knowing all the students very well as well as the students knowing each other. The faculty backing turf students are some of the best: they are always fun enjoyable people who do whatever it takes to help you succeed and often go out of their own way to make sure you do.

Ever since my junior year of high school when I began working on a golf course, I knew that turf was what I wanted to pursue, and that one day I wanted to run a course myself. Opportunities in this industry are far from hard to come by, you just have to be willing to work hard and be eager to learn. Luckily for me, I love what I do and I love learning everything I can and I am willing to put in the long days and extra effort to stand out amongst other employees. Since my junior year of high school I have taken advantage of every opportunity given to me. I’ve spent 4 years total at two of the best courses in Cincinnati, I recently gained a position at the OSU/OTF Turf Research Facility, and have been to the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida. I am planning on interning at a golf club in Boston next summer, I will attend the Sports Turf Management Conference in Denver as well as the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, I have applied to various organizations for scholarships such as the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation, the Columbus District Golf Association, and the Golf Course Superintendents of America, and I am still looking for any other opportunities that may present themselves.

I highly recommend Turfgrass Science to any and every one! It is a fun and interactive career path that not many people know about. As the industry continues to grow, more people are need! So remember, turf isn’t just that plastic stuff on sports fields, it’s a major too!


More Than Just Playing in Dirt

10357589_717277358359752_3463484896473722127_nBy: Jessica Stacy, Sustainable Plant Systems: Agronomy | Castalia OH

As a student at The Ohio State University, many opportunities are thrust upon me, leaving it up to me to take advantage of them. I come from a small town in Northern Ohio, making the transition to a large university rather difficult. When I moved down, I took advantage of a small opportunity available to many Ohio State students, to join a club. With a plethora of organizations to choose from, I found opportunity with the Crops and Soils Club.

I quickly became involved in the Crops and Soils Club on the CFAES campus. Crops and Soils Club is a club specializing in students studying Agronomy. After attending the first meeting, I learned of an opportunity to attend a conference in Tampa, Florida for students in the agronomy major. This conference is called the SASES (Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences) Conference, and it is held in a different location every year. Having never been out of the state before, I quickly jumped on this chance to make friends and to break out of my shell.

After expressing interest in this trip, I was selected with 5 others to be a representative of The Ohio State University at the SASES Conference. At the conference, I would compete in a quiz bowl against other collegiate agronomy clubs. Upon my return to OSU, we had a bi-weekly Crops and Soils Club meeting. At this meeting we were holding nominations for a new officer team. After speaking about my experiences, I was elected to be the club secretary.

Finding the Crops and Soils Club was a blessing, because I have taken advantage of the many opportunities the club offers. I was very fortunate to be able to attend the trip to Tampa with my fellow Ohio State students. I have formed friendships that will not soon be broken and have gained experiences that will not soon be forgotten.