noah boldt on a boat in australia

Top 5 Reasons Why I Chose to Major in Agricultural Operations Management

By Noah Boldt, master’s student studying fisheries and aquatic sciences, CALS alumnus ‘19 (agricultural operations management major)

The agricultural operations management (AOM) major combines hands-on applied coursework and core business principles with emerging technologies and sustainable methods. Students gain experience in systems management, environmental quality, energy efficiency, agricultural machinery, GIS/GPS technology, remote sensing, irrigation, power systems, water control, and precision agriculture.

I am a recent alumnus from the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Currently, I’m continuing my education at CALS by pursuing a Master of Science in fisheries and aquatic sciences through the UF/IFAS school of forest resources and conservation. Stationed in Ruskin, Florida, at the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, I am working on a USDA-funded grant looking at the impact that state and federal regulations have on the ornamental aquaculture industry. The end goal of this project is to ultimately create new pathways for the growth of aquaculture and help policymakers understand the effects they have on the industry.

Take a look at the top five reasons why I chose to study AOM as my undergraduate college major!

5. Hands-on, outside of the classroom learning

Almost every AOM class has some type of lab component to accompany the regular lecture periods. This allows students to apply the knowledge that they learn in lectures. The best way to reinforce learning is to actually have students try out the skills. The AOM program lets students do this in a controlled environment with the help of a professor.  noah boldt on a boat in australia with two supervisors

4. The ability to tailor your coursework to your interests

The AOM major offers six concentration areas: agribusiness management, fishery and aquatic production (my concentration), sustainable energy and facilities, animal production management, horticulture and crop management, and soil and water sciences. These concentrations require students to take classes outside of the UF/IFAS agricultural and biological engineering department, which houses the AOM program, to give students a well-rounded curriculum upon graduation.

3. Student-focused advising

Dr. Wendell Porter, the undergraduate coordinator, and the undergraduate AOM advising team does an excellent job of putting students first and making sure that we have the best experience possible. They always make time to meet with students and make registering for classes a breeze. Dr. Porter learns the names of all the students in the department and constantly checks up with us to make sure everything is going well.

2. Internship and undergraduate research experiences

Every AOM student is required to do some type of undergraduate research or internship before graduation. The department does an excellent job of placing students within the University of Florida, the state, the larger United States, or even international opportunities to allow them to explore their field from a professional level. During the summer 2017, I had the opportunity to travel to Australia for three months. While there, I worked for a research and development company that provides scientific studies for the aquaculture field in the region. This experience launched me on the path I am on today and helped me build my resume and professional network.

1. The welcoming atmosphere

The AOM program ensures that every students’ needs are met. Students are given every possible tool to be able to chase their passion. Class sizes are kept small, and students have the opportunity to meet with almost everyone in the program and form relationships with classmates who share similar interests. All of the professors are enthusiastic and engaging during their lectures and truly want to see students succeed. As a student in this major, you will be able to meet people from around the world in the program and form friendships and professional networks that could jump start the next chapter in your life.

Learn more about the agricultural operations management major at https://abe.ufl.edu/undergraduate/. Looking to narrow down your college major selection? Take our CALS majors quiz!

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