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FRE Undergraduate Involvement Opportunities

Let’s talk about involvement. We know you hear about this all the time from your advisors and professors, but there’s a reason that we are constantly talking about it! If you ask anyone whose college days are behind them what impacted them most during their college experience, the answer is usually based on their campus involvement. Clubs, associations, organizations, councils, teams, volunteer work, campus jobs, etc. all can make a significant impact on your experience here at UF.

College years are short, use the facilities provided to you to build lifelong friendships, networks, and leadership skills, all the while gaining real-world experience, expanding your resume, and finding your passions.

Some of the opportunities below require enrolling in 3 credit courses for Spring 2022 (NAMA, Quiz Bowl, Social Media). Don’t wait around and miss out!

Food and Resource Economics Department Involvement

Ag Economics Club

“The Ag-Econ Club is open to all students interested in the field of agribusiness and applied economics. The club offers opportunities for students to develop as professionals and serve the community.  At the meetings, students learn from guest speakers who share their industry knowledge and expertise.”

“The Ag Econ Club has provided me with an opportunity to give back to a close-knit department and the university as a whole. It’s something I’m proud to be a part of, as I’ve learned so much from industry guest speakers, internal faculty, and former students.” – Ryan McKeever

How to join: Follow the Ag Econ Club on Facebook and Instagram for updates on when meetings are taking place. The usual day of the week and time is Tuesday at 5:30 PM. There are no membership fees at this time.

Gator NAMA

“Gator NAMA is the University of Florida’s National Agri-Marketing Association student group. The group works with faculty and industry professionals to grow as agribusiness marketers.  Each year, the group works are a marketing plan to compete at the annual NAMA meeting.  All student members receive a complimentary 2-year professional membership to both the national and local NAMA chapters after graduation.”

“NAMA was a great opportunity to gain practical experience in the marketing field while building stronger relationships with faculty and staff in the department.” – Sarah Beth Lee

How to join: NAMA starts in Spring 2022, if you want to join you’ll need to be enrolled in a 3 credit Special Topics course. Contact Dr. John Lai, NAMA faculty advisor, and Danielle Shu, FRE Academic Advisor to sign up and enroll in the course.

Quiz Bowl

“Quizbowl is a jeopardy-style academic team that competes against other universities. The Southern Agricultural Economics Association puts on the competition every spring semester. Members work in teams to answer agricultural economics-related questions. It’s an awesome opportunity for college students to get to go AAEA and SAAEA conferences, as well as interact with other college students.”

“I would describe quiz bowl as a team that doesn’t stop giving. I think UF’s FRE department has done a great job to foster a sense of comradery as well as an appreciation for the effort we bring to quiz bowl each year. I enjoy the fact that I get to meet other college students, not within UF that are following similar career paths and are also interested in yours.” – Juan Pachon

How to join: Quiz Bowl starts in Spring 2022, if you want to join you’ll need to be enrolled in a 3 credit Special Topics course. Contact Dr. Misti Sharp Quiz Bowl faculty advisor, and Danielle Shu, FRE Academic Advisor to sign up and enroll in the course.

Agricultural Mentorship Program (AMP)

“The Food and Resource Economics Agricultural Mentorship Program (AMP) is a new resource offered for first-semester FRE students. New students will be paired with an experienced peer to be their mentor over the course of their first semester. AMP is in place to provide a network of support for new students in the Food and Resource Economics Department (FRED). Mentors help guide mentees through involvement opportunities, department essentials, and university resources from a peer perspective.”

“AMP has helped me in so many different ways. My mentor hasn’t just helped me with classes by tutoring me, she’s also pointed me towards opportunities that will grow my resume and even helped me figure out the different career paths I can go down when I graduate. AMP has made me more confident about knowing where I want my career to go.” -Matthew Friedman

How to join: If you’d like to be a mentor for incoming Spring 2022 students, contact Danielle Shu, FRE Academic Advisor. If you’re an incoming FRE student and you’re interested in being a mentee, also contact Danielle Shu.

Social Media Team

The FRE social media team maintains the social media presence of our department on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They work together with the undergraduate advising staff to plan posts and create graphics. They promote our department to prospective students, inform our current students about upcoming events, and keep our alumni in the loop on what our department is up to.

“Being on the social media team is so much more than running an Instagram. It has connected me with people, events, and opportunities that I would never have been exposed to otherwise. Working with other students and getting to know faculty has been a privilege.” -Amanda Heinzmann

How to join: This opportunity involves enrolling in a 3 credit special topics course. Contact Danielle Shu, FRE Academic Advisor, to sign up and enroll in the course.

PMA

“The Produce Marketing Association is a trade organization representing companies from every segment of the global fresh produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption.”

“PMA Career Pathways is a program designed to give students a kick-start into the produce and floral industry. It brings us together and allows us to meet and network with industry professionals who hold many positions throughout many different companies. It has allowed all of us students involved to gain a better understanding of what our careers could look like once we graduate college. It is a great experience and we have all learned so much!” – Josephine Hoffner

How to join: Contact Jennifer Clark, FRE Lecturer, about your interest in joining.

 

CALS Involvement

CALS Council

“The CALS Council provides leadership for CALS students and student organizations. The council stimulates interest among students in the agricultural and life sciences, supports and promotes CALS student organizations, provides programs of interest and relevance to CALS students, and promotes communication between CALS faculty and students.”

“Being part of the CALS Council has allowed me to connect with fellow students and faculty as we work together to enhance the CALS student experience. By fostering meaningful relationships between members of different organizations and learning how we can better serve them, we’ve created a tighter-knit community within CALS that I love being part of!” – Madi Koukos

How to Join: Their next meeting is on December 2. Fall 2021 meetings are held in the CALS Collaboration Room, 2025 McCarty Hall D.

CALS Ambassadors 

“The CALS Ambassadors are a select group of students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in academics and student leadership. Their objective is to create awareness of the academic programs and career opportunities in food, agriculture, and natural resources among students, teachers, advisors, and the general public in the state of Florida.”

“Being a CALS ambassador has allowed me to connect with my peers over our shared love of the college and of agriculture. The ambassador team is a great way to network with stakeholders and contribute to making the college as successful as possible.” – Courtney Ball

How to join: Be on the lookout for applications to open on their website in late January 2022.

CALS Leadership Institute 

“Over the course of 17 months (3 semesters), students will engage in leadership modules, an international travel experience, and are paired with a mentor. This leadership experience prepares students for positions in business, communications, science, natural resources, and pre-professional studies.”

“Through my CALS LI experience I have been able to identify personal strengths, teamwork dynamics within a diverse array of students, and gain invaluable lessons from my LI assigned mentor. This program has truly opened my eyes to a worldwide perspective and global understanding of my role within creating a sustainable future.” – Maddie Dvorak

How to join: Current applications are closed, but keep an eye out for the application on their website.

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