A Leap of Faith in to the World of Agriculture

Discovering a Passion

Andy Brantmeyer, a sophomore majoring in Agricultural Operations Management (AOM) in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) Department, says his journey into the world of agriculture took a leap of faith. Growing up in Broward County, an area not typically associated with agriculture, Andy the AOM program, enabling him to explore and develop a wide range of skills he hopes to utilize to make a significant impact on the world.

A headshot of UF ABE AOM student, Andy Brantmeyer
Headshot of UF ABE AOM student, Andy Brantmeyer

As an officer of the AOM club and an Ambassador for College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Andy enjoys guiding students in various ways. He actively seeks out industry experts to interact with and inspire AOM club members that reflect their career aspirations. In both roles he appreciates the opportunity to challenge the misconceptions about agriculture, emphasizing that it extends far beyond traditional farming, but rather incorporates a variety of exciting possibilities that can be unlocked with an Agricultural Operations Management degree.

Andy is currently a part of the new Smart Agriculture Concentration introduced in the AOM program in Fall 2023. This concentration places a significant emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI), which reinforces the university’s AI Initiative, encouraging faculty and students to not only engage with AI but prepare them for AI-related careers post-graduation. Andy’s excitement for the future of AI and its impact on agriculture is evident, and he especially looks forward to the new 19,000 square foot Applied AI in Agriculture Center UF IFAS is building in Hillsborough County. He believes the ABE department is a key leader in fulfilling the AI mission at the university and hopes to see Florida as a central hub for the latest agriculture technology.

Celebrating a Century of Excellence

Thinking about his future impact, Andy reflects on the historical achievements of the ABE department as it celebrates its Centennial anniversary this year. Even just recognizing the integration of artificial intelligence into agriculture, Andy recognizes the remarkable progress made in the field. When he thinks about the agricultural advancements made even in the last 50 years, he acknowledges the role the department has played in helping drive this progress, stating, “we genuinely have changed the world. And these are big words. Maybe they sound cliché, but we have actually changed the world, so we deserve a celebration.”

Andy doesn’t want the ABE department’s legacy to stop here. He envisions AOM playing a crucial role in getting this important research out and into the field and on to operations and implemented into the real world.

A Future of Possibilities

Arriving at UF with no prior exposure or interest in agriculture, Andy credits the AOM program at the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department for greatly enriching his life. Proud of his Floridian roots and his dedication to the study of agriculture, he now seeks to contribute to the field’s technological evolution and seeks to contribute to a lasting impact.

Looking ahead, Andy expresses his desire for the ABE department to continue transforming lives for the better. He hopes that more students will enter the department, discover their passions, and determine ambitious goals, just as it did for him. In his words “the department changed the trajectory of my life and I hope that it continues to do the same for others.”


Posted: October 13, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth

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