The University of Florida (UF) will celebrate its annual Gator Nation Giving Day on February 17, 2022. All the Gator Nation is encouraged to Stand Up and Holler through the support of this 24-hour fundraising event.
This year, the Department of Animal Sciences (ANS) will put its Giving Day efforts toward its ANS Judging Teams. Students on the UF Animal Sciences Judging Teams work tirelessly to learn all they can about their chosen field of study.
Team members come from diverse backgrounds and often begin their judging career with little to no experience. They end the program with knowledge that sets them apart from their peers and ultimately helps them gain valuable industry jobs. Our judging teams travel across the country to represent UF in intercollegiate competitions that test their knowledge and skills.
2021 Livestock Judging Team member, Chloe Bunyak expressed she has been able to develop friendships and was even invited to judge her first cattle show this year because of her experience.
“Being on a judging team gave me the opportunity to make new lifelong friendships and connections,” said Chloe. “This experience helped me become more attentive to details and also helped me develop better communication and public speaking skills.”
According to Elizabeth Chmielewski, who served on the 2020 and 2021 Meat Judging Team, students participating in any judging team increase their industry knowledge and potential for career success in the future.
“Students are also able to meet industry professional from large meat science companies, such as Cargill, Tyson, JBS, and many more,” said Elizabeth. I gained an internship this past summer working with Tyson Foods in their FSQA division. This opportunity was only possible due to the education I have received and connections I have made with meat judging.”
Students like Aubrey Fredrick found their passion for the food animal industry through their experience on these teams. She said participating in the Livestock Judging Team helped her find confidence in her decision making, a skill she will carry with her throughout her life.
Coach of the current Meat Judging Team, Michael Fioretto said these valuable experiences are only possible because of alumni and friends who support the teams with time, resources, and funding.
“The judging programs are an incredibly valuable opportunity for all the students involved, whether or not they try to pursue a career in the related industries,” said Michael. “The experience, connections, and skills they get along the way make for one of the most valuable programs the university has to offer. However, the judging program needs support to function, as does any other program. Without support, these students won’t be able to afford this opportunity, and will miss out on one of the most enriching experiences of an undergraduate’s time at UF.”
Your gift this Giving Day can help support our students and help them achieve their full potential. Help us enrich our students’ education with this hands-on practical experience.
For more information about our judging teams please visit our ANS Judging Teams information page.