CALS Alumnus Highlight: Trey Warnock
University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences alumnus Trey Warnock earned his undergraduate degree from the Animal Sciences Department in 2008 and his M.S. from the department in 2010. He is currently working for Amarillo Brokerage Company.
What brought you to CALS and your department? What first sparked your interest in your major?
I was initially not all that interested in going to college. I came to Gainesville to tour the Food and Resource Economics Department and meet the men at the Alpha Gamma Rho house with a friend that was intending on coming to UF. While I was sitting in the halls of McCarty A, Paul Willis approached me and asked some questions about what I was doing. I expressed that I was wildly intrigued by the cattle and beef business. He promptly put me in his car and drove me across campus to the Animal Sciences Department, dropped me off with Dr. Tim Marshall and the rest is history. I toured the Beef Teaching Unit, Beef Research Unit and Meats Lab, needless to say, I was very interested in going to college at that point.
Was there a particular CALS faculty/staff or mentor that was influential in your career path?
Paul Willis played a huge part in my college career in multiple ways. He pushed me to come to UF, he and his sweet wife were our AGR house parents. Paul was a mentor and role model. He was absolutely a dad away from home. Dr. Tim Marshall directed my early college experience. He encouraged me to take on internships and discouraged me from being late to that 7:25 a.m. Intro to Animal Science class! Dr. Todd Thrift was instrumental in teaching me how to learn, how to think critically, how to work through the seemingly impossible course or challenging data set. Dr. Thrift taught me the applied skills and logic I needed to be an asset to the cattle/beef sector of the Ag industry. Dr. Dwain Johnson allowed me to experience aspects of meat science/meat sciences research as an undergraduate and graduate student. Dr. Terry Houser and Dr. Chad Carr led me in meats judging as well as HAACP certification and later application within the UF Meats Lab. There are so many more that were teachers, leaders, coaches and mentors to me — Larry Eubanks, Dr. Sally Johnson, Joel McQuagge, Dr. Matt Hersom and Dr. Joel Yelich to name a few.
What do you find to be the coolest/best part of your job/career?
I have the opportunity to view the cattle and beef business from a very different perspective than most. In some ways, the risk management, trading and hedging aspects of the cattle business are considered a financial service. In other ways it is psychological; it is raw capitalism; and it is fear, greed and uncertainty. The economic effect of decisions made using futures and derivatives is almost the most impactful portion in the entire production cycle. The energy is visceral in some ways and the markets are extremely humbling. Markets are very interesting and trading the markets daily is seldom the same.
What are some exciting projects you have worked on in the course of your career?
I have the opportunity to work alongside some incredible men and women here at Amarillo Brokerage Company. We have had the good fortune to assist small and large operators from coast to coast and border to border, and some even beyond our borders. We have performed/facilitated some really valuable research and market analysis. Some of our work has been not only valuable to our company, but also to the industry and industry participants. Some of the most exciting times are when we help operators of any size navigate a challenging market or setup. At the end of the day, we have a passion and devotion to the cattle business, and it is our pleasure to work alongside the men and women in this agricultural sector.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in the same major/career path as you?
I have a lot to learn, and I am likely not quite polished enough to hand out advice. I would say stay hungry and take advantage of your college experience. Work hard on academics, form relationships, seek out experience and learn from those that have far more experience than you. Don’t ignore social experiences, you will lean on friendships made in college for years. Take this opportunity to grow, slow down, reflect and be thankful that you can be a student at an incredible university.
“I am so proud of the University of Florida, CALS and the Animal Sciences Department. The industry is desperately hungry for young men and women with some experience and a passion for the business. There will be opportunities in production as well as the sectors that service the production phase for years to come. As we see the industry consolidate there might be more opportunity than ever before for young people.” – Trey Warnock
Animal Sciences students prepare for veterinary school; graduate programs in animal research; or careers in biological sciences, beef or dairy production, agribusiness, food production, and the equine industry. The Department offers five undergraduate program options and three graduate degrees. The program strives to create new solutions for tomorrow’s problems. In the areas of teaching, research, and extension, faculty integrate the most modern technologies available with personal expertise and attention to the needs of students and the industry. Find a CALS major that suits your interests by taking our majors quiz. You can also find information regarding our undergraduate and graduate programs on our website. Questions for Trey Warnock about his experiences in the Animal Science Department should be directed to email@example.com.