Through the Mill for a Summer
UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) student Jay Lynch is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in forest resources and conservation from the UF/IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences. This summer, he is completing an internship on Amelia Island in Fernandina Beach, Florida, gaining professional experience before graduating in the spring.
As a procurement forestry intern at WestRock’s paper mill, Lynch is working for the stumpage department. Procurement foresters are tasks with procuring, or buying, wood. Responsibilities of the procurement foresters include identifying timber sales, cruising timber, checking on the company’s loggers during harvest, conducting pre-harvest and harvest inspections, tracking completion reports, scale house ticket reconciliation, creating contracts, and more.
Lynch was introduced to this opportunity through his extracurricular involvement as a CALS student. He learned about the internship when David Jensen, regional manager for WestRock’s Fernandina Beach location, visited a forestry club meeting as a guest speaker. Jensen discussed WestRock and the internships available through the company. After the club meeting, Lynch reached out via email and was offered an interview, and later the internship position.
Lunch said his forest resources and conservation major coursework has prepared him for his internship. The knowledge gained through dendrology, statistics, mensuration, and silviculture have been valuable for this role. Lynch believed his classes prepared him to learn his responsibilities with ease and have a strong understanding of his work prior to beginning at WestRock. His favorite thing about his summer internship is helping in the wood buying process. He gets to assist in making decisions that result in quality pulpwood being delivered to the mill.
“I have learned a lot of valuable information in my internship such as the wood buying process, how to cruise a tract of timber to ensure volumes of wood are accurate, and how to properly manage logging crews so the wood arrives to the mill the correct way.” – Jay Lynch
Programs in the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences provide a rich, personal educational experience for students, new discoveries and applications that enrich lives, communities, and natural resources, and lifelong learning opportunities for professionals, policy makers, landowners, youth and the general public. For more information about career planning and assistance preparing to secure an internship of your own, visit the CALS Career Planning webpage.