CALS Alumni Honored with “40 Gators Under 40” Award

The University of Florida Alumni Association (UFAA) has honored outstanding alumni under 40 since 2006. Their accomplishments have created a positive impact on the Gator community and the world. This year, three graduates of the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) were included in the university’s prestigious “40 Gators Under 40” cohort. Jonathan Jasinski, Lara Poole, and Trey Warnock were presented with these awards at a UFAA ceremony on April 14, 2023.  


Jonathan Jasinski

Alumni member with CALS Dean.
Jasinski with Dean Turner.

Jasinski, current Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Microplant Nurseries, Inc., completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in CALS. He earned a Bachelor of Science in 2008 with a major in plant science and returned to complete two Master of Science degrees. His master’s work focused on environmental horticulture and horticultural science.  

As an undergraduate, Jasinski took Professor Emeritus Michael Kane’s Micropropagation of Horticultural Crops course, a class designed to train students for jobs in the micropropagation industry. Jasinski utilized these skills in an internship with Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Land Pavilion where he managed the micropropagation lab. His work in the lab allowed for more than 25 types of in-vitro plants to be sold to park guests.  

In 2015, Jasinski began a senior management position with Microplant Nurseries, Inc. He supervised the Media Preparation Department for almost six years before being offered the COO position. Today, he oversees the production of millions of tiny plants for consumer and industry use worldwide. 

“No doubt, Jonathan Jasinski has effectively applied the extensive knowledge base he acquired at UF to make significant industry impacts and serve as a mentor to others in the industry,” said Kane.


Lara Poole

Alumni member with CALS Dean.
Poole with Dean Turner.

Current Air Force District of Washington’s Command Public Health Officer Captain Poole graduated with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and cell science in 2013. She then received a Master of Public Health degree in 2014 from the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions.  

Since joining the United States Air Force in 2016, Poole’s work has focused on public health operations, both stateside and internationally. She has led more than 50 public health experts in conducting various service member health programs. Additionally, Capt. Poole has impacted more than 600,000 beneficiaries through her service.  

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Capt. Poole volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan. During her deployment, Capt. Poole helped conduct a serology study with 2,900 participants during active mortar attacks. The study helped educate 30 partner nations on how to mitigate infection risks, which led to their infection rate dropping to less than 1 percent. Capt. Poole’s leadership and dedication to public health led her to being named the 2021 U.S. Air Force Biomedical Specialist of the Year.  

“Lara is the epitome of an UF ambassador and proudly represents the Gator Nation as one the best officers in the U.S. Air Force. Her unparalleled wisdom, strategic vision, and selfless leadership are instrumental to her resounding success as a Public Health Officer,” said Colonel Heather Nelson, 316th Medical Group Deputy Commander.


Trey Warnock

Alumni member with CALS Dean.
Warnock with Dean Turner.

Warnock, a two-time animal sciences graduate, received his Bachelor of Science in 2008 and Master of Science in 2010. During his time as an undergraduate in CALS, Warnock took advantage of several opportunities to grow professionally. Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR), the UF Meat Judging Team, and the UF Live Animal Evaluation Team are just a few of his favorites.  

Warnock began his journey at Amarillo Brokerage Company, a commercial cattle risk management firm in Amarillo, Texas, in 2012 as an intern. He quickly moved through the companies’ ranks and has been a partner since 2014. He also has shares in several other commodity-related management companies, such as West Texas Dietetics, a private dietetics consulting firm.  

In addition to his professional success, Warnock proceeds to give back to the Gator community through several philanthropic endeavors. He has made several donations to support teaching, research, and extension efforts in beef production. Warnock is also a frequent alumni guest lecturer for several CALS courses and a career mentor for CALS students.  

“Trey gives back to [the UF/IFAS Animal Sciences Department (ANS)] and its students in ways that go beyond the acts of guest lecturing or writing a check. He provides meaningful advice and a sense of encouragement to our industry’s next generation who are trying to find their place. He creates spaces and experiences that our students will remember with fond memories. Trey’s commitment to going greater in his community and profession is second to none,” said Amie Imler, ANS Lecturer. 

“These alumni epitomize the wide variety of careers CALS graduates pursue,” said Cathy Carr, director of alumni and career services for CALS. “Their professional potential and industry leadership made them standout candidates for the 40 Under 40 honor.”


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Posted: October 16, 2023

Category: Community Volunteers, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: 40 Gators Under 40, Alumni, CALS Alumni, Cals Careers, News

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