With a love for animals beginning at a young age, Tory Moore competed in nearly every Florida FFA competition available to her through East Ridge High School. These experiences led Moore to initially study animal sciences at the University of Florida’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).
With her son Luke in tow, Moore later found her home in the UF/IFAS Agricultural Education and Communication Department (AEC). The major played to her strengths of writing, reading and public speaking. Moore credits Ricky Telg, AEC professor and director of the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education, as pivotal to her success in college.
“I was a non-traditional student, and the CALS environment was so supportive,” Moore said. “Dr. Telg helped me find an internship with the U.S. Forest Service to earn an income that worked around my son’s schedule and my class schedule. I was involved in Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow, and Dr. Telg invited me to bring my son to activities and meetings. My peers were so open and agreeable to having him around.”
These experiences and interactions inspired Moore to give back to the department and college since her graduation in 2014.
At the UF/IFAS Dinner of Distinction on Sept. 27, Moore was recognized as the recipient of the 2019 CALS Horizon Award for her contributions and potential as a leader in agriculture, natural resources and related industries as well as her support of the college. Horizon Awards recognize outstanding individuals who graduated from CALS within the past 10 years.
“Tory’s advocacy on behalf of CALS has manifested through various recruitment efforts, hiring of student interns, and serving on the AEC advisory council,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “We’re honored to recognize her as an exceptional alumna of our college, and we are grateful for her dedication to helping prepare our current and future students for their careers.”
While at UF, Moore found the CALS Career Expo to be an approachable way to gain work experience during and after college. It’s one of the reasons she later returned to the Expo as an employer. Moore’s favorite aspects of mentoring students from CALS are seeing students rise to challenges, overcome their fears and ultimately succeed.
“I’m so thankful for what I learned and how I grew from my time at UF,” Moore said. “I want to continue to give back and help others experience the same things I did. That’s why I’m here working for UF now.”
Prior to her new position as a public relations specialist for UF/IFAS Communications Services, Moore served as the director of marketing for Farm Credit of Central Florida for five years. In her role with Farm Credit, she handled sponsorships to CALS through the company. She was instrumental in working with Farm Credit to contribute to a new scholarship fund that benefits transfer students attending CALS at its Plant City location.
In her spare time, Moore continues to work with animals in a volunteer role at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in the marine mammal and rescue department. She has served on several volunteer boards including Agricultural Communicators of Florida, Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame, Sigma Alpha Alumni, and Florida FFA Foundation.
“The most rewarding part of being an ag communicator is helping consumers understand the impact agriculture has on them and the state of Florida as a whole,” Moore said. “So many consumers perceive agriculture to be ‘Old MacDonald’s Farm,’ but wherever you go, you’ve touched agriculture. Helping consumers understand the breadth and depth of agriculture is really exciting.”