Farm Credit of Florida interns standing in farm field

Soil and Water Summer Experience – Stephen Singleton

The Soil and Water Sciences Department is offering students the chance to blog about their summer experience. The students enrolled in one of three courses over the summer, for which they received credit: SWS 4905-Individual Work, SWS 4911-Supervised Research in Soil and Water Science, and SWS 4941
Practical Work Experience. This is Stephen Singleton’s summer experience:

man talks to group of FFA students in conference room.

Stephen Singleton speaks with FFA students as part of his summer internship with Farm Credit of Florida. (photo provided)

My name is Stephen Singleton and I am an Environmental Management in Agriculture and Natural Resources major. I want to mostly focus on agricultural policy. This summer, I worked with Farm Credit of Florida.

Throughout my internship, I completed a task within each sector of the company. I was able to help the marketing team create a campaign geared towards new and beginning farmers. Another job was to help loan officers in reaching out to new, potential customers.

One of a Kind

I feel like the experience I had through my internship was one I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Going into it, I was nervous since I wasn’t an economics major as some of my fellow interns were.  As I expressed these concerns, my supervisor reassured me that within the many facets of the company, I would find what section best allowed me to exercise my strengths.  Everyone who works there was willing to answer questions I had and share their experience of how they found a home at Farm Credit.

I was able to learn about the legislative work that Farm Credit does and had the opportunity to work out at a few events. This helped me see that even though we may not think we will be able to contribute to a certain entity, agriculture is a diverse industry and has many facets. People from various backgrounds can contribute to it.

Reinforcing Coursework
group of Farm Credit workers

Stephen Singleton with other interns and mentors during his internship. (photo provided)

My previous coursework helped me in different ways. The economics course I had to take as a prerequisite was helpful because it introduced me to the basic terminology within the industry. A course I took the semester before entitled “Principles of Agribusiness management” taught me skills I was able to utilize during the internship, such as how to fill out a balance sheet.

One of the main components of the internship was touring an average of one-to-two farms per week. This introduced us to various parts of the industry. One of the most memorable tours was when I showcased my family’s potato farm in Hasting, FL. What made this internship one of the most memorable is that I could give back to the company that has invested so much in me. At the same time, I could highlight my passion for agriculture and show where it began.