Three UC Davis students chosen for agricultural leadership program
University of California, Davis
May 1, 2012
Three UC Davis students who are also Aggie Ambassadors for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) are among a dozen top national students selected for an agricultural leadership program.
Margery Magill, Sarah Warren, and Edward Silva will participate in the 2012 International Collegiate Agricultural Leadership Program (I-CAL). As part of the program they will travel to Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore for two weeks in May to study international marketing, trade, and global agriculture and will also gain firsthand experience with each country’s top agriculturalists.
Magill, Warren, and Silva beat out students from more than 23 universities throughout the U.S. They were selected on the basis of a written application and oral interview demonstrating their understanding of international trade and marketing.
“I applied last year and did not get in but made it my mission to gain more trade experience,” said Silva, a senior majoring in international agricultural development (IAD). “While I waited for the next opportunity to apply, I worked with the U.S. Consulate in the Azores and also interned with the local Northern California World Trade Center. These experiences helped to launch me into this program and I hope for this momentum to continue as I pursue my career.”
During their time overseas, the students will tour many different agricultural operations to help them understand international agricultural trade and to develop their own ideas on how to enhance international trade. Students will visit grain inspection facilities, fruit and vegetable production farms, livestock operations, and open-air grain operations, as well as meat and animal markets and agricultural research sites.
The goal of the I-CAL program is to have its participating students gain an understanding of current international trade and cultural issues and a greater awareness of how international agricultural markets operate.
“There are so many people who are disconnected from agriculture, even though it feeds and clothes the entire world,” said Magill, also an IAD senior. “By offering this type of national program, I-CAL is encouraging students to become interested in pursuing degrees and careers in agriculture while also teaching them that agriculture relates to almost every part of our lives.”
Once students return from the international travel, they choose at least three collegiate and community groups to share their experiences with. This part of the program is aimed at helping a broader audience understand how important American agriculture is in the global marketplace.
The Aggie Ambassadors program at UC Davis has helped prepare the students do just that. The program was established in the college in 1998 to give undergraduate students an opportunity to take an active role in promoting UC Davis and raising awareness of the opportunities in agricultural and environmental sciences. Aggie Ambassadors work to improve leadership and communication skills by participating in student panels, college workshops, and conducting tours. They also speak to elementary, junior high, high school and community college students.
“The activities that I have been involved in through Aggie Ambassadors gave me the characteristics to help me succeed in any aspect of agriculture I choose to take part in,” said Warren, an agricultural and environmental education major. “It has also provided me with a wonderful foundation for agricultural outreach.”
The I-CAL program is sponsored by the Grains Foundation as a special project of the National Future Farmers of America Foundation.
(Written by Courtney Rhodes, CA&ES student activities and outreach events)
- Courtney Rhodes, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, (530) 754-9083, email@example.com.
- John Stumbos, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, (530) 754-4979, firstname.lastname@example.org