The approximately 365 students who will begin their careers on May 17 when the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) holds its graduation ceremony are entering a promising job market.
“Placement this year in agriculture continues to be very strong,” said Stephanie Chipman, career services director at CAFNR. “Last year, our placement rate, 94 percent, was second only to nursing among all schools and colleges at Mizzou,” she said. “This year, early indications are that placement will be at least that good if not better. An unofficial poll of graduating seniors in early March indicated that better than half already had full-time positions lined up.”
The college has two ceremonies, both of which will be held on Saturday, May 17. The first, which will begin at noon in MU’s Jesse Hall Auditorium, will graduate approximately 80 students in the School of Natural Resources. These students have studied in areas of forestry; fisheries and wildlife; parks, recreation and tourism; and soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences.
The graduation speaker will be David Murphy, executive director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. This Jefferson City, Mo.-based organization’s mission is to educate individuals and organizations to wisely use fish, wildlife, forest and other natural resources.
The second ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. in MU’s Hearnes Center and will include approximately 285 graduates from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. These students have studied a wide variety of subjects including agricultural economics, agricultural journalism, agribusiness management, biochemistry, hotel and restaurant management, rural sociology and animal science.
The graduation speaker will be Kenny Hulshof, U.S. Congressman from Missouri’s Ninth District. Hulshof earned his undergraduate degree in agricultural economics from MU in 1980. Afterwards, he earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He practiced law in a variety of settings for several years, before first being elected to Congress in 1996.
Stephanie Dager, coordinator of student services at CAFNR, states that the 2008 graduating class is a well-traveled and academically successful group. Sixty-three of the students are graduating with some sort of academic honors and fifty-four have studied abroad in 12 different countries including Australia, Brazil, Prague, Thailand and South Africa.
While 91 percent of the graduates are from Missouri, the graduating class also includes students from California, Wisconsin, Texas, South Carolina, Nebraska, Florida, Illinois and Kansas. International countries represented include China, Indonesia, Japan, Lithuania and South Korea.
In addition to their major areas of study within CAFNR, graduates have also earned minors in a variety of areas including business, psychology, Spanish, architectural studies, art, the classics and history.