CAFNR students spent their winter break participating in competitive CAFNR scholars programs. The four programs: Dickinson Scholars; John Brown Scholars; Biochemistry Industry Tour; and Dairy Scholars; immerse students in specific agricultural sectors, expose them to career opportunities and allow personal interaction with industry professionals. Students must go through an application and interview process to be selected for the multi-day experience.
Julianna Kubiak, a sophomore dual major in food science and chemical engineering from Texas, was one of four students selected as a dairy scholar. Kubiak said she would recommend the program to fellow CAFNR students.
“My favorite part of the program was getting to see all aspects of the dairy industry,” Kubiak said. “From visiting Double A farms, where the cows are milked, to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where cheese and butter are traded, it was an extremely eye-opening experience.”
Kubiak learned about the program through CAFNR Career Services. Whitney Kinne, CAFNR Career Services assistant director, said students receive a scholarship and experience first-hand company tours through Dairy Scholars.
The Dairy Scholars program is endowed by Ted Jacoby of T.C. Jacoby and Company to support students interested in dairy science.
Kubiak is already involved with the dairy industry as a member of Mizzou’s Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Team and student assistant at Buck’s Ice Cream. She studied food science abroad during a summer in Germany.
“Before the program, I did not know exactly what I wanted to do in the food industry,” Kubiak said. “However, touring plants where products are made on the trip made me realize that I’m interested in the production side of the food industry.”
George Meyer, a sophomore biochemistry major from Washington, Mo., also discovered his career pathway during another CAFNR winter program, the Biochemistry Industry Tour.
“The most important thing I learned during the program was what working for industry would entail,” Meyer said. “I would like to work for a large agricultural biotechnology company and do research.”
Meyer currently completes undergraduate research and serves as a CAFNR Career Peer Coach. His professor, Dr. Chris Lee, recommended that he apply for the program and Meyer said he is grateful he did because of the friends and industry connections he made during the program.
Kinne said 12 students were selected for the Biochemistry Industry Tour where they visited facilities in the St. Louis area. Companies included Monsanto, Novus International, Sigma-Aldrich and Confluence Discovery Technologies.
The CAFNR scholars programs offer high-achieving students like Kubiak and Meyer a unique winter break experience that connects students with career opportunities within their specific fields. Both students agree that being a part of the CAFNR scholars programs has positively influenced their career decisions.