Agribusiness Management Club provides insight into professional world

Mitchell Valentin
October 08, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Providing students with a glimpse into the world of business and professional development is the main goal of the Agribusiness Management Club in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

"Our purpose is to help our members excel in their professional and academic lives," said club president Tess McNamara, a junior agricultural science major from Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

According to McNamara, the Agribusiness Management Club was founded in 2016, so the group is relatively new and still growing. She said recruitment efforts, including an exhibit at the college's annual Student Involvement Fair, word-of-mouth and visits to agricultural classes have increased the club's roster to 25 members. McNamara said club officers will continue to recruit members throughout the fall.

"We are definitely getting bigger, and we are always looking for more members," McNamara said. "While our club is directed mainly toward business and ag majors, students from all majors are welcome."

The club often hosts speakers from different fields of agriculture to share information about their occupation and the role it plays in the industry. At a recent meeting, members heard from Gary Celli, accounts manager from Universal Forest Products Co., a Fortune 500 company that manufactures wood products, and Gretchen Raybuck, commodity risk management analyst with Dairy Farmers of America, a dairy marketing cooperative of nearly 14,000 dairy farmers. Both are recent Penn State graduates.

Professional development activities are another benefit. For example, McNamara said that a recent resume workshop enabled club members to have their resumes reviewed and critiqued in one-on-one sessions with Stan Ernst, agribusiness management instructor, and Dan Azzara, Alan R. Warehime Professor of Agribusiness, from the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education. A cover letter workshop also is planned.

"Providing students with a broader perspective of what opportunities there are in agribusiness is one of the many benefits of this club," said Ernst, who serves at the club's faculty adviser.

Field trips are another perk for members. They recently traveled to Big Springs Distillery in Bellefonte, where they toured the facility and learned how the company markets its products. During a visit to Evergreen Farms in Spruce Creek, club members observed how a dairy farm operates.

Meetings are held twice a month, with the next meeting planned for Oct. 17. Since the location for the club meetings tends to change, questions about the next meeting location, or general questions, should be directed to McNamara at tem5319@psu.edu.

"The goal of this club is to help create leaders," she said. "We are really excited about the club's programs for this year and think everyone who participates will gain a better understanding of business that will help them in their future careers."

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Last Updated October 08, 2018