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Posts tagged: internship

Taking the Summer On: AMS Interns Gain Valuable Experience

AMS interns at the USDA Internship Meeting at USDA Headquarters. During their internship, they met with senior USDA officials, including AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo (first row in the center with black coat and white dress).

AMS interns at the USDA Internship Meeting at USDA Headquarters. During their internship, they met with senior USDA officials, including AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo (first row in the center with black coat and white dress).

Without farmers and the agricultural businesses that support them, no one can eat. This is a simple concept, but it implies that people will continue to choose careers in agriculture. Here at USDA, one of the ways that we encourage younger generations to choose these careers is offering grants to institutions that offer agricultural curriculums. 

Through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA enables students to expand their knowledge of the agricultural industry. NIFA provides grants to schools such as the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM) through the Hispanic Serving Institutions Program. This allows these institutions to offer top-notch agricultural curriculums. Read more »

USDA and Forest Service Leadership Recognize Diverse Central California Consortium Interns

Simon Vu and Angel Winston, members of the YCC Watershed Crew and recent high school graduates, work together to line a Zuni Bowl with stones. Zuni Bowls help stabilize erosion and maintain soil moisture.

Simon Vu and Angel Winston, members of the YCC Watershed Crew and recent high school graduates, work together to line a Zuni Bowl with stones. Zuni Bowls help stabilize erosion and maintain soil moisture.

The Central California Consortium (CCC) celebrated the completion of its intern program at the 16th Annual Intern Awards Ceremony. CCC partner, Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART), hosted the event on August 9, 2012 in Clovis, CA. The CCC was honored to host USDA and Forest Service leadership, as well as over 125 guests comprised of Forest Service staff, community partners, and family members. Read more »

“We Can’t Wait” to Intern

Those who know me well know that I am an overzealous networker. I began my USDA experience in summer 2010 as a legislative and public affairs intern in the Rural Development mission area of USDA. While there, I was able to write press releases and blogs that were featured on the USDA website, attend agency hearings on the Hill, and make connections with a lot of great people.

My internship opportunities have allowed me to gain valuable work experience, ultimately leading to my current role in USDA’s Office of Communications. Read more »

My Experience as an Intern with the SC NRCS Dillon Office

Overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe the way I felt on the first day of my internship with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. There was so much to learn—program acronyms, database information, how to do a field check…But I was told by my co-workers that I would learn fast.

And two and a half months and one bottle of Tylenol later, I realized that they were right. I was catching on. Slowly. Read more »

USDA summer intern reflects on experience

Amy Sents spent the summer as an intern in the White House Liaison Office at USDA; she is currently a junior at Kansas State University.

When mapping out my plans for this summer, Washington D.C. was about the furthest from my mind, that is until I read an e-mail in early May from one of the assistant deans at my school. I had just completed a preliminary application process for a scholarship and was told by the committee that I needed a strong government experience in order to remain competitive. Less than a week later I received the e-mail announcing summer internships with USDA in Washington, D.C. With my ag background and interest in future employment with the department, this was the perfect opportunity. About three weeks later I interviewed with the White House Liaison Office, unaware until that point that such an office even existed in USDA.

Needless to say, since my arrival in early June, I have learned a LOT about the department and government operations. My responsibilities within the office have included answering the phone, scheduling appointments, and filing, but have also broadened to include larger, more long-range projects. One of these projects is assisting my boss and fellow mid-westerner, John Berge, with creating a taskforce to overhaul the current Boards & Commissions system. I have gradually been updating and reorganizing our files on these 200+ committees so the administration can make more educated decisions regarding budget, membership, and direction for these groups. As part of this process I have also vetted over 300 candidates for appointment to these boards.

Another task that this office fulfills is to update President Obama on activities going on within the department in the form of a weekly White House report. I have had the privilege of helping compile this report on two occasions.

Most recently I worked with my co-worker, Sam Liebert, and the Secretary’s office to schedule an Intern Appreciation Forum last Friday. You can read about the event on my blog that was posted Monday. I helped arrange the photographer, catering, and schedule.

Amy Sents, along with other interns from the Office of the Secretary, meets Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Amy Sents, along with other interns from the Office of the Secretary, meets Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

One of the greatest things I have gained from this internship is all the networking I have done within the department, specifically within the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS.) John has been terrific to work for, especially as he wanted to help make this the best experience possible and encouraged me to assist on a couple projects in APHIS. One of these was a legislative research assignment in which I looked at all 2009 enacted bills from state legislatures to find bills that related to APHIS. I then summarized these into a few pages that will be included in an August newsletter to employees. A second project I was tasked with was to read through the transcripts from two National Animal Identification System (NAIS) listening sessions and summarize the concerns and positions of all producer or commodity groups present. This is an issue that I personally am very interested in, so I was eager to learn more about the concerns and suggestions for implementing such a program.

My time here has not all been spent working in USDA headquarters, though. One afternoon I and about ten other interns toured the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facility in Beltsville, Maryland. It was really neat to learn about all the research projects ARS scientists have conducted- and to see some in action!

Looking back on the past eight weeks, I have had nothing short of a phenomenal experience. I am forever grateful to everyone who made this experience possible and to the entire team here for being so inviting and helpful. I owe a special thank you to everyone in the White House Liaison Office- Janice, Sam, and John, for making every day a new and fun adventure. I encourage any other students or young adults to apply for an internship here. USDA is a HUGE department- you just might be surprised at the opportunities that await you! With that, thank you USDA for providing me with this incredible experience and for making this a place to which I might someday wish to return.

-Amy Sents, White House Liaison Office Intern
Junior, Animal Science & Industry/Bioscience, Kansas State University

Intern gives perspective on work, meeting with Secretary Vilsack

Amy Sents, a junior Animal Science major at Kansas State University, spent the summer as a USDA intern working in the Office of the White House Liaison. She joined about 100 other interns from around the country, as well as young people from Washington working with the D.C. Summer Youth Employment Program. Everyone had the opportunity last Friday to meet with Secretary Vilsack; Amy shares her experience this morning: Read more »