CALS Ambassadors Harvest Pumpkins and Marketable Skills

Harvest day on the farm. Front row from left: CALS student ambassadors Torey Mayfield, McKenna Claughey, Cheyanne Keith, Kelli Rovey and Cody Benton; with adviser Frank Santiago (back row, center). (Photo by Gabrielle Fimbres)
Harvest day on the farm. Front row from left: CALS student ambassadors Torey Mayfield, McKenna Claughey, Cheyanne Keith, Kelli Rovey and Cody Benton; with adviser Frank Santiago (back row, center). (Photo by Gabrielle Fimbres)

A race track industry major, University of Arizona sophomore Hillary Neese had never set foot in a pumpkin patch.

Neese, a student ambassador in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is now spending afternoons harvesting pumpkins, identifying insects and learning what it takes to grow a crop.

"I'm expanding my knowledge of agriculture," she said as she picked pumpkins at the UA Campus Agricultural Center, 4101 N. Campbell Ave.

Neese is one of 20 student ambassadors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, or CALS. The ambassadors represent the future of agriculture and life sciences, serving as peer recruiters and promoting CALS programs.

Ambassadors come in contact with more than 6,000 Arizona residents each year as they visit schools, industry organizations, career functions, communities and alumni events, spreading the word about all that the college has to offer.

Along the way, they learn leadership and communication skills that make them highly employable, said Frank Santiago, assistant director of recruitment and student services and adviser to the ambassadors.

"The ambassador program is the premiere leadership program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences," he said.

So how does working in a pumpkin patch promote leadership?

The supervised agricultural experience offers the student ambassadors a glimpse into an area of agriculture unfamiliar to most. With majors that span from retailing and consumer sciences to nutritional sciences to family studies and human development, some CALS students are not familiar with more traditional agriculture fields.

Read the rest of this October 18, 2013 UANews article at the link below.

Date released: 
Oct 31 2013
Contact: 
Frank Santiago