Herbert Scholars

About the Herbert Scholars Program

The Herbert Scholars Program, established by UT alumni James and Judi Herbert, provides financial assistance, ranging from $1,000 to $7,000 each, to Herbert College of Agriculture undergraduates during the summer to pursue experiential learning opportunities outside the Knoxville area lasting at least ten weeks.

Participants have the ability to fully engage in hands-on summer experiences without the burden of personal financial obligations. Herbert Scholars use these opportunities to lay a strong foundation for future success as leaders in the agricultural and natural resources industry.

These hands-on experiences may include internships, fieldwork, or laboratory work. Learn more about experiential learning opportunities.

For questions, please contact Maci Heffelfinger.

2023 Class of Herbert Scholars

Aidan is a freshman animal science student interning at Kinslow Veterinary Clinic in Lebanon, TN.

He “…strives to gain a better understanding of all sides, including business and ethical, of veterinary medicine. During high school, I interned with a veterinarian in my own small town, so I also plan to assess how a larger practice compares to a smaller one.”

Alexander is a sophomore food and agricultural business student and will be interning at Winfield United in Kearney, Nebraska.

“While in this internship, I will be working in and around Kearney, Nebraska. While there, I will be doing daily tasks regarding all aspects of a row crop operation. Just as the jobs change throughout the time the crop goes into the ground to when it comes out of the field, my task will also change. At the beginning of the internship, I will be working with the planting crew in order to get all of our answer plots started. After the planting is done, I will move into both hand application and machine application to apply the proper micronutrients in the soil and seedlings. As my time out there continues, I will be maintaining high health in the fields doing checks for potential undergrowth and insects that could present problems for our potential clients. As time continues, the work only continues to intensify, as I will then begin to take tissue samples and work to determine potential yields and also work to identify potential areas for improvement. The summer will also have supplemental times to work with local farmers and salesmen in order to not only educate them about daily things that we are seeing but also to learn about what they are seeing from customers in their personal locations.”

Carragan is a junior agricultural leadership. education and communications student who will be interning with Tennessee Farm Bureau in Columbia, TN.

“This summer, I hope to expand my horizons within agricultural policy. Last spring, I worked in the Tennessee State Senate as an intern, getting to see the behind the scenes of the public sector. That opportunity was the best experience of my college career so far because it showed me how people can change the world through the writing of laws. After seeing the potential in that line of work, I am now looking to see the world of agricultural policy through a different lens. An internship with Tennessee Farm Bureau’s Public Policy division will give me the chance to see things from the private sector, enhancing both my knowledge about the system and, hopefully, about a potential career. I believe this internship will be the key to helping me decide which area I enjoy working in agriculture policy the most. I hope to use what I learned in our state government to provide insight into the private sector, but I also am looking forward to seeing the key differences between working for the government and for a business. My goal for this summer is to walk away with a request to return for a full time position next year because I want to have a job before I enter law school, and this internship is the beginning of that goal.”

Cole is a junior forestry student who is interning at the Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area in Bainbridge, GA.

“This internship will consist of many fieldwork tasks including assisting with boat electrofishing surveys, performing creel surveys, constructing and placing fish attractors, filling fish feeders, applying aquatic herbicide, conducting routine water chemistry analysis, applying fertilizer to ponds, assisting with ag lime applications, assisting with aquatic vegetation removal, and grounds maintenance. Other than these tasks, my schedule will be filled with various experience opportunities provided by my supervisors in an attempt to provide me with as many different experiences as possible in my short time as an intern. My short-term professional goals are to gain experience in fisheries management and the tasks required that I have yet to do, as well as to gain an understanding of working for a state agency. This will then lead to my long-term professional goal which is to become a fisheries manager or technician for either a state or federal agency. Gaining this experience early in my career will allow me to make decisions about where I would like to go earlier instead of having to make changes later. Personally, my goals are that this internship will make me a well-rounded student in this field, that I will push myself to ensure that I am fully passionate about what I plan to do and that I will continue to improve in teamwork skills and hard work. I also hope to build relationships with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for connections in the future.”

Gabe is a senior construction science student who is interning with Clark Construction in San Diego, CA.

“I have developed an understanding of the pre-construction process which is the preliminary work when starting a job through my two other internships. This summer, I plan to focus on project management and gain valuable field experience. One will be on-site rather than in the office gaining hands-on management and construction experience. Some of my daily tasks will include: leading safety meetings, drafting and submitting requests for information, coordinating subcontractors, and I will be a resource for specific questions relating to contract documents and drawings. I will be working in California so I will be exposed to very strict building codes and state regulated safety requirements that go beyond OSHA. This will also allow me to gain a greater preference of where I would like to work after I graduate.”

Gabriella is a junior plant sciences student who is interning with DAAD Rise in Dusseldorf, Germany.

“The DAAD Rise program is a prestigious award that is extremely competitive; I am beyond proud to say that I was accepted into the program. The project that I will be working on is a plant molecular biology research project studying ‘PERTL6 – peroxisomal transport-like protein 6’ and how it regulates abiotic stress in plants. Not only is this project something I am passionate about, but the findings could help us better equip our crops for drought and heat stress.”

Hailey is a junior wildlife and fisheries student interning at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, TN.

“This summer, I will be working as a Seasonal Interpretive Ranger at Montgomery Bell State Park. I have worked very hard to earn this position. For the last two summers, I have worked in the campground of MBSP in order to network with the rangers and to show them that I am deserving of an internship position. I am very excited for this upcoming summer. I will get to lead programs in the park involving educational hikes, animal encounters, and canoeing. MBSP also hosts Camp Tenase which is a week-long summer camp for middle school-aged children where they get to learn about all things outdoors. My personal goals for this summer are to have fun and to make sure that all the kids go home with an experience they will remember. Hopefully, this experience will inspire them to care about and respect our earth. My professional goal for this summer is to network with all of the rangers so that I can properly decide if that is the path I want to take for my lifelong career.”

Jacob is an Army veteran and senior wildlife and fisheries student who is interning at the Sawtooth National Forest in Stanley, Idaho.

“This learning opportunity is with the US Forest Service. I will be conducting surveys of various fish populations across the Sawtooth Mountain range. My largest goal for this experience is to absorb as much knowledge as possible from the fish biologist. I have the desire to pursue a graduate degree and this experience will help me to better understand the animals that I want to study. I will also be able to learn various collection and sampling methods from a biologist with a wealth of field experience.”

Jana is a senior animal science student interning with the American Shorthorn Association in Kansas City, MO.

She will be “further exploring my passion for working in agricultural communications and leadership. My personal goal is to make connections and learn more about the breed industry association, which will hopefully help me accomplish my professional goal of deciding a more specific career path for myself.”

Gage is a senior construction science student interning with Turner Construction Company in Nashville, TN.

“This summer is my final internship before I graduate. It is with one of the largest construction companies in the nation. Due to their size, I hope to be exposed to large and complex projects so that when I graduate I will have adequate knowledge to carry on to my next employer. During this time, I hope to also learn about the culture at these larger companies compared to the smaller ones I have worked for in the past. Personally, I would love to spend more time for myself this summer with it being my last before I graduate. One of my strengths as well as one of my flaws is that I tend to work too much and I hope to work less and enjoy my time more this summer.”

Kaleb is a sophomore plant sciences student who will be interning at the Finca Cortesin Golf Course in Casares, Malaga, Spain. “Kaleb shared:

“At Finca Cortesin, I am hoping to gain lots of hands on experience in my career field. I will have an internship where I will work closely with the head groundskeeper, Ignacio Soto, on everyday golf course upkeep. I will regularly mow, roll, spray chemicals, and learn based on his previous experiences in the golf industry. I will also attempt to be part of the crew that will work during the Solheim Cup. The Solheim Cup is one of the premier cups for women in the major golf industry. A personal goal that I look to meet is to see how other nations do certain things from working to everyday life. I think seeing the world from a very different area will help me grow as a person and open my eyes to how others live. For my professional career I hope to learn how to manage a crew. I want to be successful in managing a crew and being capable of knowing how to see peoples strengths. I also hope to gain knowledge from Ignacio on everyday turf knowledge. He has been a premier groundskeeper in Spain for almost twenty years. I want to be able to pick his brain and be able to apply what I learn from him into my own career down the road.”

Kennedy is a senior animal science student who will be interning at the ST Genetics Ohio Heifer Center in South Charleston, Ohio.

“During my time at the ST Genetics Ohio Heifer Center, I hope to further my knowledge of dairy herd management for all life stages, Embryo Transfer (ET) and In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) work, precision technologies, as well as the general work that ST does within the dairy and beef industries. I am currently in the stage of my college career where I know that I would like to pursue a Master’s in Reproductive Physiology with a focus on dairy or beef, but I would like to narrow down my options to see if I would like to pursue a Ph.D. and work in higher education through research and professing or if I would like to work for a genetics company within the industry. Through the university, I have already had the opportunity to work with extension and research, but this will be my first opportunity to work in the industry with a private company which I believe will be an invaluable experience. This internship will not only allow me to further my knowledge of dairy management and the numerous facets involved in operating a successful company, but it will also allow me to further my knowledge of the progressive steps that are being taken within the agriculture industry. These additional aspects will assist me in furthering my journalistic endeavors involved promoting and educating consumers on agriculture. With that being said, this opportunity will propel my professional future in every direction as I will be able to immerse myself in the different facets of agriculture while also gaining personal development skills.”

Maggie is a senior plant sciences student who was selected as a Vic and Margaret Ball intern at the Neal Mast Greenhouses in Grand Rapids, MI.

“The prestigious, competitive Vic and Margaret Ball internship will consist of gaining practical floriculture experience while training at a commercial production greenhouse. I will learn about how a commercial production greenhouse runs, which is directly related to my career goals as I want to work in a greenhouse full time after I graduate. I will also gain more knowledge and special skills regarding floriculture crops which I am passionate about. Making connections with professionals in this field is another important goal of mine, which will help me find where my future career will lead me.”

Mara is a senior forestry student who is interning with Bartlett Tree Research in Charlotte, NC.

“This summer, the projects I will shadow onto include entomology, plant pathology, soils, arboriculture, and some experimental research such as lightning research in trees. I will gain experience in the greenhouses, arboretum, and traditional laboratories with culturing bacteria. I may also pick up some more writing experience in write-ups, learn how company research differs from undergraduate research, and learn how to research with a larger team.”

Mia is a sophomore construction science student who is interning with the Weber School in Atlanta, GA.

“Ultimately, I hope to maximize my learning opportunities while working in Atlanta. Not just the physical content I will learn and master, but also the conceptual side of it. I plan to pursue all concepts I have learned in my construction, design and business classes so far, to completely grasp the importance of what I am absorbing in school. Furthermore, I will learn new things this summer that I will be able to use in classes I will take after my internship. I am eager to learn alongside other college students, and other individuals in the professional field. I hope to understand how to operate in a professional work environment. To me, this internship holds a bigger value to me than applying my major and minors to real life. I want to fully be able to grasp independency, and make decisions to better myself and those around me. This internship will allow me to grow as a professional individual (work and academic-related), and of equal importance, allow me to grow on a personal basis.”

Natalie is a senior environmental and soil science student who is interning at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA.

“Environmental science is something that I am passionate about and something that I am excited to continue learning about. I believe that the SULI program would not only grow my existing interest in the field but provide new opportunities as well. My goal is gain experience and to find out what my interests are in this field. I want to use this experience to make more informed decisions about what I might enjoy in a future career.”

Orion is a sophomore plant sciences student interning at the LA Country Club in Los Angeles, CA.

“My personal goal would be to experience a whole other environment and to see how LA’s climate affects the turf and playing conditions. My professional goal is to get a better understanding of the inner workings of being a golf course director or superintendent.”

Rachel is a senior forestry student who is working at the Cherokee National Forest South Zone in Tellico Plains, TN.

“The main goal that I have for my upcoming summer is to gain experience working for the US Forestry Service. I am hoping to accomplish a wide range of tasks such as, herbicide treatments, timber marking for timber sale preparation, prescribed burn unit preparation, and experience hands on measurements with different tools such as diameter tape, clinometer, increment borer, compass, and GPS. Nothing quite excites me like hiking into a forest and measuring trees. I look forward to utilizing the knowledge that I have procured throughout my curriculum so far.”

2022 Class of Herbert Scholars

Internship Site: Holder Construction

Details: Shadowing and performing duties related to construction estimating.

Internship Site: Mantodea Farm and Valley Herd Health

Internship Details: “In this capacity, I will be tasked with caring for over 150 goats, along with many horses, donkeys, and watch dogs. I will also be tasked with reorgonizing and updating the farms bookwork and provide the farm with feet trimming and vaccine records. I will also be able to shadow the head vet, Brendan Martin, from Valley Herd Health. I feel that this work with such a large animal organization is vital experience that will be useful and create a positive perspective into an animal industry. Additionally, throughout the internship I will be doing hands on work across the region at every type of farm and environment.”

Internship Site: Miller Electric Company

Internship Details: Involves hands-on experience shadowing a project manager.

Internship Site: Performance Contracting Inc.

Internship Details: Involves shadowing many different aspects of the construction industry.

Internship Site: Lake Champlain Basin Program – NEIWPCC

Internship Details: Inform and inspect incoming boats for the Lake Champlain area for invasive species on the boats.

Internship Site: Hitt Contracting

Internship Details: Participate in day-to-day operations of the project management team.

Internship Site: Lakes Region Planning Commission

Internship Details: Transportation intern with a focus on land use.

Internship Site: Weyerhaeuser

Internship Details: The internship is an entirely field based forest surveying job.

Internship Site: Bear Hollow Mountain Wildlife Management Area and Haley-Jaqueth Wildlife Management Area

Internship Details: “Every day on the job will be different: I might be doing turtle surveys, mist netting for bats, setting traps to survey biodiversity, surveying birds, inputting data into TWRA systems, managing trails, operating boats, working on small-scale carpentry projects, or helping manage a wildlife management area.”

Internship Site: Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation

Internship Details: Assisting with the statewide Ag in the Classroom program.

To learn more about the Herbert Scholars Program, contact the Herbert College of Agriculture Dean’s Office at 865-974-7303.