Students meet vendors in the hallway at the second annual CAES Ag & Environmental Sciences Awareness Day.

Major industries in the public and private sector gave students from all College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES) departments the chance to present resumes and learn about pre- and post-career opportunities fat the college’s second annual Agriculture Awareness Day, held Oct. 5 at the University Farm Pavilion.

The event coincides with the Ag and Environmental Day tailgate, held during N.C. A&T’s football game against the University of Richmond on Oct. 21.

“The purpose of this event is to promote career opportunities for our students in food, agriculture and environmental sciences,” said Associate Dean of Academics Antoine Alston, Ph.D. “It’s a one-on-one opportunity for our students, tailor-made for them to help them receive internships and permanent-hire positions in the industry. We really appreciate all of our corporate and government partners that have come out.”

Representatives from more than 20 industries and agencies, including USDA, N.C. Grange, Butterball, Syngenta, PepsiCo Inc., and N.C. Electric Cooperatives, engaged with students throughout the Pavilion.

Biological engineering major Joseph Fleming said he had attended the previous Ag Awareness Day and saw “great opportunities” for the 2023 event.

“This day is important because you don’t know when you might find another opportunity to reach out and ask about a job or internship,” said Fleming. “There may be somebody here who won’t be here next time. Even if you don’t get a job opportunity here, they can always provide some advice for another company you can look towards.”

Erika Pearsall, a student in the Department of Animal Sciences, said she was appreciative that Ag Awareness Day offered a lot of options for students within agriculture and, in particular, animal science.

“At the university-wide career fair, there’s usually not as many opportunities for CAES students, so today is special,” said Pearsall.

Mara Calderon Guerra, director of research and development at PepsiCo Inc., said the company was happy to participate as a sponsor for the event.

“We very much want to engage more with North Carolina A&T,” said Guerra. “We see top-tier talent that’s coming out of here and we want to be a part of that process to build a strategic relationship.”

Carroll Moseley, Ph.D., Head of the State Regulatory Group at Syngenta, said that N.C. A&T and the company are “neighbors,” as a sponsor of the event and with a Greensboro-based crop protection business.

“We’re very interested in N.C. A&T State University students,” said Moseley, who is also a member of the college’s advisory board. “We’re here today and we’re interested in bringing in younger people to Syngenta. I’m in the latter part of my career, and we need to make sure that we have passionate, interested, and collaborative students coming in from A&T and from other universities.”