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AgDiscovery Program exposes students to unique career paths

Published: 06/05/15 3:05PM
By: bradleyc

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Fort Valley State University's 2015 AgDiscovery participants, FVSU faculty, staff and student assistants take a photo in front of Wildcat Commons June 1 during orientation.

Excitement filled the Wildcat Commons Clubhouse as 16 high school students from across the country met for the first time at Fort Valley State University on June 1.

The students traveled from places like Albuquerque, Atlanta and Pittsburg for a two-week summer program called AgDiscovery.

AgDiscovery is a U.S. Department of Agriculture funded outreach program on college campuses throughout the U.S. The program allows students to explore careers in professions such as animal science, veterinary medicine, plant pathology and agribusiness.

From June 1-12, students live in a dormitory on FVSU's campus, participate in hands-on lab activities and team building exercises and travel to field trips.

Aislinn Slaugenhaupt, a participant in the 2015 AgDiscovery Program at FVSU, said she's grown up wanting to be a veterinarian most of her life. Before she makes her decision about college, the rising high school senior said she applied to AgDiscovery to explore other facets of agriculture.

"I realized there is a lot I can do with [a degree in] agriculture. I think one day I might want to work with the USDA," Slaugenhaupt said. For her two week experience in Georgia, Aislinn said she looks forward to getting hands on experience in applied agriculture and attending the field trip to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

In addition to the Georgia Aquarium, participants will also travel to the University of Georgia's Center for Veterinary Medicine in Athens, Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta and to the Atlanta Zoo.

"This is a great opportunity for FVSU and USDA to partner and promote the various fields of agriculture," said Dr. George McCommon, coordinator of FVSU's 2015 AgDiscovery Program, and head of FVSU's Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health.

On the first full day, McCommon said students anesthetized a horse, fed goats and learned about microbiology. He also mentioned that since FVSU began participating in the program five years ago, some of the students' have graduated high school and applied to FVSU.

For more information about AgDiscovery, visit http://ow.ly/NVcEG. To learn more about FVSU's College of Agriculture, call 478-825-6344.