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APHIS Student Interns: Making a Difference in the Future of American Agriculture

Posted by Will Wepsala, APHIS Public Affairs Specialist in Animals
Jan 19, 2018
Josiah Manning
Josiah Manning on the first day of his internship.

For Josiah Manning, an internship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) felt like the next step. “I grew up around agriculture,” he explained, “raising my own animals and participating in 4H. Agriculture ran in my blood.” As an intern working in APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine program, he is able to continue that work while completing his studies in Animal Science and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland.

Manning came to APHIS through the Intern Career Development program, an Agency-wide initiative to recruit college students across multiple disciplines and provide them experience working in a government agency. The APHIS program for students is part of the Federal government’s pathways internship program. APHIS will announce opportunities for a new group of about 40 student interns in USAJobs on January 22 and again on February 5. Internships are available in places where APHIS has offices including: Maryland, Massachusetts, Guam, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Jersey, Delaware, Texas, Puerto Rico, Washington and Arizona.

The Intern Career Development program’s goal is to develop students into successful employees and prepare them to compete for permanent positions that become available within APHIS. Outside of the programmatic work interns will do, they will become part of a learning cohort, attend regular interactive meetings, take trainings, and partner with a mentor. Manning finds the mentorship aspect valuable as he explores options for his future, including graduate school. “My mentor has a PhD and has worked in academia and across government, so it definitely helped me to hear about her experiences,” he said.

Clay Stroud—an intern working with APHIS Wildlife Services in Auburn, Alabama as he completes his Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management at Louisiana State University—finds gratification in his APHIS experience. “It gives you satisfaction knowing you’re helping people. It’s great seeing the smile on farmers’ faces for helping control feral swine and protecting their crops.”

Both interns are hopeful that they can find a professional future with APHIS. With his background in Animal Science, the internship exposed Manning to new areas, as he has worked on plant health and trade issues. “I could see myself working for any of the programs,” he said. Stroud also appreciated the opportunity to learn about the diverse work the Agency does. He knew about the Wildlife Services program through his studies, but added “it was good to see what other folks do and expand my knowledge of all of APHIS’ missions.”

Collegiate interns are required to be available year-round, so opportunities in agriculture, science, technology, finance, policy, environment, communications, business, and many other fields will be available across the nation. Josiah Manning and Clay Stroud are two examples of the value of that program for both the participants and APHIS.

Visit our Career Opportunities website for more information on requirements and how to apply.

Clay Stroud setting up a feral swine trap in Alabama
Clay Stroud sets up a feral swine trap in Alabama.
Category/Topic: Animals