Feed Bites

Meet Our Summer Intern: Gracie Wagner

Written by: Victoria Broehm   |   May 11, 2022

Gracie in her horse psychology and training class.

This week, we welcomed recent college graduate Gracie Wagner to our communications team as this year’s summer intern. She has a background in animal sciences and a passion for learning about how the agriculture industry tells its story to those who aren’t familiar with it. I recently asked her a few questions so we can all get to know her a little bit better.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Wagner: I am from Brooksville, Florida. I have three sisters, and so far, one nephew. I moved to Gainesville, Fla., in the spring of 2020 to go to school at the University of Florida. My bachelor’s degree is in animal sciences with an emphasis on food animal production. I started working at the University of Florida’s Equine Science Center in Ocala in the spring of 2021 for foaling season, then moved back to Gainesville to work at the university’s Horse Teaching Unit in the fall of 2021. Now, I live in Evans, Colo., where I am adjusting to the higher altitude and drier air!

What drew you to pursuing a career in agriculture?

Wagner: I grew up on a little farm, basically. I started riding horses at a young age and became very involved in 4-H. I showed chickens, hogs and cattle throughout my time in 4-H, and served as president of my chapter my senior year of high school. My parents love animals as much as I do, so growing up, we had every sort of animal you could think of ranging from guinea pigs to deer to cattle.

What is one project you worked on in college that you were particularly proud of?

Wagner: I spent my last two semesters at the university in a horse psychology and training class. We were assigned a yearling in August and spent a few months on groundwork before we began putting the horses under saddle in late December. It was an awesome experience, and I essentially got to train a horse from the ground up and present her under saddle in the university’s “Sale in the Swamp” preview. My filly was challenging at times, so it was a proud moment when I was able to ride her in the demonstration—she behaved perfectly, and now is headed to her new home in Texas!

What do you know about animal feed?

Wagner: I know some of the basics of animal nutrition that I learned this past semester in my principles of food animal nutrition class, but I think the thing that is most interesting to me is the pros and cons of using different feed ingredients. For example, cottonseed hulls are palatable for cattle and may increase intake. However, they can contain gossypol, which is an anti-nutritional factor that can negatively affect bull fertility.

What are you hoping to get out of your AFIA internship?

Wagner: My goal is to learn how to communicate more effectively. I learned a lot of information as an undergraduate and I think it would benefit myself and the people around me if I am able to share my knowledge in different ways.

What are your hobbies?

Wagner: Besides riding horses, I really enjoy just being outdoors. I go hiking a lot and my boyfriend is trying to pick hikes to get me prepped to complete a 14-er this summer (basically just a hike where the elevation exceeds 14,000 ft).

What else should we know about you?

Wagner: I have a small houseplant collection and I strongly dislike snakes.

______

I have to agree with Gracie on that last point….snakes, no thanks!

We are looking forward to the fresh ideas she will bring to our editorial products and social media strategy. Please join me in giving her a warm welcome.

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