Growing up on a 600-acre farm in South Georgia gave agribusiness major Matthew Waters an interest in agriculture. His plans to return to the family farm and work in the financial side of the business led him to study agriculture policy and economics. The president of the Agronomy Club says family tradition brought him to the University of Georgia and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. His heritage determined his direction.
Q&A with Matthew
What made you choose to attend UGA?
I chose UGA because it is a great institution I have been familiar with since early on in life. It's a family tradition.
How many times have you changed your major? What made you settle on your current major?
I have changed my major twice: from undecided to landscape and grounds management and finally to agribusiness. I declared agribusiness initially because many of my friends were in the major but found it to be very relevant — especially in Georgia.
What exposure did you have to agriculture before coming to CAES?
I was raised on a 600-acre farm in southeast Georgia. We grow tobacco, cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans and wheat as well as 70 to 80 head of beef cattle.
What's your favorite class and why?
AAEC 3400: Intro to Ag Policy — It was a thoroughly interesting class that introduced me to a lot of relevant policy issues concerning Georgia as well as the rest of the country.
What's one thing you're always sure to take to class?
I always try to take a newspaper with me to class for those rough mornings with monotone professors.
Which instructor at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has been the most influential?
Dr. (Jeff) Dorfman has been the most influential and informative teacher I have had in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. I have taken two of his classes and I have learned so much. Dr. Dorfman is very knowledgeable and is always willing to help students.
What's the most important thing you've learned this year?
I have taken on a lot of responsibility being president of the Agronomy Club so I have learned a lot about discipline and the initiative needed to direct the club in the right direction.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, I will be settling down in five years. I would like to end up back home working in the financial side of agriculture.
What's the strangest or coolest thing that's happened to you at UGA?
One of my friends entered me in Sigma Alpha's "Mr. South Campus" without me knowing. I had to dress up for a male pageant and when I got to speak I got everyone to laugh at my friend who entered me in the contest, so it all worked out.
Best advice for incoming freshmen:
Learn to multi-task and meet as many people as you can while in the dorms. They will be your best friends for the rest of college.
More about Matthew
Favorite thing to do outside class: If I ever get the time, I love to relax at the pool.
One thing about yourself that sets you apart: I feel like honesty comprises a big part of my life and is something more people should take to heart.
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