Georgia Department of Agriculture

Intern Testimonials


Hannah McTier (GDA Food Safety Intern, Summer 2017)

Emory University Class of '19 - Master's in Global Environmental Public Health

"While attending Rollins School of Public Health, I took a class on food and water safety. Afterwards, I was inspired to get some experience in the food safety field and stumbled upon the Food Safety Internship offered by the GDA. When I began working there, I was overwhelmed by all that food safety encompassed and was thrilled with the amount of diversity I found within my internship. Yes, I worked at a desk and did administrative work often, but I also got to go out in the field with various inspectors weekly, I wrote an article for the Market Bulletin and GEHA Journal, attended the annual GEHA conference, traveled to help staff within the department with trainings and meetings, and the list just goes on and on. I learned so much in my short time there and can certainly see myself coming back to work for the GDA once I graduate with my MPH."


Ryann Smith - (Structural Pest Division Intern, Summer 2021)

Georgia College & State University Class of 2022, Biology Major

"I always knew I wanted to be involved with the agriculture industry, so the GDA internship program was a great way to start pursuing my dream. Through my internship with the Structural Pest Division, I was able to understand the importance of the pesticide industry. I have a new appreciation for the pest control industry and all the hard work the SPD puts in to make it such a successful division. Overall, I was astonished how much outreach is provided by the GDA and the collaboration between the department and regulated community. I was truly amazed with everything this internship provided me with and the connections I was able to make throughout the summer. The GDA went above and beyond all expectations and I appreciated the opportunity with the Structural Pest Division."


Emily Treon (GDA Ag Inputs Intern, Summer 2021)

Berry College Class of 2022, Animal Science Major

"I sincerely enjoyed my internship with the Department of Agriculture in the Ag Inputs Division. Ag Inputs covers seven regulatory programs, and I interned in the Animal Feed program. It was interesting to learn about how all animal feed is made, regulated, and inspected. Because of this, I learned more than I ever expected to! I had a few office jobs, like data tracking and pet food label reviews, but I also did a great deal of fieldwork in shadowing feed mill inspections. I'd say my favorite part of it was connecting my studies to the industry, as I was able to do a lot of hands-on work. Everyone I met was welcoming and willing to teach me valuable things throughout the realm of Georgia agriculture. The environment in the Department is engaging, and I gained substantial experience for my future career."


Noor Zahid (GDA Food Safety Intern, Summer - Fall 2021)

Emory University Class of '22 - MPH in Health Policy and Management

"Hi! My name is Noor Zahid, and I am an intern with the Food Safety Division at the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA). I am a rising second year Master of Public Health Student concentrating in Health Policy and Management at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. I always knew I wanted to work in public health and work to decrease food disparity in my state, so the GDA is a great organization to continue pursuing my dreams. I have always been intrigued how public health and government policies work together to ensure the safety of the foods we consume as well as the regulations associated with safe food distribution and storage. Through my internship, I am able to get hands on experience of the partnership needed between the federal, state, and industry as well as the regulatory division of the GDA to make food safety possible.

During my internship in the food safety division, I have had the opportunity to assist with analyzing and sending food recalls that impact the state of Georgia. I have also had the opportunity to work with the departments social media team to manage and create content for our Twitter page to better inform the public about safe and effective food strategies as well as provide resources for our community. By far the most rewarding and insightful opportunity has been being able to collaborate with various federal and state agencies such as the FDA and USDA, to learn about the direct impact that rules and regulations in food safety have on the public health.

I am excited to learn more from everyone in the Food Safety division and eager to see what impact I can make!"


Sabrina Dinh (GDA Intern, Summer 2021)

University of Georgia, Class of 2021 - Animal Science and Dairy Science Major, Agribusiness Minor

"Interning for the Food Safety Division - specifically the Dairy Program - at the Georgia Department of Agriculture has been such a memorable experience. I remember when I found out that I got the internship how I was so excited but so nervous since I didn't know what to expect or what the GDA expected from me. However, right when I walked in, meeting everyone eased my nervousness. Everyone at the GDA was so welcoming and kind and always offered a helping hand whenever I felt lost and needed help. They truly want the best for their interns and want their interns to gain the most out of the internship. This summer, I've gotten so many opportunities to do awesome things. I've gotten to shadow inspectors with dairy plant inspections, dairy farm inspections, retailed food inspections, and manufactured foods inspections. Along with inspections, I've had the opportunities to work with different program managers on different projects. This internship was more than what I have hoped for and I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity."


Harrison Whately (GDA Emergency Management Intern)

Emory University Class of '22 - MPH

"Working as an intern at the Georgia Department of Agriculture has been an incredibly rewarding experience that has allowed me to become exposed to numerous things. Prior to getting the internship, I was not fully aware of the programs and projects that the department is responsible for, and I still feel like I learn about new roles and responsibilities every day. Working in the Emergency Management Division has helped me develop my skills and further my network in ways that will continue to be important to me beyond the scope of this internship. Participating in exercises, tabletops and planning meetings has allowed me to see what goes on behind the scenes and to develop skills that I otherwise may not have used. Every day, I feel like there are new things for me to learn and experience that will help shape what I do in the future and how I want to impact the world around me. I have had an incredible time with the department over the course of this summer, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that it provided. "

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