Chandler Vaughan’s cool summer job has him working in an environment he was literally born into. As a farmer’s son from Charlotte County, Chandler continues in the agricultural genre’ as an intern with the Governor’s Fellows Program working in the office of Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry, Bettina Ring.
The program offers college students from around Virginia a chance to learn about and serve in state government during a summer internship. Vaughan has one semester left before completing his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech’s Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics.
Vaughan is a graduate of Southside Virginia Community College attending the Governor’s School and receiving an Associate’s degree while enrolled at Randolph-Henry High School. In addition, he completed SVCC’s Agribusiness Certificate Program.
Due to his transfer credits from SVCC, he saved a year and a half on his pursuit of the bachelor’s degree and hopes to continue towards a master’s degree in public administration starting in 2019. The SVCC experience offered him “a lesson in thinking ahead, how to think beyond the textbook,” he said.
In an article by Jillian Broadwell for VTnews.vt.edu, Chandler is quoted saying,” “I didn’t realize until around my junior year of high school that farmers are essential to the rest of the world and provide the fuel, food, and fiber that allows the rest of the world to operate. When I realized that, I knew I wanted to play a direct or supporting role in agriculture, which is hopefully what I will accomplish this summer.”
This summer working in government in Richmond, he works on projects pertaining to the economics of developing agriculture and forestry, researching policies important to farmers and grant effectiveness. He also writes press releases and works on weekly reports to the Governor.
Beginning in middle school, Vaughan became involved with Future Farmers of America (FFA) where he participated in competitions and designed projects that were later implemented on his family’s farm. In one project, he bought and raised ten Holstein steers on his own. For a year after high school and before attending Virginia Tech, he continued working and speaking around the state of Virginia for FFA.
Agriculture and farming are cool and Vaughan feels privileged for the opportunity to be immersed in all aspects of his chosen field.