CALS Graduate Benefits from Research and Teaching Experiences
“Growing up on a farm, and showing and judging through 4-H and FFA gave me the drive to remain in the agricultural industry,” said University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences graduate Matt Colle.
He reached that goal through an undergraduate degree in animal science, a master’s degree in animal and veterinary science and a new job with AgriCorps.
Colle and his two brothers were raised on a beef and sheep farm in Luxemburg, Wisconsin. Colle got his undergraduate degree at University of Wisconsin-River Falls, then came to the University of Idaho for his master’s in AVS after his brother chose the same route.
While at UI, Colle attended conferences such as the Northwest Meat Processors Convention and Montana Meat Processors Convention to learn more about meat processing and to share his research.
At the 2015 Reciprocal Meats Conference in Nebraska, Colle presented his research on dry potato extracts, placing third in the master’s oral poster competition.
He helped teach and coach meat animal evaluation students, traveling with them to share insights on livestock judging. He also advised local 4-H and FFA livestock judging competitions.
Colle said he appreciates his experience at the University of Idaho.
“Working toward a master’s degree at the University of Idaho provided me with hands-on experience making processed meat products,” he said. “Conducting and designing research experiments has improved my critical thinking skills as well as my understanding of experimental design and statistics.”
Teaching rounded out the experience, Colle said.
“Organizing undergraduate student lab help and keeping our undergrads informed on how to conduct certain lab procedures, and the reason for the lab procedures, helped me to understand the logistics of working with and managing a team.”
In June 2015, Colle defended his thesis and graduated at the end of the summer session. In August he began a 10½ month contract as a high school agriculture teacher and 4-H leader in Ghana through AgriCorps.
Eventually, he would like to return to Wisconsin and continue working in agriculture, possibly with meat processing and production. His experiences at the UI have prepared Colle to meet those goals.