Graduating student found her calling in UF's agricultural programs

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — When she wasn’t using her talents as a videographer to record dolphin-human interactions at Discovery Cove, getting her young son to day care or interning for the U.S. Forest Service, Tory Boyd was busy earning her bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and communication.

Boyd will be among 9,638 students who expect to graduate this semester from the University of Florida.

Growing up in Clermont, Boyd did not live on a farm. But at an early age, she developed an interest in agriculture. In high school, she was a member of the Future Farmers of America and would often attend the state livestock judging on the UF campus.

Her goal now is to increase awareness of food production for a growing world population. To that end, she has been a frequent participant in Florida’s Agriculture in the Classroom program, which increases agricultural literacy through K-12 education.

“You’d be surprised how many children don’t know that hamburgers come from cattle and also think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows,” she said. She has made sure her 5-year-old son, Luke, knows better.

Boyd has served as chapterpresident of Sigma Alpha, the professional sorority for women in agriculture that promotes scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship among its members.

Her goal upon graduation is to pursue a career in public relations or communications in an agriculture-related field. She credits UF and her undergraduate advisor Ricky Telg, in particular – for preparing for life after college.

“When I think about the connections I’ve made, the seminars I’ve attended, and everything that UF has provided me, I know that coming here was absolutely the right choice,” Boyd said. She made that choice when she first set foot on campus at the age of 15. “I knew then that I wanted to be a Gator.”

Boyd will receive her degree at 7 p.m. May 4 when the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences holds its ceremony in the O’Connell Center for recipients of the college’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It is one of 16 commencement ceremonies that begin April 25 in the O’Connell Center with all doctoral degree recipients. They continue May 2, 3, 4, 10, 16, 24, and end June 21. A complete schedule can be found at

A total of 7,628 graduates are expected to participate based on regalia orders.

The following people will be recognized:

Honorary Degrees

Jens Oddershede, Magdalene Odundo

Distinguished Alumnus Awards

Willis Holcombe, Anil Rajvanshi, George Kirkland

Distinguished Achievement Awards

Angelo Anaclerio, Samuel Hope, Nicholas Kontaridis, William Truettner

Outstanding Four-Year Scholars

Agustina Bertone, Stephanie Denardo, Yasmin Islam, Cody James Kunka

Outstanding Four-Year Scholar (honorable mention)

Elizabeth Louise Bisbee

Outstanding Two-Year Scholars

Kaitlyn Johnston, Chloe Rittenhouse

Outstanding Leaders

Olivia Barket, Megan Harmon, Joshua Minchin, Phuong Nguyen, James O’Connell, Joselyn Rivas, Jessica Watson, Cory Yeffet

Outstanding Leaders (honorable mention)

Nichelle Davis, Sarah Frick, Drew Henderson, Stephanie Mandelblum, Jordan Mullings

Doctoral Mentoring Awards

Leslie Anderson, Ann Horgas, Susan Jacobson, Kenneth Sassaman, Stephen Smith, Lynn Sollenberger

Calvin A. Vanderwerf Awards

Avery Culbertson, Maribeth Latvis

Tracy Caulkins Award

Genevieve “Chloe” Mann

Doug Belden Award

Patric Young


Paul Bernard,
Tory Boyd,

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories