Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Rebecca Rykard received her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with a minor in Agribusiness and Management from the University of Georgia in May 2015. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Georgia and has a passion for agricultural policy.
Growing up in Moultrie, Georgia every day experiences instilled in me an understanding of the importance of agriculture and rural communities. By the time I reached high school, I had developed a fascination for the production of all commodities, particularly livestock. This fascination, a general love for animals, and the desire to help producers adapt to the ever growing demand for food led me to a major in Animal Science at the University of Georgia.
However, I did not consider how policies made by government entities can support or hinder the efforts of those involved in food production. Between my sophomore and junior years I was fortunate enough to be selected for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Congressional Agricultural Fellowship program in Washington, D.C. Throughout the summer I developed an understanding and appreciation for the legislative process and immediately knew that I wanted a career that would incorporate my passion for agriculture and my new found interest in policy. I became enamored with how directly the lawmakers’ decisions affect the producers, agribusinesses, and our nation’s industries as a whole.
My time at the University of Georgia allowed me to realize that I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to be an effective leader. As an ambassador for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) for two years and as President of Ag Hill Council, I served as a representative and advocate for CAES and Georgia agriculture. In the summer of 2014 I was selected to be the Educational Program Specialist for the UGA Extension Office in Mitchell County, Georgia. This experience fueled my interest for working with rural communities and governments. I hope to use my Master’s in Public Administration to pursue a career in agricultural policy and to serve rural communities.