Home. For some people, it is a building that holds memories from growing up. It could be a room, decorated in paintings and tapestries. Others see home as a person. Perhaps a mother, father, sister or brother that can be reached with a quick dialing of the phone. Home can also be a community of people that one is surrounded by, accompanied by a sense of belonging and value. While many often have more than one “home,” alumna Tory Moore found home in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication (AEC).
For Moore, a lot of factors help contribute to her department feeling like home. There was a combination of material specifically relating to agriculture, classes that taught her skills needed by the industry she was interested in, and strong faculty mentorship that made AEC the perfect fit.
“[AEC was] like finding your family when you have been lost in a huge crowd,” Moore said.
Moore graduated from AEC in 2014 with her bachelor’s degree, specializing in communication and leadership development. After she received her degree, she began working for Farm Credit of Central Florida as a marketing coordinator. Today, she is with the same company, but is now the marketing director.
Moore credits her AEC curriculum to helping her develop the ability to be successful in her career.
“Every new job requires you to spend some time gaining an understanding of the expectations of the role,” Moore said, “but the AEC department prepared me so thoroughly with the very specific communication skills needed to do the work that I was really able to hit the ground running.”
Moore has had an unwavering passion for the Florida agricultural industry and the work she does with Farm Credit, but she said one of the most special parts of her job has been the opportunity to re-connect with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and the students at Plant City.
As a local alum deeply entrenched in the agricultural industry, she meets regularly with Kati Lawson, an AEC lecturer based in Plant City. Together, they identify the practical skills that students need upon graduation to find jobs within their field.
Part of what makes something feel like home is always knowing there is a place to return. Today, Moore works professionally alongside so many of her AEC mentors and continues to use the skills she learned throughout her career in marketing.
Moore still gives her time and talents back to AEC, and knows there is always a “home” to visit within the department.