Lindsey Fenster poses for a picture on a Uruguay cattle ranch.

Lindsey Fenster, a junior in the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, just returned from a university-sponsored study abroad in Uruguay.

While there, the James River High School graduate earned three credit hours while experiencing the economics of grass-fed beef production in Uruguay. She also toured various agricultural operations in Uruguay, including beef cattle and sheep ranches, a rice mill, dairies, a crop rotation experimental station and a vineyard.

Fenster has had a busy year at the Athens, Ga. university. Besides the study abroad program in March, she has been named one of only four Ratcliffe Scholars in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences for 2018-19. As such, she is the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship to fund her experiential learning experiences in the 2018-2019 year.

As a Ratcliffe Scholar, she will act as an advocate for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the experiential learning opportunities which it offers and participate in service learning, leadership and other enrichment activities.

This spring, Fenster is an inductee into the Blue Key Honor Society, one of 69 inductees in this class. The Blue Key Honor Society was established at The University of Georgia in 1926 to recognizes junior and senior students based on character and integrity, leadership, scholarship and service. This spring’s events include the society’s spring initiation, luncheon and banquet.

This summer, Fenster will serve as a hog production intern for Smithfield Foods Inc. She’ll spend 530 hours at Smithfield Foods’ Laurinburg, N.C. facility where she will work closely with licensed swine veterinarians to assist in animal movement; feed, water and vaccinate swine; process piglets, which includes administering injections, castrating, tail docking, and ear notching; treat sick animals with a variety of pharmaceuticals, and ensure accurate maintenance and updates of department records.

This scholastic year, Fenster was also a nominee for the university’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Outstanding Junior Award. She was selected as a nominee by the Animal and Dairy Science Department Scholarship Committee.

She also is being considered for the Hans and Margrit Broder Rising Star Award, which recognizes a junior in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences who has excelled in student leadership while maintaining a superior academic record.

The 2015 JRHS graduate was an active member of the Botetourt County and Rockbridge County 4-H and the JRHS FFA. She earned the Harry Byrd Leadership Award as a senior in high school. She is the 2014 Virginia Farm Bureau Federation (VFBF) Outstanding Young Agriculturalist. She was a member of the 2013 Virginia and national championship stockman’s team in the 4-H Skillathon. She was also a member of the Virginia 4-H Livestock Judging Team, and the 2014 James River High School’s FFA Virginia FFA Block & Bridle Livestock Judging championship team and the Rockbridge County 4-H Livestock Judging Team that won the state 4-H Meats Evaluation championship and Livestock Judging championship.

On April 9, Fenster will present her research at a university’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities CURO honors symposium.  The title of her work is  “Evaluation of Warm-Season Annual Grasses for Southeastern Forage-Finished Beef Systems.”