Alumni Profiles - Meet Craig Parker, Jr.
Hometown: Lake Hiawatha, NJ
Year of Graduation: 2012
Majors: Landscape Horticulture and Design & Agriculture and Natural Resources
Minors: Leadership and Political Science
Undergraduate Campus Involvement: Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honors Fraternity, Order of Omega, Blue Hen Leadership Program, Ag Ambassadors, Design Interest Group, Ag College Council, Club Roller Hockey, Senior Class Gift Committee
Current position of employment or education: Chapter Consultant for Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity
Describe your best Ag experience:
My best Ag experience was hosting the first annual Ag Issues Forum: The Intersection of Agriculture, the Environment, and the Chesapeake Bay. I got to work closely with the Delaware Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Kee, on selecting the topic and developing the program, as well as CANR Administration and several brothers in the Beta Upsilon chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho. It was amazing to see the turnout for the group of industry leaders who spoke on a major issue facing the Delmarva community.
Which Ag course was your favorite and why?
My favorite Ag course was Ag Leadership taught by Dr. Pat Barber. This course combined my interest in organizational leadership, facilitation, and agriculture, which are all very applicable to what I am doing today.
Tell us about your current position or program of study and what led you to that field.
As a chapter consultant for Alpha Gamma Rho, I am responsible for meeting with the leadership of AGR chapters across the country and improving chapter operations while offering the support and resources of the home office. I also help to plan and facilitate recruitment initiatives, leadership seminars, national convention, and more. What led me to this position was not only a desire to help improve an organization I greatly benefitted from, but also my general interest in agriculture and organizational leadership.
How did your College of Ag experiences prepare you for your career or post-graduate education?
My experiences in the College of Ag prepared me in several ways for what I am doing today. My courses taught me leadership styles, facilitation, and current ag issues, as well as design thinking, which helps tremendously in problem solving and idea generation. My leadership experience as chapter president for Alpha Gamma Rho and as an Ag Ambassador helped teach me to be outgoing and open, making me able to talk to anyone in any situation.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
For anyone interested in consulting or ag leadership, I recommend you make every effort to step out of your comfort zone, talk to new people, and learn as much as you can about them and what they do. These experiences will give you the ability to relate to anyone you may come across and always have something to build trust and rapport on.