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USU College of Ag Students Intern for Utah Agriculture Commissioner

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013

Leonard M. Blackham, Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food

Leonard M. Blackham, Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food.

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food logo

USU students Joshua Packer and Corey Harlos will work as interns during the legislative session for Commissioner Blackham and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

Two Utah State University College of Agriculture students have been selected to intern for the 2013 Utah legislative session from Jan. 28-March 14.

Joshua Packer, an animal, dairy and veterinary sciences student, and Corey Harlos, a landscape architecture and environmental planning student, will be working under Leonard M. Blackham, Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food.

During the internship, Packer and Harlos will take minutes of sessions, lobby for agriculture, observe the process of legislation and research agricultural projects in the state.

“I’m excited to see the big picture,” Packer said. “To watch all of the components fit together from a commissioner’s point of view.”

Packer became interested in learning more about the legislature during the 2012 elections. He was frustrated that he didn’t know more about how the government functions and saw the internship with Commissioner Blackham as an opportunity to be “in the game” and learn the rules.

Harlos echoed those sentiments and said he is very interested in learning about the projects they are working on in Commissioner Blackham’s office, as well as the political dimension of how legislation gets passed.

“I look forward to learning about principles of leadership,” Harlos said.

Blackham graduated from USU with a degree in agricultural economics and has served as commissioner since 2005. Blackham is, and has been, active in a variety of state, business and church positions.

Packer and Harlos said in talking to the commissioner’s previous interns, they heard of his reputation as an experienced and respected man. Both look forward to learning from his positive example.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I am really excited for this new experience,” Harlos said.

Contact and Writer: Tiffany Adams, College of Agriculture, 435-797-7406,

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