AFNRE Club president reflects on his community at MSU

Benjamin Butcher shares his inspiration for majoring in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education.

Ben Butcher squats in a field next to a brown cow.
Ben with a cow named Sassy. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Butcher.

Since high school, Benjamin has been inspired by agriculture educators and wants to share that inspiration with others.

As a former participant in FFA, Ben wants to share his passion for agriculture, food, and natural resources with students in his future classroom, both as a teacher and as a FFA advisor. The AFNRE major at MSU is helping him prepare for the career he wants as an agriscience teacher.

Currently serving as the president of the AFNRE Club, Ben encourages students to get involved in the wide array of student organizations that MSU has to offer.

He says, “It is so important to build a community of friends here at MSU and I believe joining a registered student organization is one way to do that!”

Read below to learn more about Ben’s journey as an AFNRE student.


Corunna, Michigan


Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education


Environmental Studies and Sustainability; Biological Sciences

Expected graduation date:

Spring 2022

Why did you choose Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education (AFNRE)?

When I was in high school, I was involved in my school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter. FFA is a school-based agricultural education program that focuses on premier leadership, personal growth, and career success for its students. I really enjoyed the content we covered, and I loved the leadership and personal communication skills that I gained through my time in the FFA. After that experience, I decided that I wanted to help others in the same way that my teacher did. I want to help students find their career path and build leadership and communication skills that they will use in their entire life.

Who or what inspired your interest in sustainability?

My interest in sustainability has recently been sparked by the book Growing a Revolution by David R. Montgomery. In this book, Montgomery talks about the degradation and loss of topsoil across the world. In addition to this environmental aspect, he introduces ways to reverse this problem while observing ways to keep the social and financial legs of the three-legged sustainability stool balanced.

What do you want others to know about your major? 

The Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education major is one that has built a great community of students. We spend time together in and outside of class, and it will create a great professional community once we leave MSU. I would really encourage anyone who is interested in the agriculture, food or natural resources industries and would like to promote, serve, and build upon those communities to consider a degree in AFNRE. AFNRE Spartans will be the next generation of avid supporters and relationship builders for these vital industries.

What are your future plans? 

After graduating from MSU, I hope to pursue a career as an agriculture science teacher at a Michigan high school. With this career, I will be able to not only teach science and agriculture courses, but also serve as a FFA advisor for the school.

What’s your favorite thing about MSU? 

One thing that I really like about MSU is all the registered student organizations (RSO) offered. I am currently serving as the president of the MSU Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Education Club. Through my years as a member in the AFNRE club, I have been able to meet so many cool people and have made so many great friends!

Any thoughts or advice for current students? 

I would encourage any MSU student to engage in extracurricular activities while they are at MSU. I know that I didn’t participate in many of these as a freshman and now I really regret not participating in them. It is so important to build a community of friends here at MSU and I believe joining a RSO is one way to do that!

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