Rising Professionals Conference in Forestry Attracts MSU Student

This February, Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Forestry student Jacob Reinking had the unique opportunity to attend the Society of American Foresters (SAF) Rising Professionals Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This brand-new conference is tailored specifically for young professionals and students in natural resources and forestry.

The conference included a wide array of topics in the forestry world, including a focus on diversity, the current path of the forestry sector, and how to be a leader despite not being in a leadership role.

With support from the Forestry Alumni Association, and added encouragement from Forestry Club president, Emily Vaillencourt, Reinking was able to attend his first conference and large-scale networking opportunity. “It was an incredible experience, being able to network with other people in my field, which was a first for me. I met more people than I can count, all with different backgrounds and paths in forestry. It was fascinating meeting people from all over the United States, and the world,” said Reinking.


This type of travel was a first for Reinking, and though initially anxiety-producing, he persisted. “Going through the entire experience proved to myself that I could do it, strengthening me with confidence. Overall, Baton Rouge is a great city with great culture, and I’m so glad I was able to attend this cool event in an equally cool city I had never been to before,” said Reinking.

Reflecting on his experience, Reinking noted he would recommend this type of experience to any student. “I travelled across the country all alone, successfully. Managing to have a great time, learn career related information and tactics, and meet cool people in the process. I believe every undergraduate student should consider taking part,” said Reinking.

Reinking also credits the Forestry Alumni Association for providing this learning and networking opportunity. “I could not have attended the conference without the financial support of MSU’s Forestry Alumni Association,” said Reinking.

Based on Reinking’s positive experience, the MSU Student Forestry Club is excited to have many student members attend the national SAF conference in Loveland, Colorado this September.

Established in 1902, MSU’s Department of Forestry is a leading program, with a B.S. in Forestry that has long been accredited by the Society of American Foresters. For more information about the forestry undergraduate program at MSU, please contact Justin Kunkle.


Did you find this article useful?