Daniel Morris of Bradford, Tennessee ('11) is a young alumnus of the University of Tennessee at Martin, but his résumé shows that he has knowledge and experience beyond his years. With his family's background in agriculture and his own noteworthy internships and an ambitious personality, Daniel had no trouble obtaining his position as Grain Merchandiser at Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM).
Growing up, Daniel was constantly involved in agriculture with his family raising row crop and later raising cattle. When he applied to UT Martin, he knew that he wanted to continue working in the agricultural industry. He began his studies focusing on animal science because of his experience in working with cattle. However, he found that he was more passionate about the business-side of agriculture and pursued a degree in agricultural business.
Upon finishing his degree in May 2011, Daniel set his sights on the future and the potential for his future successes. Daniel was accepted into the Masters of Science in Agriculture and Natural Resources with a concentration in Agribusiness and Risk Management in Fall 2011. He decided to start his graduate work with UT Martin because the program is online and offers a concentration in risk management, which is of rising interest in the agribusiness world. In fact, Daniel helps manage risk in his job with ADM. He says, "By offering various types of contracts and marketing solutions for them [farmers], we help them manage their risk."
The online program option was especially attractive to Daniel because after graduation Daniel took a position with Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) after turning down two other job offers. ADM "trades, transports, stores and processes corn, oilseeds, wheat, and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, chemical, and energy uses." Specifically, Daniel communicates directly with customers in purchasing grains and building relationships with them by mitigating their risk by locking in prices for their grain. Because of his work experience through internships, his passion for agriculture, and his own determination, Daniel was able to find a job that suited him upon earning his undergraduate degree, which is no easy feat in this economy.
Of his method for finding internships and eventually, his job, Daniel said, "I went to a trade show in Louisville, Ky., the National Farmers Machinery Show. I wore a tie, dress clothes and had an envelope full of resumes. I went up to a booth, asked them if they were hiring, told them who I was and that I went to the University of Tennessee at Martin and that I was a senior graduating with an Agribusiness degree. I told them who I worked for, and that I was interested in maybe working for them." He advises students that by "…working, getting out there and meeting professionals in the field you're wanting to enter, getting references and networking, getting your face out there" is the best way to market oneself. He added, "They don't come knocking on your door for a job. You've got to go to them."
Being the go-getter Daniel is, he used his determination, industry knowledge and networking skills to land his job with ADM. Daniel greatly appreciates the help, encouragement, and opportunities he received while he attended UT Martin. The university has resources that are beneficial particularly to those majoring to agriculture. Daniel said, "We live in a rural community, a rural area. It's heavily an Ag industry in an Ag area. It's blessing to have this university here that is that focused around agriculture."