Page 17 - The ALEC Gazette-2018
P. 17

“I have been able to witness a growth in knowledge and expectations within Andrew when it comes to extension and research,” Hensley said.
Besides these commitments, Swafford also holds a position in the forestry department where he spends most of his extra time.
Stephen Peirs is a doctorate student and teaching assistant in the forestry department at UT as well as a facilitator at Tennessee 4-H camps. Six years ago he met Andrew at a 4-H camp and immediately recognized a driven and motivated young man.
Fast forward to present day, after running into Swafford at UT, Peirs offered him a job in the forestry department where they spend most their time traveling to forests and identifying pests and trees. The job is physically and time intensive, but Swafford manages to continue his devotion to his education and passion for agriculture.
Peirs described Swafford as having vision, intuition, and being benevolent. Peirs and Hensley have never sensed Swafford’s commitments to be overwhelming or creating any imbalance in his daily life.
Peirs has found Swafford to carry himself well and have a “bring it” kind of attitude, which can be seen in any conversation with Swafford. Swafford immediately delves into his plans when school or his extracurricular activities are mentioned.
“Of the people I have come into contact with, his future is better delineated on his own terms than most,” Piers said.
When asked what advice he would give to incoming or current freshmen, Swafford emphasized staying organized and studying. “Don’t become too involved too quickly. Focus on the quality of what opportunities you are taking, not always the quantity,” Swafford stated.
As Andrew Swafford has proven, there is always more to be done. The experience is out there, and the door is there waiting to be opened, but for some, it will never be done. Swafford’s ambitious involvement can certainly serve as a template for those striving to do more and have an impact on the agriculture industry. p
 “Of most people I have come in contact with, his
(Andrew) future is better delineated on his own
terms than most.”
- Stephen Peirs
Swafford socializes with fellow student, Charles Zavels, between classes. Swafford interacts with children at a selling event for Andy’s Beekeeping.
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