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College of Agriculture

Matthew McKernan

Matthew McKernanHorticulture Agent - K-State Research & Extension- Sedgwick County
Education: Horticulture
Graduation Year: 2015

Matthew began his career with K-State Research and Extension immediately after graduating from K-State. He appreciated his professors, advisors and department faculty who he says were key in helping him not only find job opportunities but also to narrow down his choices to the best fit for him. Matthew says the best part of his job is that he learns something new every day.

Growing a Passion

Coming into college, Matthew knew he wanted to go into Horticulture.

"Studying horticulture had always been a lifelong passion, and it was something I knew I wanted to pursue in my professional career."

As a K-State Ag student, many of Matthew's classes were hands-on laboratories. From landscape maintenance and contracting to irrigation labs, Matthew had many opportunities to apply his classroom instruction to personal experiences.

"The hands-on labs made me well-prepared for the professional world beyond K-State." 

Matthew also pursued his passion for horticulture outside the classroom. In the College of Agriculture, every major has a club associated with it. Matthew was an active member of the Horticulture club, serving as an officer all four years, including two terms as President. The Horticulture Club is active on campus; one of their most recent projects was to create a newly landscaped patio outside Throckmorton Hall. Matthew was also a member of the National Collegiate Landscape Competition team, Friends of the K-State Gardens, and the K-State Honor and Integrity Council. Matthew in a greenhouse

A New Perspective

While at K-State, Matthew completed two study abroad trips. There are several opportunities to study abroad in K-State Ag through semester-long study programs, summer programs and faculty-led trips. Matthew's first faculty-led study trip was to Australia for two weeks. The second faculty-led trip was a tour of Northern Europe, which included the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

"I have always loved to visit new places, but I don't think I realized just how much I loved to travel until I completed my first study abroad. It opened the door to the world for me."

That first study abroad led Matthew to take an internship out of his comfort zone in Seattle, Washington, traveling on another study abroad trip and growing his bucket list to include more world travel. 


Matthew presenting