Caroline Lewallen, a 2011 agricultural education graduate, has been elected to serve as president of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Alumni Association for the 2020-21 term beginning July 1.
Lewallen co-owns a pasture-raised beef cattle farm in Clarkesville, Georgia, with her husband Kyle Lewallen. The farm’s name, teXga, is a combination of her home state of Georgia and his roots in Texas, which is where the couple met.
When Caroline Lewallen was in graduate school at Texas A&M University, she looked for opportunities to serve with the UGA CAES Alumni Association at a distance and began on the communications committee.
“I always remembered seeing alumni on campus while I was in school and wanted to start giving back as soon as I could,” she said.
When she started her career in Georgia as the marketing and outreach coordinator at Jaemor Farms, she was asked to serve a three-year term on the alumni board.
“One thing I saw right away was a need for students to have real-world opportunities,” she recalled. She started an internship program at Jaemor to create summer opportunities for CAES students.
Lewallen previously chaired the alumni enrichment committee, where she helped plan networking events around the state, and the governance committee, which helps strategize volunteer roles.
“It’s never too soon or too late to get plugged into the alumni association,” said Lewallen. “The best time to get involved is right now. We want to celebrate where folks are in their lives as graduates and engage everybody to learn from one another. It’s together that we work for the betterment of the college, university and our industry.”
Lewallen emphasizes the importance of the college’s role in the land-grant system and the strength of a UGA degree.
“I’m grateful that our institution has so much to be proud of,” she said. “There is real power in a degree from UGA. And as alumni, we also have a role in pointing folks to resources. I often find myself asking people if they’ve contacted their local (Cooperative) Extension office.”
Lewallen’s time as a 4-H’er set an early path for her to get to UGA, but “it’s certainly not a requirement,” she said. “I did grow up in the industry, but agriculture and our college welcomes everybody.”
During her time as a CAES student, Lewallen served as a college ambassador, Congressional Agricultural Fellow and member of AGHON.
“Caroline has been heavily involved with the association since she graduated, and I’m excited to continue working with her over the next year,” said Suzanne Griffeth, CAES director of alumni engagement. “She will continue the history of strong leadership of the board. No matter what the future holds, we look forward to connecting with alumni and friends.”
To learn more about the UGA CAES Alumni Association, visit caes.uga.edu/alumni.