2024 Illinois Beef Experiential Learning and Industry Exposure Fellowship (I-BELIEF)

Calling all agriculture students enrolled at an Illinois university or community college interested in beef cattle research and extension!

WHAT IS IT? A 10-week paid internship for 10 undergraduate students to work in beef production, research, and producer outreach. The experience also includes attending professional meetings, technical writing, and personal development. While most activities occur during the summer, several activities will happen after the summer experience has been completed.

WHERE IS IT? Students are located throughout Illinois during the summer at beef research farms maintained by the University of Illinois, Illinois State University, and Western Illinois University.  Farms include the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center (Simpson, IL), Orr Agricultural Research Center (Baylis, IL), University of Illinois (Urbana, IL), Illinois State University (Normal, IL), and Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL). **Housing is provided.

 HOW DO I APPLY? Submit a 1) cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) completed application in a single pdf by Dec 4, 2023 to i-belief@illinois.edu



To increase the number of economically disadvantaged, underrepresented, and female students who are ready to solve existing problems in the beef industry to meet global demand for high-quality protein foods.


1) Gain hands-on experience in beef cattle production. Conduct an experiential beef cattle research or extension project to address problems related to beef cattle nutrition, reproduction, or management.

2) Develop students’ critical thinking and communication ability related to their research or extension project and career goals.

3) Enhance understanding of beef industry careers and develop a career action plan to achieve fellows’ desired career path.

I-BELIEF Summer Locations

If you are a sophomore or junior majoring in agriculture, you are strongly encouraged to apply!

The summer internship will be offered at multiple locations including:

  • Dixon Springs Agricultural Center (Simpson, IL)
  • Orr Agricultural Research Center (Baylis, IL)
  • University of Illinois (Urbana, IL)
  • Illinois State University (Normal, IL)
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL)

Learn about the experience of previous I-BELIEF fellows!


Summer Launch Event – Leadership training and team development: May 22-24, 2024

Intensive Research Experience – 10-week beef cattle nutrition research internship: May 28 – August 2, 2024

Summer Capstone Event – Recap summer research experience, interact with industry professionals, and develop a career action plan: July 31 – August 2, 2024

Scientific Writing Workshop – Write and submit abstract for scientific meeting: October, 2024

Midwest Animal Science Meeting – Attend scientific meeting and present research: March 2025


You will be paid an hourly wage of $16 on a bi-weekly basis. Total compensation will not exceed $6,400 (gross) for the service period. As a student intern, you will work 40 hours per week. Housing is provided at no charge.

***For more information regarding the internship program, contact Dr. Josh McCann at jcmccan2@illinois.edu or Dr. Dan Shike at dshike@illinois.edu


Submit a 1) cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) application in a single pdf document to:                                       i-belief@illinois.edu by Dec 4,  2023.


Follow up interviews will be conducted after the application deadline.

The Illinois Beef Experiential Learning and Industry Exposure Fellowship (I-BELIEF) is supported by Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative grant no. 2022-68018-36613 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.