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WASHINGTON, February 13, 2020 ─ The United States Department of Agriculture announced the selection of 30 university students who will attend USDA’s 2020 Agricultural Outlook Forum as participants of the USDA Future Leaders in Agriculture Program. These undergraduate and graduate students will participate in a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., capped off by their attendance at the Forum, USDA’s largest annual meeting, held February 20-21, 2020 in Arlington, Va.

Since 2007, USDA has hosted undergraduate and graduate students at the Forum to enable real-world learning opportunities in contemporary agribusiness, scientific research, and agricultural policy. The program selects 20 university undergraduates and 10 graduate students based on essays on agricultural careers and challenges. These students major in agriculture-related studies, including business, economics, communications, nutrition, food science, and veterinary studies. Finalists are selected from land-grant universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and non-land-grant colleges of agriculture.

During their visit to Washington, D.C., students will take part in a USDA briefing and discussion of career opportunities with agriculture leaders in academia, government, and industry. They will tour the nation’s capital, attend the Forum, and will meet with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

The Future Leaders in Agriculture Program is supported by academic institutions, corporations, and government institutions dedicated to promoting the education of the next generation of agriculture. This year’s sponsoring organizations include the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Farm Credit.

This program is one of many partnership efforts among USDA, 1862 Land-Grant institutions, 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, 1994 Tribal Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions. These partnerships support capacity building initiatives that bolster education and career opportunities for students and faculty, and recruit new talent for USDA and agriculture.

USDA Future Leaders in Agriculture Program

Undergraduate Participants

Name                                               University                                                  

Jaevien Akinmola                  South Carolina State University                                          

Jailynn Britt                          University of Maryland Eastern Shore                                

Bobby Brooks                       North Carolina A&T State University                                 

Holly Enowski                      University of Missouri                                                         

Mariana Gonzalez Castro  San Diego State University, Imperial Valley                          

McKenzie Greene              Clemson University                                                                       

Kyle Jacobs                         Virginia State University                                                      

Christopher Jennings            Prairie View A&M University                                          

Gretchen Kuck                       Texas A&M University                                                      

Sadie Keller                             California State University, Stanislaus                        

Michael McGill                Oklahoma State University                                                      

Ivi Mitchell                         Virginia State University                                                      

Isaiah Nance                         University of Maryland Eastern Shore                                

Edwin Sanchez          University of Maryland College Park                                             

Andrew Skidmore             California State University, Fresno                                        

Natalie Sturm                      Montana State University                                                      

Maya Sullivan             Tuskegee University                                                                      

Cassandra Tice                  California State University, Monterey Bay                            

Monae Wilmore         University of Maryland College Park                                             

Trevor Wingett            California State University, Stanislaus                        

Graduate Participants

Name                                               University                                                               

Christina Bradshaw         North Carolina A&T State University                                 

Emily Carlson                 Oregon State University                                                      

Alejandra Celio               California Polytechnic State University                     

Mikayla Dolch                 Oklahoma State University                                                      

Stephon Fitzpatrick          University of Maryland Eastern Shore                                

Megan Hughes               Purdue University                                                                       

Cathy Keeler               Tuskegee University                                                                      

Taylor Price                    Oklahoma State University                                                      

Ashley Toney                   University of Nebraska-Lincoln                                          

Charles Watt                     Montana State University                                                      

About the Agricultural Outlook Forum

The Agricultural Outlook Forum is USDA’s oldest annual meeting and the sector’s premier event, attracting around 1,600 attendees each year from the U.S. and abroad. The forum highlights key issues and timely topics affecting the agriculture sector, offering a unique platform for exchanging information and ideas among producers, processors, policymakers, government officials, and non-governmental organizations, both foreign and domestic.

Visit the Agricultural Outlook Forum website to register. Follow the conversation at #AgOutlook on USDA’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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