USDA Names Participants in 2020 Future Leaders in Agriculture Program

WASHINGTON ─ The United States Department of Agriculture announced the selection of 30 university students, including four from North and South Carolina universities, 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.

Among the selected students are Jaevien Akinmola from SC State; Bobby Brooks and Christina Bradshaw from NC A&T; and McKenzie Greene from Clemson.

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.

Find the complete list of selected students here.