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30 students selected to participate in USDA Student Diversity Program

The Student Diversity Program is supported by academic and government institutions and corporations dedicated to promoting the education of the next generation of agriculturalists.

The winners of the USDA Student Diversity Program have been announced. These 30 undergraduate and graduate students will receive a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., capped by their attendance at USDA’s 2018 Agricultural Outlook Forum, the USDA’s largest annual meeting, held Feb. 22-23 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

“These students are the next generation of agriculture, and it is important for the USDA to support their training as future agriculture professionals,” said USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson. “At the Ag Outlook Forum, these students will hear current leaders share their vision for agriculture as they begin to map out their own careers.” 

Now in its 11th year, the USDA Student Diversity Program gives undergraduate and graduate students 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 students will take part in a USDA briefing and discussion of career opportunities with agriculture leaders in academia, government, and industry, as well as tour the nation’s capital.

Undergraduate winners        

  1. Stephanie Alvarado, California State University, Chico        
  2. Cameron Bradshaw, Kansas State University         
  3. Brittany Carter, Auburn University      
  4. Ciara Cox, Cornell University      
  5. Alexis Doon, University of Maryland Eastern Shore          
  6. Victoria Gastelum, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona      
  7. Keia Jones, Virginia State University       
  8. Keyla Lara-Leiguarda, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
  9. Caitlin Lineback, Purdue University      
  10. Jaime Luke, University of Missouri           
  11. Tobechukwu Opara, University of Maryland Eastern Shore          
  12. Javier Medina Sanchez, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
  13. Esha Tariq, University of Maryland College Park
  14. Raymond Thomas, Prairie View A&M University
  15. Jasmine Thompson, Alcorn State University          
  16. Kyleigh Tyler, Utah State University            
  17. Jabril Wright, North Carolina A&T State University
  18. Wesley Yu, Oregon State University        
  19. Ramiro Zavala, California State University-Stanislaus          
  20. Haylee Zwick, Ohio State University

Graduate winners

  1. Maria Cuellar, New Mexico State University
  2. Dillon Davidson, Oklahoma State University   
  3. Allen Deutz, South Dakota State University          
  4. Catherine Dobbins, University of Arkansas           
  5. Kanita Hutchinson, Tennessee State University   
  6. Emma Jobson, Montana State University     
  7. Justin Keay, Lincoln University      
  8. Daniel Munoz, New Mexico State University            
  9. Kenton Sena, University of Kentucky           
  10. Sara Webb, Clemson University    

The Student Diversity Program is supported by academic and government institutions and corporations dedicated to promoting the education of the next generation of agriculturalists. This year’s sponsoring organizations include the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Farm Credit. USDA sponsors include the Agricultural Research Service; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Economic Research Service, National Agricultural Statistics Service; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Office of Advocacy and Outreach; and the Office of the Chief Economist.

Source: USDA

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