Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Monday announced the selection of 30 agricultural university students to attend USDA's 2013 Agricultural Outlook Forum. The students have received assistance from USDA and corporate sponsors in order to attend the Forum, and will attend the event Feb. 21- 22, 2013, in Arlington, Va.
"In the years ahead, a new generation of food and agricultural professionals will play a key role in solving the major challenges before us," said Vilsack. "The Outlook Forum will give these students the chance to hear from leading government and industry voices on a broad range of topics, opening and expanding their opportunities to excel in agriculture-related fields."
Twenty university juniors and seniors were selected based on their responses to the essay, "Agriculture as a Career."
The students are: Miguel Aceves, University of Arizona, Yuma; Crystal Adams, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Samantha Anderson; Murray State University; Robin Avison, Middle Tennessee State University; Travis Chase, University of Idaho; Devinn Esberry, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Christina Flores, California State University, Fresno; Tyler Harran, University of Wyoming; Candice Harvey, Fort Valley State University; Rose Jean-Mary, Miami Dade College; Keith Lewis, Prairie View A&M University; Nathan Lim, University of Maryland, College Park; Tiana Mason, Virginia State University; Tiara McCray, North Carolina A&T State University; Rebecca Naasz, South Dakota State University; Napoleon O'Quinn, Alcorn State University; Francisco Rodriguez, California State University, Stanislaus; Gabrielle Rovegno, University of Maryland College Park; Sergio Toro, San Diego State University; and Ricardo Zapater Ramos, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.
In addition, 10 graduate students were selected based on their responses to the essay, "The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture over the Next Five Years."
The students are: Andrea Basche, Iowa State University; Jeremy Bennett, Oklahoma State University; Michael Cagle, Mississippi State University; Allen Denkins, Tennessee State University; Augustina Odame, Utah State University; Aaron Pomerantz, University of Florida; Kevin Redwine, Texas Tech University; Zachary Schultzhaus, Texas A&M University; Megan Waldrop, Washington State University; and Venus Welch-White, Tuskegee University.
This year, sponsoring corporations and USDA agencies include: CHS, Inc. and Farm Credit; USDA's Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research Service, and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Several of the winning essays are found here: www.usda.gov/oce/forum/diversity/diversity_program.htm.
Program details and registration information are available at www.usda.gov/oce/forum.