Monthly Archives: October 2013

USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program

usdaWould you like to attend USDA’s 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington, DC?

USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum provides producers, policymakers, business, government, and industry leaders with a unique opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, and discuss timely issues at the forefront of America’s agriculture. In an effort to increase the present and future diversity participation in the Forum, USDA created a program that provides sponsorship opportunities for junior-senior baccalaureate and graduate students to attend this annual event.

The 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum will be held Feb. 20-21 in Arlington, Virginia, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel.

USDA will host an introductory briefing and discussion of career opportunities on Feb. 18. On Feb. 19 students will tour USDA’s Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the National Plant Materials Center. The USDA Outlook Forum Diversity Program is designed to expose students to contemporary agribusiness, future trends, scientific research, and agricultural policy in today’s real world environment.


The program targets 30 agriculture, agricultural economics, agricultural communications, agricultural business, nutrition and food science or pre-veterinary junior or senior and graduate students. Students (20 undergraduate and 10 graduate) will come from Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and American Association of State Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources institutions.


Students first submit their one-page essay titled “Agriculture as a Career” to their respective institution representative (i.e., academic dean/department chair). Each institution performs a “pre-selection” process by choosing the final best two essays among the applicants selecting two undergraduate students.


Students first submit their essay (2-page maximum) titled “The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture Over the Next 5 Years” to their respective institution representative (i.e., academic dean/department chair). Each institution performs a “pre-selection” process by choosing the final best two essays among the applicants.


Schools will submit essays (for both graduate and undergraduate students) to Lisa Purnell ( with individual letters of recommendation from the institution’s dean by Nov. 22, 2013. (Two undergraduate and one graduate position are reserved for University of Maryland Eastern Shore students.) Essays must include student’s name, major, year in school, address, phone number, and e-mail. Final selections will be made by Lisa Purnell, USDA/1890 Program Liaison, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Harry Baumes, Director, USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses; and Brenda Chapin, Information Officer with USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist.


Registration, transportation, lodging, and Forum meals are provided.Students will arrive in Washington, D.C., Feb. 18, 2014, and return home Feb. 21, 2014.

2014 Diversity Program Application


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Graduation Fair

Group of Young Graduates Throwing Their Hats in the AirThe official Graduation Fair is a one-stop shop for all of your graduation needs. Purchase everything from your cap and gown to your diploma frame. Representatives will be available to assist you in ordering your official Virginia Tech announcements and class ring. We will have music, free food, giveaways, and door prizes. Take a tour of the Holtzman Alumni Center and learn about all the programs and services the Virginia Tech Alumni Association has to offer.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
11:30 AM – 7:30 PM
Holtzman Alumni Center

For more info, visit

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