Virginia Tech sends first Presidential Fellow to Washington

Austin Larrowe

Austin Larrowe in Zambia, one of the many places the Presidential Fellow has visited in order to study global agriculture.

By Amy Loeffler

Presidential Fellow, nonprofit organization founder, world traveler, and scholar are just a few titles Austin Larrowe has acquired in his short time at Virginia Tech. With a double major in applied economics management and agricultural sciences, he has two more years at the university to work toward his goal of establishing a career in international agriculture development and education. But Larrowe, of Woodlawn, Va., is on his way.

His most recent accomplishment — being selected Virginia Tech’s first Presidential Fellow by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress — gave him a glimpse into how policy is crafted inside the Beltway. Larrowe traveled to the nation’s capital to network and attend workshops with policymakers. He also conducted research about food security and its correlation to increasing food production worldwide by closing the gender gap in agriculture.

Larrowe has also participated in Virginia Tech’s Presidential Global Scholars program in Switzerland to study policymaking.

“My paper on the relationship between global security and food security helped me see the interconnectedness of policy changes to virtually every part of human life,” said Larrowe.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Larrowe founded the nonprofit Feed by Seed — a Nicaragua-based organization he established after a trip to Africa with FFA inspired him to make international agriculture education his priority.

Larrowe has traveled to 30 countries, including Ghana, where he studied this summer through the Virginia Tech-University of Cape Coast, Ghana Research Experience — a program funded by the National Science Foundation.

“My hope is that after school I can turn Feed by Seed into a full-time job,” Larrowe said. “We are already starting to see very positive results in the communities in which we are working.”