NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two students from Tennessee State University have been selected to attend a national conference sponsored by the United States Agriculture Department aimed at introducing university students to future trends, scientific research and agricultural policy in today’s real-world environment.
Alexis Allen, a junior concentrating in Agribusiness, and Alison Leathers, a graduate student concentrating in Agricultural Education, Leadership & Extension, are among only 30 students selected from across the country to attend the USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum February 19-20 in Arlington, Virginia.
The Forum, titled “Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century,” is not only designed to introduce students to contemporary agribusiness, future trends, scientific research, and agricultural, as well as give them the chance to lay the groundwork for a future in agriculture, hear speakers from diverse backgrounds, and help them expand their opportunities in their chosen fields.
“This is an excellent opportunity for two of our best and brightest students,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. “This forum will allow them to network with some of the USDA’s top officials, leaders in the agricultural industry and their peers from across the country. It will also help set them up for successful futures in agriculture.”
The USDA selected 20 university junior and senior students from across the country to attend the conference based on an essay on “Agriculture as a Career,” and 10 graduate students based on their essay, “The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture over the next Five Years.” The students were selected from 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Non-Land-Grant Agricultural and Renewable Resources Universities.
Allen, from Detroit, came to TSU in the fall of 2014 after completing an associate’s degree at Wayne County Community College. She is excited about the opportunity to attend the conference and would eventually like to work as a food inspector, either through the USDA or the private sector.
“I think I am most looking forward to the diversity and depths of topics that will be presented,” said Allen. “I hope to gain more in-depth understanding to supplement the things I’m learning in class at TSU.”
Leathers, from Preston, Minnesota, received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and is looking forward to the forum and the opportunities it will create toward helping her achieve her career goal of becoming an Extension agent and a third-generation farmer.
“It will be an excellent learning experience and opportunity to network and meet students and important agricultural leaders,” she said. “I am excited to represent TSU and advocate for our land-grant university system.”
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
About Tennessee State University
With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.