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Graduate students participate in agricultural policy at D.C. summit

Three Purdue graduate students participated in the third annual MANRRS NASDA Agriculture Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. February 13-16.

Crenel Francis Jr. attended from the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication, as did Alexander Robinson and Xavier Miranda, both from the Department of Agricultural Economics.

“The summit was an opportunity to help guide students to be advocates for the future of agricultural policy and industry relations,” explained Zachary “Zac” Brown, the assistant director for student recruitment and retention for the Office of Multicultural Programs (OMP).

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) students from 14 universities across the country gathered to learn about agricultural policy and careers.

Image of three men smiling (Left to Right) Alexander Robinson, Crenel Francis Jr., Xavier Miranda (Photos provided by Zac Brown)

“During the summit, we had the opportunity to experience the complexities of making sound agricultural policy firsthand,” explained Miranda. “We attended NASDA regional meetings where we witnessed state commissioners of agriculture come together and discuss some of the most pressing issues in agriculture, such as water policy, climate change and food insecurity.”

The group also attended panel discussions with industry professionals, government employees and academics. These covered topics from the Farm Bill to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the food and agriculture industry.

“The summit was a fantastic opportunity that granted us the chance to experience different perspectives and meet with a diverse group of people from all walks of life,” added Miranda.

The students received a certificate for their participation and were surprised with $1,000 scholarships.

“The national society of MANRRS provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to expand their understanding of agriculture, network with professionals of all levels and explore potential career pathways,” explained Brown. “Purdue students that engage with our local chapter are not only given access to opportunities like the summit – they also have access to scholarships, internships, and employment opportunities that are limited to members of the organization.

“I hope that our students that attended the summit now know that they too can change agricultural policy and be a leader within this space,” said Brown.

Agriculture Policy Summit Class of 2022 Agriculture Policy Summit Class of 2022
summit group Manrrs members Purdue’s three attendees with Richard A. Ball (NSDA President; Commissioner - New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets) and Ted McKinney (NASDA CEO and Purdue Graduate)

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