Next Generation of Agriculture Leaders Amplified at Annual Meeting of State Agriculture Officials

Press Release -

Lincoln, NE

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) welcomed eleven students to the 2016 Annual Meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska, last week as part of NASDA’s Next Generation Program (NNG). The objective of NNG is to advance understanding by future leaders in agriculture, food, and natural resource industries of the roles of the state departments of agriculture in agricultural policy development, communication, and promotion of agriculture.

“NNG is one-of-a-kind opportunity for collegiate students to learn about Ag policy and public service careers in state departments of agriculture” said NASDA CEO, Dr. Barb Glenn. 

Jean Lonie, Director Student Recruitment for the College Agricultural Sciences at Penn State spent the week at the meeting encouraging students on how they could serve the agriculture industry as leaders.

The NNG students met with Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse, observed policy committee meetings, and attended a trade roundtable with representatives from Argentina, New Zealand, and the United States.  Amongst a diverse schedule of agribusiness tours, NNG students stopped at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Innovation Campus to study plant phenotyping, food science, and agricultural data management.  They also visited the USDA Land Tenure event to hear dialogue on farmland transitions, a vital topic for young agriculturists entering the industry.

Thanks to the sponsorship of CHS, Inc., students were able to develop an understanding of the state departments of agriculture, learn more about opportunities in public service, and explore current issues facing agriculture. 

Students selected to participate in NNG included: Landon Swedberg, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Amanda Clymer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Hannah Borg, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Eric Wemhoff, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Rebecca Schleicher, University of Missouri, Catherine Hayes, Iowa State University, Ashley Higgins, Colorado State University, Audrey Green, Kansas State University, Jeff Hadachek, Kansas State University, Lane Speir, South Dakota State University, and Rachel Purdy, University of Wyoming.

NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. To learn more about NASDA, please visit