Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation are excited to host the 2024 Agriculture Policy Summit, a dynamic conference held from Feb. 4-7 that is designed to foster diversity in agricultural government affairs and industry leadership.

Now in its fifth year, the summit provides selected undergraduate and graduate students with a comprehensive introduction to federal agriculture policies and the leaders who shape them. This year’s cohort will attend NASDA’s Winter Policy Conference events, hear from U.S. Department of Agriculture officials and learn about international agricultural issues during a tour of the Canadian Embassy.

“The Agriculture Policy Summit offers the unique opportunity for minority college students to explore agricultural careers,” said NASDA Foundation Senior Director Chris Jones. “The summit also includes state departments of agriculture in roundtables and hands-on discussions to engage with the students and learn how to best adapt agricultural educational experiences for future generations of students. Energizing and empowering the next generation of diverse agricultural leaders is critical to ensuring that all communities can equitably participate in and shape our country’s food systems.”

Since its launch in 2020, over 75 students have attended the summit. The collaboration between MANRRS, NASDA and the NASDA Foundation, marked by a five-year memorandum of understanding, seeks to increase diversity in agricultural leadership. Along with partnering to host the summit, the NASDA Foundation connects minority college students with career opportunities at various state departments of agriculture, and MANRRS advises NASDA on best practices for advancing diversity in the agricultural field.

“Through the collaborative efforts of MANRRS, NASDA and the NASDA Foundation, the Agriculture Policy Summit is a transformative and engaging event, illuminating pathways for underrepresented students to explore agricultural policy careers and contribute to shaping the future of our nation’s food systems,” said MANRRS COO Ebony Webber. “Together, we cultivate inclusion, knowledge and empowerment for the NOW generation of leaders in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. As we convene in DC, we are on a mission to empower the NOW generation, offering insights into federal and state agriculture policies, fostering engagement with industry leaders and cultivating a sustainable future.”

The 2024 Agriculture Policy Summit participants:

Arogeanae Brown, Virginia Tech, Agriculture Education
Carvis Campbell III, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Related Sciences
Janna Chapman, University of Maryland College Park, Related Sciences
Julia Edwards, Utah State University, Information Systems
Elijah Edwards, North Carolina A&T State University, Agricultural Business
Oluwatosin Benjamin Fakunle, Purdue University, Agriculture Education
Lailah Hall, Florida A&M University, Agricultural Business
Jashala Hoke, North Carolina A&T State University, Agricultural Business
Madison Kelly, Fort Valley State University, Agricultural Economics
Tama Lee, Rutgers University, Agricultural Systems
Aria McElroy, Tennessee State University, Agriculture Science
Makeda Nurradin, Auburn University, Agriculture Education
Josephine Nyame, Tuskegee University, Agricultural Economics
Favour Ojike, Purdue University, Agriculture Communications
Logan Quinn, The Pennsylvania State University
Mateo Rull Garza, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Entomology
Brandon Thompson, Auburn University, Agriculture Education
Morgan White, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Agriculture Science
Demikia Taylor, Virginia Tech, Agriculture Education


MANRRS is a national, non-profit organization which welcomes student and professional membership of people of all racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds who support the objectives of diverse and inclusive participation and achievement of minorities in agriculture, natural resources, and related science careers. The National Society of MANRRS consists of more than 60 chapters located at various colleges and universities throughout the United States. Individual chapter activities, regional events, and the annual national conference are designed to develop partnerships between students in agriculture, natural resources, and professionals from academic institutions, government agencies, and private industry. MANRRS establishes partnerships by promoting professional development, networking, and career placement in a nurturing environment. Learn more about MANRRS at

The NASDA Foundation is the only educational and research organization that directly serves the nation’s state departments of agriculture. The NASDA Foundation’s mission is to enhance American food and agricultural communities through education, outreach and research. The NASDA Foundation works with states to nourish people and communities while serving as the stewards of the environment and public trust. To learn more about the NASDA Foundation, please visit

Contact Information

Max London
Communications Coordinator, NASDA Foundation
Sarah Grace Fowler
Director, Communications
(202) 296-9680