FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2023

ARLINGTON, VA — The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation welcomes NASDA’s Next Generation class of 2023, featuring 13 students from 10 states. The NASDA Next Generation class of 2023 will network with commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture, industry leaders, and stakeholders at the NASDA Annual Meeting.

The purpose of NASDA Next Generation is to advance our future leaders’ understanding of agriculture policy and the role of state departments of agriculture in ensuring a healthy and thriving food system for all. Through the NASDA Next Generation programming, students learn about pressing food and agricultural policy issues, NASDA’s mission, and careers in public service. During the meeting events, students will also be able to explore Wyoming’s community-based agriculture.

“The agriculture industry is in need of strong leadership in the next generation, and we are excited to welcome this year’s NASDA Next Generation class to our Annual Meeting,” NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said. “This cohort of students represents the wide variety of experience and dedication to agricultural excellence that will enable the industry to thrive and impact the entire food system moving forward.”

The following students were selected:

Alexandra Mason, South Dakota State University
Ava Barajas, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Charlotte Brockman, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Esther Oginni, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Etinosa Ignubor, Westen Colorado University
Grace Dunham, Cornell University
Jelani Christmas, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Mateo Rull Garza, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Meredith Halweg, University of Wyoming
Ryan Bake, Utah State University
Samuel Hadacek, South Dakota State University
Sarah Curley, Oklahoma State University
Tahirah Jones, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

NASDA’s Next Generation would not be possible without our sponsors: Bayer, Farm Credit Council, Land O Lakes, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, Merck Animal Health, National Agricultural Law Center, National Agriculture in the Classroom, National Pork Board, Nourish the Future, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Purina, Syngenta, Tyson Foods, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture. This year, the 2023 NASDA Annual Meeting is being held Sept. 10-13 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. To inquire about more information or become a sponsor of NASDA’s Next Generation, please contact Chris Jones, Senior Director – NASDA Foundation.


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
Sarah Grace Fowler
Associate Director, Communications