In 2015, a student program initiative named NASDA’s Next Generation (NNG) was created with the purpose being to give college students the opportunity to engage with commissioners, secretaries, and directors of state departments of agriculture, who promote and regulate agriculture in their state. The goal of NNG is to educate college students about our mission through hands-on participation in NASDA’s annual meeting. Since its inception, over 70 students from across the country have participated in the program. NNG students have gained a better understanding of agricultural public policy, current issues, and careers in food and agriculture.

The impact of NASDA’s Next Generation

At the 2023 NASDA Annual Meeting, 20 students from 15 universities across 14 states participated in NASDA’s Next Generation. During their time, NNG students were able to sit down with United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. In addition to this, they visited and networked with state departments of agriculture, partners, and sponsors. NNG students also completed a personality assessment and training with Merck Animal Health.

“The brilliance and perspectives of these students are needed to move our agricultural and food systems forward to meet the needs of the next generations,” NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said. “This generation of young leaders bring a unique perspective to our Annual Meeting every year and we are proud of the connections they are able to make.”

NASDA’s Next Generation Class of 2021

Thank You to Our Partners for Your Financial Support!


$7,500 – $9,999

Merck Animal Health


$5,000 – $7,499

Oregon Department of Agriculture


$1,000 – $2,499


Want to get Involved?

Are you interested in participating in or sponsoring the next NASDA’s Next Generation class? Please contact Chris Jones.