In August 2020, the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the NASDA Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), embarking on a five-year partnership to grow diversity in agricultural government affairs and agriculture industry leaders. The MOU details plans to increase minority college students’ exposure to employment, educational and business opportunities through state departments of agriculture.
Entering year five of the partnership, the NASDA Foundation continues to build on the Agriculture Policy Summit which was piloted with 10 MANRRS students at the 2020 NASDA Winter Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. Since its inception, over 60 students have gone through the program. In 2022 the NASDA Foundation took this commitment one step forward and awarded all 20 Agriculture Policy Summit students with a $1,000 Workforce Development scholarship. The goal of the Workforce Development scholarship is to aid students with the up-front costs that can arise with accepting an internship or job in the agriculture industry. Since then, the NASDA Foundation has awarded $37,000 in scholarships to date.