College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Animal & Avian Sciences

Two AGNR Students Selected to Attend USDA Outlook Forum

Students chosen from national pool of applicants based on essay submissions
Food science major Ariel Bourne (left) and animal sciences doctoral student Latisha Judd selected to attend USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum

Two students from the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) were selected from a competitive national pool of applicants to attend the USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum(link is external), where they will have the chance to interact with other standout students from across the country, rub elbows with agricultural industry leaders, and gather valuable insight for their future career paths.

Ariel Bourne, an undergraduate food science major in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science(link is external) and Banneker Key Scholar, was one of only 20 university juniors and seniors from across the country chosen based on an essay sharing thoughts on “Agricultural as a Career.”

“When I first heard the announcement I was pretty surprised I was chosen, because I know UMD has a lot of quality applicants,” said Bourne. “Then I got really excited, and started to research online all of the programs I wanted to attend and who would be speaking at the event.”

Additionally, Latisha Judd, a doctoral student in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences(link is external) and UMD Dean’s Fellow, was one of only ten graduate students chosen nationally based on essay submissions entitled “The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture over the Next Five Years.”

“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in such a potentially influential discussion on the impact and future of agriculture,” said Judd. “I am confident I will learn quite a bit at this forum and I'm excited to be a representative of the University of Maryland.”

The USDA forum, entitled "Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century" will be held Feb. 19-20 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. Bourne and Judd will attend the forum at no cost through the USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program, which is designed to introduce students to contemporary agribusiness, future trends, scientific research, and agricultural policy in today's real world environment

"The Outlook Forum," said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, "will help give these students the chance to lay the groundwork for their future, hear speakers from diverse backgrounds in ag-related professions and, like previous program winners, the Forum will help the students expand their opportunities in their chosen fields."

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