Meet the 2022 Agricultural Scholars

Each year, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS), Farm Foundation selects up to 15 applied or agricultural economics students to join a year-long program that inspires and trains the next generation.

The program features events and projects throughout the year, including a mentorship with an ERS senior analyst, a research project and ag-focused forums and meetings, including a World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) “lock-up” session and the Farm Foundation Round Table meetings.


The students who will participate in this year’s program are:

Lucy Asare-Baah, Tuskegee University
Currently a PhD candidate in the Integrative Public Policy and Development Program at Tuskegee University, Asare-Baah’s research interest includes reduction of postharvest losses among vegetable growers in the US and rural farmers in the Global South, as well as farm policies for agricultural landholders in the United States.

Micah Cameron-Harp, Kansas State University
A third year PhD candidate in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University, Cameron-Harp’s research focuses on the interdependence of agricultural production and natural resources. As an NSF Research Fellow in K-State’s Rural Resource Resiliency fellowship, he employs a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to address the complex problems of agricultural sustainability.

McKenzie Carvalho, Mississippi State University
Carvalho is a master’s student in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University. With degrees in agribusiness and agricultural communications from Oklahoma State University and a wide range of research and legislative experience, Carvalho’s goal is to work in extension to build stronger rural communities across the state.

Haden Comstock, Purdue University
Comstock is a graduate student in the Agricultural Economics program at Purdue University where he conducts research through the Center for Commercial Agriculture focused on agricultural policy, the federal crop insurance program and precision agriculture. He plans on pursuing a career in agricultural policy.

Carson Honse, Lincoln University
After graduating from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, Honse is now working towards his MBA in Agribusiness at Lincoln University in order to progress his knowledge of agricultural business. He hopes to someday work towards bridging the gap between corporate business and agriculture.

Megan Hughes, Purdue University
A second-year PhD student in the Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics, Hughes focuses her research on sustainable agricultural production, particularly relating to the adoption of best management practices, such as cover cropping or no/reduced tillage.

Roberto Koeneke, University of Florida
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University, Koeneke worked for over ten years with the Center for Independent Experts (CIE). Now in the PhD program in food and resource economics at University of Florida, his interest includes the economic analysis of agricultural and natural resource policies.

Gloria Lenfestey, Purdue University
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, Lenfestey is After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, Lenfestey is currently a first-year graduate student in Purdue’s Master of Science program in agricultural economics with a focus in risk management and commodity marketing. Post-graduation, she plans to work in risk management to help producers strengthen economic stability.

Naila McCraney, Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University
McCraney graduated in the Spring of 2020 from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in plant and soil science. She is currently pursuing a master’s in agribusiness at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University.

Xavier Miranda, Purdue University
Miranda is pursuing his master’s degree in agricultural economics at Purdue University where he is a research assistant in the Center for Food and Agricultural Business. He is interested in agricultural finance, policy, precision agriculture and production topics such as farmer credit choice, agricultural credit markets, agricultural drone technology and agribusiness management.

Ashling Murphy, Kansas State University
Before pursuing her master’s at Kansas State University, Murphy was a commodity purchasing intern with Tyson Foods at their corporate office. She previously interned with the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina State University Department of Agricultural Economics, and Department of Crop Science.

Amber Oerly, Kansas State University
A master’s student at Kansas State University in their Agricultural Economics Program, Oerly is a graduate of Kansas State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, with a major in agricultural economics, and received an associate degree from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.

Jose Quintero, Michigan State University
Born in the US and raised in Mexico, Quintero studied agronomy and economics in Universidad Autonoma Chapingo for his high school and bachelor studies, and currently is a master’s student in the Agricultural, Food & Resource Economics department of Michigan State University. His research is focused on sentiments regarding the food system.

Kameron Shelby, Prairie View A&M University
Shelby is a sophomore at Prairie View A&M University where he is a USDA/1890 National Scholar studying agriculture with a concentration in business, and a minor in mathematics. He interned with USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Alicia Young, Oklahoma State University
Young graduated from Oklahoma State University with a double Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness and Agricultural Communications. She is currently continuing her education at OSU to attain a master’s degree in agricultural economics. Her research focus lies in reducing food waste.

Students were selected from a competitive pool of applicants nominated by the leaders of their colleges or departments at accredited U.S. land grant universities. Each student will work directly with a mentor from ERS and have the opportunity to attend several valuable professional development and networking events. The year-long program culminates with each student presenting a capstone paper in a relevant research area. Learn more at

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