Farm Foundation® Announces 2023 Agricultural Scholars

Farm Foundation, an accelerator of practical solutions for agriculture, has announced its 2023 Agricultural Scholars recipients. This annual program is sponsored in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS). Up to 15 applied or agricultural economics graduate students are selected to join the program for inspiration and training in agricultural policy, commodity market analysis, agricultural finance, and other applied fields.

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

“Ag Scholars has become the flagship in our suite of NextGen programs, providing a wealth of transformative experiences for these promising agricultural economists,” said Martha King, Farm Foundation vice president of programs and projects. “We are grateful to ERS for their continued partnership in this effort and look forward to all this year’s cohort will do and achieve.”

The 2023 Agricultural Scholars are:

Samantha Ayoub, Colorado State University
Samantha graduated from the University of Georgia in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics and is currently pursuing her master’s in agricultural and resource Economics from Colorado State University. She hopes to pursue a career in agricultural outreach and policy such as cooperative extension or industry lobbying.

Kayla Braggs, Michigan State University
Kayla Braggs is a recent graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) with a degree in food science and a minor in agribusiness. Currently, she is a first-year master’s student at Michigan State University in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics with a concentration in food and ag economics.

Ezra Butcher, Iowa State University
Ezra Butcher is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University. His research focuses primarily on the pork industry at the intersection of agricultural policy and marketing. Ongoing projects investigate supply chain robustness, changes in the composition of pork products, and hog marketing decisions and risk. He is passionate about the democratization of research and development of public-facing analytical tools. 

Harrison Clark, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Harrison Clark is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Tennessee. He has completed six economic papers, three under the guidance of Benjamin Compton, senior lecturer and assistant department head of the Economics Department, studying the implications of Tennessee state government policies and the effect of value-adding components on the price of a marketable good.

Jahqethea Z. Johnson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Jahqethea Johnson is an agricultural economics student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an agricultural statistician for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). She received her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky where she joined the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Organization.

Jack Long, Oklahoma State University
Jack Long is a second-year graduate student at Oklahoma State University. His focus is in agriculture business with an emphasis on livestock markets and agricultural policy. While at Oklahoma State, he is working directly with the Ferguson College of Agriculture to create extension fact sheets on current state policy.

Inder Majumdar, University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign
Inder Majumdar is a graduate student in the department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Babson College, Inder worked as a consultant at Deloitte, where he supported efforts to evaluate the impact of private enterprises that provide renewable energy, agricultural inputs, and financial services to economically underserved communities.

Evan McKay, Virginia Tech
Evan McKay is a first-year master’s student in agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech, where he focuses on commodity markets, risk management, and agricultural productivity. He previously studied French West Africa and the Middle East before working in oil and gas finance. Evan hopes to pursue a career in international commodities markets and one day return to Virginia to farm.

Jack Myers, University of Arkansas
Jack Myers is a Ph.D. student in public policy at the University of Arkansas with an emphasis on agricultural policy. Jack received his B.S. in dairy science from Iowa State University and an M.S. in food science from Kansas State University. Jack got his start in the dairy industry by working on a dairy farm in Central Michigan.

David Nason, West Virginia University
David Nason is a third-year Ph.D. student in natural resource economics at West Virginia University. He received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental & Natural Resource Economics from West Virginia University in 2020. His research focuses on regional economic development with an emphasis on rural America. More specifically, his current research focuses on local resilience to negative economic shocks and the role of place-based policies in aiding development in distressed areas.

Faith Parum, Texas A&M University
After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University in 2019, Faith is now a Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University majoring in agricultural economics. Her current research interest is in food security and food assistance programs. She specifically uses machine learning to investigate how food and agriculture policy impacts consumers.

Sarah Smith, Texas State University
Sarah Smith is a master’s student at Texas State University, enrolled in their Integrated Agriculture Sciences Program. Her areas of interest include agriculture economics, regenerative agriculture, soil health and its impact on human, animal, and environmental health. She is currently participating in research to improve supply chain transparency and traceability.

Jim Teal, University of Wisconsin
Jim Teal is a 3rd-year Ph.D. student in agricultural and applied economics at the University of Wisconsin specializing in agricultural industrial organization, agricultural production, and agricultural finance. A few of his current research projects are crop insurance premium misrating on the basis of producer race, how distance from poultry integrators impacts the financial solvency of grow-out operators, and if counties with more diversified agricultural production have better loan performance.

Annaliese Winton, Clemson University
Annaliese Winton obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Towson University in 2019 and is currently a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the John E. Walker Department of Economics at Clemson University, with a focus in agricultural, environmental, and natural resource economics. She is particularly interested in topics related to sustainability, climate change, and risk.

Asamoah Zadok, Lincoln University of Missouri
Asamoah Zadok is a first-year student at Lincoln University of Missouri, where he is pursuing his master’s degree in sustainable agriculture with a specialization in agribusiness and works as a research assistant under the cooperative research program. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Read more about the 2023 Agricultural Scholars and learn more about the program at

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