Agricultural Scholars Program
Actively engaging graduate-level scholars in government and agricultural policy work with a year-long series of intensive, hands-on learning experiences.
The 2023 Agricultural Scholars
Frequently Asked Questions
What will the Ag Scholars do?+–
- Over the course of one year, the Ag Scholars will have the opportunity to:
- Attend two Farm Foundation Round Table meetings (in January 2023 and June 2023),
- Develop working relationships with key ERS senior analysts to identify research topics, provide additional career mentoring, and possibly serve on graduate committees.
- Present research and receive feedback from ERS economists during a capstone research presentation event.
- Meet with and learn from senior executives with agribusinesses and in local trade associations.
- Be assigned one ERS staff member as a mentor for the year and with an opportunity to shadow the ERS mentor for one day, if possible.
- Participate in Farm Foundation Forums and other events throughout the year.
- Participate in the USDA Ag Outlook Forum.
- Attend the AAEA Annual Meeting in Washington D.C., with special opportunities to connect and network with agricultural economists;
- Potentially travel to Kansas City, MO and Washington, DC to tour local agriculture and agribusinesses, and gain on-the-farm and hands-on experience in the food and agricultural sector, as well as meet with and learn from senior executives in USDA, on Capitol Hill, with agribusinesses, and in commodity trade associations.
What is ERS?+–
The mission of USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America and to conduct high-quality, objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision making.
ERS identifies research topics based on the needs of public and private stakeholders who are engaged in public policy and program decisions. Key stakeholders include USDA policy officials; the White House; the U.S. Congress; USDA program administrators and managers; other Federal agencies; State and local government officials; and organizations, including farm and industry groups. ERS research provides context for and informs the decisions that affect the agricultural sector, which in turn benefits everyone with efficient stewardship of our agricultural resources and the economic prosperity of the sector.
What does the award cover?+–
The award covers all meeting registration costs, travel, hotel accommodations, and materials.
If a selected student from a nominating university is unable to fully participate in the program for any reason, another student will be selected to take their place. Attendance and participation in all the Scholar events enhance the value of the programming for everyone.
Who can nominate a student?+–
Students must be nominated by their college dean or department head. To be eligible for this program, students must be U.S. citizens enrolled in a graduate degree program related to applied sciences, such as agricultural economics, at an accredited land grant college or university.
What are Agricultural Scholars required to do?+–
Ag Scholars will be required to attend all of the gatherings outlined here, regularly check in with their mentor, and present project capstone research at the end of the program year. At times they may also be called up to comment, present, or offer insights into on subject matter related to their research.
What are the dates and locations of the meetings and gatherings with Scholars will attend?+–
- January 10-13, 2023 – Farm Foundation Round Table meeting (Savannah, GA)
- February 23-24, 2023 – Attend USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum
- June 13-15, 2023 – Farm Foundation Round Table meeting (Chicago, IL)
- July 23-26, 2023– Attend AAEA Annual Meeting (Washington D.C.)
- Fall/Winter 2023 – Trips to Kansas City and/or Washington, DC
- Farm Foundation Forums are typically held in February, March, April, May, June, September, October, and November
Dates and locations are subject to change at any time.
What is the nomination timeline?+–
To nominate a student, please submit an application form by November 21, 2022. Accepted nominees will be notified by November 22, 2022.
It is the policy of Farm Foundation to provide equal opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual identity, age, or disability.