Next Generation

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 Farm Foundation Agricultural Scholars program seeks to actively engage graduate student scholars working in agricultural economics or related agricultural policy work with a yearlong series of learning experiences focused on gaining a deeper understanding of production agriculture, agribusiness, and government, in hopes of inspiring and training the next generation of agricultural economists interested agricultural policy, commodity market analysis, agricultural finance, and other applied fields of economics.

 The 2024 Agricultural Scholars 

Kritstiina Ala Kokko

Kristiina  Ala-Kokko
Kansas State University

Ian Bennett

Ian  Bennett
University of Florida

courtney cooper

Courtney Cooper
University of Arkansas

Elizabeth Crespi

Elizabeth Crespi
Johns Hopkins University
Bloomberg School of Public Health

Andre Coelho

Andre De Souza Coelho
University of the District of Columbia

Suhina Deol

Suhina Deol
Washington State University

Aisling Hagan

Aisling Hagan
University of Tennessee

Rachel Judd

Rachel Judd
Texas A&M University

Clare McGady

Clare McGrady
Michigan State University

William McWilliams

William McWilliams   
Virginia Tech University

Matthew Melchor

Matthew Melchor
Kansas State University

Logan Moss

Logan Moss 
University of Arkansas

Mya Price_Photo_December 2023 (1)

Mya Price
University of the District of Columbia

Nick Reynolds

Nicholas Reynolds
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Olivia Richard

Olivia Richard
San Diego State University

John Robinson

John Robinson
North Carolina State University

Lorin Rudin

Lorin Rudin-Rush
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tyler Treakle

Tyler Treakle
Arizona State University

Rebecca Weir

Rebecca Weir
University of Minnesota

Katherine Westerman

Katherine Westerman
University of Rhode Island

Read More on What the 2024 Cohort Has Done 

Farm Foundation’s Ag Scholars Attend 2024 USDA Ag Outlook Forum

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the Ag Scholars do?
      • Over the course of 9 months, the Ag Scholars will have the opportunity to:
        • Attend two Farm Foundation Round Table meetings (in January 2024 Hawaii and June 2024),
        • 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.
        • Attend the USDA Ag Outlook Forum.
        • Attend the AAEA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA 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 16-19, 2024 – Farm Foundation Round Table meeting (Hawaii)
  • February 15-16, 2024 – USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum
  • June 18-21, 2024 – Farm Foundation Round Table meeting (Broomfield, CO)
  • July 28-30, 2024– Attend AAEA Annual Meeting (Washington D.C.)
  • Fall/Winter 2024 – Trips to Kansas City and/or Washington, D.C.
  • Farm Foundation Forums, which are typically held in February, March, April, May, June, September, October, and November via Zoom. Dates and locations are subject to change at any time. Attendance at all events is expected.
What is the nomination timeline?

To nominate a student, please submit an application form by Monday, October 23, 2023. Accepted nominees will be notified by Wednesday, November 1, 2023


Our Policy

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.

2024 Alumni

Kristiina Ala-Kokko, Kansas State University

Ian Bennett, University of Florida

Courtney Cooper, University of Arkansas

Elizabeth Crespi, Johns Hopkins University

Andre De Souza Coelho, University of the District of Columbia

Suhina Deola, Washington State University

Aisling Hagan, University of Tennessee

Rachel Judd, Texas A&M University

Clare McGrady, Michigan State University

William McWilliams, Virginia Tech University

Matthew Melchor, Kansas State University

Logan Moss, University of Arkansas

Mya Price, University of the District of Columbia

Nicholas Reynolds, Florida A&M University

Olivia Richard, San Diego State University

John Robinson, North Carolina State University

Lorin Rudin-Rush, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tyler Treakle, Arizona State University

Rebecca Weir, University of Minnesota

Katherine Westerman, University of Rhode Island

2023 Alumni

Samantha Ayoub, Colorado State University

Kayla Braggs, Michigan State University

Ezra Butcher, Iowa State University

Harrison Clark, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Jahqethea Johnson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Jack Long, Oklahoma State University

Inder Majumdar, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Evan McKay, Virginia Tech University

Jack Myers, University of Arkansas

David Nason, West Virginia University

Faith Parum, Texas A&M University

Sarah Smith, Texas State University

Jim Teal, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Anna Winton, Clemson University

Asamoah Zadok, Lincoln University of Missouri

2022 Alumni

Lucy Asare-Baah, Tuskegee University

Micah Cameron-Harp, Kansas State University

Haden Comstock, Mississippi State University

Amber Dewitt, Purdue University

Carson Honse, Lincoln University of Missouri

Megan Hughes, Purdue University

Roberto Koeneke, University of Florida

Gloria Lenfestey, Purdue University

Xavier Miranda, Purdue University

Ashling Murphy, Kansas State University

Jose Quintero, Michigan State University

Kameron Shelby, Prairie View A&M University

Alicia Young, Oklahoma State University

2021 Alumni

Andrew Anderson, Kansas State University

Shelby Brewer, Mississippi State University

McKenzie Carvalho, Mississippi State University

Brian Cornish, Auburn University

Matthias Kunerth, South Dakota State University

Naila McCraney, Florida A&M University

Noe Nava, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Zachary Neuhofer, Purdue University

Sarah Sellars, Purdue University

Nathanial Trull, Purdue University

2020 Alumni

Hunter Biram, Kansas State University

Maggie Creamer, University of California, Davis

James Davis

Tori Marshall, Oklahoma State University

Kaleiah Schiller, University of California, Davis

Tatiana Sierra, University of California, Davis

Heather Tenboer, Iowa State University

Jessica Wallach, University of California, Davis

Katie Welch, Clemson University