On Thursday, the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS), National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and the NASDA Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) embarking on a five-year partnership to grow diversity in agricultural government affairs and agriculture industry leadership.
The MOU details plans to increase minority college students’ exposure to employment, educational and business opportunities through state departments of agriculture. The partnership will build on the MANRRS-NASDA Foundation Agriculture Policy Summit, which was piloted with 10 MANRRS students at the 2020 NASDA Winter Policy Conference last February in Washington, D.C. In addition, MANRRS will advise NASDA staff and members on how to seek and advance diversity in agriculture.
The MOU acts on NASDA's commitment to racial justice by elevating diverse voices and creating opportunities for NASDA to "listen and learn."
NASDA, NASDA Foundation and MANNRS leadership expressed their enthusiasm for the partnership.
“We’re taking action to address racial justice in agriculture, and that starts with recognizing and recruiting talented young leaders like MANRRS students. We want minority students to know they’re valued at state departments of agriculture and that their perspective is needed to shape agriculture and food policy,” NASDA chief executive officer Dr. Barb Glenn said
“We are excited to learn from the leaders of MANRRS as they help advise NASDA and NASDA Foundation staff and our members on how to raise up diverse perspectives in agriculture,” NASDA Foundation executive director Lisa Benson added.
“This partnership will help us change the face of agriculture, natural resources and related sciences by connecting the leaders of state departments of agriculture to the incredibly talented and diverse pool of MANRRS students ready to start new careers in the industry,” MANRRS chief operating officer Ebony Webber said.
MANRRS national president Dr. Antomia Farrell noted, “MANRRS promotes academic and professional development of minority students in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. Partnering with NASDA and the NASDA Foundation will unlock incredible opportunities for our students professionally and academically.”