AFS’s Jimenez set to join inaugural USDA FAS Diversity Fellowship Program
By: Norman Martin
Laura Jimenez, a standout December graduate from Texas Tech's Department of Animal & Food Sciences, has been awarded a ground-breaking fellowship by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. The foreign affairs agency's new ‘Diversity Fellowship Program' identifies and prepares individuals interested in international agricultural economics careers.
“I'm beyond grateful to have received this opportunity to represent the Foreign Agricultural Service, where I'll be able to continue my family's agricultural legacy by helping farmers and ranchers like them grow their export opportunities and promote U.S. agricultural trade,” Jimenez said. “Finding a career in which I can best serve the agricultural community that has supported and inspired me throughout my life has always been my priority, and now I am one step closer.”
Following her graduation from Texas Tech last month, Jimenez will enter a graduate agricultural economics studies program at Texas A&M University next fall. In the past, she has served as a member of Davis College's Ambassadors for Agriculture. Earlier in her academic career, she had internships with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and the Davis College Congressional Internship Program in Austin.
Sandra Addo, Davis College's Program Manager for Diversity & Graduate Student Recruitment, underscored the importance of the FAS's endeavor to create a path for outstanding students, particularly those from minority groups historically underrepresented at USDA, to pursue careers in the nation's foreign service.
The program is designed to help ensure that FAS foreign service officers, who serve American agriculture at U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions around the globe, reflect the diversity that is the strength of the United States.
The FAS itself is the foreign affairs agency with primary responsibility for the USDA's overseas programs – market development, international trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection of statistics and market information.
The new fellowship will provide funding and support for selected students to receive master's degrees in agribusiness or agricultural economics at the accredited U.S. university of their choice. Fellows will participate in domestic and overseas internships with FAS and will be offered extensive mentoring and professional development opportunities. Those who successfully complete the program enter into the foreign service corps, often seen as a rewarding career in international service.
CONTACT: Sandra Addo, DEI Committee Co-Chair and Program Manager for Diversity & Graduate Student Recruitment, Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or email@example.com
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