NASDA spotlights future agriculture leaders at annual meeting


The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture kicks off its annual meeting this week — a hybrid virtual and in-person event being held in Kentucky. The organization, along with the NASDA Foundation, celebrated 15 students from eight universities as part of its NASDA’s Next Generation (NNG) Class of 2021.

The purpose of NNG is to advance future leaders’ understanding of agriculture policy and the role of state departments of agriculture in ensuring a healthy and thriving food system for all. Through the NNG programming, students learn about current food and agricultural policy issues, NASDA’s mission and careers in public service.

The NNG class of 2021 will have the opportunity to network with commissioners, secretaries, and directors of agriculture, industry leaders, and stakeholders who could lead to possible internships and job opportunities. During the 2021 meeting events, students will also be able to explore Kentucky’s community-based agriculture.

The following students were selected:

  • Jakob Baker, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Maria Brockamp, University of Illinois
  • Mallary Caudill, The Ohio State University
  • Madeline Dunn, University of Kentucky
  • Maya Fuller, University of Kentucky
  • Dylan Gentry, University of Kentucky
  • Grace Hasler, Purdue University
  • Jacob Knaebel, University of Missouri
  • Amysha Langley, University of Illinois
  • Seth Mitchell, University of Illinois
  • Noelle Neef, University of Illinois
  • Haley Nelson, University of Kentucky
  • Robert Thomas, Prairie View A&M University
  • Justin Walker, Tennessee State University
  • Emmanuel Wallace, Tennessee State University

Since NASDA’s Next Generation inaugural debut in 2015 students from all over the country have participated in NNG and gained a better understanding of agriculture and agriculture policy.

“NASDA is proud to welcome these exceptional young leaders to this year’s annual meeting where our theme is ‘Redefining Agriculture.’ Their fresh perspective and exuberance are needed to redefine agriculture and our food system as our industry grows to meet the needs of new generations and a changing world,” NASDA CEO Barb Glenn said.

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