Thursday, January 14, 2016

AgDiscovery 2016


• a middle or high school student looking for a unique summer internship with an opportunity to live and study on a college campus?
• a high school student looking to improve your resume for college?
• a teacher looking for opportunities to expand your students’ view of agriculture?
• a parent looking for learning opportunities for your teen?

Look no further... the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers you an opportunity of a lifetime.

AgDiscovery is a summer outreach program to help teenagers explore careers in plant and animal science, wildlife management, and agribusiness. The program allows students to live on a college campus and learn about agriculture from university professors, scientists, and administrative professionals who work for the U.S. Government in a variety of fields. They study the life cycles and habits of insects (entomologists); research micro-organisms, such as bacteria and viruses (biotechnologists); examine cells and tissues under a microscope to identify diseases (plant pathologists); work to conserve and manage wild animals and their habitats (wildlife biologists); carry out animal health programs (veterinarians); provide education on the humane care and treatment of animals (veterinarians and animal care inspectors); and manage the business aspects of protecting plants and animals (agribusiness).

This 2- to 4-week summer outreach program for 2016 targets middle and high school students who are interested in learning more about plants, animals, and agribusiness. Students chosen to participate in AgDiscovery will gain experience through hands-on labs, workshops, and field trips. Students will also participate in character- and team-building activities and a variety of workshops.


USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) partners with various universities and colleges to deliver the AgDiscovery program. Many of the Federal Government’s professional plant scientists, biotechnologists, veterinarians, and wildlife biologists work for APHIS. The agency funds AgDiscovery each year, and partner universities host program participants on their local campuses.

In 2016, there are 20 universities participating in AgDiscovery: Alcorn State University, Delaware State University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Fort Valley State University, Iowa State University, Kentucky State University, Lincoln University in Missouri, North Carolina State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Texas A&M University, Tuskegee University, University of Arizona, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Maryland at College Park, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of the Virgin Islands, and Virginia State University. Each university’s AgDiscovery program focuses on a specific area of interest to our Nation’s agriculture, such as plant health, entomology, veterinary science, animal care, biotechnology, and agribusiness.

Local College Programs:
North Carolina State University:
JUNE 20–JULY 1, 2016
Learn about careers in plant science, including entomology (the study of insects), plant pathology (the study of plant diseases), botany (the study of plants), agronomy (the science of soil management and production of field crops), and animal science. Students will live on campus in dorms, learning field and laboratory research techniques from university professors and practicing entomologists, botanists, plant pathologists, and veterinarians who work for the U.S. Government. Students who have completed a freshman science course will benefit most from the program’s activities. The Science House at North Carolina State University (NCSU) facilitates this program.
Contacts: Jason Painter, (919) 515-5585,; Camille Morris, (919) 855-7340,

University of Maryland at College Park
JULY 10–29, 2016
Learn about plants and animals, the importance of protecting America’s food supply from insects and disease, the role of regulation in genetically engineered organisms, and the challenge of managing and resolving wildlife conflicts. The 3-week academic program at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus provides an educational odyssey exploring food, culture, and the environment.
Participants will earn 3 hours of university-level course credits through the Young Scholars Program. All admitted students must complete the entire three weeks of the program and academic course.
Contacts: Dr. Evelyn E. Cooper, (301) 405-7044,; April Brohawn, (301) 314-7222,; Tyra Gallman-Monnity, (301) 405-2078,

University of Maryland Eastern Shore
JULY 10–23, 2016
Explore careers in plant biotechnology, plant microbiology, horticulture, small ruminant management, and natural resource sciences. Students will have experiential learning opportunities through research, education, and field trips to conservation areas, a historical family farm, and agricultural research centers. Students will reside on the campus located in Princess Anne, MD, and interact with diverse faculty and other agricultural professionals.
Contacts: Corrie Cotton, (410) 651-6630,; Lisa Purnell, (410)651-6313,; Dr. George S. Shorter, (410) 651-6193,

Virginia State University
JUNE 19–JULY 2, 2016
Students will explore the Small Ruminant and Food Science Program in the College of Agriculture. Activities will follow an animal science theme through the lens of food production, with a focus on livestock production, food processing, and food safety. Students will gain experience in the disciplines of animal science, aquaculture, and food science through a series of hands-on activities with small ruminants, farmed fish, on-farm processing, and field and laboratory research. Field trips and guest speakers provide exposure to a variety of related professions in agricultural production and research. Students will live in a university dormitory for the 2-week program. This program is facilitated by the Virginia State University (VSU) College of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Station, with collaboration from USDA partners and industry representatives.
Contacts: Roz Stein, (804) 524-1533,; Wondi Mersie, (804) 524-5151,

For more information, including a full list of program descriptions offered at each school, check out the document library in the "Blog Post Follow Up" folder for the full brochure.