The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small has officially announced the selection of 19 minority-serving educational institutions for the 2024 Agricultural Export Market Challenge. This initiative underscores the USDA's commitment to cultivating future leaders in agriculture and expanding market opportunities for American farmers.
This unique program, developed by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in collaboration with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), offers an immersive educational experience. It targets junior and senior undergraduate students, providing them an opportunity to delve into the workings of the FAS and gain valuable knowledge and skills in key areas such as diplomacy, economics, marketing and trade policy.
The participating teams for the Spring Semester of the 2024 Challenge come from diverse institutions, including Alverno College in Wisconsin, California State University in Fresno, Howard University in Washington D.C., Florida A&M University, and Texas A&M University - Kingsville, among others. These teams, some of which are veterans of past Challenges, will develop and present market entry strategies for fictional American companies aiming to enter overseas markets with U.S. food or agricultural products.
The winning team will have the exclusive opportunity to meet with USDA leaders in Washington, D.C., providing students a firsthand look at federal agricultural operations and policy-making.
The Agricultural Export Market Challenge aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration's Executive Order 13985, focusing on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities. This partnership between FAS and HACU is a testament to the USDA's and the federal government's broader commitment to advancing equity and cultivating a workforce that mirrors the diversity of America.