Two Kansas State University students have been selected to attend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2009 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Feb. 26-27, in Arlington, Va.
James Millsap, senior in agricultural business, Kansas City, Kan., and Dalton Henry, a senior in agricultural economics and agricultural communications, Randolph, were among the 18 students from across the country chosen out of a national pool of applicants to attend the annual forum. Selections were made based on individual essays written on the topic "Agriculture as a Career." The essay competition was open to juniors and seniors majoring in agricultural-related fields at land-grant and Hispanic-serving institutions.
K-State's College of Agriculture, after inviting agriculture students to submit essays, chose the essays by Millsap and Henry to submit to the Department of Agriculture as K-State's entries for the competition.
The title of this year's forum is "Global Agriculture and Rural America in Transition." It will feature expert speakers from across the world on many different topics in agriculture, giving Henry and Millsap the opportunity to network with top agricultural analysts.
"I grew up on a small family farm so I've been around agriculture all of my life," Henry said. "Agriculture really is a way of life and a passion for me. When you start talking about the future of agriculture, it is something that is not only going to affect my career but also my way of life."
"I get to live and breathe agriculture every day at K-State," Millsap said. "But to see it in practice, such as at the government level, that is really an inspiration for me."
Both students are excited about the opportunity to attend the forum, to learn about the problems that face agriculture today and to discuss these problems with the other students in attendance.
"As current college students, we need to be concerned about the future of agriculture, the problems associated with it and any future concerns because it is our generation that will be taking over someday," Millsap said.
Henry and Millsap both plan to graduate in May 2010 and both see themselves being very involved in agriculture in their future careers.
"I really like the political process or the public policy side of agriculture," Henry said. "I would love to work for a legislator on handling agricultural constituent issues or work for a group like the American Farm Bureau."
"I'm interested in international agriculture," Millsap said. "I would like to deal with international relations, like with the United Nations or World Trade Organization, or work for the USDA's foreign agriculture service."
Content provided by Kansas State University media relations.