You could say that Andreya Dupree is flying high with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), partially due to being a licensed drone pilot. “USDA was the place that gave me a chance to continue to learn and grow. I've received many opportunities with USDA,” said Dupree.
Dupree is a Biological Science Technician with USDA-ARS in Tifton, Georgia, where she started after earning her Agricultural Sciences degree with a concentration in Plant and Soil Science from Alcorn State University. While in school, she interned with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center through the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program and interned with USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service. During that experience Dupree learned about instrumentation that she uses currently.
Dupree credits USDA with supporting her in achieving her career goals. Her alma mater — Alcorn State University—is a USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture 1890’s land-grant university partner. Dupree received a full academic scholarship and vital career development support. “USDA has impacted my life by putting me on the path that I am on now,” Dupree said.
Andreya is also a licensed drone pilot and was able to do that through a National Resources Conservation Service scholarship. Dupree became a licensed drone pilot at Hinds Community College. She sees the agriculture sector moving toward agricultural technologies, especially drone technology since drones can take surveys and pictures and make maps. Dupree credits USDA with providing her enriching career preparation and experiences that have only continued since joining ARS after earning her Plant and Soil Science degree.
Dupree also participated in a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Extension program while attending Alcorn State University. USDA-NIFA’s Extension programs that help underserved communities are a Justice40 covered program (PDF, 222 KB), which is a type of federal program that falls within the scope of the initiative because it includes investments benefitting underserved communities. Justice40 is a whole-of-government initiative that works to direct 40 percent of the overall benefits to certain federal investments to underserved communities. Some of the investments that fall within the Justice40 Initiative include climate change, clean energy, and training and workforce development.