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E. Kika De La Garza Fellow Expands Public Service

Posted by Carrie Knight, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement in Equity Initiatives
Feb 13, 2024
Texas Tech Davis College Professor Jhones Sarturi

As an associate professor of beef cattle nutrition and metabolism at Texas Tech University’s Davis College, Dr. Jhones Sarturi combines his teaching and research responsibilities with public service. For over ten years, he has taught a course on cattle feeds and feeding that combines classroom instruction with field-based learning that directly benefits agricultural producers.

“Students take learning content into the community and apply it in real-life scenarios with ag producers,” he said. “They advise, they ask questions, and they serve society at the same time.”

He decided to apply for an E. Kika De La Garza (EKDLG) Fellowship to build upon efforts like these. “I’ve seen the powerful impact of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in communities,” Sarturi said. “I wanted to know more.”

As part of the fellowship experience, last summer Sarturi spent a week at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. learning about the diverse programs and resources the agency offers students and researchers. “It was completely beyond my expectations,” he said. He especially appreciated having the opportunity to ask questions and share his perspectives. “My biggest takeaway is that USDA wants to positively impact communities.”

Sarturi is invested in planting seeds that can be harvested into the future and now shares information about USDA programs with his university colleagues and students. He is collaborating with his college career office to raise awareness of possible USDA career paths and internships. He also encourages his peers to apply for EKDLG fellowships and USDA research grants. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to positively impact these communities – to be an arm of USDA,” he said.

He also credits the EKDLG fellowship with broadening his own professional sights. “USDA changed the way I was thinking,” he said. “I now see more opportunities where I had preconceived barriers before.”

The application deadline for the 2024 E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship is March 4, 2024. To learn more or to apply, visit Hispanic Serving Institutions National Program.

Category/Topic: Equity Initiatives