Skip to main content

Drive and Ambition Fuels this USDA 1890 Scholar

Posted by MD Sharman, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement in Equity Initiatives
Mar 26, 2024
Kaitlyn Hampton

Kaitlyn Hampton is ambitious and goal oriented. As she embarked on her journey as a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1890 National Scholar, she simultaneously assumed other responsibilities, such as pursuing her master’s degree. The 1890 Scholars Program complemented her goals, allowing her to pursue her passions through internships and job placements that provided experience.

As a USDA 1890 National Scholar, Hampton had the opportunity to intern with USDA agencies. At the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Texas, she learned about land inspections, commodity support and administrative functions. After taking the initiative to express her goals and interests, she was able to shadow the person responsible for purchases, helping her move closer to her aspiration of learning supply chain management.

In 2022, Hampton received her undergraduate degree in business management from Prairie View A&M University, a historically black land-grant university in Prairie View, Texas. Today she is in the position she shadowed as an intern. She continues to hone her contracting, purchasing, property protocol and vendor-relations skills as an administrative specialist for USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

1890 Scholars enjoy many benefits, and while Hampton acknowledges that the monetary assistance of the scholarship enabled her to graduate debt-free, she said the experience is so much more than that.

“Being able to have a guaranteed internship during the summers, a job lined up after graduation, and learning how an organization works before actually working there are all priceless aspects of the scholarship that prepared me for business management,” she said.

Hampton also found having a USDA liaison on-site at Prairie View A&M University invaluable. “My liaison, Horace Hodge, was like having my own mentor to help with professional development inside and outside the internship,” she said. “It was great to have someone I could go to at any time for assistance.”

USDA liaisons serve as key representatives for USDA across America, connecting communities, students, faculty and staff, farmers, ranchers, foresters and others to the Department’s programs and initiatives.

Hampton advises students considering careers in agriculture to apply for the 1890 Scholars Program. “USDA is a massive organization with about every role you can imagine,” she said.

As for her future plans, Hampton sees herself continuing to grow and take on different responsibilities. “I am grounded in work that will hopefully allow me to make a difference in the lives of others,” she said.

Category/Topic: Equity Initiatives