Skip to main content

Future Leaders Program

Tomorrow’s agriculture depends on cultivating today’s students. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is sowing the seeds of tomorrow through the Future Leaders in Agriculture Program, a joint effort with USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. Founded in 2007, the program introduces students from Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture to the work of USDA and its partner organizations.

Aimed at undergraduates and graduate students majoring in agriculture-related subjects, including business, economics, communications, nutrition, food science and pre-veterinary studies, the program seeks students who exhibit leadership at their university and/or in their community. To apply, students must submit essays about agricultural careers and challenges.

Thirty students (20 undergraduates and 10 graduate students) are selected each year. Program winners travel to Washington, DC, in February to tour the nation’s capital and attend USDA’s premier annual event, the Agricultural Outlook Forum. They also participate in a USDA briefing and discuss career development with leaders in USDA.

The Future Leaders in Agriculture Program is supported by academic institutions, corporations, and government institutions dedicated to promoting the education of the next generation of agriculturalists.

See the 2023 Program Winners

For more information, please contact Lisa Purnell, USDA Liaison, Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement at   

Students who are interested in scholarship, internship, and career opportunities at USDA can learn more at or contact their local USDA Liaison.