Farm Foundation Announces Its 2022 Agricultural Scholars

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Farm Foundation, an accelerator of practical solutions for agriculture, has announced its 2022 Agricultural Scholars recipients. This annual program is sponsored in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS). Up to 15 applied or agricultural economics graduate students are selected to join the program for inspiration and training in agricultural policy, commodity market analysis, agricultural finance, and other applied fields.

Events and projects are conducted throughout the year, including a mentorship with an ERS senior analyst, a research project and ag-focused forums and meetings, such as a World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) “lock-up” session and Farm Foundation Round Table meetings.

“The Ag Scholars program is a unique opportunity that connects these outstanding students with USDA and other leaders within the wider agricultural sector,” said Martha King, the foundation’s Vice President of Programs and Projects. “Farm Foundation is pleased to continue to support the development of the next generation of agricultural economists.”

The 2022 Agricultural Scholars are:
Lucy Asare-Baah, Tuskegee University
Currently a doctoral candidate in the Integrative Public Policy and Development Program at Tuskegee University, Asare-Baah’s research interest includes reduction of postharvest losses among vegetable growers in the United States and rural farmers in the global south, as well as farm policies for agricultural landholders in the U.S.

Micah Cameron-Harp, Kansas State University
A third-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University, Cameron-Harp’s research focuses on the interdependence of agricultural production and natural resources. As an NSF Research Fellow in K-State’s Rural Resource Resiliency fellowship, he employs a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to address the complex problems of agricultural sustainability.

McKenzie Carvalho, Mississippi State University
Carvalho is a master’s student in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University. With degrees in agribusiness and agricultural communications from Oklahoma State University and a wide range of research and legislative experience, Carvalho’s goal is to work in extension to build stronger rural communities across the state. She is also a member of the Farm Foundation’s 2021 cohort of Ag Scholars.

Haden Comstock, Purdue University
Comstock is a graduate student in the agricultural economics program at Purdue University where he conducts research through the Center for Commercial Agriculture focused on agricultural policy, the federal crop insurance program, and precision agriculture. He plans on pursuing a career in agricultural policy.

Carson Honse, Lincoln University
After graduating from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, Honse is now working towards his MBA in Agribusiness at Lincoln University to advance his knowledge of agricultural business. He hopes to someday work toward bridging the gap between corporate business and agriculture.

Megan Hughes, Purdue University
A second-year doctoral student in the Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics, Hughes focuses her research on sustainable agricultural production, particularly relating to the adoption of best management practices, such as cover cropping or no/reduced tillage.

Roberto Koeneke, University of Florida
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and a master’s degree at the University of Miami, Koeneke worked for over 10 years with the Center for Independent Experts (CIE). Now in the doctoral program in Food and Resource Economics at University of Florida, his interests include the economic analysis of agricultural and natural resource policies.

Gloria Lenfestey, Purdue University
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, Lenfestey is currently a first-year graduate student in Purdue’s Master of Science program in agricultural economics with a focus in risk management and commodity marketing. Post- graduation, she plans to work in risk management to help producers strengthen economic stability.

Naila McCraney, Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University
McCraney graduated in the spring of 2020 from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in plant and soil science. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in agribusiness at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University. McCraney was also selected as a 2021 Agricultural Scholar.

Xavier Miranda, Purdue University
Miranda is pursuing his master’s degree in agricultural economics at Purdue University where he is a research assistant in the Center for Food and Agricultural Business. He is interested in agricultural finance, policy, precision agriculture and production topics such as farmer credit choice, agricultural credit markets, agricultural drone technology and agribusiness management.

Ashling Murphy, Kansas State University
Before pursuing her master’s degree at Kansas State University, Murphy was a commodity purchasing intern with Tyson Foods at their corporate office. She previously interned with the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina State University Department of Agricultural Economics and Department of Crop Science.

Amber Oerly, Kansas State University
A master’s degree student at Kansas State University in the Agricultural Economics program, Oerly is a graduate of Kansas State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics, and received an associate degree from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.

Jose Quintero, Michigan State University
Born in the U.S. and raised in Mexico, Quintero studied agronomy and economics in Universidad Autonoma Chapingo for his high school and bachelor’s studies, and currently is a master’s degree student in the Agricultural, Food & Resource Economics department of Michigan State University. His research is focused on sentiments regarding the food system.

Kameron Shelby, Prairie View A&M University
Shelby is a sophomore at Prairie View A&M University where he is a USDA/1890 National Scholar studying agriculture with a concentration in business, and a minor in mathematics. He interned with USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Alicia Young, Oklahoma State University
Young graduated from Oklahoma State University with a double Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness and Agricultural Communications. She is currently continuing her education at OSU to attain a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics. Her research focus lies in reducing food waste.

Learn more at farmfoundation.org/agricultural-scholars-program.