Murray State recently honored senior agriculture business student, Samantha Anderson, for her invitation to the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program in Arlington, Va., Feb. 21-22.
Anderson was one of 20 students nationwide selected to attend the event.
The students invited to the diversity program were selected based on their responses to an essay on agriculture as a career.
Not only was Anderson the only student selected from Kentucky, but her essay has been posted on the USDA website as one of three examples of a winning essay.
Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said he is proud of Anderson?s achievements and is glad she was able to represent Murray State.
?For Samantha to be selected for this prestigious conference is a great honor for her, for our school of agriculture and for Murray State,? Brannon said. ?I am especially proud of Samantha not only because she was accepted for the program, but also because her application was posted on the website as the example of a winning essay.
Anderson?s essay discusses growing up on her family?s seventh-generation tobacco farm and about how her family?s business has taught her about responsibility and learning from one?s mistakes. She also discussed today?s many options for those pursuing careers as agriculturists and about how they are no longer limited to production.
Anderson said she is very grateful for her experience at the diversity program, and she encourages future students to take advantage of such an opportunity.
?To represent Murray State and the state of Kentucky at the 2013 Agriculture Outlook Forum was an amazing honor,? Anderson said. ?I am grateful for the experience that I had in Washington D.C., and I hope to see future students at Murray State take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.?
She said the multiple networking opportunities and the education on future trends in agribusiness and agricultural policy were not the only benefits of her experience at the diversity program.
Prior to the forum, the participants in the Student Diversity Program were able to tour a USDA research farm in Beltsville, Md., and hear from speakers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Anderson said she is grateful for all those who have contributed to her success in agriculture. She is also looking forward to seeing how the diversity program will affect her future career in agriculture.
?I am appreciative for those in my life who have encouraged me to succeed at Murray State, especially Brannon, Christy Watkins and Rhea Ann Wright,? Anderson said. ?For my career, being selected allowed me to interact and make contacts with leaders in agriculture policy.?
Story by Alex Berg, Staff writer.