Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Association

It’s Not Too Late – March 6 – High School Deadline for AgDiscovery

• a middle or high school student looking for a unique summer internship with an opportunity to live and study on a college campus?
• a high school student looking to improve your resume for college?
• a teacher looking for opportunities to expand your students’ view of agriculture?
• a parent looking for learning opportunities for your teen?
Look no further… the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers you an opportunity of a lifetime.

AgDiscovery is a summer outreach program to help teenagers learn about careers in plant and animal science, wildlife management, and agribusiness. The program allows students to live on a college campus and learn about agriculture from university professors, scientists, and administrative professionals who work for the U.S. Government in a variety of fields.

They study the life cycles and habits of insects (entomologists); research micro-organisms, such as bacteria and viruses (biotechnologists); examine cells and tissues under a microscope to identify diseases (plant pathologists); work to conserve and manage wild animals and their habitats (wildlife biologists); carry out animal health programs (veterinarians); provide education on the humane care and treatment of animals (veterinarians and animal care inspectors); and manage the business aspects of protecting plants and animals (agribusiness).

This 2- to 4-week summer outreach program for 2015 targets middle and high school students1 who are interested in learning more about plants, animals, and agribusiness. Students chosen to participate in AgDiscovery will gain experience through hands-on labs, workshops, and field trips. Students will also participate in character- and team-building activities and a variety of workshops.
Attention Youth Leaders

AgDiscovery is a two week residential outreach program sponsored by different United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) programs for high school students in partnership with selected universities. AgDiscovery is a unique opportunity for students to gain a first-hand look at the many career paths open to them in agriculture. The program allows students to live on a college campus and learn about different agriculture careers from university professors, scientists, and other professionals who work for the U.S. Government in a variety of fields.

COST: Students selected for the 2015 AgDiscovery summer session will pay only the cost of their transportation to get from their home to the college campus for the start of the session and back again at the end of the session.  The cost of tuition, room and board, and lab supplies for the 2 week program will be covered by various programs within APHIS.

To apply for the ISU AgDiscovery or any of the other participating universities except Alcorn State University, the students must be at least 14 and no older than 17 as of May 31, 2015.  Students can only apply for one program and the complete application package must be postmarked by March 6, 2015 this year.  Applicants will be notified on or before April 30, 2015 if they have been selected for one of the 17 AgDiscovery programs this summer.

The AgDiscovery program in Iowa is a partnership with Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, IA and sponsored by the following APHIS programs: the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, the Center for Veterinary Biologics, and the Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health of Veterinary Services, International Services, Wildlife Services, and Investigative and Enforcement Services.

The focus of the ISU-AgDiscovery (July 19 – August 1, 2015) program is to show the interconnection between Veterinary Medicine, Animal Science, Laboratory Technology and Diagnostics and Wildlife Biology and Conservation. The students gain knowledge and experience through lectures and demonstrations, hands-on activities, field trips and projects, team building activities and diversity workshops. Students who have completed a general biology or animal science course will benefit the most from the program activities.

The 2015 ISU AgDiscovery (July19 – August 1, 2015) will host 16 students, ages 15-17.  Students will perform a variety of laboratory activities such as bacterial culture, animal necropsies, egg candling, viral inoculations and diagnostic testing at the USDA National Centers for Animal Health.  They will be introduced to several veterinary disciplines such as hematology, parasitology, immunology, anatomy and pathology by performing hands-on activities at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine.
The students will visit a variety of private and university farms, zoological facilities, animal shelters, wildlife conservation areas and research facilities. They will also participate in a number of cultural awareness and team-building activities. Every activity is being planned to enhance the student’s learning experience and provide countless hands-on opportunities which will be crucial to the student’s enjoyment of the program.

Applications can be submitted as follows:

  1. A fillable PDF application can be obtained at www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery/.  It will be available on January 5, 2015.
  2. Application packages must be postmarked no later than March 6, 2015.  APHIS will not accept application packages that are incomplete or received after March 6, 2015. The application form and essay plus all 3 references must be in one envelope package.

Application package includes:

  1. A 2 page typed essay (500-1000 words) entitled “Why I want to attend the AgDiscovery Program at Iowa State University or any of the other programs and “What I want to Learn”.  In the essay, include information on your interests and hobbies and explain what you want to do when you grow up.  Be sure to include your full name, age, home address, home telephone number, and email address.
  2. Three character references – letters from people not related to you but who know you well.  At least one of the three references must come from a teacher or counselor.  If applying by mail, all 3 references must be submitted in sealed envelopes within the application package.  If sending application by email, the references must be submitted in separate sealed envelopes by mail.
  3. Application form and brochure available at: www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery/; new brochure available January 5, 2015.
  4. Mail completed package to:

Ms. Sophia L. Kirby
USDA-APHIS Office of the Administrator
AgDiscovery Program
Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion
4700 River Road, Unit 92
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234
Phone: (301) 851-4192   Fax: (301) 734-3698

Pictures from the 2014 ISU AgDiscovery program can be found on Facebook – AgDiscovery at ISU 2014

ISU contact: Claudia Lemper – 515-294-3591; cllemper@iastate.edu
USDA contact: Dr. Janet Payeur – 515-337-7003; janet.b.payeur@aphis.usda.gov

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