Clemson University Grad Student Recognized by USDA

In *All by Ag is America

Clemson University master’s student Sara Webb is one of 10 graduate students honored by the United States Department of Agriculture Student Diversity Program at its 2018 Agricultural Outlook Forum. Through her writing on the role of education in promoting diversity and inclusion in the agricultural sector, Webb won this distinction and a trip to Washington, DC to attend the forum, which is the USDA’s largest annual meeting.

Webb, one of the 10 graduate-student winners joining with 20 undergraduate winners, attended the 94th annual meeting of the Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, VA. This forum allows agricultural producers, policymakers, business, government and industry leaders to meet, exchange ideas and discuss timely issues at the forefront of American agriculture.

For the program, the graduate students were asked to write an essay on the what they saw as the greatest agricultural challenge over the next five years. Webb, who developed her interest in diversity and inclusion from her time spent working with AmeriCorps, studying abroad, and taking graduate courses at Clemson University, was inspired to write about this topic. She recognized the lack of diversity in the United States agricultural industry and the need for increased inclusivity.

Webb’s findings were correct, as the 2012 U.S. Agricultural Census showed 95 percent of principal farm operators are white and 86 percent of those operators are male. She noted that a lack of diversity in the industry could be a factor in how the perception of agriculture is influenced and thus may affect the career choices of individuals interested in agriculture.

To learn more about the USDA’s Agriculture Student Diversity Program, Agricultural Outlook Forum, and Clemson University, read more here.

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