Partnering to Empower Minorities in Agriculture

News / FBNews September 15, 2022

By: Kelsea Forward

Started at Michigan State University in 1982, Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources Related Sciences (MANRRS) is a youth development organization that connects minority students to opportunities in agriculture.

Dr. Marcus Bernard, associate professor of agriculture and community sciences at Kentucky State University and president of MANRRS, recently sat down with American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall to discuss the work MANRRS is doing to empower young people and minorities to pursue leadership roles and careers in agriculture.

AFBF has partnered with youth organizations such as 4-H and FFA for many years to encourage the involvement of youth in agriculture. AFBF partnered with MANRRS last year with the goal of increasing minority involvement in agriculture and bringing even more people into the industry to help meet the growing demand for food.

President Duvall and AFBF are excited about the continued partnership with MANRRS and the opportunity to empower students from diverse backgrounds.

“For us to be a strong organization we need to get everybody at the table and have everybody’s voice be heard, especially in policy development,” President Duvall said.

MANRRS empowers young people by connecting them with internships, mentorships, professional development, networking and job opportunities. President Duvall invited members of MANRRS to apply for internships offered at AFBF.

During their discussion, Dr. Bernard explained that many students who are a part of MANRRS come from urban neighborhoods without a background in agriculture. The organization is dedicated to showing students there is a place for everyone to contribute and succeed in the industry, no matter what their background is.

“We watch these young people get excited because they see a future they can be a part of,” said Dr. Bernard.

Dr. Bernard also explained that the work of MANRRS is made possible by strong relationships like the one they have with Farm Bureau.

“Working together with Farm Bureau, we’re able to open up doors for these students and young professionals,” he said.

MANRRS has over 70 chapters across the U.S.

Learn more about MANRRS.

Kelsea Forward is the Communications assistant at AFBF.

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