USDA names Kenneth Frazier as an Agricultural Outlook Forum Future Leaders in Agriculture winner

Alcorn State University junior Kenneth Frazier has been named a winner of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Future Leaders in Agriculture Program.

USDA selected 30 university students who will attend USDA’s 2023 Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF). These undergraduate and graduate students from land-grant, non-land-grant colleges of agriculture and Hispanic-serving institutions will receive a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., and attend the 99th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, USDA’s largest annual meeting. This year’s forum convenes on February 23-24, 2023 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

“These young people are the next generation of agriculture, and it is important for USDA to support their training,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Through the Future Leaders Program, USDA is expanding career opportunities in USDA-related fields and building an agriculture workforce that reflects the diversity of the American people.”

Now in its 16th year, the USDA Future Leaders in Agriculture Program introduces undergraduate and graduate students to the work of USDA and partner organizations. The program also provides real-world learning opportunities in contemporary agribusiness, scientific research, and agricultural policy to 21 undergraduates and 9 graduate students who are majoring in agriculture-related subjects, including business, economics, communications, nutrition, food science and veterinary studies. Applicants submit essays on agricultural careers and challenges. During their visit to Washington, D.C., students will participate in a USDA briefing and discuss career development with agriculture leaders in academia, government, and industry. They will tour the nation’s capital and attend the forum, where Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will present their awards.

Frazier, who is majoring in agriculture science/environmental science, will join a select group of students from across the country for the program, which recognizes and supports the next generation of leaders in agriculture.

“I feel ecstatic about receiving this honor,” Frazier said. “All the hard work and networking with important people that can put you in better positions are paying off.”

A native of Utica, Miss., Frazier's passion for agriculture and commitment to sustainability was evident in his application and essay, which stood out among the many submissions received.

“Some of the main points in my essay was how vital agricultural is to humanity,” Frazier said. “[In my future career,] I will be able to implement soil or water management techniques, monitor projects before and/or after construction, and offer conservation planning and technical help to those who need help restoring wetlands and protecting wildlife habitats. As a soil conservationist, I will help maintain environmental sustainability. “

He is an 1890 National Scholar, and his representing agency NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Services), is based in Kentucky.

“Upon graduation, I plan to work for a year in Kentucky as a soil conservationist,” he said. “My goal is to build my career and move up the ranks with USDA.”

Kenneth is a member of the GQ modeling squad and previously participated in the ASU gospel choir.

This recognition is a testament to Frazier's dedication and drive and is a clear indication of the bright future that lies ahead for him in agriculture.