Using a student organization to increase participation and success of minorities in agricultural disciplines

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Peabody Journal of Education


Agriculture has had a significant number of minorities performing manual labor from the time of slavery. This has left a legacy of minority youth perceiving agriculture as occupations involving manual labor with low pay and low prestige. However, the opposite is true. There are employment opportunities for college graduates in food and agricultural sciences in marketing, merchandising, and sales of agricultural products; scientific and technical careers; and managing water, land, and other natural resources that are used in the U.S. food system. Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) is a national society committed to fostering partnerships between minority agriculture and natural resource college students and professionals from academia, government, and business. The objectives of MANRRS include increasing the number of college students in agriculture and related sciences, providing an avenue for fellowship, promoting career and academic counseling, and developing a network to serve its members. Mentoring in MANRRS most closely follows the networking model. Hierarchy and power positions are replaced with collegiality and dedication to achievement of academic and career success. The networking of agricultural professionals, collegiate undergraduate and graduate students, university faculty and advisors, and high school students enhances recruitment and retention efforts on all levels. © 1999, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

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