September 2014, Volume 18, Number 3

Features

 

Shifting Agriculture’s Future

MDC student Bryan Gutiérrez was one of only 20 undergraduate students nationwide selected to attend the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program.

Gutiérrez, who completed an associate degree in biotechnology this summer, is now continuing his studies at the University of Florida.

The View From Within

The forum, which convened in Arlington, Va., included presentations, discussion sessions and panels designed to bring high-achieving students up to date on trends impacting contemporary agriculture. The students had the privilege of meeting with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who addressed the group and moderated two plenary panels.

“The future of agriculture and rural America depends on the upcoming generation of leaders in farming, ranching and conservation, and the students selected to attend the Agricultural Outlook Forum are among the best young leaders our country has to offer,” Vilsack said.

The Next Generation of Leaders 

While at the forum, Gutiérrez was struck by the depth of the program and the dedication of the students attending. “I wanted to go to every single session while I was there,” he said.

“The USDA program provided Bryan with a wealth of information that he will be able to apply to his future endeavors,” said MDC Wolfson Campus President Dr. José A. Vicente.

Exciting Agricultural Research

Gutiérrez also was selected to work over the summer with the Agricultural Research Service, an agency within the USDA.

Impressed with what he learned in his research, Gutiérrez said, “I did screening tests to see if natural extracts can enhance the effectiveness of lures we use for the Caribbean fruit fly,” which are an agricultural pest. “My personal emphasis is all about sustainability. Agriculture uses a lot of resources, so if we can increase efficiency in that area, it can have a dramatic global impact.”


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