World Food Prize Foundation announces USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship winners

The World Food Prize and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced the selection of 30 university students for the prestigious Wallace-Carver Fellowship. Students will collaborate with world-renowned scientists and policymakers through paid fellowships at leading USDA research centers and offices across the country.

“The Wallace-Carver Fellowship provides unparalleled research opportunities for university students to explore agricultural issues and become the next generation of agricultural leaders and innovators,” Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize, said. “These outstanding students are some of the most highly qualified and motivated students in America. This program gives them the opportunity to be inspired to pursue careers and future leadership positions in food, agriculture and science.”

While stationed at USDA, students will analyze agricultural and economic policy; assist in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and take part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research.

The fellows will also participate in the week-long Washington Leadership Symposium, hosted by the U.S. secretary of agriculture. While attending the symposium, students will participate in briefings, tours, discussions and group activities with key government leaders.

Today, 815 million people face hunger worldwide, and more than 40 million Americans are food insecure. With experts predicting a world population of 9 billion people by 2050, food security remains a high-priority issue among global leaders.

USDA and the World Food Prize Foundation partnered to create the Wallace-Carver Fellowship in 2011. Named for American agriculture leaders Henry A. Wallace and George Washington Carver, the Wallace-Carver Fellowship seeks to inspire and train the next generation of agricultural leaders and scholars for the 21st century.

Since the creation of the Fellowship, 210 students from 93 universities and colleges in 36 states and the District of Columbia have been employed by the program. Over 97 percent of fellows have pursued degrees in related disciplines, and 88 percent remain employed in critical fields relevant to science, agriculture and nutrition.

The 2018 Wallace-Carver Fellows are a distinguished and diverse group of outstanding young leaders representing 25 universities and colleges in 17 states across the country. The leaders representing universities and colleges in High Plains Journal’s coverage area are:

  • Macy Alexander—University of Arkansas. Placement: ARS Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit; Auburn, Alabama;
  • Elaina Conrad—Iowa State University. Placement: FAS Office of Civil Rights, Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs; Washington, D.C.;
  • Mikayla Eppert—University of Iowa. Placement: ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Functional Foods Research Unit; Peoria, Illinois;
  • Jade Gerlitz—Iowa State University. Placement: ARS National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment, Agroecosystems Management Research Unit; Ames, Iowa;
  • Nicholas Grandstaff—University of Iowa. Placement: ERS Diet, Safety & Health Economics Division; Washington, D.C.;
  • Abbagail Hoffman—Iowa State University. Placement: ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Functional Foods Research Unit; Peoria, Illinois;
  • Harper Martin—Arkansas State University. Placement: ARS National Sedimentation Lab, Water Quality & Ecology Research Unit; Oxford, Massachusetts;
  • Alyssa Schaeffer—University of Iowa. Placement: ARS Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Water Management Research Unit; Ft. Collins, Colorado;
  • Josephine Slovut—University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Placement: ARS Range Management Research Unit; Las Cruces, New Mexico;
  • Hunter Smith—Johnson County Community College. Placement: ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center; Houston, Texas; and
  • Kelli Wicks—Iowa State University. Placement: ARS National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment – Soil, Water & Air Research Unit; Ames, Iowa.

The Wallace-Carver Fellowship program is jointly coordinated by Keegan Kautzky and Libby Crimmings at the World Food Prize and Moushumi Paul at USDA. For more information and the complete list of fellows, visit