The nation’s largest farm organization is joining forces with a group promoting agricultural opportunities for minority students with the hopes of increasing diversity in the sector.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences announced Monday that the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding “with the goal of increasing minority involvement in agriculture.” The MOU, the groups noted, “is expected to strengthen membership value for both organizations through collaboration on projects, including written content for each organization’s publications, providing leadership training and expertise, and cross-promoting programs and events.”

Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said the organization was excited to partner with MANRRS, noting “we will need the brightest minds and new perspectives to continue meeting the growing demand for healthy, affordable food.” Duvall added both organizations “believe the partnership we’re forming today will benefit both of our organizations and all of agriculture.”

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For her part, Olga Bolden-Tiller, president of MANRRS, said the new partnership “will ensure that ALL of the voices of the agricultural community are heard as we work together to develop a well-trained workforce that not only identifies agricultural issues, but one that also addresses these challenges today and tomorrow, domestically and globally.”

Both organizations are already part of similar MOUs with other entities. Farm Bureau has agreements on the books with 4-H and the National FFA Organization; MANRRS signed an MOU with National Farmers Union leadership in 2020 and Farm Credit has launched a scholarship program for the organization’s members.

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