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American Farmland Trust and MANRRS Announce Partnership to Increase Opportunities in Regenerative Agriculture for Minority Students and Professionals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – ATLANTA, GA. – Today, American Farmland Trust and MANRRS announce a partnership to enhance opportunities for minorities in agriculture, natural resources conservation and related fields. Working together, AFT and MANNRS believe they can provide greater opportunity for young adults interested in conservation agriculture by motivating, supporting, and preparing young people of all backgrounds in pursuing careers in agriculture, land protection, natural resources conservation, public policy, and related fields. 

Central to AFT’s mission — to save the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, implementing environmentally-sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land — is ensuring the next generation of farmers and ranchers have access to the knowledge, tools and land necessary to enter agriculture. Likewise, MANRRS is working to change the face of agriculture, natural resources and related sciences by supplying the industry with a diverse pool of talented leaders. Through our partnership we will expand access for MANRRS members to the world of conservation agriculture, what is now often called “regenerative” agriculture. In doing so, AFT and the wider conservation agriculture community will benefit from the insight and talent of a diverse group of future leaders. 

Former MANRRS National Officer and PhD Candidate Johannah Hamilton explains how she has benefited from her membership in MANRRS, how she has helped others and the importance of the MANRRS’ partners.

“One of the great things about MANRRS is it’s not just a professional development society, it’s a family. I joined MANRRS 7 years ago when I was 21 years old. I didn’t have a resume, I had never had an internship experience… Honestly, if it wasn’t for MANRRS I don’t know where I’d be right now, but I would not have gotten recruited at our national conferences for my Masters at Auburn University or my PhD at Oregon State University. 

“As a National Officer, I was given a larger platform to really share my MANRRS story. I don’t think I realized at the time how powerful this role was, but even now a year after my term served, I still get emails or messages on LinkedIn from other students who told me I inspired them to apply for graduate school even when they didn’t think they would be accepted or students who were scared to leave the country but were inspired by my travels to study abroad. 

“The organizations with whom MANRRS partners are so significant, because MANRRS is a student serving society. Through these partnerships, these organizations provide our students with unique opportunities to develop personally and professionally. Annual scholarships, internships, careers, professional development, and unique training and workshops are just a few of the opportunities afforded to our students.” 

“American Farmland Trust is grateful for the opportunity to be working with leaders like Johannah and others with MANRRS,” said David Haight, AFT Vice President of Programs. “Regenerative farming is vital to life on this planet – providing food, protecting water, combatting climate change and creating economic opportunities.  It is critical that pathways for ethnic minorities be expanded to be part of this dynamic sector as farmers and in the many related sciences and other fields.  Change will require a sustained commitment by many over time – we look forward to collaborating with MANRRS in such important work.” 

“MANRRS is looking forward to working together to enhance opportunities for young adults in the agriculture, natural resources, conservation, and related fields. MANRRS has a strong interest in exposing our membership to opportunities within American Farmland Trust and I believe that working together will provide more opportunities for members who are interested in agriculture and conservation,” said Dr. Antomia Farrell, National MANRRS President.

The AFT-MANRRS agreement includes sharing resources, promoting internships, collaboration between staff, mutual participation in webinars, conferences, field days, learning circles and other events and most importantly a shared effort to promote opportunities for MANRRS members in agriculture and conservation fields. 

Join AFT and MANRRS executives live on Tuesday, March 9 at 9 am PT / Noon ET streaming on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. 

Topic: Creating Pathways in Regenerative Agriculture for Minority Students and Professionals 

Description: Ensuring a new generation has the knowledge, tools and opportunities necessary to succeed in regenerative agriculture. 

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American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on a half million additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.  

American Farmland Trust Contact: Lori Sallet, E: lsallet@farmland.org ● P: (410) 708.5940  

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About Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Science (MANRRS) 

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, MANRRS promotes academic and professional advancement by empowering minorities in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. It is our goal to provide the student members (junior high school through doctoral programs) of our organization with the support to become productive citizens by engaging them in leadership development activities, educational opportunities, job readiness training, and facilitating internship placement and permanent employment, with special emphasis on agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences. MANRRS encourages and promotes Agriculture, Natural Resources, and related STEM programs in an effort to interest and attract underrepresented students and professionals into pursuing educational and career opportunities in these respective areas. 

MANRRS Contact:  Ashantáe Smith, E: ashantae.smith@manrrs.org  ● P: (404) 347-2975 

About the Author
Lori Sallet

Media Relations Director

lsallet@farmland.org

(410) 708-5940

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