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K-State co-hosts national student conference for diversity in agriculture | Rural Radio Network

K-State co-hosts national student conference for diversity in agriculture

MANHATTAN, Kan. – More than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students will converge on Overland Park this week for the 34th annual Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences, or MANRRS, National Conference.

The conference runs Wednesday through Saturday at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center. It is nationally known as the top event each year for minority students preparing for agriculture-related careers.

Attendees will participate in workshop sessions, diversity discussions, a career fair, student competitions, and have the opportunity to hear from speakers prominent in agriculture and natural resources industries.

Representatives from dozens of corporate, governmental and non-governmental organizations will meet with students seeking to build their personal networks and sharpen career skills – all with the goal of building a more diverse work force and expanding opportunity to all.

Kansas State University serves as a co-host to the event.

Forty students from the MANRRS National Conference will visit K-State’s Manhattan campus on Thursday to tour both the College of Agriculture and College of Veterinary Medicine. Various K-State College of Agriculture administrators, ambassadors and K-State MANRRS members will help to ensure the students have a fun and informational time on campus.

The conference begins Wednesday with a diversity-summit reception and panel discussion at the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Other days’ eventsinclude:

  • Thursday: Diversity-summit workshops, public speaking contests, a résumé exchange session with national industry partners, tours of K-State, John Deere, Cargill and more.
  • Friday: Jr. MANRRS sessions for high school students; research presentations, mock interviews, student contests, workshops and career fair.
  • Saturday: Jr. MANRRS high school symposium, tours of Merck Animal Health and the Missouri Department of Conservation, workshops and a black-tie gala and awards banquet.

MANRRS has 63 chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States. It promotes academic and professional advancement of members of ethnic and cultural groups underrepresented in agricultural and natural resource sciences and related fields in all phases of career preparation and participation in these areas.

The K-State delegation includes 20 students, along with advisor Zelia Wiley, assistant dean and director of the College of Agriculture Diversity Programs Office, and co-advisor Lonnie Hobbs, Jr.

Tiffany Carter, graduate student in agronomy, and Hobbs will represent K-State on the national level, serving as national graduate student president and Region IV graduate vice president, respectively.

Other K-State College of Agriculture administrators will participate in the conference during the career fair and various sessions during the four-day period. Ernie Minton, interim dean of the college, will be present throughout the conference and will serve as a panelist during various sessions and the Diversity Summit.

Wiley will be heavily involved in the conference by leading various sessions. She will pass her crown as the MANRRS Legend, 2017-2019, to the 2019-2021 recipient.

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