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February 9, 2024


USDA Announces San Diego Mesa College as one of the 2024 Agricultural Export Market Challenge Participants

By Jennifer Kearns

Text: USDA logo 20 Minority-Serving Institutions Selected for the Agricultural Export Market Challenge image of a plant -Gathered from information included in USDA Press Release No. 0021.24, press@usda.gov

Gathered from information included in USDA Press Release No. 0021.24, press@usda.gov

San Diego, CA-  On February. 5, 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced San Diego Mesa College as included in the selection of 19 minority-serving educational institutions to take part in the 2024 USDA Agricultural Export Market Challenge. San Diego Mesa College is one of only three community colleges chosen to participate.

 

The Agricultural Export Market Challenge (the Challenge) is an immersive learning experience using the case study method and role playing to simulate the work that Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) subject matter experts perform every day to increase export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. The simulation will help students accrue knowledge and skills across the disciplines of economics, diplomacy, scientific analysis, marketing, and trade policy.

 

Dr. Waverly Ray, Geography Professor is mentoring the following Mesa students for the 2024 Spring semester with this immersive learning experience:

  • Carson Brumfield, Chemistry major
  • Aidan Middleton, Business major
  • Jenny Tong, Economics/Business Administration major
  • Victoria Velasquez, Business Administration major

“I applaud our faculty, in particular, Geography Professor Dr. Waverly Ray, for pursuing opportunities that allow us to breathe life into the “serving” part of being an HSI,” stated Dr. Ashanti Hands, San Diego Mesa College President. “This opportunity allows us to see, serve, and support our students as they innovate ways to serve our community. This is equity and excellence in action!”

During the five-week Challenge, teams of students develop and present a market entry strategy for a fictitious American company seeking sales opportunities for a U.S. food or agricultural product in an overseas market. The team that completes and wins the Challenge receives an opportunity to meet with USDA leaders in Washington, D.C.

“American farmers deserve access to new, more, and better markets through trade, and USDA is training future leaders to help expand those opportunities,” said Deputy Secretary Torres Small. “Two years ago, USDA launched a one-of-a-kind platform for students from minority-serving institutions to solve simulated world trade problems in the Agricultural Export Market Challenge. With students from 19 schools participating this year, the Challenge is a testament to the bright future ahead for agriculture.”

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), in cooperation with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), created and continue to oversee the Agricultural Export Market Challenge. The Challenge is an immersive learning experience for junior- and senior-year undergraduate students to explore the work of FAS and accrue knowledge and skills in diplomacy, economics, marketing, and trade policy.

The teams who will compete in the 2024 Spring Semester of the Challenge hail from the following minority-serving institutions:

  • Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wis.*
  • California State University, Fresno, Calif.*
  • Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, Calif.*
  • Colorado State University – Pueblo, Colo.
  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Florida International University, Miami, Fla.
  • Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Ga.
  • Hartnell College, Salina, Calif.
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • Inter American University of Puerto Rico – Aguadilla, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
  • Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Mo.*
  • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.*
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, N.C.*
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas*
  • Regis University, Denver, Colo.
  • San Diego Mesa College, San Diego, Calif.
  • St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas*
  • Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas*
  • Texas A&M University – Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas

 

*Denotes teams that have participated in past years

The Agricultural Export Market Challenge (the Challenge) is an immersive learning experience using the case study method and role playing to simulate the work that FAS subject matter experts perform every day to increase export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. The simulation will help students accrue knowledge and skills across the disciplines of economics, diplomacy, scientific analysis, marketing, and trade policy. During the five-week Challenge, teams of students develop and present a market entry strategy for a fictitious American company seeking sales opportunities for a U.S. food or agricultural product in an overseas market. The team that completes and wins the Challenge receives an opportunity to meet with USDA leaders in Washington, D.C.

The Challenge and partnership between FAS and HACU align with the Biden-Harris Administration's Executive Order 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government and is another example of the Department's and Agency’s commitment to advancing equity. To learn more about the Challenge visit fas.usda.gov/market-challenge.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

San Diego Mesa College is a Proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI)

San Diego Mesa College is proud to be formally designated a Hispanic Serving Institution by the United States Department of Education. The purpose of this designation is to provide Mesa College the opportunity to improve the academic attainment of Latino/a, Chicano/a, Hispanic, or similar identities, and low-income students. Being an HSI means we are a reflection of our students, their cultures, values, and life experiences. It guides the direction of the college and how we go about the work that we do. Every students deserves to feel connected and safe on campus and to have access to the programs and services to successfully reach their goals. As an Hispanic Serving Institution, Mesa is committed to be the Leading College of Equity and Excellence. Learn more at www.sdmesa.edu/about-mesa/hsi.

 

Follow San Diego Mesa College on Social Media: 

Facebook.com: sandiegomesacollege 

Twitter.com: sdmesacollege 

Instagram.com: sdmesacollege 

Youtube: youtube.com: sdmesacollege 

Snapchat: sdmesacollege 

LinkedIn: San Diego Mesa College 

 

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Tags: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Geography, Urban Agriculture, Press Release