Students interested in pursuing agriculture-related college degrees and careers and want to participate in the program must submit an application by Feb. 1, 2020.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is offering 30 high school students representing 4-H clubs and FFA chapters, as well as farm families, throughout Missouri the opportunity to explore careers in agriculture through the 2020 Missouri Agribusiness Academy (MAbA). 

MAbA is a competitive program for sophomores interested in pursuing agriculture-related college degrees and careers.

“Attending the Missouri Agribusiness Academy was a truly unique experience,” said 2020 MAbA Ambassador Grant Norfleet from Mexico. “Being able to network with other students and collaborate with a plethora of agriculturalists from around the state was something I found to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for a high school sophomore.”

Each year the Missouri Department of Agriculture has seen students grow through their MAbA experience as they learn more about how an agriculture career may fit them while making lifelong friends,  Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said in a release on Monday. 

“We’ve reimagined the MAbA experience over the last year, adding more development opportunities for students in agriculture policy, communications, leadership and service. I encourage all eligible 4-H and FFA students to apply this year,” Chinn said. 

The students selected will have a yearlong opportunity to learn about the career opportunities in the Kansas City area, volunteer at the Missouri State Fair and learn more about the agriculture industry in Jefferson City. The Missouri Department of Agriculture said the 2020 schedule will be finalized in the spring and include visits with industry and agribusiness leaders, as well as tours of their facilities.

“The Missouri Agribusiness Academy was an amazing experience for me,” said 2020 MAbA Ambassador Seth Hansen from Chillicothe. “The different trips allowed me to learn even more about the industry I love. The trip was made even more enjoyable by sharing the experience with 30 like-minded students which made the conversations more enjoyable. I would recommend this experience to anyone who has a career interest in agriculture.”

The Missouri Agribusiness Academy has graduated 960 students through a competitive application and interview process since 1988. The first leg of the 2020 MAbA will be held June 1-5 and marks the programs 33rd year. 

Students interested in participating must submit an application by Feb. 1, 2020. 

“The Missouri Department of Agriculture puts a generous amount of time, effort and creativity towards planning this experience. This helps not only enhance the impact of the Academy, but also the relationships that form while attending. The Missouri Agribusiness Academy has made an impact on my advocacy, leadership and business skills, and I encourage anyone and everyone to apply. It’s a remarkable experience,” Norfleet said. 

For applications and guidelines visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov.