Arkansas teens interested a two-week career exploration summer program away from home can fill out the AgDiscovery application packet online. The deadline to submit it is March 12, said Willie Columbus, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff AgDiscovery coordinator.


AgDiscovery is a residential career exploration program for youth ages 14-17 that provides a first-hand look at many career paths in agricultural sciences. Students spend two weeks at a host university and learn from U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service professionals, university professors and scientists.


In Arkansas, UAPB will host AgDiscovery teens June 9-22. Teens will participate in hands-on labs, workshops, field trips, and character and team building activities. Some of the field trips include the Little Rock Air Force Base to learn about wildlife management near airports; an overnight stay at the Heifer Ranch to explore agriculture and life in other countries; the Delta Rivers Nature Center for canoeing, archery and trail hiking; Martin Luther King Jr. Park to band geese; and tours of the Arkansas Vet Tech School and the UAPB Aquaculture Research Station.


Application deadline is March 12. Although students submit their application packets directly to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), students select their host university. AgDiscovery is conducted in partnership with 22 colleges and universities throughout the nation.


There is no cost to attend AgDiscovery. Tuition, room and board, lab supplies, meals and activity fees are covered by APHIS. Students are responsible for the cost of traveling to and from their host university.


Online applications are preferred. Applications may be submitted at www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery. See the application packet details for guidelines on essay topic and letters of application, and then follow the steps to apply online.


Students may also mail their application packet directly to APHIS, said Columbus. Emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered applications will not be accepted. Incomplete and those postmarked after the March 12 deadline won’t be considered. Details: Willie Columbus, 870-575-7145 or columbusw@uapb.edu.