While attending the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Brittini Brown was involved in a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that helped define her future. The Augusta native participated in the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program.

While attending the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Brittini Brown was involved in a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that helped define her future. The Augusta native participated in the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program.

Scholars receive tuition, room and board, fees, books and use of a laptop, printer and software while on scholarship. As long as normal progress is made toward a bachelor’s degree, the scholarship continues up to four years.

“Being a part of the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program was phenomenal,” Brown said.

Being able to simultaneously attend a great 1890 land-grant university and be an intern for a top federal agency, were wonderful opportunities, she said.

“These experiences shaped my college and professional career and equipped me with all of the tools and resources I needed to be successful,” she said.

Brown now works with the USDA/1890 National Program Office in Washington, D.C. She spent more than a year as the interim lead for the program. Now she assists with the recruitment and selection process of National Scholars, works with the program liaisons to perform outreach activities related to small, beginning and socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and works with the USDA/1890 Task Force to provide leadership and guidance for USDA/1890 partnerships.

“The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is amazing,” she said. “I had no idea in 2003 that I would someday work for the 1890 Program, but I am grateful. Being able to give back to a program that gave so much to me has been the highlight of my professional career. I am honored and humbled to be able to come to work each day to do the work that I love.”

At UAPB, Brown majored in regulatory science with a concentration in industrial health and safety. She graduated summa cum laude in 2007 with a 4.0 grade point average.

“My experience at UAPB provided me with a solid foundation on the importance of agriculture and how influential 1890 land-grant universities are to their surrounding communities,” Brown said. “While attending UAPB, I didn’t have a full understanding of the research we conducted, the role of university Extension, or why we held events like the Rural Life Conference, but now that I work with the 1890 Program, all of those experiences have come full circle. I now understand why each of those pieces play an important role in the life of UAPB and I am thankful to have had that experience.”

George W. Richardson, USDA/1890 program liaison at UAPB, served as a mentor to Brown while she was at UAPB.

“I am very proud of Ms. Brown and her achievement,” he said, adding that she has an excellent work ethic. “She is mission-orientated and never loses focus on the mission.”

Edmund Buckner, director of the UAPB Regulatory Science Center, agreed.

“I really am impressed with her diligent work ethic and her professionalism,” he said. “During Ms. Brown’s tenure as a regulatory science student, we could see early on that she was committed to excellence. We knew that she was destined for success.”

Brown said she is thankful for the opportunities.

“The education and guidance I received from both UAPB and USDA adequately prepared me for graduate studies and I graduated in May of 2009 with a master’s of science in industrial and agricultural technology,” she said.

For more information about the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program, visit www.usda.gov/1890program.xml.

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Bobbie Crockett is an Extension Specialist - Communications at UAPB’s School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences.