Applications are now being accepted for AgDiscovery, a residential career and science exploration program for teens.


March 20 is the application deadline, said Willie Columbus, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff educational outreach coordinator and AgDiscovery program director.


Students currently in grades 8-11 are eligible for the UAPB AgDiscovery program.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and UAPB have teamed up to host AgDiscovery June 13-26 at UAPB. The program will incorporate animal science, plant science and agribusiness disciplines.


“AgDiscovery is a unique opportunity for students to gain a firsthand look at the many career paths open to them in the agricultural sciences,” Columbus said. “For those interested in an agricultural career, AgDiscovery is a great way to get started.”


Students will participate in hands-on labs, workshops and field trips, as well as team building activities and diversity workshops. Room and board, supplies, activity fees and meals are covered by APHIS. Parents pay only the cost of transportation to and from UAPB.


Enrollment in AgDiscovery is limited. Students accepted will be notified the week of April 20. Although students submit their application packets directly to APHIS, they can select their host university. There are 20 universities participating in AgDiscovery 2020.


A complete list of host universities, brochures, information and application forms are available at www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery. Students can also contact Columbus at (870) 575-7145 or columbusw@uapb.edu.


Students can apply online at www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery. Although online applications are preferred, students may submit an application packet via U.S. mail postmarked by March 20 to USDA-APHIS AgDiscovery Program, ATTN: Tammy Lowry, Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion, 4700 River Road, Unit 92, Suite 6C-04, Riverdale, MD 20737-1234.


It is important that applicants follow directions carefully as APHIS will discard incomplete applications, Columbus said.


“Only one large envelope containing the application form, essay and sealed letters of recommendation will be accepted per applicant,” he said. “Do not include your birth certificate, news clippings, awards, photos, transcripts, report cards or other documents.”


The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without discrimination.