AgDiscovery program to be held at UAPB in the summer


Application deadline March 23 for AgDiscovery summer program at UAPB

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will again serve as a host campus for the AgDiscovery summer enrichment program. The free, two-week residential program is designed to help students learn about careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness, regulatory science and plant pathology.

“AgDiscovery is truly a wonderful and exciting program,” said Willie Columbus, UAPB AgDiscovery program coordinator. Last summer he said he watched as a group of students, most of whom did not know each other, morphed into a close-knit group of friends by program’s end.

Seeing the students bond through the various learning experiences provided by the program was “just an exciting and amazing thing to watch,” Columbus said, adding that the UAPB Agriculture Department recruited two (of 13) students last fall as a result of the program.

“I strongly encourage parents of children between the ages of 14 and 17 who might have an interest in the many fields of agriculture, to have their child or children to apply for enrollment into this summer program,” he said. “I know it will be an experience that will benefit them for a lifetime.”

AgDiscovery participants live on UAPB’s campus and learn about agricultural science from university professors, practicing veterinarians and professionals working for the U.S. government. Students chosen for the program participate in hands-on labs, workshops, field trips and other activities. The program is sponsored by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, (APHIS) a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Geese wrangling, canoeing and extracting strawberry DNA are just some of the activities teens in the AgDiscovery program participated in. “When I first came to this camp, I had a totally different idea of what I wanted to do but being here has given me an opportunity to look at different careers,” said Kenya Johnson, a recent participant.

Program dates for this year are June 15-28. Applications and/or reference letters must be received on or before March 23. Students selected for the UAPB 2013 session pay only the cost of transportation to and from UAPB. Tuition, room and board, and supplies for the two-week program are covered by APHIS.

For more information and to apply online or by mail, visit the APHIS AgDiscovery website at: www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery where you may download the 2013 AgDiscovery brochure.

To view pictures from a past program, visit UAPB’s SAFHS Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/uapb.safhs. LIKE the page to receive updates and information about the program. Do not send your application to UAPB. Applications must be sent to APHIS and be completed in typed format. Read the application package and website carefully to avoid making errors.

For more information, contact Willie Columbus at 870-575-7252 or