Fresno State University students, from left, Caitlin Guest, Aki Dionisopoulos and Amanda Jo Bettencourt received scholarship assistance from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on May 5 in Fresno, California.
“Since 2005 we have been proud to work with Fresno State to create a program that establishes a pipeline for future employees,” said Rayne Pegg, AMS Administrator. “In addition, we would like to see the program substantially increase the overall diversity of our agency’s programs.”
The AMS Student Assistant Program helps Fresno State students pursuing degrees in agriculture, food, natural resources or related fields. USDA and the university recently amended a cooperative agreement that provides tuition assistance to students participating in the program.
Upon graduation, students are obligated to complete one year of service with AMS for each year of financial support. Guest, an animal science major, and Bettencourt, who is studying agriculture education, will work for AMS’s Poultry Program. Dionisopoulos, a business/entrepreneurship major, will join the Fruit and Vegetable Program.
From Washington, D.C., Jennifer Turpin is AMS’s coordinator of the scholarship program. In Fresno, AMS staffers Mark Perigen and Gerald Brockman (Poultry Program); Tanya Dillon (Fruit and Vegetable Program); and Maria Townsend (Cotton Program) review applications, conduct panel interviews of the candidates, and a number of other functions in support of the scholarship program.